The Beatles once sang about getting by with a little help from their friends. Considering the rise of sharing-style menus in London, The Fab Four clearly had a crystal ball: sometimes, the food burden is too great for one or two people to bear alone. If it’s time to call in some gastronomic reinforcements, a night of group dining is the perfect solution. Arrange your latest squad night out with our pick of the best London restaurants for group dining below and get booking a table.
Berner’s Tavern, Fitzrovia
Why: Oozing glamour and grandeur, this Jason Atherton outpost is the place to take your friends who enjoy the finer things in life. Cosy up with the gang in the restaurant’s comfortable booths, before tucking into a menu of Brit classics which includes pork pie sliced tableside, and fish & chips with mushy peas.
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
Why: This much larger sequel to the Soho original boasts plenty of large tables for group gatherings. Its menu is perfectly suited to sharing too, with the signature ‘all in’ option comprising a perfectly cooked stack of beef, lamb and pork chops served atop crisp, herb-flecked flatbreads which have soaked up the meat juices – a carnivore’s dreamland.
Where: 13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 8AA
Why: This new opening from the JKS group (Hoppers et al), with its pool tables and beer vending machines, is tailor-made for the City suits working nearby, but that’s not to say that the food is an afterthought. The long menu is well suited to group sharing, with top shouts including barbecue butter chicken wings, which are smeared with ghee and cashew cream.
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Bunga Bunga, Battersea and Covent Garden
Why: Frankly, it would be weird if you didn’t turn up to Bunga Bunga in a group. This kitsch restaurant-cum-karaoke-bar is named after Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous sex parties, and features gigantic pizzas and cocktails served in Vesper-shaped jugs. Ridiculously good fun and trashy as they come, it’s perfect for a gang night out where you’ll all make terrible choices.
Where: 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA; 167 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PG
Dishoom, King’s Cross
Why: You might be surprised to find Dishoom, which is notoriously no-bookings, on this list, but at the King’s Cross branch you can reserve a table for parties of six and more. The menu of reliably good Indian street is great for you and your pals to devour messily, with hot picks including the chilli cheese toastie, and the spicy lamb chops.
Where: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB
J Sheekey, Covent Garden
Why: A veteran of the theatreland scene, J Sheekey is a restaurant that is steeped in history, evident from the pictures of legendary actors lining the walls, as well as other trinkets. Dishes to feast on include the signature fish pie or lobster thermidor, while fabulous puddings include the tempting likes of crème brûlée and a banoffee cheesecake.
Where: 28-32 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL
Why: Burmese food isn’t exactly one of London’s major cuisine types, but that is part of Lahpet’s appeal. Just past Boxpark, this is a pretty space with hanging plants and copper finishes, and the booths and long tables mean it’s great for group feasting. Don’t miss the flaky yellow pea paratha, while the mushroom-stuffed roast aubergine is also worth your time.
Where: 58 Bethnal Green Road, E1 8JW
Masala Zone, Covent Garden
Why: This group of casual Indian joints underwent a refresh in 2017, bringing the interiors bang up to date. Kitted out with large circular tables and with a typically share-friendly Indian menu, Masala Zone is a great place to catch up with friends. Our particular favourites include a very tender lamb vindaloo and the warming chickpea curry. Prices are fair too.
Where: 48 Floral Street, WC2E 9DA
Temper City, Covent Garden and Soho
Why: Neil Rankin’s trio of restaurants all offer something a little different: head to the Soho original for tacos, the City site for curry and the Covent Garden branch for pizza. What does stay the same though is that each site is well equipped for large bookings, with sharing tables, booths and banquettes. Now you just have to decide which one to visit.
Where: 2 Angel Court, 30 Throgmorton Street, EC2R 7HJ; 5 Mercer Walk, Mercers Yard, WC2H 9FA; 25 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DF
If you ever need a break from the posse, we’d recommend having a look through our list of the best restaurants for counter dining in the capital, which are perfect for a solo outing.