An eating tour of London—from Soho to Shoreditch, Bermondsey to Brixton—reveals the best restaurants among the city’s diverse new culinary scene.
London's Best Restaurants
Vivek Singh made a big splash in 2001 with the opening of Cinnamon Club, a leather-paneled room in Westminster that upended Londoners’ notions of what an Indian restaurant could be. In 2012 the Bengali chef opened a decidedly more casual (and affordable) café on Kingly Street in Soho. The black-leg-chicken biryani arrives in a heavy iron Staub pot; leave the rice to cook for a spell until it gets paella-crunchy. A crisp-skinned, turmeric-dusted tandoori salmon is sauced with a delicious horseradish-spiked green pea relish. If you’re game for lamb’s brains, the kitchen does a fine variation on Mumbai’s iconic Bheja fry (mutton brains in mince curry). And props to Singh’s ingenious Bangla Scotch egg: a soft-cooked quail egg that’s pickled in beet juice till dyed bright pink, then breaded in a spicy garam-flour batter and deep-fried.
There’s never been a better or, frankly, wackier, time to eat in London. Like so many of us these days, Londoners are positively obsessed with food, in all its guises: high to low, food trucks to four stars.
Whether it’s burger joints or old-school British lunchrooms; elegant Italian restaurants or trendy Peruvian ceviche bars; weekend markets or semi-secret chef’s tables, wherever your taste runs, London has you covered. Few cities on earth offer food this good across the board. (C’mon, bring it, New York! Step up, Paris and Tokyo!)
The only question for you, oh hungry pilgrim, is which London you’re after: the one with the amazing breakfasts? Or the one with 70-odd variations of Indian food? The one obsessed with tapas and pintxos? Or the one giving Copenhagen a run for its foraged nettles and sea purslane?
Here’s a better idea: how about trying them all? Read on for the best new restaurants in London.