London's best British restaurants

British cuisine has never been so widely lauded - and here's why

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From cutting edge cuisine to firm culinary favourites, British food has made a dramatic comeback in the past decade. Whether you're looking for a simple pub lunch or a new twist on an old classic, there's an abundance of great British restaurants in London. We've rounded up a few of our favourites below. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Barnyard

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

There’s a vast bar-restaurant in Helsinki called Zetor (‘Tractor’), where Finns go to sit on hay bales, admire each other’s checked shirts, then indulge in wildly drunken barn dancing. It’s also a place to witness the infamous Finnish capacity for booze. Heavy drinking is something that Londoners do well too. Getting in touch with our inner bumpkin, however, is still a niche interest in London, and it’s one that Barnyard is now here to satisfy – particularly those

Brunch menu every weekend from 10am until mid afternoon with fresh juice, coffee and a Bloody Mary if you need it!
  1. 18 Charlotte Street, W1T 2LY
  2. Meal for two with drinks and service: around...
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Berners Tavern

  • Rated as: 5/5

Restaurateur Jason Atherton has had a great year. Berners Tavern is the third restaurant he’s opened in the West End this year; the other two, Little Social and Social Eating House, were very well received for their playful and appealing dishes. This new venture is more of the same, but in a much grander setting. It’s housed in the new Edition hotel in Fitzrovia, which looks like the older, more sophisticated sister of the Sanderson hotel just down the road. Both places were

  1. 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
  2. Main courses £15-£26. Dinner for two with...
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Social Eating House

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4

It’s not easy to open a spate of brand-new restaurants and maintain high standards, but chef-patron Jason Atherton has clearly moved on from being the sorcerer’s apprentice (under Gordon Ramsay) to being the sorcerer himself. His Little Social deluxe bistro only opened in March 2013, right opposite his fine dining Pollen Street Social in Mayfair. He followed this up, weeks later, with an even more ambitious restaurant in Soho, by delegating the chef role to his buddy and

  1. 58-59 Poland Street, W1F 7NR
  2. Main courses £16-£25. Set lunch £18 2...
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Hawksmoor Spitalfields

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This Spitalfields steakhouse has wooed much of London since opening in 2006; word-of-blog has only served to create an even bigger buzz around the restaurant and its food. A case of the emperor’s new clothes? We think not. Hawksmoor’s USP is in supplying excellent produce cooked well, focusing on top-quality beef from renowned London butcher Ginger Pig. There’s a serious attitude to beef provenance and an impressive list of breeds; Longhorn is always available, but guest

  1. 157a Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
  2. Meal for two with wine and service: around...
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Anchor & Hope

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Once there was just St John, then former St John chefs started to create their own restaurants using the same template – head-to-tail ingredients in simple but artful combinations, served up in a relaxed setting. The Anchor & Hope, which opened more than a decade ago, is still showing how it’s done. Handy for both the Young and Old Vics, it consists of a straightforward pub divided by a heavy central curtain from a dining room. Bookings aren’t taken, so most evenings you

  1. 36 The Cut, SE1 8LP
  2. Main courses (Mon-Sat) £12-£20. Set lunch...
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E Pellicci

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If ever proof were needed that all caffs are not equal, this Grade-II listed greasy spoon on Bethnal Green Road is it. The food may not be much more than reasonably above-average caff grub, but the atmosphere and decor are second to none. Opened in 1900, and still in the hands of the same family, Pellicci’s is an east London landmark. It has an almost opulent feel, harking back to a time when caff culture was king. Chrome-lined Vitrolite panels line the outside, and the

  1. 332 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AG
  2. Main courses £5.50-£8.20. Unlicensed. Corkage...
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Hereford Road

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

St John in Farringdon has become something of a culinary academy, sending its graduates out across the city to spread the word. Hereford Road is run by one of those nose-to-tail champions – head chef Tom Pemberton has taken his use-every-cut training to this moneyed part of west London. His restaurant makes its intentions clear: the first thing you see upon entering the long, narrow space is the kitchen; if it were any more open you’d be eating off the chefs’ laps. Food

  1. 3 Hereford Road, W2 4AB
  2. Main courses £10-£16.50. Set lunch (Mon-Fri)...
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Golden Union Fish Bar

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Cast an eye over the menu and it’s evident that Golden Union can talk the talk – fish delivered daily from sustainable waters, grade-A potatoes, a combo of two frying oils changed at least four times a week, and freshly made beer batter. The point is, it can walk the walk too. Fish is chunky, flaky and perfectly cooked in a light, crispy, complementary casing; chips are crisp, firm and fluffy; pies and fish cakes are own-made and look it – there seems to be no weak point.

  1. 38 Poland Street, W1F 7LY
  2. Main courses £3.95-£12.95
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Towpath

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This simple operation on Regent’s Canal towpath (near the Whitmore Bridge) was a novelty when it opened in 2010 in three shallow units. Three years later, it has expanded into four units, and continues to lure in passing walkers and cyclists with its original setting and enticing food and drink. Wing a table in the sunshine on a summer’s day, and you might end up staying for hours. Relaxed entertainment is provided by families of swans, coots tending their nests, and passing

  1. Regent's Canal towpath, between Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road Bridge, N1 5SB
  2. Main courses £3-£8
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The Shed

  • Rated as: 5/5

From a distance, with its white wooden cladding and high pitched roof, this restaurant does look suspiciously like a shed. Home for years to the old Ark restaurant, under brothers Oliver and Richard Gladwin it’s had a playful makeover that’s as much barnyard as back-garden, with piggy portraits, bits of tractor, and charming staff in check shirts. It’s a fitting setting for the food, which goes beyond the usual hackneyed take on British. Plates are small, meant for sharing,

  1. 122 Palace Gardens Terrace, W8 4RT
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