Unless you want a takeaway sandwich, eateries are few and far between on Oxford Street. Look beyond the main drag, however, and you'll find plenty of places to refuel and recover from a hard day of shopping, from the mouth-watering burger joint Meat Liquor to mezze restaurant Yalla Yalla.
Plus, if you're looking for a good watering hole in which to wash down your meal, check out our guide to the best pubs in the West End.
Think we've missed a great restaurant near Oxford Street? Let us know in the comment box below.
On leaving tourist-thronged Argyll Street to check into the Aqua ‘concept’, you’re greeted by a dark, sinful-looking lobby. Take the lift to the fifth floor, where, after bypassing Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto, you arrive at the large, glitzy dining room and terrace of the Spanish part of the operation. The location, hybrid offering and high prices (expect to blow £80 on a tapas lunch for two, including a couple of glasses of house wine) may make diners wonder who all this is for – but the stylish presentation and panoramic views temper such misgivings.Read more
In 2014, the Golden Hind will celebrate 100 years of providing solid fish suppers to the residents of Marylebone – almost as long as the dish has been in existence. It’s therefore no surprise that the kitchen team have their craft well honed. Our haddock was exceptional, with a light, wonderfully grease-free batter. Chips were chunky, less well done than the norm, but crisp and fresh-tasting (if not quite melt-in-the-mouth on the inside). Perfectly seasoned mushy peas were a treat, and provided more than just a splash of colour on the plate.Read more
‘Bringing the New York steakhouse to London.’ Not the most original brief, but this (Russian-owned) newcomer has a decent stab at bringing Manhattan to Mayfair: dark-wood panelling, inviting leather booths, a bar counter running the length of the restaurant, and staff so chatty and involved in your order they practically sit down to eat with you. (Our waiter gave us a five-minute wine discourse, talking through the choice of 20-odd on the red-heavy list.)Read more
Givenchy, Chanel – Hix. The restaurateur’s name sits oddly above the designer-label haven of the Selfridges ground floor, just past the Prada and Dolce & Gabbana concessions. Yet the ‘Hix Restaurant & Champagne Bar’ (to give its full name) would look at home in an airport shopping mall, which – in some ways – is exactly what this corner of Selfridges is. For our fellow diners have not specially sought out this new, third London location for Mark Hix’s growing restaurant empire any more than I’m likely to impulse-buy a Balenciaga handbag.Read more
Just getting into this cult destination can feel like cause for celebration. Not only is the queue epic, but Meat Liquor employs ‘good cop, bad cop’ strategies to manage it. On our visit, Bad Cop was played by a giant bouncer who prowled along the line ink-stamping hands: a ploy that stops late-comers from joining their friends mid-queue. Good Cop, meanwhile, was a doe-eyed girl with a tray of the famed deep-fried pickles to quell munchies.Read more
Come to this trailblazing rib joint on a Friday or Saturday night and there’s one certainty: a painfully long queue. Not only do you have to shuffle along patiently, but once inside, you still might have to wait a little longer (though at least you can order drinks). Even if you play smart and come one quiet weekday lunchtime, you may still endure a brief pause, but for rib-lovers, it’ll be worth it. The Pitt Cue-ers honed their craft under a bridge on the South Bank, selling to a demanding, social media-savvy, twentysomething audience – and their cooking rarely misses a beat.Read more
Pollen Street Social’s philosophy is ‘deformalised fine dining’, and to this end the decor is smart but approachable – white-walled, linen draped and wood-panelled. Dishes are grounded in French and English tradition and embellished with occasionally esoteric side notes of texture and taste, sometimes garnered from chef Jason Atherton’s travels. They’re seasonal too, in terms of ingredients, but not necessarily in mood.Read more
Whether you’re looking for black, white or green tea, you’ll find intriguingly unusual examples here. A friendly, classic-looking shop located in an 18th-century Mayfair building, Postcard takes pride in its support for high-quality estates in Sri Lanka, India, China, Japan and elsewhere. You can sit and have a pot at the tasting table to help you choose and, for those who’d like to learn to be more discerning when it comes to the nation’s favourite pick-me-up, there are tea tastings at 10am on Saturday mornings.Read more
Venue says: To honour the Chelsea Flower Show, master chef Pierre Gagnaire has given our lunch a floral make over: lilac, violet, hibiscus flowers...
The arresting entrance hall, with its high-impact artworks and greeters who are part-cast and part-personal assistant, are cues that you are entering not just a building of dizzying grandeur, but a designed world with a playful, theatrical bent. Sketch’s Lecture Room & Library is up a very fine staircase. Flooded with light from a glass ceiling dome, and governed by immaculately tailored staff, it’s the most classical space in the complex, with the food providing the trademark fantastical note.Read more
Wild Honey underwent a revamp in autumn 2012 – the dining room still has the same wood panelling meets modern art vibe as before, but it’s now possible to look from one end of the vibrantly accessorised (the soft furnishings, in particular) restaurant to the other. The quirky nooks and crannies have been lost, but it no doubt makes things easier for the staff. A meal from the spring menu promised much, but didn’t always deliver: organic salmon, with piquillo peppers, butter beans and parsley, was almost raw in parts, and Scottish crab with guacamole and green mango (a starter) was almost too delicate in flavour (only white meat was used).Read more
Soho’s lively little Lebanese hub continues its success, judging by the numbers who cram around the tables in the distinctive yellow, black and white interior. At the back is a counter stacked with ready-made wraps to take away. This cheery café is a world away from staid traditional Lebanese restaurants. There’s none of the formality (or the space), but the standard of food is just as high. On a recent visit, we loved the tangy stickiness of sawda djej (melt-in-the-mouth chicken livers), which, in this version, came in a dark sauce sweet with pomegranate seeds.Read more
Spice Market, located in the slick W hotel, is the London outpost of the original restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District. Executive chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a past master of the pan-Asian fusion genre, has a deep-rooted respect for the cuisines of Asia, yet something seems to have got lost in translation here. The sleek surrounds, all dark wood and low lighting, properly evoke a sense of eastern calm, but the atmosphere is assailed by a rather cheesy soundtrack. The menu, a curated list of ‘street food’ dishes from the culinary hotspots of Asia, comprises everything from sashimi to samosas and curries of various sorts. Our waitress warned with raised eyebrow that the Thai-style slaw with Asian pear was ‘very spicy’, but the pile of sliced cabbage and carrot was meekly flavoured – and not worth the £8 price tag. Better were an imaginative vegetarian dish of mushroom egg rolls with galangal emulsion, and hot, crisp (if not excitingly spiced) tempura salt and pepper sole with Thai basil and lime sauce. Spice Market passes muster as a central London meeting place for a decent (but pricey) glass of wine and a nibble, but don’t come expecting culinary nirvana.