London’s best British restaurants

From hearty pies to complex seasonal cooking, British cuisine has never been so widely lauded – and here’s why
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Yeah, greasy spoons are great – but our national cuisine is about way more than fry-ups, bangers and mash and even (whisper it) fish and chips. London is a veritable goldmine of national culinary treasures: from 220-year-old aristo joints and top-hatted doormen to smoked eel sandwich-slinging brasseries and modern British steakhouses, we’ve rounded up 42 eateries that will make you come over all weirdly patriotic.

Restaurants, British

Anglo

icon-location-pin Farringdon

High-end cuisine, new bistronomy… call it what you will, the food at this pared-back City restaurant pushes plenty of envelopes in its pursuit of gustatory satisfaction. Seasonal British ingredients take centre stage as the kitchen presents a cavalcade of masterful compositions that will have your Instagram account in overdrive. Ooh-aah!

Restaurants, British

Battersea Pie Station

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Proper British pie and mash served in one of Covent Garden Market’s subterranean arches might seem an odd fit for this tourist-trap neighbourhood, but Battersea Pie pulls it off. Gold stars all round for its stylish caff vibe (white tiles, marble tables), exemplary food and, above all, bargain prices.

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Restaurants, British

Berners Tavern

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Surely the grandest and most glamorous of Jason Atherton’s Midas-touch restaurants, Berners Tavern is a real humdinger with its vast baroque-style dining room, portrait-lined walls and show-stopping pork-pie trolley. The kitchen gives seasonal British ingredients an on-trend workout, and the results are often sublime – although you should brace yourself for a punishing bill.

100 best restaurants in London - Bistro Union
© Michael Franke
Restaurants, British

Bistro Union

icon-location-pin Clapham Park

It’s nostalgia a-go-go at this quintessentially British offshoot of Adam Byatt’s Trinity – enamel pie dishes, jars of homemade preserves and specials scrawled on rolls of brown paper. Not surprisingly, Britannia rules on the menu too – faggots, toad-in-the-hole, Lancashire hotpot, rhubarb crumble. Deservedly popular.

 

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Paul Winch-Furness
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Blacklock City

icon-location-pin Aldgate

It’s almost too cool – and too affordable – for the sharp-suited expense-account crowd, but this trendy take on a British chop house is still a cut above when it comes to deliciously crusted, smoky meats. Herb-flecked flatbreads are on hand to soak up the juices, while jazzy cocktails provide a boozy kick.

Restaurants, British

Bob Bob Ricard

icon-location-pin Soho

The only way is ‘excess’ at this outrageously outlandish spot – a luxe shoo-in for champagne-fuelled Gatsby-style fun. Patriotic Brits should soak up the roaring twenties vibe while cherry-picking comfort classics from the Anglo-Russian menu – fish pie, beef wellington and eton mess taste even better with some iced vodka shots.

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© Rob Greig
Restaurants, British

Bonnie Gull

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

A cockle-warming offshoot of the Bonnie Gull group, this dinky beauty comprises a counter out front and a locker-sized bolthole with tables out back. Come here for fastidiously fresh and ding-ding delicious small plates, grilled fish and other maritime treats from old Blighty. Close your eyes and smell that sea air.

Restaurants, British

Clove Club

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Everything about the Clove Club screams ‘look at me’, from the austere dining room in Shoreditch’s old Town Hall to the intentionally avant-garde cooking and the tasting menu – a masterpiece of contemporary aspirations in nine courses. It’s British yet esoteric, accessible yet obscure, and it delivers absolutely ravishing flavours. Michelin star? Of course!

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Tom Baker
Restaurants, British

Corrigan's Mayfair

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Promising regal hospitality and impeccable cooking in romantically lit surroundings, Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair gaff piles on the luxury – and positively whiffs of old money. As a proud Irishman, the chef loves his fish and his game, although he lets rip in every department. Wine is also a big deal here – so indulge.

Restaurants, British

The Dairy

icon-location-pin Clapham

Don’t be fooled by the recycled furniture, Robin Gill’s Dairy is no run-of-the-mill neighbourhood joint. It may look rough-hewn, but the food is on another level – a succession of beautifully crafted rustic plates showing a level of finesse that would be the envy of many top-end Japanese restaurants. Modest, affordable and brilliant.

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