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.
Bang outside Flat Iron Square, pocket-sized Lupin is in the small-plates business – and boy does it know how to deliver. Expect seasonal British flavours maxed out for colour, vibrancy and zing – all the more remarkable, given that the kitchen is no bigger than the cooking area in your average Londoner’s flat.
Dinner at Lyle’s is a leisurely affair, so kick back, take in the understated interiors, chat to the knowledgeable staff and lap up James Low’s brilliant Michelin-starred food. Formerly part of the much-fêted ‘Young Turks Collective’, the chef knows how to hit his mark when it comes to fine-tuned new-breed British cuisine.
If you’re a fan of ‘Bambi’, look away now. This cosy Fitzrovia joint has a big Scottish heart and an almost obsessive fondness for venison – although the kitchen is filled with all manner of different ingredients from the Highlands. There are over 100 wee drams on display too.
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A teeny pop-up gone permanent, Native celebrates the best of Britain’s wild and native food. An instantly adorable eatery with a free spirit, it shows off its hunter-gatherer tendencies with a menu that accommodates everything from greens, herbs and berries to six seasonal varieties of venison. ‘Wild thing’, we think we love you.
From the guys behind Noble Rot wine magazine, this wine bar/restaurant mash-up not only boasts a dazzlingly innovative wine list, but also sends out some cracking ingredients-led food – thanks to connections with the Michelin-starred Sportsman pub near Whitstable. They call it ‘franglaise’ food, but British flavours are everywhere.
With Rabbit and The Shed already under their belts, the go-getting Gladwin brothers have rolled out Nutbourne – yet another faux-rustic eatery with a similarly green and pleasant feel. Top-notch seasonal ingredients from the family farm in Nutbourne, Sussex do the business, alongside wines from the namesake vineyard.
Super-sumptuous and hyper-exclusive, Ormer resides within a luxuriously appointed basement room beneath Flemings Mayfair. It’s now home to starry chef Shaun Rankin, whose food has earned him red M gongs in the past – thanks in part to his liking for British flavours and ingredients (especially seafood). Blue ribands for the service too.
It’s not quite as ‘brass monkeys’ as your average allotment, but it pays to wrap up warm when visiting this Plot on Tooting’s Broadway Market. As for box-ticking, the kitchen has it covered. British? Yes. Seasonal? Of course. Small plates? Every time. Just add clued-up service and an appealing ‘outside-inside’ ambience.
Less than ten years from its centenary, this Soho institution is a patriotic flag-waver par excellence – even though its shrunken dining room now sits cheek by jowl with Spanish big-hitter Barrafina. Homegrown flavours loom large as the kitchen gives British standards a modern makeover – don’t miss the now-famous smoked eel sarnies.
We’re rabbiting on about this spin-off from The Shed because it’s pretty damn good – even if the faux-rustic decor is a bit much (check out the tractor bonnet over the bar). The sibling owners have bucolic blood coursing through their veins, and their small-plates menu is littered with seasonal pickings.
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