July 2019: We’ve added another host of options for late-night eats, including Covent Garden spots Bungatini (a pizzeria above Bunga Bunga), Flat Iron (for affordable steak) and the Tandoor Chop House (a vibey Indian joint). Or head to Shoreditch for Smoking Goat’s Thai drinking food, or to King’s Cross for Casa Pastor’s fresh spin on Mexican favourites. For a really late late-nighter, also check out Gökyüzü (a Turkish classic in Harringay), Voodoo Ray’s pizza joint in Dalston, and the sleek, glitzy Park Chinois in Mayfair.
Looking for somewhere you can sit down and enjoy a meal after 11pm – but want to avoid the late-night party venues where food is secondary to drinking? Here's our pick of the places for a late supper in the bustling West End and beyond.
The best late-night restaurants in London
Last seating: 11.30pm Fri-Sat; 10.30pm Mon-Thu
Open until: midnight Fri-Sat; 11pm Mon-Thu
Overlooking Borough Market, Arthur Hooper’s was originally a greengrocer’s – but don’t be fooled by its English moniker. The main contenders on the menu are mouthwatering Italian small plates, ranging from handmade pappardelle with duck ragù and orange pangrattato to mussels with ’nduja and chickpeas. Continental cheeses, cured meats and heaps of veggie options add variety, and AH also cuts it as a dark, moody wine bar.
Venue says Cheese and wine pairing evening at Arthur Hooper's, Monday February 3, 6.45pm. Click website for tickets.
Last seating: 11.15pm Fri-Sat; 10.15pm Wed-Thu; 9.45pm Sun-Tue
Open until: 11.30pm Fri-Sat, 10.30pm Wed-Thu; 10pm Sun-Tue
A high-rolling kebab joint in Battersea? You’d better believe it! Bababoom is like a pomegranate-coloured jewel glittering among the neighbourhood chains, a class act serving the real thing from a bespoke charcoal grill that comes complete with sections for ‘slow-burning’ and ‘intense heat’. Ingredients are lovingly prepped, there are just four different ‘fillings’, portions are generous, and staff are a fun-loving bunch. Note that Bababoom caters mainly for walk-ins.
Last seating: 11.30pm Fri-Sat; 11pm Mon-Thu; 10.30pm Sun
Open until: midnight Fri-Sat; 11.30pm Mon-Thu; 11pm Sun
Brassy, energetic and classily cosmopolitan, this NYC import mixes Gallic joie de vivre with snappy US customer service in a glammed-up setting of red leather banquettes, antique mirrored walls and mosaic floors. Manhattan meets Montmartre on an all-day menu that’s just the ticket for a special night out – we love the onion soup, the duck shepherd’s pie and the kitchen’s twisted take on pavlova. Also don’t miss the signature Balthazar breads.
Last seating: midnight Fri-Sat; 11pm Sun-Thu
Open until: 1am Fri-Sat; midnight Sun-Thu
The only way is ‘excess’ at this outrageously outlandish spot – a luxe shoo-in for some riotous Gatsby-style fun fuelled by a mighty contingent of classy champagnes (just press the buzzers on each booth for a bubbly top-up). Patriotic Brits should soak up the Roaring Twenties vibe while cherry-picking comfort classics from the Anglo-Russian menu – fish pie, chicken kiev, beef wellington and eton mess taste even better with some iced vodka shots.
Last seating: 11pm Fri-Sat; 10.30pm Mon-Thu; 9.30pm Sun
Open until: 11.30pm Fri-Sat; 11pm Mon-Thu; 10pm Sun
Curry and beer is a streetwise match made in heaven, and Brixtonites get the best of both worlds under one roof at Booma – a modern eatery that takes its North Indian sharing plates and its bevvies equally seriously. Order spot-on classics such as achari paneer tikka, richly intense black dhal and succulent tandoor-charred lamb chops, then nab yourself a one-third or two-third measure from the global list of craft ales, ciders and stouts (perhaps a Rodenbach Grand Cru sour/sweet ‘red ale’ from Belgium).
Last seating: 11.30pm Mon-Sat, 10.30pm Sun
Open until: midnight Mon-Sat; 11pm Sun
Big-ticket dining at bus-ticket prices just off Piccadilly Circus, Corbin & King’s homage to the grand Parisian brasserie is a huge art-deco setup that attracts all-comers out for a good time. Affordable French staples are the big draw and set menus start at just £10.50 for two courses – think steak haché with frites followed by dark chocolate délice. Otherwise, dip into the carte for steak tartare, choucroute, beef bourguignon and tarte au citron. Affordable wines too.
Venue says Our à la carte menu is available from 11.30am, as are the Prix Fixe menus starting at £10.95 for 2 courses & £14.25 for 3 courses.
Last seating: 11pm Sat-Sun; 10.30pm Tue-Fri
Open until: 11.30pm Sat-Sun; 11pm Tue-Fri
A glitzy Southall landmark for more than four decades, the Anand family’s king-of-the-hill flagship now seats 250 diners across two floors, as well offering a banqueting suite, running cookery courses and even marketing its own pickles. The owners hail from Kenya – hence the tandoori tilapia fish and mogo (cassava-root chips) – but their straightforward Punjabi cooking is exemplary. Classics such as fish pakora, butter chicken and palak lamb still hit the spot, but also check out the flagged-up ‘healthy options’.
Last seating: midnight Sat; 10.30pm Mon-Fri; 8.30pm Sun
Open until: 1am Sat; 11pm Mon-Fri; 9pm Sun
If you’re too shattered for Bunga Bunga’s Berlusconi-themed cabaret shenanigans, keep your cool in Bungatini – a straight-down-the-line, no-nonsense pizzeria with crowd-pleasing credentials. The decor comes with a contemporary edge (note the USB ports at every table), but the menu goes for rustic familiarity in a big way – pizzas with artisan toppings, bookended by antipasti and decadent homemade gelati. You can sip cocktails, too, without having to endure BB’s excesses.
Fun buns in Chinatown might make you think of Taiwanese bao, but these beauties are of the Cantonese variety – closed-up, then stamped with their identity. There are pig buns, fish buns, custard buns and more, but do order some small dishes too (curry fish balls, chilli tripe or glass noodle salad, say) and bulk things out with a rice pot of beef brisket. They also do a ‘tea service’ if you’re eating in (£2), but note that BH is strictly first-come, first-served.
Price: Buns from £2.50; chu hou beef brisket rice pot £6.80.
Last seating: midnight Fri-Sat; 11.30pm Thu; 11pm Mon-Wed; 10pm Sun
Open until: 1am Fri-Sat; midnight Thu; 11.30pm Mon-Wed; 11pm Sun
A beautiful blast from the past on twenty-first-century Shaftesbury Avenue, Café Monico comes on like a swanky grand café from the belle époque era. The music’s jazzy, and the menu promises a greatest-hits selection of French brasserie fare with continental add-ons – think steak tartare, spaghetti carbonara, beef bourguignon and tiramisu. Out to impress? Be sure to book a late table on the gorgeous mezzanine gallery.
Find restaurants for all times of the day
Setting the criteria for our list of the 100 best restaurants in London was the easy bit. Anywhere we felt compelled to revisit again and again was instantly in. The city’s latest culinary trends had to be acknowledged, of course, but only those at the top of their game could be considered for inclusion.
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