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London’s best restaurants for group dining

Looking for a restaurant for a birthday lunch or maybe you want to treat the whole family? Here's your guide to big eats in London

Leonie Cooper
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Need a fun restaurant for your birthday dinner, or a classy dining spot for a celebration? In London, you've loads of great options to dine in style, no matter if you're a party of two or 20. Here's our pick of the best restaurants in London where you can dine in a group. It's all here: spaces big, small, cheap and fancy. Now let the planning commence. 

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic restaurants in London

London's best restaurants for groups

  • Contemporary European
  • Vauxhall
  • price 3 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Big tables and big flavours are Brunswick House's deal. The old Georgian mansion is a delight and perfect for groups, who can either gather in the main dining room or opt for some fabulous private dining options, including the outdoor wisteria terrace, or the Library, Parlour, Smoking Room, Saloon and more, all of which are like dining in a museum. Gorgeous. 

  • Contemporary Global
  • Soho

Yotam Ottolenghi’s grown-up take on his café theme, with prices to match the slightly more formal surrounds. Parties of six can book a spot in the street-level dining room, but bigger groups do better by opting for Downstairs at Nopi, where two huge communal tables are perfect for party-style bashes.

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  • Middle Eastern
  • Fitzrovia

Buzzy ex-Noma chef John Javier's Bedouin tent-themed restaurant might seem a little too petite for group dining, but it's actually a great place to get a gang down to. Groups of 12 or less can takeover the hidden, sci-fi disco-styled basement and for £100 score the chef's studio experience, where Javier will cook up Chinese classics from his time at Master in Sydney and Happy Paradise in Hong Kong. Think; pork and prawn siu mai, lobster noodles, and wagyu beef short rib with malt pickled onion and shio kombu. 

  • French
  • Piccadilly Circus
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel

This is big-ticket dining at bus-ticket prices, just off Piccadilly Circus. A homage to the grand Parisian brasserie was made for group dining: the menu’s a crowd-pleaser, service is swift, and the vast space has plenty of room (they can seat 14 on the large table at the back). And at £16.95 for two courses, there’ll be no quibbling over the bill either.

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  • Italian
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4
Artusi
Artusi

Low-key and minimalist (there’s no name above the door), this modern Italian in Peckham wows with a confidently simple line-up of big-flavoured, technically flawless dishes. Groups of eight or more should book the communal table in front of the kitchen and partake in the family-style sharing menu. With a little notice, the chefs can also rustle up mighty suckling pig feasts.

  • Grills
  • Haggerston
  • price 2 of 4

Noise, smoke, clubby vibes, strong cocktails and belting Turkish BBQ are the attractions at this hip grill house underneath Haggerston’s railway arches. Berber’s long wooden tables and bench seats are built for socialising, and groups of eight or more can book – provided they order the set menu.

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  • Italian
  • Shoreditch

Padella’s no-frills fresh pasta is affordable, speedily served and, most importantly, seriously tasty. This Shoreditch iteration of the Borough Market stalwart offers a sharing menu for groups of six or more (up to 25 guests) for £40 a head. It includes antipasti of olives, radicchio salad with parmesan, and burrata before six Padella pasta classics; pici cacio e pepe, tagliarini with dorset crab and ricotta ravioli with sage butter before tiramisu or biscotti and marsala.

 

  • Fusion
  • Clerkenwell
  • price 3 of 4
Luca
Luca

From the bods behind the Clove Club, this classy Michelin star joint serves up ‘Britalian’ cooking in a hyper-smooth setting of billowing drapes, burnished mirrors and deco-rustic fittings. Best bets for groups of eight or more are the Italianate Garden Room and the Pasta Room, which is designed to look and feel like a traditional kitchen. This is, of course, where the chefs make their pasta.

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  • French
  • Covent Garden
Balthazar
Balthazar

A polished tribute to the ultimate French brasserie (by way of NYC), Balthazar in Covent Garden is charged with je ne sais quoi dynamite – thanks to a combination of whizz-bang customer service, swinging celeb vibes and a nostalgic France-meets-the-US menu. Tables of six are comfortably accommodated in the restaurant, while bigger parties should consider the luxe private dining room on the first floor.

  • British
  • Seven Dials
  • price 4 of 4

Set in a big, buzzy basement, Hawksmoor is great for a long lunch, a birthday dinner and everything in between. It may be swanky, but priceless staff keep things refreshingly casual and the place has an irresistible dressed-down appeal. Come in a group and chomp your way through some of the best British beef in town – there are special set menus for big parties too. Similar deals are available at Hawksmoor’s branches in Knightsbridge, Spitalfields, Borough, Guildhall and Air Street.

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  • Steakhouse
  • City of London
  • price 2 of 4

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 and jazzy cocktails. Blacklock City is a big beast occupying a 100-seater industrial-style basement, so booking for large groups is never a problem.

  • Italian
  • Highbury
  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

The impossibly vibey pasta paradise of Trullo isn't just great for intimate dates for two, but also larger, shoutier groups. You can hire the whole of the big downstairs room for lunch (from 12.30pm to 4.30pm) for groups of over 16 guests, with a selection of special menus that cost between £40 and £70 a head. We like the cheapest; the Emilia-Romagna Feast which comes with gnocchi fritto with lardo di colonnata, fettuccine alla bolognese, and vanilla panna cotta.

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  • Indian
  • King’s Cross
Dishoom
Dishoom

Bombay on a plate – a witty interpretation of urban India, tastefully updated for trendy, spice-loving Londoners. This Granary Square branch of the high-stepping chain is the best-looking yet – a magnificent three-storey warehouse with bookable tables in the evening for groups of six or more amid the hubbub of the buzzing ground-floor space. Smaller groups can always book for breakfast and lunch.

  • Indian
  • Whitechapel
  • price 1 of 4

The ‘stack ’em high’ mantra goes for everything – spicy lamb chops, tandoori naan breads, customers – but it’s hard to beat this cut-and-thrust Whitechapel Punjabi for a cracking curry to kick off your night. It’s BYO, and the local offies command a premium, so bulk-buy your beers before you arrive, and pre-book a big table to avoid the queue.

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  • Mexican
  • Soho
La Bodega Negra
La Bodega Negra

Don’t be fooled by the ‘sex shop’ exterior – there’s nothing sleazy about this dark, loud, basement rendezvous. La Bodega is dressed to thrill and its homely take on Mexican cuisine always looks pretty – check out the beautifully presented tacos, ceviches and tostadas. This place is made for big groups – despite small portions and two-hour table limits.

  • Chicken
  • Seven Dials
  • price 1 of 4
Chick 'n' Sours
Chick 'n' Sours

A gift from the god of fried chicken – with a Korean twist. The Seven Dials place’s vibe is somewhere between a basement house party and a Prohibition speakeasy, there’s a liquor bar in the middle and a playlist of absolute bangers. To eat? The game-changing KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and the K-Pop burger – preferably with a gaggle of mates at one of the bookable ‘family-style’ tables.

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  • Contemporary Global
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

A smoky small-plates joint occupying Peckham Rye’s old ticket office, the Coal Rooms is now a top shout locally, with seats at the counter and a super-cool dining room that’s reassuringly calm by Peckham standards. Groups can be fitted in here, although the dark, intimate 12-seater private dining room (in the defunct ladies’ bathroom) is a better bet.

  • Sri Lankan
  • Marylebone
Hoppers
Hoppers

A second hurrah for Hoppers, this Marylebone offshoot is the civilised grown-up cousin of the sexy Soho original – and you can book. For big groups that means one of the semi-private vaults on the ground floor (seating up to eight people) or a bigger bash in the semi-exclusive party-time basement. Either way, Sri Lankan ‘hoppers’ (bowl-shaped savoury crêpes) are the eponymous star turns.

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  • Burmese
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4
Lahpet
Lahpet

An achingly stylish Burmese star now holed up in on the fringes of Shoreditch, Lahpet’s cross-breed of Thai and Indian cuisine is very much its own – if you don’t believe us, try one of their zingy signature salads. Groups of more than seven can book, and it’s worth reserving one of the booths if possible; once installed, order as much as you possibly can.

  • Vegan
  • Camden Town

The name means ‘purity’ and that’s what you get at this Camden outpost of the UK’s first vegan pizzeria. The setting is buzzy, modern and relaxed, while the terrific plant-based pizza toppings involve everything from smoked tofu to beetroot carpaccio. Although Purezza is primarily for walk-ins, groups of eight or more can book big tables in advance (note that 16 is the upper limit).

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  • Contemporary Asian
  • Covent Garden
Lao Cafe
Lao Cafe

Backpacker café meets urban-chic restaurant at this funky Covent Garden hangout, where the traditional cooking of Laos gets some welcome publicity (think northern Thailand meets Vietnam). Eager clued-up staff are on hand to advise, whether you’re playing it safe or going gung-ho. They happily cater for tables of eight (or more), but you do need to book in advance.

  • Thai
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

This place offers smack-in-the-face Thai BBQ in a jam-packed industrial-meets-rustic setting – it’s all smoke, noise, music and alcohol. The flavours may hit you for six (try the lardo-fried rice or the signature fish-sauce chicken wings). Big groups can book ahead for communal tables amid the riotous hubbub.

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  • Italian
  • Deptford
  • price 2 of 4

Doing for Deptford what its elder brother Artusi did for Peckham, Marcella is all about classy simplicity and artisanal Italian food – much of it made on the premises. Brilliant sauces give the already excellent handmade pasta some extra oomph, and everything sings a seasonal song. Staff are smiley, and they’re very flexible when it comes to booking tables, of any size.

  • Contemporary European
  • Highbury
  • price 2 of 4

Occupying what was once a not-so-beautiful laundrette, this sibling of Islington’s Primeur is also the kind of neighbourhood hangout where the menu is scrawled on a blackboard, the small plates are modish in style and fish is a strong suit. It’s great for groups too, with big communal tables at the front of the dining room overlooking the breezy Provençal-style terrace.

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  • Italian
  • Highbury
  • price 2 of 4

Highbury’s star Italian has made the restaurant biz look like child’s play since day one by combining irresistible food with spot-on service and affordable prices. It’s home to some of London’s best pasta and there’s brilliant stuff from the charcoal grill too, while a comprehensive all-Italian wine list emphasises Trullo’s true calibre. Groups of all sizes can be fitted in among its many tables.

  • Eritrean
  • Maida Vale
Mosob
Mosob

Homely and snug, this family-owned Eritrean restaurant welcomes groups of all sizes with open arms. Guests sitting at low tables are invariably treated like long-lost friends and meals become increasingly cosy as more people arrive. For added authenticity, ditch the cutlery and eat with your right hand – all stews and curries are served with injera flatbread.

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  • Indian
  • Covent Garden
  • price 2 of 4

Old-fashioned English chop house meets fiery, smoky Indian small plates – that’s the deal at this Covent Garden charmer, which has sociable class written all over it. Closely packed tables, an easy-going vibe and some of the cheeriest service in town make this a theatreland hit, while the gently spiced food hits all the right comfort buttons.

  • Brasseries
  • Piccadilly
The Wolseley
The Wolseley

As iconic as nearby Fortnum & Mason, The Wolseley remains the mother of all grand cafés, the gold standard of civilised socialising – whatever the time of day. Small groups can get together in the fabulous high-ceilinged space, but for a real treat it’s worth booking the elegant but discreetly hidden 14-seater private dining room with its spectacular arched windows.

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  • Thai
  • Spitalfields
  • price 3 of 4
Som Saa
Som Saa

Delivering a full-frontal assault of never-dumbed-down flavours from Thailand’s north-eastern provinces, the cooking at Som Saa is guaranteed to blow you away. The restaurant takes bookings for groups of any size, and a reservation will also guarantee you some of the better seats in the house. 

  • Mexican
  • London Bridge
  • price 2 of 4
Santo Remedio
Santo Remedio

Santo Remedio near London Bridge is simply brilliant. Low-lit, inviting and spread over two floors, it seduces punters with easy-listening Latin grooves, flickering tea lights, and some inspired food. Groups of eight or more can lap up the Mexican feasting menus in the upstairs room, while punishing alco-shots keep the party going.

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