Restaurant reviews and recommendations: how we do it

Here's how we select and rank the very best restaurants in London
100 best restaurants in london, palomar
© Helen Cathcart
By Time Out London Food & Drink |
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Time Out’s recommendations are by expert local writers. 

For a venue to make one of Time Out’s recommended lists, the food has to be amazing, that’s a given. But we want more than that. We’re looking for a combination of cooking, atmosphere and experience that makes a place truly memorable. Some of these places are established icons of London’s dining scene, some are instant classics, some are future stars. 

We won’t include a place just because it’s innovative, or expensive, or hard to book: it always has to deliver on flavour and value. It’s somewhere you’d tell your friends about; that you can’t wait to go back to.

If a restaurant is star rated, that means a Time Out expert local critic has independently reviewed it. Our reviewers book incognito, and pay their way. We get treated like regular diners – sometimes we get the table by the loos. Or we’re booted off our table after 90 minutes. 

One star: avoid! 
Two stars: not that great. 
Three stars: good. 
Four stars: really good. 
Five stars: unmissable. 

Prices are based on a three course dinner for two (or the equivalent amount of dishes), plus drinks and service at 12.5%. 

£ = < £60 (affordable)
££ = £61-£100 (mid-range)
£££ = £101-£140 (expensive)
££££ = £140+ (blow-out)

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