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The best restaurants for business dinners in London

Impress clients with great food in a business-appropriate setting at one of these excellent London restaurants

By Laura Price

If you’ve ever ended up at a candle-lit table for two, locking knees with your new boss or prospective client, you’ll know just how crucial it is to pick the right venue for corporate occasions. Whether you’re networking for opportunities or hoping to nail down a new contract, there’s a range of great formal and informal restaurants for meetings and business dinners in London.

Informal business dinners in London

Clove Club
Ming Tang-Evans / Time Out

Clove Club

Restaurants British Old Street
Impress clients with a five-course or extended tasting menu with superlative wines at this super-chilled Shoreditch restaurant. Providing relaxed but still top-class service, the award-winning front-of-house team will happily let you top up your own wine and water while you negotiate the terms of that all-important deal. Tables are nicely spaced and the room is low-lit and not too noisy –  ideal for business dinners.


Restaurants Borough Market
Cosy and compact with delicious, original dishes and good options for private conversations, Elliot’s is a good spot in Borough Market for a casual evening meeting. Sit out the front with a glass of wine for an informal catch-up before dinner, then request a table in the light area at the back for more discreet discussions over seasonal sharing plates.

Hixter Bankside

Restaurants Grills Southwark
For big eaters, Mark Hix’s Bankside venue is a good shout: think whole-roasted, barn-reared chicken and aged, marbled steak. For larger meetings and dinners, ample private dining options include the 12-seater Cock ’n’ Bull room, the 44-seater Bull Room and hire of the downstairs Mark’s Bar for up to 100. For those based nearby, there’s also a handy desk-side delivery service.

José Pizarro

Restaurants Spanish Broadgate
Taking the simple but delicious Spanish cooking from José and the slightly more formal yet still relaxed atmosphere of Pizarro, José Pizarro’s latest restaurant brings the best of his two Bermondsey Street ventures to the heart of the City. Ample indoor and outdoor space in Broadgate Circle is perfect for early evening business drinks, while the restaurant atmosphere is laid-back and ideal for a quick in-and-out meeting.


Restaurants British Shoreditch
Set in the iconic Tea building just off Shoreditch High Street, Lyle’s is conveniently located just a short walk from the City yet feels a million miles from its stuffy offices. The spaciousness of the large open dining room means there’ll be no claustrophobia, even if the conversation gets challenging. Chef James Lowe’s flavoursome, simple yet delicious dishes served from an open kitchen also provide a great talking point.
Merchants Tavern
Patricia Niven

Merchants Tavern

Restaurants Shoreditch
A stylish open bar with discreet side tables makes a great place for a networking meeting over cocktails and bar snacks, while booths with leather banquettes in the main dining room are ideal for informal business meetings, and the open kitchen provides fodder for small talk. There’s also a private room seating up to 22 guests, with wifi, presentation screens and set menus for larger meetings.

Modern Pantry

Restaurants Fusion Moorgate

Set in a Grade II-listed art deco building looking out onto lovely Finsbury Square, chef Anna Hansen’s restaurant is ideally located for both Shoreditch and the City. A high-ceilinged room is partitioned by moveable panels so it’s nicely divided up with ample options for discreet conversations. There’s also afternoon tea until 5pm for informal pre-dinner meetings, and a 24-seater private room for larger gatherings.


Restaurants Fusion Clerkenwell
For quick-fire, informal networking with faultless food and wine, Exmouth Market old-timer Moro has the goods. Though noisy, closely packed and often hard to get a table, it provides great value, friendly, efficient service and, most importantly, delicious North African-influenced Spanish food. Ideal for entertaining clients or casually celebrating an important deal.

St John

Restaurants British Farringdon and Smithfield
For the offaly adventurous, St. John is a must-visit classic. There may be white tablecloths but it’s far from stuffy – the restaurant is pared back, relaxed and perfectly discreet for informal business conversations. The iconic signature bone marrow and parsley salad with sourdough toast ought to impress any client.
Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer
Paul Winch-Furness

Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House

Restaurants Seafood Borough Market
Moments away from the tourist bustle of Borough Market, packed-but-efficient Wright Brothers is a firm favourite with locals and business types. Sit at the bar for freshly shucked oysters, excellent wine and networking, or take a seat at one of the high tables to entertain clients over daily-caught prawns and hearty fish pie. There’s an optional set menu for parties of six to eight.

Formal business dinners in London

Chiltern Firehouse

Restaurants Contemporary European Marylebone
Having replaced The Ivy as London’s No.1 celebrity dining destination, this elegant restaurant is well-versed in discretion and professionalism so it’s perfect for those VIP clients. But far from being just a hyped-up sleb spot, it also has surprisingly great food by Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes. Just be sure to allow time to secure a booking at one of the most-wanted tables in town.

City Social

Restaurants Contemporary European City of London
On the twenty-fourth floor of Tower 42, Jason Atherton’s City Social boasts some of the best views to be had while dining in the Square Mile. Dim lighting and low ceilings mean the booths are discreet places to do business over pig’s trotter and ham hock, and there’s also a private dining room for 22. If the views alone aren’t enough, the Chef’s Table seats ten, with a glimpse of the kitchen providing a nice talking point.

Chez Bruce

Restaurants French Wandsworth
Classic French food and a formal yet unstuffy atmosphere have made Chez Bruce one of the most consistently good dining spots in south London for more than 20 years. With a particularly good cheese offering and a similarly strong wine list, it’s a great place for those lengthy after-dinner relationship-building conversations. There’s also a lovely private room seating up to 16 people, overlooking Wandsworth Common.
Dinner_credit_ MichaelFranke.jpg
Michael Franke

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Restaurants Haute cuisine Knightsbridge
If you’re looking for somewhere to entertain clients over a long, boozy dinner with five-star food from start to finish, count on Heston. Dinner’s swish setting in the Mandarin Oriental at Hyde Park is completely discreet and everything from the famous Meat Fruit starter to the Tipsy Cake dessert is guaranteed to impress. Want to make best friends with clients? Book for up to six guests at the Chef’s Table.
Ed Marshall

Galvin La Chapelle

Restaurants French Spitalfields
For a touch of old-school fine dining in the heart of hipster Spitalfields, the Galvin brothers’ Michelin-starred restaurant in a Grade II-listed Victorian school chapel is perfect for formal business meetings. Warm, attentive service matches with modern French cuisine in a stunningly grand location that doesn’t allow for lulls in conversation. A semi-private area on the mezzanine overlooking La Chapelle is available for hire, seating up to 16 guests.


Restaurants Steakhouse Isle of Dogs
With a hard-earned reputation as one of the best steakhouses in London, Goodman is a top pick for carnivorous customers and the Canary Wharf branch is well located for business meetings. Booths separated by high-backed leather banquettes and stained-glass windows mean conversations remain private but there’s still an open feel. The menu of steak and sides is straightforward, so there’s no faffing around before you get down to business.

Hawksmoor Air Street

Restaurants British Regent Street

With some of the best steak and some of the best cocktails in London, Hawksmoor is guaranteed to hit all the right notes with any client. A spacious, laid-back first-floor bar at the Piccadilly branch leads into a huge dining room with leather banquette booths separated by walls — perfect for intimate conversations. The acoustics are also excellent, making it easy to talk shop.

Michael Franke


Restaurants Japanese Canary Wharf
Dark lighting, discreet service, stylish decor and an excellent view overlooking Canada Square make Roka one of the best destinations for a business dinner in Canary Wharf. Take the tasting menu for the best of the sushi bar and the robata grill, with classics like the sea bream fillet offering impeccable flavours. For milder days, there’s also a terrace for outdoor dining, and it’s all within moments of Canary Wharf.


Restaurants Seafood Mayfair
There are few better places in London for seafood, and Scott’s is as classic as it gets. A hangout for the likes of Simon Cowell, it’s celebrity central, so unsurprisingly as good for private conversations as for exquisite crustacea. Away from the club-like dining area, there’s also a private dining room seating 12 to 40, which is equipped with TV screens (hidden when not in use) and wifi for meetings.
Jamie Lau


Restaurants Contemporary European Aldwych
While this gorgeous, light-filled room inside the iconic Somerset House is ideal for lunch, Spring is also great for early-evening dinners away from the tourist bustle of Covent Garden. Round tables make it easy for everyone to face each other in larger meetings, while banquettes in the window alcoves offer privacy from the main dining room. A seasonal, daily-changing menu by Skye Gyngell makes for light, elegant dining.
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