Fitzrovia’s aura of upper-crust bohemia is perfectly encapsulated by its quality mix of maximalist and minimalist restaurants. Don’t expect cheap eats in this part of town, but if you’re going to splash out on dinner in Fitzrovia, then we can show you how and where to spend your hard-earned cash in the area’s finest restaurants.
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in Time Out's Fitzrovia area guide
The best Fitzrovia restaurants
Ollie Dabbous’s rustic take on fine dining is a gastronomic romp that combines rough-hewn wooden tables and oil-drum chairs with gourmet comfort food and turbo shandies – a weird concept, we grant you, but the result is fun, delicious, and much more affordable than the chef’s Michelin-starred flagship. There are no reservations here – just walk in, go nuts with the small plates, and be sure to finish with the signature popcorn ice cream and smoked-fudge sauce.
Copita may be the darling of Soho, but for years its elder sibling Barrica has been offering fans of Spanish cuisine the authentic tapas bar experience with understated consistency. Amidst the oak furniture, chequerboard floor tiles and sunny yellow walls, order plate after plate of straightforward, well-cooked dishes such as hake a la plancha or ibérico pork with piquillo peppers, alongside by-the-glass wines and sherries that bring on that holiday nostalgia. Unlike at Copita, bookings are taken here (woop woop).
You know you’re in safe hands with Jason Atherton, especially with the splendour of the Edition Hotel behind him. But Atherton doesn’t like your meal out to be too predictable, so the dishes at this branch of his Social empire exhibit his signature playful swagger. The top-drawer food and cocktails add to the fabulousness of sitting in the Ian Schrager-designed dining room, knowing you’ve made it through the looking glass into the kingdom of the beautiful people. Bring some serious cashish, though.
Like its sibling Portland, Clipstone combines a blank-canvas aesthetic with a menu of picture-perfect Modern European plates, this time of the small variety. The likes of charred cabbages drizzled with smoked egg-yolk sauce, or charcoal-grilled cod with dulse and fermented apple share space with timeless classics done well, such as garlicky snails on toast and retro Paris-Brest. The short drinks list, meanwhile, pulls its weight admirably, mixing clever twists on vintage cocktails with on-tap wines and by-the-glass rarities.
Ollie Dabbous’s barn-storming debut, a hip version of fine dining devoid of fussy tableware and ‘textures of unicorn’, made an instant star of its chef-patron and quickly picked up a Michelin gong. Dabbous’ cooking style – epitomised by his seven-course tasting menu (£79) – is big on foraged ingredients, and backed up with cutting-edge technique: think outrageously intense chocolate ganache topped with moss-like basil. Now that everyone else in London has tried it, it’s finally your turn. Especially since the restaurant is due to close for good later in 2017.
If pay day and date night coincide, then it’s off to Hakkasan with you: this slick, sexy Cantonese has been thrilling spendy Londoners since it burst onto the dining scene in 2001. Hakkasan’s darkened interior, with its carved lattices, sliding screens and thumping music, is a restaurant/club hybrid whose shadows could harbour any number of famous faces. The fusion-style food, meanwhile, which shamelessly name-drops big-ticket ingredients, ranges from peerless dim sum to timeless signatures such as roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey.
Venue says: “Our third addition to the family, Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, is the largest of the trio. Book at table with us today!”
Fitzrovia’s fanciest restaurant it is not, but this Bavarian sausage-seller is still one of the best places to part with za lunchtime tenner. Queueing for your meal, fast-food style, gives you time to square the venue’s jokey menu and ironic soundtrack of German techno with that supposedly AWOL sense of humour. When you bite into your banger, you’ll be pleased the Germans take the things that matter seriously: these Black Forest beauties are 100 percent springy, meaty wonderfulness. Prepare for the wurst.
Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer’s Middle Eastern café is always packed thanks to its welcoming feel and the couple’s instinctive way with ingredients both familiar and wacky. The glazed, iced confections in the window hook you, Ottolenghi style, but the danger of a menu featuring the likes of spiced, tahini-baked lamb, or chilli-spiked prawns with watermelon and feta, is being rendered completely incapable of dessert. If this happens, always take something sweet away with you – preferably the legendary honey-and-feta cheesecake.
Originally launched in Soho by restaurateur Bobby Chinn (he’s big in Vietnam), House of Ho upped sticks to Fitzrovia (minus Chinn) two years later and promptly found its groove under pan-Asian pro Ian Pengelley. The elegant four-storey townhouse, all marble tables and designer lighting, nods to Vietnam’s colonial past via overhead fans and bentwood cane chairs. The dishes, though, are bang up-to-date (bar Pengelley classics such as the duck-and-watermelon salad), and the chef’s showy presentation heightens their impact.
Venue says: “Weekend brunch, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm. Roasts every Sunday. Bottomless brunch cocktails, £18pp, every Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm.”
Scot and street-food alumnus Andy Waugh is a venison evangelist; after years spreading his gamey gospel, Mac & Wild is his church. The meat comes mainly from his father’s estate – the menu details who shot what and where – and the concept is driven home in the stylish dining room, which combines animal skins with black-and-white prints that storyboard a hunt. Happily, these deer did not die in vain: the haggis pops, Venimoo burger and the outrageously tender chateaubriand are all must-orders.
Find more restaurant options in the area
Soho has a great range of restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving. If you want to try a traditional British restaurant, try Dean Street Townhouse. If you're more in the mood for authentic tapas, there's Barrafina, and for sumptuous spicy asian buns, try Bao. Read on for our recommendations for the best restaurants in Soho.
This Thai restaurant in Belgravia has long been a popular spot for those seeking a sophisticated take on Thai dining. It now boasts a London offshoot in Harrods, with further venues in Birmingham and Dubai, too. Classic Thai dishes are all present and correct, so expect tom yum and tom ka soups, pad thai noodles and thai green curries. Signature dishes include poonim yum mamuang (soft-shell crab tempura with mango salad and citrus soy sauce) and hoy shell (grilled king scallop with a choice of garlic butter or spicy Thai garlic sauce). Set menus also feature. Keep an eye out for various special events, including a big celebration of Thai New Year.
Venue says: “Whet your appetite with our delicious authentic Thai menus! We are happy to cater for vegetarians and/or gluten-free diners.”