image description September 10, 2015

Taste Atlas: London’s Best Fine Dining

London, England
Taste Atlas: London’s Best Fine Dining

Devour London

A global hub of history, finance, fashion and food, London is incredibly accessible, reliable and popular for tourists. As England’s capital grows increasingly diverse, so do the culinary offerings. From high-end Michelin-rated tasting menus and an influx of chef-driven gastropubs to roaming food trucks and amazing ethnic food from around the globe, there are plenty of choices for incredible food. Here are our top picks for splurge-worthy dining in London.

Quo Vadis

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Credit: Paul Winch Furness

At Soho’s Quo Vadis, Chef Jeremy Lee creates inspired dishes that change with the seasons. A recent menu featured items like a marbled pork and rabbit terrine; smoked haddock with leek black pudding and a poached egg; and a pistachio, apricot and peach trifle. It’s a great place to enjoy an upscale dinner in a not-too-buttoned up atmosphere.

Quo Vadis / 26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 3LL / +44 20 7437 9585

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A modern take on traditional Spanish tapas, Barrafina is a cozy tapas bar that usually has lines out the door. If you’re willing to wait—and trust me, you should—order an array of small plates like the sardine on toast, octopus with capers, milk fed lamb, ham croquettes, and prawn and piquillo pepper tortilla.

Barrafina / 54 Frith St, London W1D 4SL / +44 020 7440 1456

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Gymkhana Interior best

Gymkhana is a modern restaurant with a tandoor oven, brass-edged tables, and blue leather booths where diners feast on flavorful Indian dishes with English twists. The knowledgeable staff are sure to suggest the tasting menu of seven courses, featuring dishes like samosa with tamarin, sweet yogurt, and green chutney; kasoori chicken tikka; wild boar vindaloo and mango kheer.

Gymkhana / 42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH / +44 20 3011 5900

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Duck & Waffle

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Open 24 hours a day, this restaurant with a view (it’s on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower) serves incredible European food. They make their breads fresh every day, so you can’t go wrong with a loaf to accompany dishes like the roasted octopus, smoked eel, and wild cornish pollock meatballs. Whether you choose to dine at 7pm or 3am, it’s always spot on.

Duck & Waffle / 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY / +44 20 3640 7310

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Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Located in Westminster near the Covent Garden (Royal Opera House), this Michelin-starred restaurant is spread across three floors—the first is a counter eating space, the second houses the main restaurant and the third features a terrace and salon bar. Expect refined, high-end cuisine and attentive service typical of chef Joel Robuchon’s global fine dining chain.

Atelier de Joël Robuchon / 13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE / +44 02 07010 8600

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St. John Bar & Restaurant


Opened by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver in 1994, this is one of my all time favorite restaurants. Chef Henderson has prepared nose-to-tail, game-heavy cuisine long before it was trendy. The menu is filled with seemingly simple British dishes like roast widgeon with beetroot, pheasant and trotter pie, potted beef and pickled quince. For an unforgettable experience, assemble a group of meat lovers and go for the whole suckling pig, and be sure to book way in advance.

St John Bar & Restaurant /26 St. John Street, London EC1M 4AY / +44 20 7251 0848

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Newman Street Tavern

Newman Street Tavern

Credit: Travel Channel

Newman Street Tavern doesn’t follow the status quo when it comes to pub standards. Servers smile, the tall windows let in plenty of sunshine and the food is all fresh and made from scratch. Save room for the sticky toffee pudding and jersey cream, in true British style.

Newman Street Tavern / 48 Newman St, London, W1T 1QQ / +44 20 3667 1445

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Rules Restaurant

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Credit: Rules Restaurant

Serving traditional British food since 1798, Rules is the oldest restaurant in London. House specialties include game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings, from steak and kidney pie to rump of venison and gratin of rabbit with white beans, black pudding and mushrooms.

Rules Restaurant / 34-35 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7LB / +44 20 7836 5314

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Art gallery meets restaurant at Pierre Gagnaire’s totally unique and unconventionally-decorated brasserie in London. The place is beautiful, albeit very pink, with art lining the walls and an otherworldly bathroom. They serve afternoon tea and dinner every night with globally-inspired dishes like roasted tandoori monkfish, French saddle of rabbit with offal, and black truffle with braised daikon.

Sketch / 9 conduit street, London W1S 2XG / +44 20 7659 4500

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Credit: David Loftus

Specializing in seafood dishes from India’s southwest coast, Trishna is a Michelin-starred restaurant that uses inventive techniques to create vibrant renditions of well-known and loved Indian favorites. I recommend the six-course game tasting menu with items like tandoori grouse and wild rabbit chettinad.

Trishna / 15 -17 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DG /+44 020 7935 5624

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Dabbous Restaurant

Credit: Joakim Blockstrom

Young chef Oliver Dabbous invents creative dishes that keep this place fully booked for months in advance. If you can manage to plan ahead and reserve your spot, get the eight-course tasting menu, ranging from barbecued Galician beef to pink grapefruit with black sugar and kinome.

Dabbous / 39 Whitfield St, London WIT 2SF / +44 20 7323 1544

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Roast Restaurant


Credit: Travel Channel

Located in the iconic Borough Market, Roast whips up classic British favorites in an upscale atmosphere. It’s a great lunch place with 14 different puddings, oysters and their namesake juicy roasts.

Roast Restaurant / Borough Market, Stoney Street, London SE1 9AA / +44 84 5034 7300

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Bar Boulud

From renowned Chef Daniel Boulud, this elegant, yet casual brasserie is located in the Manadarin Oriental Hyde Park. The burgers are the star of the menu—try the Piggie, a beef patty topped with barbecued pork, jalapeño mayo and cabbage on a cheddar bun; or Boulud’s signature “BB” burger topped with foie gras, short ribs, horseradish mayo, and confit tomatoes on a black onion seed bun.

Bar Boulud / 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA / +44 20 7201 389

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Credit: Richard Southall

Trendy and hip, Jinjuu serves up a variety of Korean-inspired small plates and shareable platters. While the DJ spins airy music, dine on bulgogi beef, short rib and kimchi dumplings, and house-made prawn crackers. If you’ve got a group, split the whole Korean fried chicken with Asian slaw, pickled white radish and roasted corn salsa.

Jinjuu / 15 Kingly St, London W1B 5PS / +44 20 8181 8887

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Tamarind of London

Tamarind of Mayfair celebrates traditional Moghul cuisine with an emphasis on tandoor oven cooking. This is a special occasion kind of restaurant, where you feel like royalty dining in a gold-gilded dining room, but it’s an experience worth splurging on. There are classic-yet-inventive dishes like curries, tandoori-grilled prawns, traditional rice biryani, chicken tandoor with green mango and carrot pickle.

Tamarind / 20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PR / +44 020 7629 3561

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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Unlike chef Heston Blumenthal’s wildly innovative restaurant The Fat Duck where he pushes the limits of molecular gastronomy, his London outpost Dinner is known for perfectly-executed dishes inspired by 600 years of British culinary history. Subtle and elegant, innovative yet classic, Dinner is one of the best fine dining experiences in London. There’s no fuss here, just simple, amazing food that will have you dreaming of your next visit before the first is over. Don’t miss the meat fruit—what looks to be a beautiful, glossy mandarin, is actually a smooth chicken liver parfait encased in mandarin jelly.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal / 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA / +44 2072 013833


Feature image credit: Thomas Fabian



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