Central London Restaurants
2,853 restaurants in Central London
- Bayswater & Maida Vale
- Camden, Islington & Marylebone
- Covent Garden & Theatreland
- Hampstead & St John's Wood
- Mayfair, Soho & Fringes
Restaurants in Central London:
82-84 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AA [Map]
Browns St Martins Lane is situated in the heart of London's West End and theatre-land and just a stone's throw from the renowned shopping district of Covent Garden. A dozen theatres, cinemas and the bright lights of Leicester Square are located within a hundred yards of its doors.
The first Browns opened for business in Brighton in 1973. Based on the colonial style brassiere of the early 20th century, this 21st century version of the genre traditionally occupies historic buildings of interest, with high ceilings, sweeping fans, beautiful wooden floors and luscious palms, and Browns in Covent Garden is no exception. Its style is all about casual elegance where guests come to relax with friends in a calming bustle.
The building was converted in 1995 from the original Westminster County Court, and now houses a superb restaurant on its ground floor, famous for its pre and post theatre buzz, for which there is an excellent menu available offering two courses from 5pm to 6.30 and 9.30 to 10.30pm, and its ability to cope with large parties.
The main restaurant area also houses a spectacularly long bar serving fantastic wines, beers and cocktails with some of the best value champagne in London; the bar area of the brasserie has had a facelift and has been extended with the addition of a champagne bar and mini grand piano. Relax with an award winning Bloody Mary and digest your paper among the palms, or enjoy a drink with friends and colleagues.
Alternatively, improve the hour with their Hendricks's and elderflower Collins, a classic mojito or if driving is an issue there's always an organic farm pressed juice. If it isn't follow the trend, 'most popular at-home long drink', a glass of cyder, this one from Aspall's in Suffolk Continental beers and lagers include Leffe Blonde from Belgium and German Clausthaler.
Upstairs Browns St Martins Lane boasts two of the original Courtrooms still with the trappings of the judicial process, including benches and judges chairs, which are available for private hire for up to 200 people. Whether it be for a special dinner, company presentation, conference or even a wedding, a great menu and service to match can be tailored to suit all requirements.
The success of Browns restaurants is based on the service of freshly prepared food and drink delivered by impressive and apparently well-trained staff in a bustling and thriving atmosphere.
Their menu offers a formidable selection of starters including half a dozen fresh oysters, crab and avocado salad, and grilled goat?s cheese while main courses tend to stray towards salads, pastas as well as some more traditional grilled and roasted dishes such as steaks and roasted rack of lamb. Chicken schnitzel with poached egg, tomato, onion and herb salad or the slow braised pork with black pudding and crisped bacon are also excellent choices.
Choices amongst desserts include poached pear with warm chocolate sauce, Pimms jelly with strawberry coulis, profiteroles, a raspberry and chocolate brownie and sticky toffee pudding. Their cheesecakes are also legendary, with such choices as baked vanilla, banoffee or rum and raisin.
It is strongly recommended that large groups book in advance but otherwise tables are usually available even at busy times, when you might take advantage of the bar for a pre-dinner snifter. "It's where everyone goes and quite rightly so," said The Guardian.
For more information including details of menus and private dining in the Courtrooms, take a look at their excellent Website.
47 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PG [Map]
In the heart of the shopping capital of England, sandwiched between Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, Browns Mayfair provides a welcome oasis from the stresses, some of them pleasantly self-inflicted, of London life.
In keeping with the tradition established by Browns when considering their restaurant sites, this beautifully converted Georgian tailors has a wealth of history, for those who spent their working days there were responsible for outfitting such dignitaries as Winston Churchill and Clem Atlee into a state of sartorial elegance, before Browns restored the building.
Lunch times are frantic as those working locally wine and dine with friends and clients, while the afternoons and evenings are a more relaxed affair as weary shoppers and ebullient theatre-goers meet for quality food and drink. In addition to the restaurant there is a separate cocktail-wine bar and private dining rooms for a more secluded event. Those who haven't been to Browns Mayfair are missing out on one of the area's classiest restaurants.
The weekends tend to be an oasis of calm by comparison as shoppers, tourists and local residents escape form the hectic bustle of the West End. Saturday has its own buzz as people meet for a spot of supper before going on to one of the many near-by theatres, or simply relax with friends over a cocktail and a bite to eat.
Browns is a classic English restaurant with a menu that has evolved rather than changed over the last thirty years. It offers a genuine value for money experience and can also cater for large parties with a more expansive budget. A plate of appetisers to share comes in vegetarian, seafood or Italian meat form, and there are thin and crisp flatbreads topped with such delights as prosciutto, chorizo, mozzarella and roasted peppers.
Starters cleverly re-invent some of the classic brasserie dishes; expect to find crab and avocado salad, baked Scottish langoustine with spinach, cream and Emmental, and a fine selection of freshly made soups depending on the day.
Fish dishes include salmon fillet marinated and baked in soy sauce, with shitake and button mushrooms served on a char-grilled pak choi. Mains take in beef and olive ragu in a tomato sauce tossed with pennette rigate, and tender roasted four bone rack of lamb with a red wine jus, sprouting broccoli and dauphinoise potatoes. Brioche bread and butter pudding and Pimms jelly with strawberry coulis and apple and fresh mint combine traditional with new classic, but the fact is that after years of experience in the field of what might be termed comfortable eating, Browns have it pretty well stitched up.
There is a full wine, cocktail and champagne list with the champagnes being particularly notable for their sensible pricing. For further information, including their full menu and details on private dining, visit their Website.
2 Cardinal Walk, Victoria, London, SW1E 5AG [Map]
The first Browns opened at Brighton in 1973 with one simple guiding belief, that classic food, well delivered in a stylish environment would be a recipe for success. The only thing that has changed since then is the number of Browns, now running at fourteen, of which six are in London, all prospering with the same theme.
The main menu, available throughout the day, starts with appetisers, designed for sharing, with antipasti of Italian meat, vegetarian or seafood. Try the flatbreads with a range of interesting toppings.
In amongst the thirteen starters expect to come across smoked duck, crisp noodle and cashew nut salad with red peppers, tumeric cauliflower, spring onions and a sherry vinaigrette. The fish and salad choices include fish and chips tempura battered cod with minted mushy peas and tartar sauce and pan-fried butterflied tiger prawns tossed with linguine in a tomato, coriander and chorizo sauce.
The same theme of comfortable food, well-cooked and presented, continues throughout the mains course with roast chicken breast in sour dough bread with baby spinach, tomato and mayonnaise, served with seasoned chips, and steak frites 6oz prime sirloin, served with a lemon, parsley and peppercorn butter.
The chalkboard carries a list of the day's specials, but every day except Sunday is Browns's afternoon tea day, served from 2 to 5.30 pm, and on Sundays it offers a choice of three roasts. It would be harder to find a dessert much more English than lemon tartlet with crème fraîche.
Browns at Victoria are well able to deal with groups, and have special menus to look after their particular interests. Click on their excellent Website for further details and menu changes.
9 Islington Green, London, N1 8DU [Map]
Everybody in London knows Browns. Whether they were first introduced whilst at university in Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton or Bristol, or they work near one in the City, Covent Garden or Canary Wharf, Browns has become very much part of the London scene.
The strengths of Browns have always been you know what you are going to get, attractive staff, straight forward food cooked well and excellent value wines and cocktails. However, as with any enterprise, no matter how good, time moves on, and Browns have given their restaurants a different look that has retained the best and added where necessary.
Browns opened up in Islington, on the Green and next door to Waterstones in a part of London, which has always had a cutting edge to it. In October 2004 a novel design was unveiled with a much more contemporary flavour including a lounge space at the front of restaurant that is equally appropriate for drinking or dining. The whole area now feels a great deal more comfortable whilst still retaining the original Browns style.
The bar is where the transformation is most obvious. The bar counter is now clad in pewter, which gives it the feel and look of Paris in the 1920s. The wine list is as diverse as ever and there are still the wonderful signature cocktails for all to try. There has also been the addition of some great draught beers such as Staropramen, Leffe, Erdinger and Amstel; perfect for the after work drinkers.
The back area of Browns is reserved for diners and is much more of a serene environment than it was before with pastel colours used to add a sense of warmth. The whole ambience is one of quality coupled with the thought that someone has spent a great deal of time and effort in creating a truly special feel.
The menu has been over-hauled to reflect all the design changes. It still has all the old favourites with some lighter options for those who don't need comfort food all the time. They all combine to provide a menu that suits all needs, whether it is a light lunch, afternoon tea or a pre-theatre meal. Thus, starters could include Scottish langoustine gratin with spinach, Emmental and cream served with crusty bread; pan seared Black Pearl scallops with a lemon and pea risotto and chilli butter dressing, or homemade soup of the day.
Moving down, the range of main courses include slowly braised pork with black pudding and crisped bacon served with mashed potato and sage gravy; slowly cooked shoulder of lamb with garlic and rosemary jus, sprouting broccoli, Chantenay carrots and mashed potato, or chicken schnitzel served with a poached egg and a tomato, onion and herb salad. Hard to resist are puddings such as poached pear with warm chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream, and raspberry and chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.
What Browns has always done so well is provide a place where you can enjoy yourself and nothing has changed there. If you are out shopping with the family, meeting friends for dinner, going out with colleagues for a drink after work leading on to a bite to eat, then Browns is a superb choice. The service is always friendly and efficient but unlike some other chains in Islington, Browns delivers the quality of food to back it up.
If you haven't been to Browns for a while then you really should give Browns Islington a go. My guess is you will be pleasantly surprised. Their Website will yield further information particularly on menus and opportunities for other social gatherings.
1A Phillimore Gardens, London, W8 7QG [Map]
Over twenty years ago, in July 1989, Bill Wyman opened Sticky Fingers, just the kind of restaurant he most likes to eat in - friendly, welcoming in an informal atmosphere with excellent food and service - the rest is history! Sticky's is ideally positioned in a stunning building, just off the famous shopping Mecca that is High Street Kensington and this haven of great food and original rock memorabilia provides an enviable environment for eating, drinking, and relaxing.
The invaluable collection of Stones memorabilia is a real talking point for both Stones fans and anyone with taste for rock heritage. A comprehensive listing is impractical but some of the highlights include a full-size 3-D photo master of small 3-D photos on the cover of the Rolling Stones album 'Their Satanic Majesties Request.' Released late 1967, it is only one of three known copies in the world.
The Beatles can be seen in the 'undergrowth', and a homemade Electric Bass Guitar built by Wyman in 1960 and amusingly nicknamed by Ian Stewart as 'The Flying Penge.' He played this during early concerts and numerous TV shows and was often used on Rolling Stones' recordings until 1976.
Of course, people go to Sticky Fingers for much more than a great visual experience and a vibrant atmosphere. The justly fabled ribs are a perennial favourite as well as the impressive selection of cocktails, wines, draught and bottled beers which will either compliment the varied dishes or slip down well whilst supping on hand scooped potato skins or crispy shredded duck with cucumber, spring onions and hoi sin sauce, at the bar.
Apart from its burgers such as the Californian, topped with cheese, bacon, salsa, guacamole and sour cream - for which Sticky's has been awarded the 'Best Burger in London' accolade by respected critics at RestaurantSpy - a testament to the talent and restless innovation of their Head Chef, you can also dine on a lovely salad of peppered steak; dishes such as pan-fried new England crab cakes with garlic mayonnaise; sizzling fajitas, homemade lamb burritos with Portobello mushrooms, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and jalapeños, and sign off with a sinful hot fudge and pecan nut brownie.
It is easy to over-intellectualise Sticky Fingers' unique formula. Put simply, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and meal, buy from a wide range of merchandise or simply chill out and relax with the best burgers in town. They are happy to accept bookings and enquiries by E-Mail.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website
Do note that they are closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
American, Family, Takeaway / Carryout
18 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7DD [Map]
Inspired by the Chicago Palm restaurant in America, Christopher's is housed in a grand, Grade II listed Victorian building in the heart of Theatre land in Covent Garden.
Since December 1991 this famous American Bar and Grill has been serving fantastic quality steaks and lobster, previously largely unavailable in London. Christopher's quickly became one of the capital's most opulent restaurants, resplendent over 3 floors, and though the concept has since been adapted to take into account changing tastes and fashions, it remains faithful to the original theme.
On the ground floor, the fully Wi-Fi enabled Martini Bar is cool and stylish with an extensive cocktail list with over 25 scintillating martinis from which to choose. Luxurious booths lining one side of the bar invite you to settle in for the evening.At the top of the sweeping stone spiral staircase lies Christopher's large and elegant dining room, with extensive views over Waterloo Bridge. Strong colours and soft lighting complement the high ceilings and beautiful original features of the building. The exclusive private dining room on the lower ground floor, offers a fantastic venue for many different occasions including receptions, meetings, corporate dining and parties.
An à la carte menu bears the brunt of this restaurant's popularity, with their famous 28oz prime rib chop for two; grilled Maine lobster with garlic butter or cobb salad and mango chilli salsa; slow-cooked belly pork with Boston baked beans, feta and celeriac slaw, and blackened salmon with jambalaya risotto and cress salad, as eye-catching menu leaders. Christopher's ensures all of their fish are caught from sustainable sources.
Amongst the delights on the dessert menu expect to find baked New York cheesecake with blueberry compote, pecan maple tart with vanilla ice cream, and some very interesting regional cheeses.
Christopher's is the perfect place to eat or drink before a show. The theatre menu served from Monday to Saturday between 5pm to 7pm and10pm to 11.30pm (£16.95 for 2 courses or £21.50 for 3) represents great value for money.
Weekends at Christopher's are agreeably relaxed. A traditional American style brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am to 3.30pm and includes classics such as Eggs Benedict, a Texas Grill, or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, as well as traditional dishes of buttermilk pancakes with maple cured bacon and warm maple syrup.
For more information or to see Christopher's menus, visit their Website.
3 Portman Mews South, London, W1H 6HS [Map]
Serving an eclectic range of Indian street fare and contemporary favourites, Roti Chai is a popular draw among Central London diners. Enjoy a snack with friends at the Street Kitchen, which features a well-stocked bar and an open kitchen, or head downstairs for a sumptuous Indian meal in a vibrant, buzzing ambience.
Rustic Roti Chai dishes include idli sambar, steamed rice cakes with vegetable and lentil stew, and the railway lamb curry. Street fare such as dhokla or the Gujarati steamed chickpea cake, and the spicy hakka chilli paneer present an exciting blend of colour and flavour.
A separate menu is offered at the Roti Chai Dining Room, presenting small plates of Bengali crab and fishcake, chicken 65 and gilafi seekh kebabs. Diners can choose between an Awadhi lamb korma with rosewater and saffron or the Kozhikode seafood curry.
Tucked away behind Oxford Street, Roti Chai restaurant is less than a 5-minute walk from Odeon Cinema and Marble Arch Tube Station.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
55 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX [Map]
There are some places in these still-sceptred isles that remain completely British, possibly even more defined as English, where time-honoured customs and institutions remain quietly but firmly in control, and words like confidence and reliability are completely in order.
Of such is Wiltons, part of the culinary history of London, with a long pedigree and reputation stretching back over two hundred years, during which time it has coped with removals, irascible town planners and other minor setbacks. From a stall selling oysters, shrimps and cockles in the Haymarket in 1742, Wiltons has dodged around the St James patch until, in 1984, it moved to its present site. En route in 1884 they received their first Royal Warrant as Purveyor of Oysters to Queen Victoria.
In 1930 the license was acquired by Mrs Bessie Leal, until 1942, when Olaf Hambro, who happened to be enjoying some oysters alone at the bar as a bomb landed nearby on St James's Church, Piccadilly, asked for the restaurant to be added to his bill as Mrs Leal folded her tea towel and apron and declared Wiltons closed. It reopened a week later, and to this day the restaurant is still owned by the Hambro family.
All this tradition comes at a price, and Wiltons has become synonymous with the very well-to-do, and a clientele that knows exactly what it wants, with extremely discreet service from waitresses in dresses. Wilton's Head Chef, Andrew Turner takes infinite pains to ensure that each dish delights the visual senses as well as the taste buds, and the décor is impeccable. The à la carte embraces the full range of culinary dexterity that is Wiltons, and first courses of dressed crab, smoked eel or lobster bisque Newburg also leave room for hot or cold beef consommé.
Wild turbot is served grilled or poached and Dover sole comes grilled, poached, meunière or as goujons. Top of the range is the Scottish lobster, again in four different manifestations. Whilst Wiltons is invariably associated with the fruits of the sea, their grill should by no means be overlooked, with a fine mixed grill, lamb kidneys and bacon or lamb cutlets always available.
The superb selection of British and French farmhouse cheeses may prove hard to ignore, but some traditional puddings edge their way in and sherry trifle, bread and butter pudding and seasonal fruit crumble always find an appreciative clientele. May Wiltons be blessed in some culinary heaven for their contribution to the survival of the savoury, with anchovies on toast, Welsh rarebit and mushrooms on toast all there to fly the flag for decent traditional dishes.
For those with time on their side and congenial company to share the pleasure, a cleverly devised tasting menu offers five options and deserves to be some of the best value in town in its class. Scrutiny of the wine list leaves no room for doubt that quality and discretion have guided those who had the good fortune to compile this fine selection.
Wiltons is renowned for furnishing its clientele with exceptional ingredients. You will be pleased to learn that their bespoke picnic hampers are filled with the very same fresh and wild ingredients. The baskets are individually prepared and packed in the Jermyn Street premises. They have carefully selected their most popular ingredients to provide you with 'The At Home Picnic Basket'.
The ingredients include wild smoked Scottish salmon, dressed Cornish crab, chilled lobster, potted shrimps, potato and bacon salad, country bread, cheeses including stilton and cheddar, carrot cake, Wiltons Champagne and Burgundy. The basket is made exclusively from the finest Polish wicker which also includes bespoke leather handles and monogrammed leather luggage tags. It contains china, glassware, cutlery, picnic blanket, and napkins and even a cool bag for the food and wines with an extra ice pack to keep things at the correct temperature. They supply baskets for 2 and 4 persons. Who could ask for more?
There is a great deal about Wiltons for which there is no room here. A click on their tasteful and informative Website will introduce you to Wiltons at home, private dining and, should you require further encouragement, their galaxy of awards and media acclaim.
148 Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UE [Map]
Edera Restaurant is a charming Italian eatery located in the leafy, affluent neighbourhood of Holland Park and is well known for its warm hospitality and simple approach to Italian food. With talented chef Giancarlo Usai from Sardinia in charge of the kitchen and service conducted in a charming manner by Roberto Pisano and his team, you can expect plenty to tempt you into dining there.
Cuisine is a mix of classic Italian dishes with strong Sardinian influences; specialities include spaghetti alla bottarga, dried salted tuna roe, Sardinian couscous with langoustines, suckling pig, sea bass, mixed seafood salad plus all the classic Italian seasonal dishes. Expect to pay around £25 to £40 for three courses, reasonable value considering the location and the beautifully designed interior, an ideal venue for a romantic date.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
7th Floor, 99 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA [Map]
Every so often there is an occasion in your life when only the best will do, and without doubt Babylon at The Roof Gardens falls well inside that category, combining as it does all that is best in a restaurant that is able to offer that elusive quality - complete reliability.
Much of the attraction of this sleek, modern restaurant atop the Kensington Roof Gardens used to lie in its spectacular views, but now Head Chef, Ian Howard, with years of experience under his belt, has created menus with a focus on fresher produce from local suppliers to increase the quality of dishes served to Babylon's guests.
Ian's stints at The Savoy, The Belvedere Restaurant under Marco Pierre White, and The Cumberland Hotel under Gary Rhodes, have more than just given him an impressive CV, they have also fuelled his passion for modern British cuisine adding a personalised twist to old favourites.
The à la carte menu carries the main presentation with a list of stunning first courses that leave customers in no doubt they have come to the right place. The perfect touch applied to the butternut squash soup topped with whipped crème fraîche and chives is a hint of things to come. Cornish crab mayonnaise has that little extra, presented with celeriac and apple remoulade with wafer thin caraway croutons.
Main courses of Cotswold White roasted chicken breast is served with date puree, baby leeks, café au lait jus with chopped dates and mash potato, or there is celeriac risotto with crème fraîche, parmesan and shredded ham hock and sauerkraut, garnished with red chicory and cornichons.
Portion sizes have increased, too, but make sure you save space for pudding. The menu is designed to suit all tastes, and could include mango and white chocolate mousse with black sesame seed tuille, papaya and rum sorbet, caramelized exotic fruits; crème brûlée, and vanilla and honey madeleines with framboise.
At many restaurants great attention is quite rightly paid to the traditional Sunday lunch. At Babylon Saturday lunch also comes in for special treatment, with prices that are a positive incentive to those taking advantage of the quality shopping that is so conveniently close to Babylon.
Service provided by the slick and very friendly staff, who are attentive without being obtrusive, must be given top marks.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, guests of Babylon can continue their night in The Roof Gardens Club, open from 10pm-3am. So, you can enjoy a quiet cocktail in the gardens or dance the night away until the early hours of the morning - the choice is yours.
Their Website is well worth visiting as a prelude to the real thing.
Weekday Set Lunch - 2 courses £21.50 and 3 courses £24.50 Book
Saturday Set lunch - 2 courses £22 and 3 courses £25 Book
Book Lunch from Mon - Fri or Dinner from Mon - Wed and we'll treat you and your party to a complimentary glass of fizz. Book
More restaurants in Central London:
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Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
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Latest User Reviews
By Mick Walker 23 May 2013
Had a really enjoyable meal at lunchtime today 23/5/13. Service was very good,and staff very friendly and helpful. Food ...
By w butcher 22 May 2013
we ate here on 22/05/2013 and cannot fault it. The steak was cooked perfectly and the green saled was delicious. The service ...
SW1, Belgravia & Westminster
STAR DEAL - 4 courses £40 per person
Mayfair, Soho & Fringes
Steak & Wine - 10oz Scottish hanger steak & hand cut chips plus half a bottle of Malbec or Chardonnay for £14 per person
Kensington & Notting Hill
Weekday Set Lunch - 2 courses £21.50 and 3 courses £24.50
Mayfair, Soho & Fringes
Spring Offer - Enjoy 2 courses from our A la carte menu for £19.50. 4 items on the menu require a supplement of £4.50
Covent Garden & Theatreland
Inspired by the Chicago Palm restaurant in America, Christopher's is housed in a grand, Grade II listed Victorian building in the heart of Theatre land in Covent Garden. Since December 1991 this ...
SW1, Belgravia & Westminster
Mayfair, Soho & Fringes
Kensington & Notting Hill
Chelsea & South Kensington
Mayfair, Soho & Fringes
SW1, Belgravia & Westminster
SW1, Belgravia & Westminster
Hampstead & St John's Wood
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