Cool Restaurants in London
Finding a cool restaurant in London and good can be as hard as finding the right Tube stop on the map in an Underground station. Actually, it might be easier to find a bad restaurant in London. That’s not because the majority of eateries in the capital are poor, far from it. However, for tourists not au fait with the city, it’s easy, as with any metropolis, to fall into a hideously expensive tourist trap selling bad quality food. Here are 10 cool restaurants to check out in London.
Not as unique as it once was, but with good reason. Hummus Bros. now has five locations around London. However, it remains one of the coolest chains in the city, with its simple yet tasty hummus recipes and stripped back decor. More suited to visitors looking for lunch on the go between visiting tourist attractions, but well worth a short, sit-down bite to eat.
Another successful start up which has now branched out into new locations, Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine does exactly what it says on the tin. Great burgers, great wine, and a whole lot of food. We recommend the Woody Harrelson. As veggie burgers go, it’s one of the best.
You’ll notice we didn’t provide a weblink to this restaurant. Why? Because Baigel Bake is an institution, legendary well before the internet was even an idea in Tim Berners Lee’s mind. Queues can be seen outside the traditional Jewish bakery most weekdays, and at 3am, when hungry clubbers start leaving local venues. Almost as famous as Brick Lane itself, you have to try it if you’re in East London.
Dalston is one of London’s most chic areas these days, with a host of restaurants having popped up. White Rabbit is among the best, not only in Dalston but in the city generally. A small but broad menu of delicious dishes, we’re partial to the jerked mackerel. Unsurprisingly, rabbit isn’t on the menu. That would be sacrilege.
If you go down to the woods today, well, you’re a fool, because Stokey’s is where it’s at. The bear-themed burger bar is just down the road from Stoke Newington station. An area traditionally known for Turkish restaurants, Stokey’s is a modern burger joint with excellent craft beers and ales. The best of the bunch is Bearhug Spirit Pale Ale. Don’t have too much though, or it’ll leave you feeling grizzly.
Meat may be the dish of the day here, but Meat Mission is more of an evergreen affair, if quality and entertainment are what you’re looking for. The Hoxton restaurant is one of the coolest in an area not short on exciting dining establishments, and its burgers are top notch. The cocktails are what do it for us though. Our recommendation: the St Lawrence. Holy cow.
In far flung Harrow, a suburb of London, this might be a bit far for most tourists. But if you want high quality, authentic Indian food, it is well worth the journey to Queensbury. Our recommendation is the Regency Platter. Chicken wings, lamb chops, tikka, kebabs and mushkaki make for one hell of a meal. Might be one to share with a friend. Or Not.
Sushi restaurants are ten a penny in London. Good sushi restaurants, less so. Good, authentic sushi restaurants, even more less so. Chisou is one of the best in town. The Tori Kara age is our fave and vegetarians could do much worse than the tofu-based atsuage shogayaki. With locations in Knightsbridge and Mayfair, Chisou is a swanky affair, but one of the coolest sushi places in the UK. The decor is as elegant as the dishes, and the service fantastic.
Gastropub is a dirty word these days, with a surfeit of establishments trying (and often failing) to do rustic pub grub well. The Harwood Arms, however, lends credence to the term gastropub. Recipes are simple, earthy and very tasty, while the bar itself stays true to its roots as a top quality pub, with a fantastic atmosphere to boot. The only Michelin-starred pub in London, it’s well worth the trip to Fulham.
Rated by Times’ food critic Giles Coren as the best steak in the UK, it’s fair to say Hawksmoor comes with a strong reputation. The epithet is well deserved, but the restaurant is also pretty high up in the cool, erm, stakes. With seven restaurants in the UK, it’s not as unique as it once was, but the food is wonderful. Not sure what to have? We’d go for the rib-eye. Mouth wateringly expensive, it also happens to be mouth wateringly delicious, justifying every penny of the bill.
In the mid-noughties Clapham was famous for being the first port of call for graduates new to the city, with a nightlife to match it. These days it’s renowned for a sea of posh houseware shops aimed at those with lots of free time and lots and lots money. But that’s not to say there aren’t some cool places in the area, and The Manor is the pick of the bunch. A sleek menu complements a restaurant of elegance and class, with knowing staff and a cool, refined atmosphere. Definitely one of South London’s best.