London City Map
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, a buzzing British metropolis with a population of nine and a half million. Good old London town is a destination we’re chuffed to explore again and again, a city so ripe with tourist attractions (from the Big Ben to the Tower Bridge to Abbey Road to the Buckingham Palace) that we couldn’t possibly see them all on one trip. Of course, we’ve done our fair share of sightseeing: we’ve hopped on and off double decker buses, we’ve watched the changing of the guard, and we’ve visited Platform 9 3/4 – but the thing we’ve done the most of while in the U.K. is eat!
Together we have compiled all our London favorites in this foodie map. You’ll find pastries, fine dining restaurants, pubs to sate your appetite for a Sunday roast, and, of course, the best afternoon tea in town. Navigate the guide easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in geographical order.
Opening Hours 🕒
Mangal II Restaurant has been open since 1994, but the sons took over the family restaurant in 2020. Now, the menu (which primarily focuses on the mangal grill) has been condensed and modernized, but it’s still rooted in Turkish traditions. Every dish is bursting with flavor, from the sourdough pide with hummus to the cull yaw kofte to the mind-blowing manti dumplings filled with wild mushrooms and served with garlic yogurt, chili oil, and heirloom tomatoes. Quench your thirst with natural wines and local beers.
If you didn’t get an invite to the royal wedding, but still want a piece of the cake, you’re in luck. (Indeed, you can have your cake and eat it, too!) Take a trip to Violet, the Hackney bakery from pastry chef Claire Ptak who made the royal wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. All of the sweet treats at Violet are delicious – we especially adore the butterscotch blondie and the rhubarb vanilla cupcake.
Don’t be fooled by the minimalist decor at this cozy Dalston watering hole – this humble bar is making some of the best cocktails in London. The menu changes weekly – on our visits we have enjoyed the Almond Flower Sour (which was juicy, nutty, refreshing, and balanced) and the My Lady Garden (made with gin, fresh raspberry syrup, and an egg white). Three Sheets was ranked no. 16 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2019.
Paradox Design + Coffee
The best coffee we have found in London is served from a tiny shipping container inside Netil Market in London Fields. Paradox offers a frequently changing selection of beans from small, specialty coffee roasters around Europe – and they’re serving some deliciously funky stuff. We loved the rose latte, the natural pour-over, and the extremely tropical, passion fruit-washed coffee.
London’s best pastries can be found at Pophams Bakery. The original shop is located in the charming Islington neighborhood, and they’ve also added a second location in Hackney (which, in addition to croissants, serves pasta in the evenings) as well as an outpost in Victoria Park. We’ve sampled the whole menu and can enthusiastically recommend everything, but the absolute can't-miss pastry is the sweet and salty maple bacon croissant swirl.
Marksman Public House
We love both the food and the old-school vibe at the Marksman Pub, where we enjoyed a classic Sunday roast with all the fixin’s. If this quintessential British tradition is on your London bucket list, this is a great place to check that box. But don’t go too hard on the Yorkshire pudding and the gravy – you’ll want to have space for the exquisite brown butter honey tart. Two unexpected bonuses: there’s both an open-air rooftop and great natural wines here!
Located in Bethnal Green is a neighborhood restaurant we keep returning to. Brawn is a bright, airy space with creative casual plates, great desserts, and one of the best natural wine lists in London. Their handmade pastas are always a highlight (we loved both the agnolotti en brodo and the tagliatelle with ragu), and the blood orange almond cake we had for dessert was absolutely divine. On the wine side, we found a few favorite bottles, like Winifred from Gut Oggau, Jumping Juice from Patrick Sullivan, Rosato from Le Coste, and Staring at the Sun from Momento Mori.
The Clove Club
Chef Isaac McHale and his two friends ran a supper club inside their apartment before moving operations into the historic building that previously housed the Shoreditch Town Hall. The Clove Club (no. 35 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022) is one of our favorite fine dining restaurants in London. The tables face the action in the blue-tiled open kitchen where McHale and his team churn out a modern British tasting menu using local produce. Our favorite dish on our most recent visit was a sweet and savory dessert of potato jam, coffee meringue, potato mousse, coffee powder, salted caramel, truffle, and vanilla.
Burger & Beyond
One of London’s best burgers comes with two dry-aged beef patties, bone marrow-naise, steak sauce, beef fat onions, and cold-smoked American cheese. It’s called the Bougie Burger and you can find it at Burger & Beyond, which has a few locations around London. (Unfortunately, new health code laws in the U.K. require restaurants to cook meat all the way through, so the burger can no longer be ordered medium rare. This is a tragedy for the high-quality meat used in this burger, and we hope it is only a temporary issue that will be resolved soon.)
Tayēr + Elementary
Tayēr + Elementary is a two-part bar from cocktail power couple Alex Kratena and Monica Berg, and it’s ranked no. 2 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022. Elementary is the high-volume section of the bar, with pre-batched, ready-to-drink cocktails available on draft. But don’t be put off by the fast pace – these are the best taptails we’ve had. The Frozen Yuzu Margarita is dangerously addicting, and we also loved the Strawberry Aperol Spritz. In the back, you’ll find Tayēr, where on three nights a week, hand-crafted cocktails are prepared in front of you.
The Soho hotspot has reopened in a new location in Shoreditch, where chef Chris Leach and his team are aging meats and hand-rolling pasta to craft their Italian-inspired menu. For us, the pasta is the main attraction here; we adored both the brown crab cacio e pepe and the fazzoletti with duck ragu. If it’s something more carnivorous you’re after, Manteca’s menu also features in-house butchery and salumi production.
Shoreditch hotspot Brat is sure to satisfy your inner (spoiled) child with its Basque grill-style dishes. The name Brat is an old English word for “turbot,” which is fitting since this laid back Michelin-starred restaurant proudly uses wild, local, and sustainably-caught fish, which they grill simply over an open fire. If you don’t want to fill up on a whole turbot, opt for a smaller fish like a John Dory or a lemon sole, and supplement your meal with grilled prawns, crab, or a chanterelle and black truffle flatbread. For dessert, try the signature cheesecake, served in the style made famous by San Sebastian’s La Viña. We are in Basque country, after all!
WatchHouse is an award-winning, London-based specialty coffee chain and roastery, with twelve “houses” strategically placed around the city to help you satisfy your caffeine cravings. If you’re dining in, they can serve a pour-over, but if you’re taking your coffee to go they also have a lovely selection of batch-brewed coffee, some of which they’ve roasted themselves, and some which is from other specialty coffee roasters they love.
St. John Bread & Wine
St. John is a London institution that has been open since 1994. Chef Fergus Henderson and his team serve traditional British fare, nose-to-tail cooking – and, sometimes, squirrels. The menu changes frequently, on a recent visit we enjoyed the whipped cod’s roe toast with a poached egg, the fried pollock, and the deviled crab. The original location is in Smithfield, but the location across from Spitalfields Maket also has a bakery, where they churn out their famous filled doughnuts and madeleines.
One of London’s best burger joints, Bleecker Burger, specializes in simple, New York-style cheeseburgers. For the ultimate bite, order a double – the mouthfeel of two thin, smashed patties stacked on top of each other and layered with American cheese, onions, and house sauce is pretty unbeatable. Bleecker believes that the burger is all about the beef, so they get their grass-fed, dry-aged meat from small farms in the U.K. On the side, enjoy twice-cooked, hand-cut fries and milkshakes. Bleecker has four locations around London (as well as some delivery-only outposts), so you’re never too far from a great burger!
A meal at Ikoyi is a unique and exciting journey for your taste buds. Chef Jeremy Chan opened the restaurant with his best friend Iré Hassan-Odukale, who is from Ikoyi, Nigeria. When Hassan-Odukale said he wanted to open a restaurant inspired by the flavors of Nigeria, Chan was all in. But the food is not strictly African; Chan grew up in Hong Kong eating Cantonese food and dim sum, and describes these flavors from his childhood as extremely influential in his cooking. The tasting menu changes seasonally, using sustainable and locally-sourced British ingredients, and serving spice-focused dishes. The food is punchy and explosive in flavor, and brings a really unique culinary perspective to the table. Standouts from our meal included the plantain covered in blackberry salt with smoked scotch bonnet, the jollof rice with crab custard, and their take on Lobster Thermidor, served in a sorghum crepe and covered in truffle.
You might be familiar with Noble Rot. It’s a magazine. It’s a restaurant. It’s a wine bar. It’s one of our favorite hangouts in London. The restaurant serves a full à la carte menu of French food, but if you’re just looking to nibble, you can opt for small plates or charcuterie in the bar section. Their award-winning wine list has something for everyone, whether you prefer conventional or natural wines. Some of our favorite wine producers represented here are Christian Tschida, Frank Cornelissen, and La Stoppa. If you feel like splurging, they have a rare bottle of Krug from 1973 – but it will cost you a pretty penny.
One of the best bites you can find in London is the roti canai at Roti King, a Malaysian street food restaurant. Flaky, buttery roti is made fresh-to-order, and served with a warm, spicy curry of your choice (chicken, lamb, fish, or vegan). They have a few variations of the roti – some are filled with meat, egg, or cheese and spinach, and there’s even a sweet dessert roti with kaya (coconut) butter. The original location is located next to the Euston train station, and they’ve also recently opened a second location at the Battersea Power Station.
What if we told you there was a Michelin-starred restaurant hidden in the cellar of The Blue Posts pub? (It’s true!) The chefs serve a five-course tasting menu in an intimate, underground chef’s counter with only twelve seats. They take local British ingredients, add a bit of classic French training, sprinkle in some Japanese techniques, and stir it all together. The result? A technically flawless, and fantastically fun dining experience. Before your dinner, drop by their upstairs bar, The Mulwray, for a glass of wine, a cocktail, or maybe even a bite of chicken liver toast.
This trendy steam bun shop has a handful of locations around London. The menu varies by venue, but you’ll always find the signature baos, which are made with a tangzhou starter and milk, and steamed daily in their bakery. Other dishes include small veggie and rice-focused bowls, and large platters for sharing. Don’t miss the fried chicken sesame bao or the fried ice cream bao!
There’s incredible Indian food at Darjeeling Express, but there’s an even better story behind this gorgeous restaurant in central London. Asma, the owner and head chef, is paving the way for women in the kitchen by only hiring women. None are technically trained as chefs, but all are passionate home cooks, resulting in extremely complex and flavorful dishes. This was truly unlike any Indian food we’ve had. From the curries, to the bread, to the cocktails, to the hospitality, this was a meal highlight for us in London.
Fancy a spot of tea? Afternoon tea is always a must for us when in London, and Claridge’s Hotel serves the best one we’ve tried! They have an incredible selection of teas from the Rare Tea Company, delicious finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and a semi-sweet tea geleé, and decadent pastries. The best part? They offer you endless refills! If you’re craving generous hospitality in a spectacular setting, we highly recommend enjoying this timeless British tradition here.
The Connaught Bar
The Connaught Bar, the award-winning cocktail bar inside the hotel of the same name, has topped The World’s 50 Best Bars list on more than one occasion. After our first visit, it was easy to understand why – this was our favorite bar experience in London. It’s old-school hospitality in a glamorous setting, and the bartenders go out of their way to make you feel like their esteemed guests. The Connaught Martini is a must-order, if for the tableside trolley service alone. Customize it to your preference with your choice of bitters (cardamom, tonka, lavender, coriander, bergamot), liquor, and, of course, your garnish.
Royal China Club
London is a great place to satisfy your dim sum cravings, and Royal China Club is our favorite place to do so. Stop by for lunch to indulge in a variety of dumplings. Some of our favorites include the Shangai-style xiaolongbao (pork and shrimp soup dumplings), steamed pork buns, char siu pork puffs, cheung fun (rice noodle rolls), crispy lobster dumplings, and scallop dumplings. Be sure to order the Custard Lava Buns filled with salted egg yolk for dessert.
Kol is a Mexican fine dining restaurant reimagined with British ingredients from chef Santiago Lastra. The restaurant has one Michelin star and is ranked no. 73 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022. Our favorite bites on the tasting menu included the yellow pepper custard with British caviar, the langoustine taco with sea buckthorn, and the do-it-yourself carnitas tacos with gooseberry salsa and freshly pressed corn tortillas. Check out the hidden basement bar, Kol Mezcaleria, for cocktails and snacks.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Ever dreamed of attending a royal dinner party in the 14th century? At Dinner by Heston, you can. Chef Heston Blumenthal’s wildly imaginative fine dining restaurant brings centuries-old, historic dishes back into the spotlight. On the menu are old British classics reimagined from Heston’s perspective, in a theatrical fashion. Playful presentations are on full display, such as the iconic Meat Fruit, a chicken liver parfait disguised as a ripe mandarin. Don’t leave without trying the Tipsy Cake – this legendary dessert soaks brioche balls in brandy and serves them with spit-roasted pineapple and caramel.
Granger and Co.
When those brunch cravings hit, look no further than the reliable Aussie chain, Granger and Co. They serve breakfast all day and have a handful of locations spread out around London, meaning you’re never too far from ricotta hotcakes and the fluffiest scrambled eggs in town. There's a reason why they call founder Bill Granger the egg master!
The Ledbury is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the posh Notting Hill neighborhood, and a regular on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Australian chef Brett Graham serves a modern European tasting menu using local British produce which he often hunts himself. The Ledbury’s house-made deer ham is a must-try, but the veggies also shine here – the hen of the woods mushroom with potato emulsion and rosemary is one of the best mushroom dishes we’ve ever had!