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Recommended Restaurants in
From being the unexciting capital of jellied eels and fish and chips, London is now one of the world's most exciting gastronomic cities. A huge change has occurred in the past ten years, with new restaurants opening up daily across the capital. Although many of the most well known places can be found in the centre, there are a few gems in the outer boroughs, also worth investigating.

In addition, London may not have the best cafes in Europe, but it does have some rather good pubs serving freshly cooked food. Long gone is the stale bread and limp lettuce 'Ploughman's' Lunch'. You are more likely to find a Thai curry or some stir fried noodles to have with your beer than a hunk of cheddar cheese and white bread. However, there are still some traditional places serving sausage and mash with a pint of beer, with or without the accompaniment of a live football match on TV in the corner.


Le Soufflé
  Hotel Inter-Continental London, 1 Hamilton Place, London, W1.
Tel: (020) 7409 3131.
French gourmet dining at an exclusive location.
Expensive
Nearest tube : Hyde Park Corner or bus 73

Philip Owens at the ICA
 

The Mall, London SW1
Tel: (020) 7930 8619.
Organic Mediterranean Restaurant.
An excellent place for lunch close to Trafalgar Square. Civilised eating in the small cellar-like atmosphere in this popular, experimental arts centre.
Moderate prices
Nearest tube: Charing Cross Buses 11, 15

The Sugar Club
 
21 Warwick Street, London, W1.
Tel: (020) 7437 7778.
Top chefs prepare special things to savour and remember…
Expensive but superb food.
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
Bus 38, 19

Clarke's
  124 Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill Gate, London, W8.
Tel: (020) 7221 9225.
Restaurant. Although they only have one set meal per day; this is worth going for. Fresh ingredients cooked well.
Moderate prices
Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate
The Gate Restaurant
  51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9QL.
Tel: (020) 8748 6932. Web: www.gateveg.co.uk
Excellent vegetarian restaurant.
Moderate to expensive.
Nearest tube: Hammersmith

Veronica's British Historic Restaurant
  3 Hereford Road, Bayswater, London, W2 4AB
Tel: (020) 7229 5079. Fax: (020) 7229 1210
Medieval to 21st Century British food! Work your way through the centuries with different courses.
Nearest tube: Royal Oak or Bayswater

Heartstone
  106 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PN
Tel: (020) 7485 7744.
Excellent Restaurant, juice Bar and, if you are rather stressed out from travelling, there is even a treatment centre for a holistic massage. Close to Camden Market and a few doors away the emporium of edible delights; Fresh and Wild,.
Nearest tube: Camden Town
Bus 134

St. John's Restaurant
  26 St. John Street, Farringdon, EC1M 4AY.
Tel: (020) 7251 0848. Web: www.stjohnrestaurant.co.uk
A superb restaurant serving organic meat and some fine dishes.
Nearest tube: Barbican
The Spitz
  109 Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London, E1 6BG.
Tel: (020) 7392 9032. Fax: (020) 7377 8915.
Web: www.spitz.co.uk
Lively restaurant, music venue and art gallery. Can be noisy but is a good venue for Sunday mornings when the market next door is at it's best.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Top Floor at Smiths
  Smithfield of Smithfield , 67-77 Charterhouse Street, Farringdon, EC1M 6HJ.
Tel: (020) 7236 6666. Web: www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk
Superb steak restaurant in the still thriving meat market on the edge of the city.
Nearest tube: Barbican
Smiths

Wagamamas
  There are now a few branches of this excellent noodle bar in central London. They have even expanded to cities on the continent, but the standard has remained high. Fresh ingredients, delicious freshly squeezed juices and a great mix of spices, flavours and textures make this one of the most popular restaurants in London. Go early, as you can't book a table and the queues might extend down the street. Try a flask of warm sake (rice wine) with your Chinese/Japanese influenced food. They even have rather delicious desserts, now
www.wagamama.com
There are a number of branches. This one is near the British Museum:
Wagamamas 4a Streatham Street
London WC1A Tel 020 7323 9223
Open from 12.oo to 23.00 Monday to Saturday
Sunday 12.30 to 22.00
The Fisherman's Hut
  175 Hampton Road, Twickenham, Richmond-upon-Thames, TW2 5NG.
Tel: (020) 8943 4625. Fax: (020) 8943 9757.
A very wide menu is offered here, to suit all tastes. Specially prepared meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes mean that no-one is left out when it comes to choosing what to eat. Good wine list available. Wander through Richmond Park, along the River Thames and then fill up at this excellent restaurant.
Nearest train station: Strawberry Hill (then take a taxi)

Stepping Stone
  123 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London, SW8.
Tel: (020) 7622 0555
It is worth crossing the Thames to sample the delicious food at this splendid restaurant. On offer are some rather nice wines and their modern British menu. Ten minutes walk from Chelsea Bridge, with it's fine views over the river.
Take bus 137 to Battersea Park

Gourmet pubs:


The Engineer

  65 Gloucester Avenue, London, Chalk Farm, NW1.
Tel: (020) 7722 0950
A traditional pub and restaurant serving impressive meat and vegetarian meals. Will suit everyone, from the business executive to local families out for Sunday lunch.
Moderate prices
Nearest tube: Chalk Farm (Northern Line)

The Landor Pub
  70 Landor Road, London, SW9 9PH.
Tel: (020) 7274 4386
A large, comfortable pub with good restaurant meals. There is even organic meat on the menu.
Nearest tube: Clapham North (Northern Line)

The Pelican
  45 All Saints Road, London W11 1HE
Tasty dishes, cooked with imagination and flair.
Tel 020 7792 3073
Tube: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park

The Duke of Cambridge
  30 St Peters Street, Islington, London N1
Tel 020 7359 3066
A very wide range of beers and impressive home-cooked food.
Buses 4, 19, 33, 43
Tube: Highbury and Islington

The Crown
  223 Grove Road, Victoria Park, London E3 5SN
Tel 020 8981 9998
A bit out of town, but you could go for a walk in Victoria Park in the East End, and follow this with a hearty meal at this excellent pub.
Buses 277 and 8


Some excellent Indian Restaurants

Vegetarian

Rasa

  The entrepreneurial chef Das Sreedharan opened his first South Indian restaurant Rasa in London's Stoke Newington, a lively, up and coming area in Hackney, North London. Locals flocked to eat his delicately spiced, coconut , chili and tamarind meals. The restaurant was renowned for being very reasonable, friendly and serving quite delicious Keralan food. It has twice won both the Time Out Best Vegetarian Restaurant award and the Evening Standard's Eros award. Not only has the high standard been maintained over the years, but Das has brought out a couple of well-produced recipe books, so enterprising cooks can try out his concoctions at home. The gently steamed rice noodles Iddiapam are a treat.
Rasa Stoke Newington High Street
Rasa 55 Stoke Newington Church Street N16 (0207 249 0334)
Bus 73
Inexpensive

Rasa West End
  W1, 6
Dering Street Tel 020 7629 1346
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus (Be warned: here, the portions are much smaller, the décor and service more formal and the food is a lot more expensive than in their Hackney branch).
Expensive

Ravi Shankar
  Indians living in London come here when they eat out. The small but informal Ravi Shankar is located in one of the best Indian restaurant streets north of Mumbai. The South Indian meals are served with coconut chutney and spices. Unlike a few establishments nearby, alcoholic drinks can be ordered from their menu. Try the delicate idli, little steamed rice cakes served with a sweet and sour sauce.

133-135 Drummond Street
Nearest tube: Euston Station or Euston Square
Buses 134 to Euston Road


Non-Vegetarian Indian Restaurants

There are about thirty Indian restaurants to be found along Brick Lane in Spitalfields, a thriving Bangladeshi area on the edge of the East End. Most of the curry houses along Brick Lane don't serve gourmet cuisine, but they are cheap and serve tasty, standard Indian fare. Some are minimally decorated in white while others are decorated with hanging vines and an abundance of leaves, which can be a welcome change from the typical claret coloured flock wallpaper. For lunch, Sweet and Spicy is probably the closest experience you'll get to eating in an authentic Indian café, with even the posters of Indian prize fighters on the walls. Aladin is also good, and everything from chapattis to chickpeas can be ordered to take away, too.

Sweet and Spicy

  No frills café, with food ready to serve in large steel pans. No alcohol served.
40 Brick Lane
E1 6RF
020 72471081
Cheap

Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Take Bus 25 from Oxford Circus to the Whitechapel Art Gallery


The Great Nepalese
 
An uninspiring location, and not really Indian food, but this Nepalese restaurant is actually rather good. Unusual combinations of herbs and spices make their dishes both surprising and familiar.
48 Eversholt St
Tel : 020 7388 6737/5935
Inexpensive
Nearest tube: Euston

Cafe Spice Namaste
  An upmarket Indian restaurant on the edge of the East End serving food in a large, airy room with white linen napkins. Buy jars of their home-made spicy pickles, good enough to take home.
Expensive
16 Prescot Street
London
E1 8AZ
Tel- 020 7488 9242
Tube: Tower Hill, bus 253 to Aldgate
Lahore Kebab House
  An informal place to get one of the best kebabs in town. Not the best place for vegetarians, but for meat eaters this Pakistani restaurant has a deservedly high reputation and loyal following. Watch the delicious nans being cooked in a traditional clay bread oven.2 Umberston Street
London
E1 1PY
Tel - 0207 481 9738
Bus 253 or 25 to Aldgate then ten minutes walk.
Traditional London food
Porter's
  One of the best places to get fish and chips, steak and kidney pudding and everything you associate with British food. This reputable institution is also bang in the centre of Theatreland, so combining a meal out with an evening or matinée performance wouldn't be a problem.
17 Henrietta Street
Covent Garden
Tel 020 7236 6466

Nearest tube: Covent Garden


Brick Lane Bagel Bakery
  Another reliable British Institution: This bakery has a few seats but is primarily a take-away café. It is open 24 hours, so at 3am you will find an all-night taxi driver enjoying a smoked salmon and cream cheese filled bagel next to some clubbers who come for the cheesecake or apple strudels.
159 Brick Lane
020 7729 0616
Nearest Tube: Aldgate, then a fifteen minutes walk.

Cittie of Yorke
  A very old pub serving good food and a wide range of beers.
22-23 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6BS
Nearest Tube Station: Chancery Lane
020 7242 7670

The Quality Chop House
 

Simple, unpretentious cooking using good British ingredients.

Expensive

92-94 Farringdon Road, EC1
Tel 020 78335093
Nearest Tube: Farringdon


Thai restaurants

Yum Yum's
  This welcoming Thai restaurant was awarded Egon Ronay's Oriental Chef of the Year in 1996. It has been consistently offering some of the bets Thai food in London and is worth travelling north to sample some of their dishes. Try their red curry coconut curry and wonderful papaya salad.
26 Stoke Newington Church Street N16 (0207 254 6751)
Bus 73

African food
Suya Spot
  This is reputedly the largest African Restaurant in Europe. Suya Spot was apparently the first to serve up West African style barbecue food indoors. Kingsland Road
Obalende Suya Spot
523 Kingsland Road
Tel. 020 7252 4627
Bus 149 or 242 from Liverpool Street Station

Merkato
  Ethiopian food within a bus ride from St Pancras station. Find yourself transported to East Africa in one evening. Eat off woven basket tables and enjoy stews cooked in the traditional way. A friendly place where parties may liven up the atmosphere.
Moderate prices
193a Caledonian Road N1
020 78371838

Lalibela Restaurant
  A beautifully decorated interior and some very nice Ethiopian cooking. Try the 'doro wat' where you use pancake-like bread to eat the spicy stews.
137 Fortess Road London NW5
Tel:02082840600
Moderate to expensive
Nearest Tube: Tufnell Park

Mekasha Restaurant
  One of the best Ethiopian restaurants in London. The excellent food is served in a modern, brightly decorated interior and the staff are friendly.
75 Fairfax Road London NW6 4EE
Tel:0207 6258964
Moderate prices
Nearest tube: Swiss Cottage or Finchley Road

Momo
  A Moroccan restaurant that people rave about. Not kitschy, it serves good food and the ambiance is just perfect. Try the couscous served in tagines.
Tel 020 7434 4040
25 Heddon Street W1
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus

Vietnamese Food
Huong Viet
  Vietnamese cuisine served fast in this large canteen style restaurant. Open Monday to Saturday, it is a popular place serving fish, meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes.
13-14 Englefield Road N1 020 7249 0877
Inexpensive

Chinese Food
Hakkasan
  A new Chinese restaurant and bar serving tasty food. A trendy offshoot from the incredibly popular Wagamama's, this is definitely a place to check out.
8 Hanway Place, London, W1P 9DH
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham
Court Road 020 7927 7000
Expensive

Italian food
Osteria Antica Bologna
  23 Northcote Road SW11
If you are in the south of London, book a table at this excellent Italian restaurant. Everything from grilled octopus to delicately flavoured pasta is cooked fresh here. They have a good wine selection, too.
020 77984771
Nearest rail station: Clapham Junction

River Cafe
  Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London, W6.
Tel: (020) 7381 8824.
Italian country cooking, and famous not only for the high quality food but also for being the kitchen where Jamie Oliver trained. The chefs use organic and seasonal ingredients. Book well in advance for a table.
Expensive
Nearest tube: Hammersmith

Turkish food

Iznik

  19 Highbury Park Road N5
020 7354 5697
Ottoman cuisine is served underneath beautiful Izmir style painted ostrich eggs and blue and white ceramics. A delightful place to eat delicious food.
Moderate prices
Bus 19
Istanbul Iskembecisi
  This is one of the best Turkish restaurants in North London. Specialising in grilled meats, there are also a few vegetarian options available, and it is worth getting a bus to Hackney to try some 'Local' delicacies. Unusually, this restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
9 Stoke Newington Road N16 (0207 254 7291)
Moderate prices

Mangal
  This is an award-winning Turkish ocakbasi, (charcoal grill restaurant) . Excellent fish, salads and breads are served in this unpretentious restaurant.
10 Arcola Street E8 (0207 275 8981)
Mangal II is at 4 Stoke Newington Road N16 (0207 254 7888).
Both are inexpensive to moderately priced

Russian Restaurants
Lucky Village
  A small, friendly restaurant serving traditional Russian dishes. Frequented by locals, this is a homely place to enjoy some Slavic inspired dishes.
137 Stoke Newington High Street N16 (0207 254 0928)
Inexpensive

Swedish Food
Anna's Place
  Book well in advance for this small, well run Swedish restaurant, still run by Anna herself. Fish, meat and vegetarian dishes from the Northern hemisphere.
90 Mildmay Park N1 (0207 249 9379)
Bus 73
Expensive

Take Away Food
Fresh and Wild
  This excellent chain of delicatessens has recently expanded to cover almost the four corners of London. Offering some of the best breads, salads and sandwiches in the city, this is also a good place to stock up on your weekly grocery shopping.

Fresh & Wild
  196 Old Street, London
EC1V 9FR
Tel: 020 7250 1708
shop@freshandwild.com
www.freshandwild.com
Customer careline: 0800 917 5175
Nearest tube: Old Street (two minutes walk away)

Fresh & Wild
  49 Parkway, Camden Town, London
NW1 7PN
Tel: 020 7428 7575
shop@freshandwild.com
www.freshandwild.com
Nearest tube Camden Town
They also have branches in Westbourne Grove and Battersea

Moshi Moshi Sushi
  Japanese fast food and takeaway, located above a railway terminal, this is crowded with lunchtime diners during weekdays. A popular restaurant serving some of the best sushi in London, (according to Japanese friends). You can watch the fresh fish being sliced before your eyes by expert chefs and select their neatly prepared dishes from a moving conveyor belt. (Their take away selections are also good to take on train journeys). Get there early as there may be queues after 13.00. (note: 'Moshi moshi' is what the Japanese say when they answer the phone).
Located above Platform 1, Liverpool Street Station
24 Upper Level, Broadgate, London EC2M 7QH
020 7247 3227
Opening Times: 11.30 - 21.30 Monday - Friday
www.moshimoshi.co.uk

Clarke's
  Wonderful sour dough breads. What more does anyone need for lunch? Try hazelnut and raisin, rosemary and rock salt or French ficelle.
122 Kensington High Street W8
020 7221 7196
www.sallyclarke.com
bakery@sallyclarke.com
Nearest underground: Notting Hill Gate

Pret á Manger
  Sandwiches, fresh coffee and chocolate brownies to eat in or take-away. Renowned for their fresh ingredients and avoidance of additives, thousands of Londoners come here for their breakfast and lunch.
Branches all over town, including Aldgate, Oxford Street.

Marks and Spencers
  Marks and Spencer's sandwiches and pre-prepared food are a good standby.
Branches can be found in every high street, but the largest store is just by Marble Arch underground station on Oxford Street.
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