London's influencers share with us their top restaurant picks to add to your to-eat list.
Donna Ida Thornton (@donnaida)
Founder of @donnaidadenim
1) Daphne’s on Draycott Avenue. It is right by the first Donna Ida boutique in Chelsea and they have always looked after me there. I always go back.
2) Riccardo’s in Chelsea. For the super fresh Italian menu with gluten-free options if I want a pizza. And their famous chocolate and almond cake.
3) Scott’s on Mount Street. The menu is full of classics and the service is impeccable. Get a table outside for the people watching.
4) Mark’s Club Mayfair. I am a member of Mark’s and love how I always feel enveloped in a very warm expensive hug there.
5) George on Mount Street. A sister club to Mark’s Club, I love it for breakfast inside in the cooler months, lunch outside in the spring/summer."
1) Baolondon. The best bao buns that you can find in this part of the world. Perfect branding and incredible flavours in a minimalistic setting in various locations.
2) Dishoom. The best casual Bombay cafe inspired restaurant chain. Always reliable, fun and amazing service. Their breakfast bacon naan is to die for.
3) Hide Restaurant. A multi-level dining mecca in London, big emphasis on the wine list (probably one of the best you can find anywhere in London - supported by Hedonism wines), incredible breakfast menu with some of the best pastries you can find in London every day. Wonderful cocktail bar downstairs. Ticks every box. Beautiful dining room with a stunning staircase spiralling up to their Michelin star venue.
Felicity Spector (@felicityspector)
Blogger, and Member of London Bakers Against Racism
I guess my 3 favourites are not the most flashy or michelin star (although those are often very special too) but places I feel really at home and among friends.
So my top three would be:
1) Rochelle Canteen - my late father went to school in that building in 1925 so it has a special connection for me, plus the food is always wonderful, especially the amazing deserts - and the staff are terrific.
2) Then Jolene, as I feel among friends there, and I really respect what they’re doing with heritage grains which they mill on site for the most fabulous flour, turned into spectacular bread and cakes and pasta. Always superb.
3) And a fairly new place where I try to go pretty much every week, Café Deco. The head chef Anna cooked at Rochelle canteen and the food has that similar homely style - it’s like being in someone’s front room, so welcoming and comforting and no fuss but everything is always totally delicious.
Food, travel and lifestyle photographer
1) The River Cafe. For a special celebration of if I have friends in town, I always find lunch at The River Cafe, especially if you can get a table outside during Summer...a special experience. Italian food using the best Italian product the team can source.
2) BRAT. I’ve loved this place since it opened, their focus on wood fire cooking (mainly from the North of Spain) and their seafood produce and excellent wine list is the perfect combination for a memorable meal.
3) The Wolseley. There’s something special about The Wolseley.. it’s my favourite breakfast in town and it’s also the ideal place for a long lunch. There aren’t many venues like it!
Katya Katkova (@eastlondonmornings)
Currently my three picks would be Luca, Brat and Seabird.
1) You can’t beat Luca on attitude to perfection: from rolling handmade pasta to cutting a tart, nothing like it in London really.
2) Michelin starred Brat is famous for it’s whole turbot and rightly so. We all missed meeting friends during last few months and this restaurant is perfect for sharing amazing food with your best mates.
3) And finally Seabird has the best views of London (especially at the sunset) and comes with the wonderful seafood menu. It’s pretty hard to find a restaurant that combines these two essentials, but Seabird done it right.
KS By Name (@ks_ate_here)
1) Angelina. The food is phenomenal and the owners take such meticulous care in their preparation and presentation and the price for the tasting menu is excellent value.
2) Blacklock. Delicious meat and an equally stunning cocktail menu means that there is never a bad meal here.
3) Gloria trattoria. Beautiful restaurant where this doesn’t just go for the food but a great experience and meal. It’s fun - just really really fun.
1) Dishoom. It’s all about those breakfast bacon, sausage and egg naan rolls with chilli tomato jam, cream cheese and fresh herbs. I had my first one around 5 years ago and have never looked back – they are so incredibly tasty! Dinner wise, the mouthwatering Bombay cuisine continues - our favourites are the Keema Pau, House Chaat, Chicken Ruby and House Black Daal.
2) Smokestak. You can get some of the best wood smoked meat in London at Smokestak. Get a few dishes to share including the beef brisket, native breed pulled pork and merguez flatbread. The sticky toffee pudding is a MUST order too.
3) Flat Iron. Flat Iron offers delicious, affordable steak in London. Their main feature is the Flat Iron Steak (served with a cleaver) priced at just £12 which can be paired with beef dripping chips, creamed spinach, crispy bone marrow and other sides. Make sure you pair the food with one of their homemade negronis.
Peony Lim (@peonylim)
Digital Consultant, Luxury Brand Ambassador, Creative Content Producer, and Founder of Peony Lim Jewels
1) Dozo is my favourite Japanese.
2) Good Earth is my favourite Chinese.
3) Bibendum is lovely fish, vegetarian options and European style food.
Sonia & Vishnu (@transatlanticfoodies)
1) Kitchen Table. 2 Michelin stars, but better than most 3 star restaurants I’ve been to and even better than some World Top 10 restaurants I’ve been to. Every single course out of the 18 courses was total genius, and incredibly creative, with influences from all over the world but staying true to the modern British cuisine that forms the core of the menu. Chef James Knappett and his wife are the masters behind this, and he seems like a guy next door and chats to you the whole time, and doesn’t have the air of a 2 starred chef.
2) Arros QD. A restaurant that showcases what makes the London dining scene the best in the world. With ceviches that have kaffir lime sauces on them, soft shell crabs with kimchi chimichurri, and arguably the best pork dish in the world with their charcoal presa - this restaurant shows what you can do when you take advantage of being in a city with the world’s most diverse clientele, serving up the most delightful combination of Spanish food with Asian fusion and influences. Their showpiece paellas are fantastic too but their true greatness lies in the eclectic range of meat & fish dishes.
3) Jugemu. In the middle of soho, and in a city that often brings theatrics into sushi and Japanese cuisine. Chef Yuya Kikuchi takes his loyal patrons to Tokyo with a traditional Omakase experience, and at a price point that is shockingly reasonable. His sushi has more flavour than any other in London, and he is nothing short of a perfectionist. You won’t be spoilt here by service or posh decor, but his fiercely loyal Japanese clientele will attest that this is the most beautiful oasis of sushi in London.
The Munch Brunch Kids (@themunchbrunchkids)
1) Friends of Ours / Hoxton. An ever changing menu - their creativity in the kitchen knows no bounds and the coffee is incredible too!
2) Farmers Mistress / Battersea. A place that has something for everyone - there’s no better way to start your day.
3) Nue Ground / Clapham. Like taking a trip to Bali without having to leave to London, an oasis of calm in the city serving delicious food and coffee.
4) Tab x Tab / Notting Hill. A super stylish cafe, attention to detail is of the upmost importance and this really shines through in everything they do.
Thoroughly Modern Milly (@millykr)
Digital Creator and Photographer of Weekend Journals
1) Llewelyn’s for irresistible food and a lovely atmosphere. It is the neighbourhood restaurant everyone wishes they had.
2) Helene Darroze at the Connaught. It a true star of the london restaurant scene. Iconic french chef Helene cooks with heart and flair, and recently won her third Michelin star.
3) Juliets is my favourite brunch spot in town. The creative dishes, coffee (using Berlin Roastery, The Barn) and baked treats are truly delicious… worth coming back to again and again.