London is a fantastic city which has so much to offer. Its long and rich history makes it a particularly interesting place to visit. With the bonus that after a long day of sightseeing there are numerous beautiful restaurants to enjoy.
The city has more than 3,000 to choose between. That´s a lot of choices, which is why we have created this short guide. Using it will help you to quickly find somewhere that serves great food and has something extra to offer.
Traditional and Historic Restaurants
London has a long and colorful history stretching back nearly 2,000 years since the Romans founded the city. From the start, Piopina´s and Thermopolia served food to the public. But, understandably, none of them remains in business today.
However, some of London’s restaurants are more than two hundred years old. Many of them still serve a selection of the dishes that they sold when they first opened, all those years ago. So, if you want to experience authentic British food in a traditional setting head for one of these:
- Wilton’s (founded in 1742) is renowned for its seafood and fish. Including beautifully presented oysters. A dish that has been on their menu for 276 years.
- Simpsons Tavern (founded in 1757) is an old-school East London Chop House that serves traditional cuts of meat. Naturally, the menu includes chops. As well as liver and bacon, devilled kidneys, and a spectacular mixed grill.
- Rules (founded in 1798) specializes in games, hearty pies, and puddings. It is also a particularly good place to enjoy oysters.
London´S Oldest International Cuisine Establishments
As a port city, London has always been a magnet for people from all parts of the world. Many of the people who settled in the city brought their culture and traditions with them and some opened restaurants.
For example, the city´s first Indian restaurant, the Hindostan opened in 1810 and Londoners got their first taste of Chinese food in 1884. Neither of those establishments still exists today. But there are still some incredibly old Indian and Chinese restaurants in the city that still serve many favorites from when they were established.
Verraswamy – located just off Regent´s Street this restaurant has been in business since 1926.
Mr. Chows – the first Chinese restaurant to cater to the tastes of Londoners as well as Chinese sailors was opened in 1908 and has long since closed. It took a while for Chinese food to become popular in London. But, by the fifties, lots of Chinese restaurants were established.
Some remain open today. Mr. Chows is a notable example. It is an iconic restaurant that played host to all kinds of celebrities in its heyday and is still extremely popular. You can find out about it and some of London´s other interesting Chinese restaurants by clicking here.
The Restaurants that Instagrammers Simply Cannot Resist
London is a big city, but with 3,000 restaurants operating there, competition for customers is fierce. A fact that has made the city´s restauranteurs push the boundaries when it comes to how they decorate their premises.
They know that if diners say wow when they walk in the door and can´t wait to take photos and share them on social media they have a winning formula. All those posts and tweets are free publicity. We suggest that you use this list of instagrammable restaurants in London to help you to choose one that will suit your tastes and budget.
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Fantastic Super Niche Restaurants In London
Chefs that keep things simple tend to produce beautiful food and you cannot get simpler than a restaurant that serves only one dish. Or meals that are made primarily from a single ingredient. Here are a few for you to consider trying:
- Le Relais de Venise in Marylebone is famed for its trimmed entrecôte steak served with a special sauce.
- Mussel Men in Kingsland Road serves mussels with a choice of six different sauces.
London´s most exciting themed restaurants
Themed restaurants are great fun and for fans of a particular film, show, or genre of music they offer something special. Here is just a taste of what you could enjoy while staying in the city.
- A Titanic-themed meal at the Savoy.
- West End musical-themed brunches are available at various London venues. You can find out more here.
The above list reflects just a fraction of what the city has to offer. If you would like more options, take a look at this first-timer’s guide to eating out in London.