There is TONS to do in London, so I’m going to break it down in a few posts! I’ll start with food / drink / fun things to do (which aren’t the famous landmarks!)
I’ll list alphabetically and will include links to the venue website in the description 🙂
*DISCLAIMER* As with all my posts, I’m using my own photos which sometimes aren’t the best! This isn’t the definitive guide to eating and drinking in London… just suggestions from my experiences living in this incredible city.
Really nice hotel in Shoreditch with amazing views from the rooftop bar!
Aqua Argyll Street
There is an Aqua Kyoto (Japanese food) and an Aqua Nueva (Spanish food) on Argyll Street near Oxford Circus! Gorgeous restaurants with great roof terraces. The food and drinks are pricey! Good for 1/2 drinks but you probably won’t want to spend the entire night paying £14 for a single G&T!
Aqua (at the Shard)
The food doesn’t look particularly appetising in these photos, but I promise the set brunch is great! Aqua is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner – make sure you book in advance to enjoy the views!
My favourite place to go for drinks in London! Sophisticated cocktail bar in the heart of the Westend with Westend standard performers entertaining you through the night! SUCH a good place to go for a night out!
Brunch at Avenue (near to Green Park / Piccadilly Circus stations) was very enjoyable -bottomless prosecco for £18 and 2 courses of tasty food for £25! The interior of the restaurant is really nice with big windows letting lots of light in!
This is a swanky Jamie Oliver restaurant with great views of St Paul’s cathedral! It serves pretty standard food (like chicken wings, burgers, steaks, etc.) but tastes better than the standard. It’s a little pricier than other Jamie Olivier restaurants but worth it for the view.
Enjoy afternoon tea in this bakery near Covent Garden. The bakery itself wasn’t the prettiest, but the afternoon tea was lovely and reasonably priced! I’ve also seen B Bakery buses around London – I think you can go on afternoon tea tours.
Bedales is a lovely wine bar near to Spitalfields Market! We went wine tasting – in all honesty, I didn’t learn too much but the wine tasted good and there was plenty of it!
A very Instagrammable restaurant, it’s part of the London Edition which is a gorgeous and very cool hotel near to Tottenham Court Road station! Very upmarket and absolutely delicious British cuisine in a stunning setting.
Authentic Italian restaurant – one in Greenwich & one in Blackheath! I had the most unreal truffle pizza! Very reasonably priced.
A ‘BBQ Crabshack‘ with live music! 3 locations – Covent Garden, Kings Road, Canary Wharf! Novelty bibs are essential to protect you from the mess. Fairly priced!
Black and Blue
A steakhouse but don’t get the steak, get the burger! The pic below is of the Borough restaurant, but there are restaurants in Notting Hill & Waterloo! Prices aren’t too bad!
Upmarket ‘Poke Bar & Grill‘ in Mayfair! Very smart restaurant with a cosy ambiance! The food is full of flavour but very expensive (around £15 for a starter and £25+ for mains). We shared a few dishes between 3.
The best roast in London! Make sure you book a table in advance if you’re planning on dining on Sunday. If there’s a big group of you, they’ll put all the food out on an impressive platter for you to help yourselves. I’ve only been to the Soho restaurant but there’s now one in the City too! During the week it’s famous for its ‘chops’!
Bob Bob Ricard
Press for champagne!! Love this lively restaurant in Soho! The decor is elegant, made up of swanky booths (all with their own ‘Press for champagne’ buttons) and the staff are exceptional! I loved the pork belly with truffle mash! Yum!!
If you like meat, go to Bodeans and try their burnt ends! The restaurant itself is very average but the food is good and you get plenty of it at a decent price.
A shipping container in Shoreditch turned into a home for pop-up shops and food stalls! A few bars and lots of seating (mainly outside). Great for summer drinks!
Bread Street Kitchen
Gordan Ramsey restaurant near to Bank station! Good atmosphere with a fun Photo Booth! Not cheap, but food is good and portions are decent 🙂
Incredible views of the city from this restaurant and rooftop cocktail bar in Canary Wharf! We enjoyed bottomless prosecco and a 3 course meal with the best view in the house. Food was great but quite expensive (although not ridiculous)!
The original breakfast club is very close to where I work and I see massive queues every morning on my way to the office. I went one day to see what the fuss was about… honestly wasn’t wowed! The food is good but the decor isn’t fab in the Soho restaurant!
Brick and Liquor
Great brunch spot in Clapham (there’s also one in Tooting). Food is delicious and very reasonable! The area is gorgeous too – if you fancy a walk, Wandsworth Common is not too far away. There’s another popular brunch place very close by called Milk!
Where city boys and girls go for a drink / bite to eat after work! Broadgate Circle has many restaurants / bars – always busy but especially in the summer!
Buenos Aires Argentine Steakhouse
I used to love this restaurant when I worked near St Paul’s! They do 3 courses and a glass of wine for about £25 on a Wednesday! The steak is great 🙂
Great Italian in Victoria Park village! Fresh pasta, good quality and big portions!
Really fun to start a night out! You pay a cover cost per head, bring your own spirits and your designated cocktail maker extraordinaire will whip up some tasty cocktails using your spirits and a selection of mixers and ingredients (provided by BYOC). Numerous locations – including The City, Soho & Camden!
Another swanky (yet pricey) restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue – good if you want a nice pre / post theatre dinner! Wasn’t amazed by the food but the decor was pretty!
Gorgeous spot for food on the Northcote Road in Clapham! I particularly enjoy the brunch! Reasonably priced too!
A 1940’s bar in Soho, Cahoots if famous for it’s newspaper menu and extensive, fun cocktails! Great atmosphere with staff in character as and dressed in 40’s attire. Cocktails are £10-£12 each! Kingly Court is right outside which is always lovely to eat / drink in too!
There are Caravan restaurants all over the place! I’ve only been to King’s Cross for brunch which was fantastic – lots of choice and very fairly priced.
Casa do Frango
You have to go!! I was so impressed by this restaurant! Algarvian cuisine in London Bridge! Great location, buzzy atmosphere, great decor and unreal food! Make sure you get the garlic prawns with bread to mop up the juice (mmm), chicken (of course) and the rice with crispy chicken skin and chorizo!! I can’t wait to go back. (The pic does not do it justice)!
This is a local of mine in Victoria Park Village! A Mediterranean (quite Greek heavy) family restaurant – and it’s run by the family so the service is great!! You can sit outside during the summer / the inside is lovely too. The food is delicious and the portions are MASSIVE! You better be hungry…
Chambers of Flavour
A multi-dimensional dining project – ‘a riotous fusion of absurdist adventure, interactive theatre, multimedia art installation and avant-garde culinary experimentation’. It’s something different and really fun but you have to book in advance! Location is texted to you on the day of the event.
Great for a quick, decently priced lunch / dinner. Love the avocado salad and sweet potato chips as well as the chicken! I’ve been to the Holborn & Whitechapel restaurants – both have a cool interior and a good atmosphere.
Known as a celeb hang out, (Jude Law was sitting at the bar almost next to our table), Chiltern Firehouse is a famous luxury hotel and restaurant in Marylebone! In all honesty, I wasn’t wowed by the food for the price, but the ambiance was unsurprisingly fantastic!
Does what it says on the tin. Best place in the world!
Really cute restaurant in a former auction house near Chancery Lane, serving French dishes which were delicious and reasonably priced.
Indian restaurant on Kingly St which is really good but does not compare to Dishoom (see further down) which is on the same street!
French restaurant by Covent Garden, voted the most romantic restaurant in the world!!! My boyfriend took me here on one of our first dates… it looks pretty empty but we had overstayed our welcome & everyone else from the lunch sitting had left. Apparently a table in the conservatory is like gold dust, so book in advance and make sure you request one as it really is stunning (and romantic :P). Food is delicious and they have an extensive wine list!
Love, love, love this restaurant just off Oxford Street. Great for delicious, casual and cheap food! The lunchtime menu is very, very reasonably priced – half chicken, chips and a side (eg, coleslaw / corn on the cob / salad) for £7!!!! Halloumi is sooo good too!
An elegant restaurant right by Bank station! It is expensive and when you dine you don’t actually see the great view (below). You can get the lift up and see the view for free if you want!
There are a couple of fun crazy golf places with different themes and bar vibes:
Swingers (City / WestEnd) – nine hole courses with street food and great drinks!
Junkyard Golf (Brick Lane – East London) – a little less classy (the course is made up of ‘pre-loved and reclaimed random shizzle) but lots of fun!
Only downside with crazy golf is you get through 9 holes quite quickly in a couple / small group, so make sure you have a plan afterwards!
Amazing homemade sourdough doughnuts! Shops are all over the place (they have a vegan shop in Marylebone) but the one I go to is in Soho!
Is a street food / cool bar set up in Shoreditch! If you want a fun, casual evening with good food, nice drinks and a buzzy atmosphere then look no further! It is mainly outside though, so if it’s cold, make sure you wrap up warm!
My absolute favourite – believe the hype and wait in the queue! I absolutely LOVE Dishoom (‘Irani cafes that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay’) and there’s one right by my office so I’m able to get a cheeky takeaway every now and then. All the food is good! They will suggest you share a few dishes between 2, but I am a chicken ruby addict so always go for that! It will not disappoint! They have restaurants in: Carnaby, Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Covent Garden & Kensington!
Duck & Waffle
Restaurant by Liverpool Street station with incredible views! The duck and waffle sounds a bit of an odd combo, but it is AMAZING – you have to try it! Quite reasonably priced considering the location. Book in advance if you want to eat at a reasonable time, but it’s open 24 hours so if you’re awake enough to appreciate some nice food after a night out, you may be able to walk in!
Exmouth Market Grind
Great coffee / cocktail bar and restaurant in Clerkenwell! Had a very tasty lunch / brunch here! Don’t drink coffee but heard it’s great.
Fire and Stone
Great Italian restaurant near to Covent Garden with loads of interesting pizza toppings inspired by different world cuisines! Always lively with a good ambience and quite cheap for the area!
Cute Thai restaurant in Balham! Great for a casual bite in a relaxed environment. Food is good but I’d just got back from Thailand when I went so was probably underwhelmed.
A Mediterranean restaurant in Battersea Power Station which has a nice outdoor seating area! Food is decent (we had a set menu) and not too overpriced!
Great steak at a low cost (for London) – £10 for a flat iron steak (other options also available). They’re dotted all over the place, (Soho, Covent Garden, King’s Cross), and are ALWAYS busy. They don’t take reservations so if you don’t turn up early, you’ll have to wait in line! The food is excellent… definitely recommend!
Casual, very fairly priced pizza chain! Amazing (and massive) tiramisu if you have room for pudding!
Galvin La Chapelle
A French Michelin star restaurant near to Liverpool Street station. The food is beautifully presented and the service is exceptional, but it is very expensive (as to be expected). If you have cash to splash, then go! If you don’t, there are plenty other fantastic, more fairly priced places to eat!
Great steakhouse with views over the River Thames of the London Eye and Houses of Parliament! We’ve eaten a couple of times here on a bookatable.com deal which made it fantastic value for money!
A fun thing to do if you have a long trip to London – it’s an ‘adventure-activity treetop rope course‘ in Battersea Park (which is nice to walk around anyway)!
Fun bar specialising in gin on Golden Square near to Piccadilly Circus! The drinks menu gives you lots of choice and they serve the gin in paint pots and spray them with different colours depending on the flavours – fun presentaton!
Grounded Coffee Company
A hidden gem between Whitechapel and Aldgate East stations! The breakfast we had was absolutely delicious and everything on the menu looked good. Close(ish) to Brick Lane if you’re having a morning stroll through the markets!
We had such a good night here!! This bar near to Covent Garden has a carnival atmosphere with dancers and musicians performing into the night! We had a decent dinner here too which meant we had a table right in the centre of the action. It turns into a club after last food orders!
We went to a fantastic cocktail making course at Harvey Nichols! It was £80 per person including breakfast, lunch and cocktails – really good value for money… I was very drunk! Knightsbridge is the nearest tube stop!
Famous steak restaurants dotted about London (Spitalfields, Seven Dials, Knightsbridge, Borough!) The steak is delicious and the sides (spinach, mac n cheese) are incredibly tasty too. My fave restaurant is the Spitalfields one as it has a cosy, relaxed feel. It is pricey though!
A restaurant in Soho specialising in fish and shellfish! Nice bar downstairs too!
Like pizza? Want a quick, cheap and yummy lunch / dinner? Try Homeslice! They do massive sharing pizzas (with 2 toppings) for £20 OR you can buy pizza by the slice for £4 per slice! Sooooo delicious!!! (Recommend the ricotta, mushroom & pine nut topping)
A ‘family-style Sri Lankan restaurant!’ It’s very chilled (shared tables) and the food is delicious and reasonably priced! Nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road / Leicester Square!
Amazing cakes both in looks and taste!!! My favourite is the Nutella cupcake! Shop is in Soho!
Hutong (at the Shard)
A Northern Chinese restaurant in the Shard with amazing views of London! They do fantastic lunch deals, but otherwise it’s quite expensive. The food is soooo delicious – we had a few dishes shared between 3. Nearest tube is London Bridge!
A bar literally made of ice just off Regent St! A cool (literally) experience!
Unlimited food and wine for 2 hours for £30 – you’re onto a winner! A few restaurants dotted around (Covent Garden, Soho, Camden)! Food is great but make sure you book a deal because it would be quite expensive if you paid individually for dishes!
Amazing Japanese restaurant in Soho with a cooking station you can sit by in the middle of the restaurant. Food is delicious but not cheap. Around £30 per person for food alone.
Mediterranean restaurant and cocktail bar on the King’s Road! Gets incredibly lively!
Cute Korean restaurant which does amazing cocktails on Kingly Street!
A little restaurant in Soho serving ‘Thai-inspired dishes using wood-burning ovens and grills’. It’s walk in only (we had to wait a long time for our table) so best to go early, leave your number, plan drinks somewhere else & then come back to tuck into some tasty food!
If you happen to be in Mile End for whatever reason, then try this pizzeria! You can make up your own pasta / pizza from a selection of ingredients. Tagliatelle with garlic butter and chicken – YUM! Very reasonably priced too!
A fine-dining restaurant in the Piccadilly hotel! The food is pricey but the service, location and interior are fantastic. In the summer you could sit on the balcony – if you’re dining in colder months, request a table by the window!
A chain of bakeries which serve a fantastic brunch! Dotted all over London!
Lights of Soho
A bar / members club in Soho! Instagrammers dream!
M Threadneedle Street
Lively steak restaurant near to Bank station! When we were there they were doing bottomless prosecco for 2 hours, which we took full advantage of 🙂
Ma La Sichuan
Chinese food near to Westminster station! The food was quite good but not the best Chinese I’ve ever eaten and the staff weren’t great! Reasonably priced!
Mabel’s Bar and Kitchen
Quite a fun place to go for cocktails and light bites near to Covent Garden! The food isn’t the best but it has a good atmosphere!
Bar, lounge and restaurant with amazing views of St Paul’s! It’s a very popular after work hangout, so be prepared to queue to go in during the summer. It’s lively and has an amazing atmosphere!
Fun club in Mayfair, famous for its ‘treasure chests’!
The name and outside of Masala Zone reminds me of ‘Laser Zone’ (where I used to love playing laser tag!!) It’s actually really nice inside and serves flavourful Indian cuisine! They have a few restaurants but I’ve been to the one in Soho!
Mele e Pere
Cute Italian restaurant in Soho! Ask to sit downstairs for best atmosphere.
Fun food hall in South London (Borough High Street!) Lots of people drinking / hanging out after work and plenty of different foods to choose from!
An amazing concept where refugees and migrants struggling to find employment due to legal and linguistic barriers, teach their traditional cuisines!
The two ladies on the night I went (Majeda & Muna) both had jobs in Syria but had to leave when the situation got too dangerous, and they are now struggling to find employment in the UK.
Majeda helped an organisation who was supporting those detained by the Syrian government without trial. She was then imprisoned herself. Her husband paid for her to be bailed out, and she was then exiled and moved to Lebanon and continued to support Syrian detainees. She came to speak at a conference in Edinburgh in February and whilst she was there, she received a phone call telling her that everyone in her office in Lebanon had been arrested. She stayed in the UK, and is seeking asylum so that her two sons and husband can join her here.
Muna studied for years to become an architect, and got a senior position with an architecture organisation. Following the war in Syria, she came over to England with her daughter. Very frustratingly, her architect qualifications are not valid in the UK.
Book in for a cookery class to learn some international recipes, support migrants / refugees trying to rebuild their lives, and eat some incredible food!!
Espresso bar just off Carnaby Street! If you’re not a coffee drinker, the dark hot chocolate is AMAZING!
Museum of Happiness
This was a very Instagrammed venue about a year or so ago – so of course, I went to see what all the fuss was about. It’s a bit disappointing as the ‘museum‘ just off Brick Lane consists of 1 room containing a ball pit! However, being in a ball pit as an adult is strangely satisfying and I was somewhat happier after. Another ball pit in East London is Ballie Ballerson – I’ve not been but it looks like a more impressive venue for adult playtime!
Oblix (at the Shard)
Fine dining on the 32nd floor of the Shard! It’s in the Shard, so of course it was expensive, but the food was delish and the view was sensational!
We went for afternoon tea at One Aldwych! The afternoon tea itself was creative and scrumptious, but the interior of the restaurant wasn’t great considering it’s advertised as ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘ themed!
In an old multi-story carpark, Peckham Levels is now home to street food and bars! Quite a trendy, chilled place to go for drinks in Peckham! In the summer the rooftop of the carpark (Frank’s Cafe) is popular for casual drinks and phenomenal views!
This is my favourite place for sushi – in my opinion, far better than any of the fancy, popular sushi restaurants. The interior of the restaurants are very basic and sterile, but the food is UNREAL!!!! Make sure you order about 10 portions of the ‘crunchy tuna rolls’ – you won’t regret it! Truffle salmon rolls, soft shell crab rolls and the shrimp tempura are great too. Restaurants near Liverpool St / Moorgate / Farringdon!
Quite tacky but fun to start a night out! A bar / restaurant in Farringdon where ‘pianists perform audience-requested playlist live’!
Lively pizzeria in Shoreditch! Pizza is really good and the restaurant has a superb atmosphere!
Nice for a quick, cheap pizza for lunch. Casual atmosphere, nice food and very fairly priced!
Radio Rooftop Bar
Rooftop bar just off The Strand with stunning views! Quite pricey but nice for a few civilised drinks!
Another Instagrammers dream! Restaurant with beautiful decor (huge trees, high ceilings, a flower wall – oh my goodddddd) serving delicious, upscale British cuisine in Knightsbridge!
Does what it says on the tin… an amazing roast!! Gorgeous restaurant in London Bridge (basically in Borough market!) The food was very enjoyable and not ridiculously priced!
We went to the Charlotte Street restaurant! Lovely Japanese / Asian food but quite pricey! Am not sure the beautiful flowers are permanent fixture.
‘The ultimate rooftop playground experience for grown ups with bar, street food, open air cinema and interactive games area‘ – a really fun rooftop in Stratford!
Rooftop Garden (John Lewis)
John Lewis on Oxford Street has a cute little rooftop bar – great for a coffee / hot choc in the sun!
Royal Inn on the Park
Pub overlooking Victoria Park in Hackney! Food is good (standard pub grub), but quite pricey! It has a nice, big beer garden, great for a drink in the sun!
If you love chocolate, you have to go to this cafe in Soho for a hot chocolate!!
San Carlo Cicchetti
Amazing restaurant just off Piccadilly Circus specialising in the ‘Venetian culinary custom of cicchetti – delicious small plate dishes to share or eat alone, enjoyed with a beer or glass of wine’! Food was mouth-watering! You should definitely go, but book in advance as it gets busy!
Searcys at the Gherkin
Amazing views and food from literally the top of the Gherkin!! My boyfriend luckily got us a window table, but make sure you confirm it on the booking. Think it would have been less impressive if we were sitting further back!
Secret Cinema is AMAZING!!!! They specialise in immersive theatre experiences which combine films with interactive performance, all taking place in massive sets built specific to each film – you are also given characters you have to come dressed as! You must book in advance and make sure you go with it – the more you immerse yourself, the more you’ll get out of it!
Shoryu brings ‘authentic tonkotsu ramen from Hakata, Japan to the UK’! The ramen is delicious – great for a quick lunch or casual dinner!
Another iconic London restaurant in Mayfair (particularly well-known for it’s pod toilets!) There are multiple rooms with different themes – great for a cocktail or two! The pink room is the main restaurant and has 200 original prints / drawings by David Shrigley (Turner Prize winner). The food is good, but expensive!
You can book a trip to Sky Garden for free 2 weeks in advance of the date you plan to go.
The views are absolutely amazing. On a Friday / Saturday they have a band playing too! There is a restaurant, but it’s pricey and you have to book in advance!
Beautiful restaurant on the Southbank with floor to ceiling windows letting lots of light in! They do a fantastic bottomless brunch and have musicians playing throughout the day!
Soft Serve Society
Want a sugar overload? Look no further than a freakshake at Soft Serve Society under Boxpark in Shoreditch!
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi
Sushi restaurant between Covent Garden and The Strand! The food was tasty but expensive, and in my opinion, not as good as Pham Sushi!
Yet another steakhouse just off The Strand! The restaurant has cool white booths and low lighting creating a chilled atmosphere. The food is nice too 🙂
Sushi Samba (right by Liverpool Street station) boasts absolutely incredible views of London! I’ve not actually eaten here, but I’ve been for drinks a fair few times. Expectedly, it’s pricey as you’re paying for the view! My boyfriend ate here recently and said the food was good but not as tasty as my fave – Pham Sushi!
The Big London Bake
Basically the Great British Bake Off for the average person! A really fun thing to do with a group of friends!
The Churchill Arms
A really cool pub in Knightsbridge, draped in flowers and Churchill memorabilia!
The Founder’s Arms
Cute little pub on the Southbank, right opposite St Paul’s Cathedral!
Once a super exclusive place to eat, there are now versions of The Ivy dotted all over the UK! If you want to go to the original then you should book in advance. You can often just walk in to the others for a casual bite.
The food is really good and incredibly reasonably priced considering the name and reputation of The Ivy!
The Jam Tree
Colourful gastropub on the King’s Road with a great garden. Food is pub grub but tasty!
The Lord Tredegar
Another local of mine, The Lord Tredegar in Mile End does the BEST burgers and sweet potato fries. A firm favourite of many friends when they come to visit!
If you’re a tourist visiting London, you’ll probably want to tick The Ritz (Mayfair) off your list. Best to go at Christmas time as it’s beautifully decorated!
The Roof Deck (at Selfridges)
Quite difficult to find your way to the top of Selfridges on Oxford Street, but when you find your way there, it’s great! Wasn’t massively impressed by the food, but the atmosphere is great on a summers evening. I believe it’s also beautifully decorated over Christmas!
The Smoking Goat
This Thai restaurant in Shoreditch is very unassuming but the food is absolutely incredible. Really chilled environment – we shared a few different dishes between us – all were amazing!
Located in the underground of Waterloo station, The Vaults is the ‘home of immersive theatre and alternative art’! Check what’s on!!!
I absolutely LOVED this restaurant!! Known for its chicken and beef which is carved at the table and designed to share, the restaurant is home to the Cock ‘n’ Bull installation by Damien Hirst!!
A Marcus Wareing restaurant showcasing ‘the very best in British seasonal produce’! It’s a really nice restaurant but was pretty empty when I went so lacked an exciting atmosphere.
Love truffle and prosecco like me? Go to Trufflesecco! It’s a tiny restaurant in Camden serving all things truffle! Considering truffle dishes in London are usually extortionate, this restaurant is incredibly reasonably priced!
Traditional Punjabi cuisine in Whitechapel! The food is really good and the restaurant is always jam-packed. They try to make you pay in cash though so assuming something dodgy going on there!
I was a Vapiano addict for a long time! A very laid back Italian restaurant where they make the dishes to your taste right in front of you!
Victoria Park Pavilion
Gorgeous location on the waterfront in Victoria Park serving unbelievable breakfasts!
A pretty standard chain restaurant but the food is nice and great for a quick lunch / din! All my friends visiting from lands afar insist on visiting Wagamama when they’re in London.
Whyte and Brown
A free-range chicken restaurant in Kingly Court! The burgers and goujons are great and there’s a lovely outdoor eating area – great for summer and also in winter when heaters are on and the Christmas lights are on!
You know it’s nearly Christmas when Winter Wonderland comes to play! A massive fairground in Hyde Park with food stalls, ice-skating and a massive Bavarian beer tent! I suggest you go in November to avoid the massive crowds before Christmas!