The UK capital city of London is a melting pot of diverse global cuisines, street food pop-ups, beloved institutions, boundary-pushing hipster venues and Michelin-starred restaurants (Photo: Getty Images)

London is a gastronomic haven. The UK capital is a melting pot of diverse global cuisines, street food pop-ups, beloved institutions, boundary-pushing hipster venues and Michelin-starred restaurants – all 72 of them. Check out our top restaurant recommendations for food lovers visiting this city that caters to all tastes.

Start your day the London way with a traditional English breakfast

Full English breakfast, fry up

The English breakfast, or 'fry up', can make for a contentious topic in the UK, as there are many regional variations and opinions on what the meal should actually include (Photo: Getty Images) 

Ahead of a busy day of sightseeing, there’s really only one way to start off the day in London – the full English breakfast. Traditionally featuring bacon, eggs, sausages, hash browns, roasted tomatoes, fried mushrooms and baked beans, this substantial breakfast is served in restaurants and cafés – or 'caffs', as they're sometimes referred to by locals – throughout the city. Residence Inn London Bridge serves up an excellent version of this classic breakfast. Enjoy it while gazing out at London Bridge, Tower Bridge, The Shard and more. 

To sample an upmarket rendition of the full English breakfast, head to the Mercante restaurant, located at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane. Positioned in the heart of Mayfair on the cusp of Green Park, the magnificent Art Deco hotel is just a ten-minute walk from the iconic Buckingham Palace – that means it's the perfect place to sample a hearty English breakfast before watching the Changing of the King's Guard, the historic military ceremony that takes place outside the palace gates at 10.45am on most mornings. 

Enjoy lunch with dazzling views of a royal park

Hyde Park London, United Kingdom

The JW Marriott Grosvenor House London offers gorgeous views over the historic royal hunting ground of Hyde Park (Photo: Getty Images) 

From Mount St. Restaurant, where the walls are covered in priceless pieces of art, to the famously beautiful and ever-evolving dining room at three Michelin-star Sketch, Mayfair is the go-to part of London for those looking to enjoy a world-class meal in beautiful surroundings – and few surroundings come much more impressive than the former residence of the Dukes of Westminster. Situated on Mayfair’s Park Lane, the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London offers just that, and the hotel's JW Steakhouse presents sweeping views over the historic royal hunting ground of Hyde Park. Stop by at lunchtime to try the restaurant's take on a classic British steak and ale pie, served with creamy mashed potatoes, as well as British dessert classics like warm apple pie, bread and butter pudding or the sweet and tangy signature cheesecake.

Afterwards, head into the park for a leisurely boat ride on the Serpentine or a chance to admire Kensington Palace, the royal residence of Prince William and his family. 

Sample London's finest London market produce

Friends enjoying street food at Borough Market, London

Borough Market, home to a variety of street food delights, is said to be over 1,000 years old, making it one of London's oldest and most iconic food markets (Photo: Getty Images) 

No gastronome’s induction to London is complete without a trip to the foodie hub of Borough Market, a historic trading hub that dates back almost a millennium and features around a hundred vendors. It’s the go-to place to pick up the very finest fresh produce and foodie gifts, from a fine selection of traditional British cheeses at Neal’s Yard Dairy to delicious fair trade coffee beans from around the world at Monmouth Coffee Company.

Foodies looking to learn more about the city’s gastronomic trade should also visit the West India Docks, an area once known as ‘the warehouse of the world’. It’s here that you’ll find the Manhattan Grill, the waterfront restaurant at the London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf. Its menu offers a fine selection of prime cuts sourced from local British farms, as well as a 'catch of the day' sourced fresh each morning from the historic Billingsgate Fish Market, which lies nearby. After enjoying your meal, stroll over to the Museum of London Docklands to learn about the fascinating history of the area. 

Opt for your tipple of choice in a world-class bar

A classic London dry gin and tonic, London Marriott Hotel County Hall

No trip to the UK's capital would be complete without sampling a classic London dry gin and tonic (Photo: Marriott International)

It’s not just London’s restaurant scene that can boast of being truly world-class, but also its cocktail bars. Soho is the main place to go to sample legendary tipples; head to Bar Termini for unbeatable negronis, try classic cocktails with an Indian twist at Soma, or swing by whisky specialists Swift for its wallet-friendly Aperitivo Hour.

If gin is your drink of choice, look no further than Westminster's Gillrays Steakhouse and Grill, located in the riverside London Marriott Hotel County Hall. Head over to the restaurant for a tipple after sampling the hotel's award-winning afternoon tea, and you can choose from more than one hundred varieties of the classic London spirit while gazing out over unparalleled views of the River Thames, the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. 

Experience the London delicacy that is fish and chips

Fish and chips are thought to have originated in the East End of London in the 1800s, but the dish is now firmly cemented as a UK-wide classic (Photo: Getty Images) 

No trip to London is complete without an opportunity to sample a fish supper. Thought to have originated among the Jewish immigrant population of London’s East End in the mid-1800s, the dish has since become an iconic treat.

These days you’ll find over 10,000 fish and chip shops around the UK, including London favourites like The Fryer’s Delight or Sutton & Sons. For an elevated version of the quintessential British dish, head to Gillrays Steakhouse and Grill, where the dish features London Pale Ale-battered haddock and is served with the traditional accompaniments of peas and tartare sauce.  

End the week in style with a classic Sunday lunch 

Sunday roasts

End a trip to London the right way, with a Sunday roast featuring all the trimmings (Photo: Getty Images) 

A classic Sunday roast is the perfect way to end a week in London, and with over 3,500 pubs found around the city, you're never too far from a good roast dinner. You'll find excellent renditions at The Canton Arms in Stockwell or the Old Queen's Head in Angel, and some brilliantly creative takes on the traditional roast crafted by Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton at The London Edition's The Berners Tavern

But for a modern take on the classic Sunday roast, it doesn't get much better than the Booking Office. Featuring towering palm trees and Art Deco design touches set against the original gothic architecture, the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London's recently refurbished bar and bistro is one of the capital’s most beautiful restaurants, and its Sunday roasts regularly appear in roundups of the best in the capital. Choose from Dedham Valley steak with horseradish cream, corn-fed roast chicken and bread sauce, or miso-glazed butternut squash. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll to the neighbouring British Library to take in an exhibition at the free-entry gallery inside.

Published: October 27, 2023

Last Updated: November 20, 2023

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