Bucket List of London Restaurants

Where are your must gos?

Give me your hidden gems! And maybe your not so hidden ones...

Fuck off. Did I need to clarify that suggestions must not be shit??

Dinner by Heston at the mandarin, but mainly for the pineapple pudding, is stunningly good

Core by Clare Smyth was absolutely amazing

Ledbury - was really disappointing

I have never been to Le Gavroche and that is on my resto bucket list.

Alright a serious suggestion and not too spenny. I quite like Carousel, but it really depends on whether the guest chef serves up something you are interested in.

If I can jump on this thread, any recommendations for good seafood tasting menus?

Bucci in Balham now it's got over its little issue of being investigated in relation to mafia organised wine fraud.

Kitty Fishers in Mayfair, not the easiest to get a table as they really are quite small (do not settle for downstairs) but well worth it.

Coracle - the Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar in Newlyn is excellent.  Everything fresh off the boat.

 Bleeding heart is probs my fave.  Lots of time for Maze if that is still going.  Baltic near southwark.  

Dinner by Heston was the most overpriced/ rubbish/ disappointing meal I've had in London

Tasteless/ over rated/ the food was even cold - how hard is it to get that right (when it's meant to be hot?!?!) - avoid

The Garrick in Cov Garden is great for a cheap/ quick pre theatre dinner

Le Cafe du Marche on Charterhouse Square is decent.


The London Restaurant, London Street

- Trullo

- Tayyabs

- Luca

- Yauatcha (Soho)

- Hawksmoor (Commercial Street)

- Palomar

- St John

- Dragon Castle

- Apulia 

- Picture

- Dishoom (Shoreditch)




in Wandsworth - yes, it is lovely.

The set lunch is excellent value.

Last week I went to 34 Mayfair and 5 Hertford Street for after dinner drinks.  Both are excellent.

Top tip: *** ******* **** ** ***

Le Gavroche is yummy food and the service was brilliant.

I would like to go to:

1. Sketch (for the décor if nothing else)

2. The River Café (never been but know its reputation)

3. Frog (I want to try out the celeriac dish they have)

4. Gymkhana (posh curry, yes please)

Non London restos top of the list is: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. Hoping to go next year for anniversary.

The River Cafe was ok, but I thought just too expensive without real justification.

I loved Gymkhana but it has burned down! The duck egg bhurji was a thing of beauty

Has it? When did that happen? It had been on my list for a while... :(

Oh yes, Sketch is fantastic - great fun. I particularly liked the Glade.

Hide on Piccadilly is absurdly pretentious

I am going to Hide on Friday. Can't wait to try the crumpet.

I got a round of drinks for 4 people at 5HS - was £100!

Le Gavroche was ace.

Also loved:



Pollen St Social


Best restaurant I've eaten in is no longer (Viajante), although Nuno Mendes continues to work wonders

Is Andrew Edmunds in Soho still going? Obviously not the best food going but super cosy and had the feel of a bit of a hidden gem

3. Frog (I want to try out the celeriac dish they have)

@dusters - i went to the covent garden one. It was ok, but wasnt bowled over. Sommelier was a bit of twat anarl.

how come no one has recommended McDs or Weatherspoons.


Three;. an Argentinian just of South Ken. Basement. It is not what it used to be but still pretty good. In the basement just below the most rip-off bar in West London. 

Then a chain in Ealing and Chiswick called  "Hare and Tortoise". We just call it "the Chinese". We may be wrong..But the food is actually more like 'Asian Fusion' but it is superb. 

Rules is over priced and shyt and run and staffed by complete bellends

If anyone's looking for something horrifically pretentious I'd suggest Maos.  The food is fantastic and I had a nice chat with Nuno Mendes about their fancy ovens and another with one of his cooks about the efforts they went to to get the exact, perfect tupperware that they wanted.  Their billing system is horrible though, you pay for your food up front and pre-authorise your card for drinks, then brace yourself for when the bill arrives a couple of days later.

Aulis is a similar sort of thing, food may be a notch down from Maos and you don't have the man himself in the kitchen but still excellent and and no worrying about the booze bill as it's all included.

Cant believe noone has mentioned Sheekeys ( esp for fish)

Also there is a new restaurant by the river in Hammersmith, v good pedigree and it is fabulous, Sams Riverside. Great food, wine and service and v beautiful space too, everyone gets a view of the river.


​​​​​​Also v good, Lyles in Shoreditch.

And, at the other end of the spectrum, Wiltons is still a favourite for fish and game.

Le Gavroche is amazing.  The food is very rich and the next day I felt what I can only describe as liverish.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsey was very good - it was a few years ago but the tasting menu was epic but did take some effort to get through.

The Savoy (preceded by the American Bar) is a great shout especially if you like tarte tartin.

Out of London, L’Enclume is great.

This was all BC some 10 years ago so could be completely changed.

Goring dining room v good but too formal

Holborn Pie rooms is ace, if you are OK spending 40 notes on pie and mash

I like the Goring - cracking roast.  Simpson's in the strand also good for that.

The Basque one under one aldwych is also nice.

good thread. The River Cafe left me feeling dirty. As if id just been bent over in a brightly lit dining room and used by a collection of fairly nonchalant Italian waiters who then fleeced me on the way out. 

Riva in Barnes is brilliant.

Hunan and A.Wong - both in Pimlico.

Maccellaio for great Italian steak. 

Bombay Bustle for great and reasonably priced high end Indian. 

Heritage in Soho is quite fun for Swiss food.

Bento m7, have u saved up enough coal to take mrs B to the Wigan Gregg's yet?

You'd like that offal place in clerkenwell I think bento.  They serve all sorts of old shyt that normal people wouldn't eat like tripe and onions, liver and bacon, faggots made from lips and arseholes (in a breadcrumb),kidneys poached in rat wee.  Home from home. All washed down with lambrini and nQ brown

Bento - if Wang means St. John it's fvcking ace.

He rates The BHT so can't be all bad... ;)

+1 for Café du Marche but quite a bit of the magic is gone since they expanded the main restaurant into what used to be their cheaper place.

Only meals I have really enjoyed in London recently have been at old timers - Scott's, J Sheekey, Gavroche. 

The food is not clever or anything but I really like the Colony Grill in the Beaumont as well.  Service is good, wine list is nice, food is stuff you actually want to eat done really well.

I think I am just getting old...


For food, roganic is amazing but the room is awful 

Chiltern firehouse is surprisingly good given the bar scene thing. Lots of fun. Ditto la petite maison 


whoever dissed River caff is very wrong.

For Anyone keen on the River cafe but put off by the prices or the utterly ridiculous booking system, do give Sams Riverside a try. It really is fabulous.

I have a complete blind spot on destination  restaurants and food. They just don't interest me at all. I wish they did as I'm sure I'm missing out. It's not the money issue, it's just I go out to dinner for the company, as long as it's fine everything else is a bit of a distraction 

River cafe is acers, what is wrong with you people

petite maison

j sheekey


anything by stevie parle 


breakfast at the wolseley


I also still love bellamy’s a lot 

also omg Janet’s bar, I don’t think I’ve been there for 10 years+ but my god I used to spend a lot of time in there back in the day 

Hunan in Pimlico

My Old Place on Middlesex Street

In the absence of Gymkhana these days, Brigadiers is pretty good too


Me n littlesis tried Lina Stores last night and it was great!

Now I need some decent ideas for Saturday night...

Oh I forgot to add Hakkasan in Mayfair, really brilliant starters in particular.  I could just sit there all evening trying different ones.

It's notable that very few of these recommendations are in the City.  There really is a dearth of properly good eateries round here.

I hardly ever worked in the city really, more of a strand & Mayfair kinda guy.

Brunswick House - it's quirky as fuck and the food is brillo.


It is still, as far as I am aware the best Argie restaurant in London is ' El Gaucho' about 200m from South Ken station. Once upon a time (about 8-10 years ago?) it was superb. I think, with regret, it has declined. But it is still pretty good. We used to eat there every month. Superb meal for about £100 including a decent bottle of wine

One might think that the chain of 'El Gaucho' would try to take out the South  Ken restaurant on IP grounds. I suspect that they do not because they will get their arse kicked on application. 

But Iicidentally, as it the restaurant in a basement and therefore subterranean, any references to the sinking of Belgrano are welcomed by the staff. They laugh. The chefs need to know this so they can piss on your steak before serving. They used to have Argie football on a [short loop] or direct sat on the tv on an 55 screen. My wife enjoyed the food. Not so much the football. She hates football.

We quite like Hawksmoor at Air Street and only £5 corkage on a Monday.  In a similar vein Blacklock is pretty good and last time I was there it was offering old fashioneds for a fiver.  Le Gavroche is simply superb (some 30 or so years ago my cousin's husband was the sommelier there).  We have not been for a year or so.

I am pretty sure that KFC is the only restaurant that serves food in buckets.