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The Most Fun Restaurants in London

There are tens of thousands of restaurants across London, representing every imaginable cuisine, budget, and atmosphere—and when it comes to a night out on the town with friends, this city brings its A-game. Happy hours, bar menus, and shared plates coexist with gourmet tasting menus and award-winning wine lists for custom experiences to fit everyones expectations for a fun meal. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find everything from neighborhood gems to classic fine dining, airy bistros to modern Japanese—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. Impress your friends and score a table; we wish we could join you.

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The OpenTable Team
12 Restaurants
Updated December 02, 2019
Restaurants:Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Portland Restaurant, Angler - London
Price Range:££££ - ££££
Cuisines:British, Seafood
Neighborhoods:Knightsbridge, Marylebone, Liverpool Street
A photo of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

££££
British
Knightsbridge
4.6
6920 reviews

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a two-Michelin-star restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, presents menus devised around the concept of Britain’s long culinary history. Noted on the menu are the eras of every dish’s source of inspiration. The roast venison with pickled cherries and red cabbage, for example, dates to 1850. Dinner’s most famous item, the “meat fruit” appetizer of chicken liver mousse made to look exactly like a mandarin orange (or a plum if it’s around Christmastime) has its provenance circa 1500. This is high gastronomy indeed, but there’s a playfulness to the experience, as in the ice cream cart equipped with a hand-cranked mixer hooked up to liquid nitrogen. It’s brought to the table side, where fresh vanilla cream meets the drama of dry ice flurries, turning into ice cream in moments.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Portland Restaurant restaurant

Portland Restaurant

££££
British
Marylebone
4.8
1468 reviews

London’s restaurant critics can’t seem to get over the lack of pretentiousness at Portland—the comparison of its dining room’s understated decor to a cafeteria often comes up in reviews—but they universally praise its food as thoroughly gourmet. Its approachability makes Portland a great dinner destination for a fun time with friends; that is if those friends appreciate the finer side of British cuisine. A popular snack is the crispy chicken skin with liver parfait and candied walnuts, and if you don't see game pithivier on the menu (it’s a pie filled with spiced, mixed game) be sure to order the often-recommended dish.


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A photo of Angler - London restaurant

Angler - London

££££
Seafood
Liverpool Street
4.7
996 reviews

It’s arguably the most fun to dine at Angler, a Michelin star-winning fish and seafood restaurant atop the City’s South Place Hotel, on a sunny summer day when the rooftop terrace promises cool cocktails and unmatched views. But at any time of year, the dining experience is certainly noteworthy, offering the artistically plated fish and seafood creations of acclaimed chef Gary Foulkes. The signature here is top-quality ingredients, sourced sustainably from British waters, prepared simply but with the utmost care and precision.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Kai restaurant

Kai

££££
Chinese
Mayfair
4.7
1432 reviews

Kai, a plush and sophisticated two-story restaurant in Mayfair, has since their 1993 opening consistently ranked among the best restaurants in London and top Chinese restaurants in the world. Chef Alex Chow earned Kai a Michelin star with his beautifully presented repertoire of classic Nanyang dishes from the South Seas region of China and his creative contemporary interpretations of traditional Asian cuisines. Kai’s most famous dish is wasabi prawns, but the menus are lengthy so it makes sense to try many items and share between your group. Kai’s attentive staff will happily make suggestions to best fit your personal preferences.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of som saa restaurant

som saa

££££
Thai
Shoreditch
4.8
407 reviews

Before som saa transformed a former fabric warehouse in Spitalfields into a trendy and spacious restaurant specializing in elevated regional Thai cuisine, it was a tremendously successful pop-up. A crowdfunding campaign raised funds for the permanent venue, where the original exposed brick and beams lend an industrial edge to the warmth of rustic wood and cozy booths. Rotating, seasonal menus showcase bold flavors, high on spice, heat, smoke, and salt in elegant and complex preparations. An old favorite from the pop-up days, deep-fried seabass with Isaan herbs and roasted rice powder, remains on the menu. The moreish bar snacks, craft beers, and creative cocktails often infused with culinary herbs and spices are a big draw for a crowd seeking an informal fine dining experience.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Galvin at Windows restaurant

Galvin at Windows

££££
British
Mayfair
4.7
6912 reviews

With its unmatched location on the top floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, Galvin at Windows boasts incredible views across Hyde Park and the rooftops of Mayfair. If you never venture beyond the bar, an evening at Galvin at Windows promises to be memorable for the drinks and views alone. Proceed to the dining room, however, and you’ll never forget the seasonal offerings of modern French cuisine with creative touches inspired by head chef Joo Won’s Korean heritage. Among a litany of awards, the cuisine won the restaurant a Michelin star.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Blacklock Soho restaurant

Blacklock Soho

££££
Steak
Soho
4.8
3948 reviews

The original Blacklock restaurant in Soho (it later gained sister venues in the City and Shoreditch) famously occupies the basement of a former brothel a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus. Promoters certainly don’t shy away from mentioning the building’s ignoble heritage, but there’s no need to titillate to draw a crowd. Instead, there’s Blacklock’s menu, built around signature chops seared over charcoal, and great deals on cocktails and wine on tap. The décor is industrial-cool with communal tables and whitewashed brick, plus a chalkboard displaying the night’s choices of chops. The meat is of the finest quality, and you can sample it all by opting for the “all in” mixed pile over charred flatbread plus some sides to share.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Hakkasan - Hanway Place restaurant

Hakkasan - Hanway Place

££££
Chinese
Fitzrovia
4.2
6256 reviews

This is the original Hakkasan that launched a global empire, the place that perfected modern Cantonese dishes, dim sum, and creative cocktails amid a chic and glamour-tinged setting. Head chef Tong Chee Hwee is a master of combining traditional Cantonese techniques with top-quality seasonal ingredients and contemporary, creative flair, and he won a Michelin star for Hakkasan in 2003. The highlights of Hakkasan’s lengthy menu are highly elevated Chinese fare such as Peking duck with caviar and spicy prawns with lily bulb and almond. However, the restaurant’s luxe black-and-gold-accented interiors and picturesque plating also attract critical acclaim of their own.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Yauatcha Soho restaurant

Yauatcha Soho

££££
Chinese
Soho
4.3
6615 reviews

Yauatcha, an all-day dim sum restaurant in Soho boasting a Michelin star, takes inspiration from a traditional Taipai tea house, yet the vibe of this basement venue is modern, trendy, and almost club-like. Bring a group to dine on top-notch (and pricey) dim sum at a steady or leisurely pace, enjoying dumplings, noodles, soups, buns, salads, rolls, and confections that arrive like little gifts. The desserts, from Yauatcha’s own patisserie next door, are handmade, French-inspired things of beauty. And the ground floor does house a tea room where you can sip exotic brews from China, Taiwan, Japan, and India. The teas are available in the main restaurant as well.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of COYA Mayfair restaurant

COYA Mayfair

££££
Peruvian
Mayfair
4.6
1646 reviews

Is COYA Mayfair the only Incan-Peruvian fine-dining restaurant in London? Actually, no. But they're certainly the best in a new genre of their own making, the result of chef Sanjay Dwivedi’s year-long journey through Latin America that ended with his full immersion in the culinary world of Peru. COYA’s menu promises the best of Peruvian traditions, prepared with incredible ingredients native to the Andes and the Amazon and the diverse influences of Spain, Asia, and Africa. Char-grilled steaks and the freshest ceviches are highlights of the menu. Sipping at least one of various versions of a Pisco sour is almost obligatory.


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A photo of Park Chinois restaurant

Park Chinois

££££
Chinese
Mayfair
4.6
663 reviews

Covering two floors in the heart of Mayfair, Park Chinois comprises the glitzy Club Chinois downstairs and the main dining room, Salon de Chine, and bar upstairs, both taking their distinctive and unforgettable design inspiration from the decadence of 1930s Shanghai. Think gleaming red lacquered doors, lavish velvet and marble accents, gold, and mirrors to emphasize all that shines, with live music to complete the hedonistic vibe. The menus, packed with gourmet versions of Chinese dishes from every region, is lengthy and pricey. Regulars recommend ordering the Peking duck in advance.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of St. John restaurant

St. John

££££
British
Farringdon
4.8
3024 reviews

Upon the opening of the original St. John in 1994, the restaurant taking over a former bacon-smoking house in Smithfield, head chef Fergus Henderson launched an entire movement as the pioneer of “nose to tail” cuisine. Offal, unusual cuts, and game got St. John’s menus noticed, while their top-notch versions of British classics solidified their status as a critical darling. Menus change daily but the roast bone marrow on house-made sourdough with a pinch of parsley salad is a signature, as is the side/starter of Welsh rarebit. Approachable cuts of meat, beautiful fish from British waters, and even some stand-out vegetarian dishes feature on the lunch and supper menus too. The long list of desserts is a highlight, including heritage puddings like spotted dick, treacle tart, and a Northern English Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese.


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