Looking for an interesting and unique dining spot for your next night out? These 43 cool restaurants in London offer something different and make for some of the best dinner spots in the city.
Trying to find the perfect dining spot is never easy, no matter the occasion. But that doesn’t mean you always have to give up the search and fall back on your tried-and-tested favourite or unenthusiastically pile into the nearest possible establishment.
We’ve found an eclectic mix of 43 restaurants across London that all have that certain je ne sais quoi. So, whether you’re having an overdue catch up with old friends, celebrating getting through another week, or marking a special occasion, any one of these city-based venues is bound to make for a unique, interesting and cool setting for your evening.
Stepping into Lina Stores is like walking into a pastel dreamland, filled with mint-hued decor and lots and lots of pasta.
The restaurant and deli, which was founded in 1944, is known for its handmade fresh pasta, aromatic cheeses and cured meats – and the outpost in Kings Cross doesn’t disappoint.
Start with a selection of aubergine polpette with San Marzano tomato, followed by some tasty sea salt and rosemary focaccia with Lina Stores’ very own olive oil.
The pasta menu is pretty vast and you’re sure to find something that will tickle your fancy, from Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Amalfi lemon, pink peppercorn and grana padano to Stracciatella ravioli with datterini tomato, pine nuts and basil.
And if you’ve still got room for dessert, there are some classic options to choose from.
Try the mouthwateringly good Sicilian cannolo, with ricotta, pistachio and chocolate and the Fior di Latte gelato with espresso for a post-meal pick-me-up.
If you’re looking to embark on a cool culinary journey filled with delicious small and large plates, Coal Office is definitely worth adding to your list.
The restaurant combines an immersive dining experience with traditional dishes found throughout the Middle East and Meditteranean and it’s a true treat for your tastebuds.
If you’re not overly familiar with the cuisine, there are a few key dishes I can definitely recommend – starting with Kublah. The softy, doughy Yemeni brioche is a true taste of heaven and is accompanied by tahini, grated tomato and schug (you’ll probably want to order more than one and I can’t blame you!)
Everything is designed to be shared so go wild with the small plates, from the yellowtail sashimi with mango, amba pickled okra and red chill to the amazing spicy shakshuka aduma – a tomato and pepper stew with eggs, tahini, parsley pita and feta.
And if that’s not enough, go for Machneyuda’s polenta (Asparagus, truffle, mushroom ragout and parmesan) and lamb mesachen (leg of lamp, tropea onions, shallots, cucumber relish and lettuce cups) if you want to go big.
Top it all off with a tasty cocktail or two (I recommend the fantasti paloma) and you’ll have the full Coal Office experience.
If glamorous underground jazz club’ is your dining vibe, make a beeline for The Maine in Mayfair – specifically the extravagant Brasserie in the basement.
White-tuxedoed waiters whisk over platters of oysters and crab under the dazzle of a show-stopping chandelier, while a jazz band (and, later in the night, burlesque dancers) provide the entertainment.
The seafood-focused menu has lots to offer and the portions come up large, so we’d recommend sharing a couple of starters and raw plates – the shrimp cocktail and tuna tartare with avocado and soy-ginger dressing were a big hit.
For the main course, you can tap into the restaurant’s New England leanings with Maine lobster or choose from the extensive steak selection, though the cedar plank salmon with sriracha butter deserves a shoutout for being cooked to juicy perfection.
Order a dirty pickle martini and settle in for the most decadent night out.
Farzi Café London
Warehouse at The Conduit
Roof Garden at Pantechnicon
The Roof Garden at Pantechnicon is the summer-ready restaurant we’re loving right now.
As you ascend to the fourth floor, guests are welcomed into a botanical-inspired space, filled with greenery and a cosy inviting atmosphere where you can unwind with drinks, a light bite or an all-out feast.
The restaurant offers a new and exciting menu combining both Nordic and Japanese-inspired dishes, from beef short rib sando with wholegrain mustard to the succulent pork belly with apple, sage and beetroot.
Its seasonal cocktails, crafted by head mixologist Gento Torigata, also have a botanical feel, utilising fresh produce, house-made infusions and exclusive spirits to create cocktails like the pine forest (Talus hop infused East London Kew gin, granny smith apple, lemon myrtle and idyll pine soda) and the delectable lingonberry cosmopolitan (Pantechnicon exclusive Akvavit, lingonberry, passion berry and Sassy rosé cider).
If you’re looking for an understated spot, which combines good food with a relaxed yet chic vibe, the Roof Garden at Pantechnicon is definitely for you.
Address: 19 Motcomb St, London SW1X 8LB
If you’re looking to enjoy the best of British seasonal ingredients through an Italian lens, Luca is just the right place.
Enjoy one of their tasty takes on classic cocktails, such as the Luca Margarita, made with mezcal verde, Malfy Blood Orange Gin liqueur, grapefruit and orange, while dining on delectable dishes from their signature parmesan fries and rigatoni with pork sausage ragù.
While enjoying the food, you’ll be able to enjoy the space and relax in the 19th-century building, which is designed to deliver an atmosphere that complements and elevates the culinary experience.
Address: 88 St John St, London EC1M 4EH
Sachi in Pantechnicon
The newly opened Sachi in Pantechnicon restaurant celebrates a stylish blend of Japanese and Nordic food, culture, art, and design. Crafted by Roka’s head chef Collin Hudston, the extensive menu boasts ingredients from independent producers, from fresh trout and lobster to wasabi.
All of the details, from the decor to the lighting and music make for the perfect dinner setting in the city. For an extra special evening, their private vaulted booths, set in a Japanese garden, are also available to book.
Address: 19 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB
Their seasonal 8-course tasting menu, priced at £70 per person, currently includes prime venison and ox cheek cuts cooked to perfection, zingy goats cheese and stone bass courses, as well as two delectable desserts for those with a sweet tooth. A full 8-course vegetarian menu is also available, tempting you with fragrant king oyster mushrooms and creamy risottos. The highlight of the menu is definitely the unexpected flavours, from earthy miso and smoky black garlic to a refreshing Brussel sprout puree accompanying classic ingredients like artichoke and cod.
For cocktails, be sure to try their Final Fig, a tasty twist on a Kir Royale. They also offer “wine flights,” starting from £55, with a menu that will take you all over the world, from California to Chile.
Address: 2 Bubbling Well Square, Ram Quarter SW18 1UQ
To say that the Shard is an iconic location would be putting it lightly.
The landmark is loved by many, from locals to tourists, but beyond its architectural structure lies an array of effortlessly cool restaurants with epic views, with the Aqua Shard being one of them.
The British restaurant and bar has everything you need for the ultimate evening out, from delicious food (the leek and potato ravioli and smoked duck breast is to die for) and delectable cocktails, right down to breathtaking views of Tower Bridge to The London Eye complete.
And if you’re looking to visit a little earlier in the day, the Aqua Shard’s brunch and afternoon tea offerings are equally exquisite, making it a go-to location for a little luxury in the city.
Address: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
STK are making steak dinners something worth celebrating. This US stalwart has made its way across the pond with a new London location in Westminster joining its existing restaurant at The Strand. With stunning decor and pumping music bringing the immaculate vibes for your night out, the only thing that tops the atmosphere is the food: from their famous Wagyu to roasted lamb racks, and lobster to truffle tagliatelle.
This is a great place to celebrate something special, or just treat yourself to some midweek luxury during their happy hour, from 3pm – 6:30pm Monday-Friday.
Address: 30 John Islip St, London SW1P 4DD
The Seafood Bar
The Seafood Bar may be new on the scene (it officially opened in September 2021) but it’s already proving itself to be a hotspot in the heart of Soho thanks to its delicious seafood offerings.
The restaurant offers guests the freshest seafood without the high price tag, with the option to dine on everything from a Fruits de Mer platter filled with oysters to lobster along with the freshest sea bream, and shrimp and much much more.
My personal recommendation would be the mixed grill if you want to try a bit of everything, from king prawn and sea bass fillet to mussels served in a creamy tomato sauce and half a lobster. YUM.
Address: 77 Dean St, London W1D 3SH
Six by Nico
Cosy lighting, comfy booths and a generous menu, Rondo has the hallmarks of a neighbourhood restaurant except it’s in a prime location bang slap in the middle of Holborn.
The menu is seasonal so return again and again to see what new delights the chefs, lead by Chris Gillard formerly of St John, can offer you. Right now, though, you’ll find dishes such as succulent roast ‘Sutton Hoo’ chicken with moreish creamed corn or baked aubergine with chickpea and rocket.
The staff are genuinely lovely and very attentive, we’d recommend asking them for their favourite sharing bites and starters and even letting them pick a few for you.
This is the kind of place you can while away the evening, warmed by the amber glow of the bistro-style lamps, enjoying the gentle buzz of other diners and exploring the wine menu. But don’t forget about the cocktails either, they’re absolutely delicious so make sure you treat yourself to both.
Address: 199-206 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BD
The Windmill Soho
The Windmill in the heart of London’s Soho has a history as colourful as its spectacular theatre shows. Originally opening as the Palais De Luxe, a cinema on Great Windmill Street, the venue was purchased by renowned visionary of the day, Laura Henderson, who converted it into a theatre. It was during this phase that The Windmill introduced the concept of ‘The Revudeville,’ which is a programme of continuous live singing and dancing acts across an evening.
And not only that, the iconic location is famed for ‘The Windmill Girls,’ who, inspired by the Moulin Rouge appeared on stage as ‘nude statues,’ in an inspired effort to get around a loophole that prevented nude performers from appearing on stage. The theatre manager reasoned that, if they did not move, they could not be classed as performers. It was these quirks that made The Windmill popular with celebrities and prominent figures of the time.
That was then, and now, after undergoing a major refurbishment, The Windmill has reopened, offering an immersive dining experience, where diners can enjoy a menu created by Michelin starred Chef Andrew McLeish while watching a live cabaret-style show.
The set food menu starts at £49 per person and includes decadent culinary delights, like truffle parmesan taglioni, Atilius Osietra caviar, sashimi platters and Wagyu sliders. As for drinks, the cocktail menu has been created by mixologist Andy Mil of Cocktail Trading Co. Each of the especially created cocktails pay homage to The Windmill’s vibrant history.
Address: 17-19 Great Windmill Street, London, England W1D 7JZ
Fare Bar + Canteen
BUNS & BUNS
Hicce x Wolf & Badger
Grays and Feather
The May Fair Kitchen
Tucked just behind Kingly Street in Soho, The Court is the swanky new private members club to be seen at.
Steeped in history, The Court was originally the legendary night club, the Bag O’Nails, favoured by artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1960’s.
Following a major refurb, the club relaunched earlier this year, with a spectacular bar and restaurant - beautifully decked out with extremely cool artworks by revered New York street artist, Bradley Theodore.
The food is divine, which with Michelin Star chef Tom Sellers as consultant chef, is nothing less than we would expect. What’s more, you can enjoy live piano and singing while you dine.
Address: The Court, 9 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PH
108 Brasserie, Marylebone
Frenchie, Covent Garden
Images: courtesy of restaurants