With the arrival of the night tube comes a new appreciation of all things late-night London. And (because it is us, after all) we're focusing on the food, glorious food.
Seeking a 24-hour restaurant or a post-theatre option? We've got you covered with our pick of the capital's dining establishments serving good food into the early hours – and handily situated near stations on the night tube.
Click through our gallery to whet your appetite for long, lazy dinners in London's hottest spots sans all that running off like a slightly drunk Cinderella waving an Oyster card…
Duck & Waffle
Tube: Liverpool Street
A luxe 24/7 experience, Duck & Waffle is great for gazing out at the sunrise, sunset and all the twinkling cityscapes between, given its impressive location on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate. Expect takes on British dishes with European influences from breakfast through brunch, lunch, dinner, late-night and back again.
110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY; duckandwaffle.com
The Blind Pig
Tube: Oxford Circus
At Jason Atherton’s moody speakeasy-style bar above Social Eating House there’s an extensive menu of bites and jars (such as duck-fat chips with curry aioli) served until closing time at 1am. It just makes sense to try a few of the signature cocktails while there, right?
58 Poland Street, W1F 7NR; socialeatinghouse.com
45 Jermyn St.
Tube: Green Park
Fortnum & Mason’s elegant eatery offers a post-theatre menu from 10pm to 11:30pm, priced at £25.50 for two courses (example dishes include steamed sea trout with rainbow chard and sea aster, and baby beets with Roquefort and pickled walnuts). Since that’s such a steal, a cocktail would only be right. How about an adult ice-cream float? No. 10 comprises Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Campari, Champagne syrup, soda and blood orange sorbet.
45 Jermyn St, SW1 6DN; 45jermynst.com
Image: James McDonald
Tube: Tottenham Court Road / Leicester Square
You may have walked by unassuming Soho stalwart Bar Italia several times, but did you know it’s open until 5am? Pop in for a quality coffee, pizza, breakfast or to glimpse a famous patron soaking up the friendly, buzzy atmosphere. Don’t worry if it’s shut and locked when you wander by – it opens up again at 7am if you’re still out…
22 Frith Street, W1D 4RF; baritaliasoho.co.uk
Tube: Leicester Square
Elegant and old school, it’s impossible not to be delighted by a post-theatre trip to this seafood star. We recommend starting with the rich bisque before sharing a fruits de mer platter or going classic with oysters and Champagne. Open until midnight Monday to Saturday (11.30pm Sunday). Walk from Tottenham Court Road (10 mins) before the Piccadilly Line goes overnight from autumn.
28-32 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL;
Tube: Liverpool Street
Street Feast’s Dinerama is a night market in Shoreditch open until midnight Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can't go far wrong chowing down on offerings from BBQ Lab, Smokestak, Yum Bun, You Doughnut!, Baba G’s and Birdbox. The nearest station during usual hours is Shoreditch High Street.
19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ; streetfeast.com
Tube: Piccadilly Circus / Leicester Square
This small-plate diner and bar is open until 1am Thursday to Saturday and serves up New York comfort food. Try the mac’n’cheese and the PBJ sandwich (trust us). The nearest stations are Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road ahead of the Piccadilly Line starting its overnight service in autumn.
61 Rupert Street W1D 7PW; spuntino.co.uk
VQ Notting Hill
Tube: Notting Hill Gate / Tottenham Court Road
The original VQ (standing for the French vingt-quatre) in Chelsea has long been lauded, not least by Gordon Ramsay, who declared the 24-hour diner “phenomenal” and “the best place for the ultimate fry up”. Now there’s a new branch in Notting Hill, offering the same range of breakfasts and classics (hot dogs, burgers, steak and chips) as the Chelsea and Bloomsbury spots. Note: VQ Notting Hill is not 24-hour, but closes at a respectable 3am Thursday to Sunday. Bloomsbury is 24-hour.
24 Pembridge Road, W11 3HL and 111A Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NQ; vqrestaurants.com
Balans Soho Society
Tube: Leicester Square / Piccadilly Circus
The philosophy here is “the pursuit of pleasure is a noble one”, thus the Soho branches have always been open throughout the early hours, ensuring London’s revellers have constant supplies of hearty breakfasts, boozy brunches and fortifying dinners. Soho Café is open 24 hours while the branch down the street is open until 5am Monday to Thursday, 6am Friday and Saturday and 2am on Sundays (it is the day of rest after all). Tottenham Court road is your best bet before the Piccadilly Line goes 24 hours in autumn.
34 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TS and 60-62 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UG; balans.co.uk
Tube: Green Park / Covent Garden
Both the Covent Garden and St James’s branches of Angela Harnett’s Cafe Murano have set post-theatre menus from 10pm showcasing her northern Italian fare, while Covent Garden also has a luxe offer of lobster spaghetti and Prosecco for £20. Holborn will get you to the Covent Garden branch before the Piccadilly Line opens in autumn.
36 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PB and 33 St James’s Street, SW1A 1HD; cafemurano.co.uk
Tube: Covent Garden
The Italian sister restaurant to Joe Allen has a post-theatre menu for those peckish after a show. The set menu runs 10pm-12am Tuesday to Saturday, is priced at three courses for £17.50 and includes such delights as zucchini fritti and spice pineapple carpaccio with blood orange sorbet. It's a 10-minute walk from Holborn before Covent Garden becomes part of the night tube in autumn.
27 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DB; orsorestaurant.co.uk
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar
Tube: Chancery Lane
The new opening from Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi specialises in shawarma, meat slow-cooked over hot coals on a rotating spit. Open until midnight Friday and Saturday, 11pm Monday to Thursday. A late-night kebab upgrade or what?
46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE; shawarmabar.co.uk
Tube: Oxford Circus / Tottenham Court Road
The kitchen at Ember Yard, from Salt Yard Group, is open until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Think tapas, cocktails and Spanish and Italian methods of cooking over charcoal.
60 Berwick Street W1F 8SU; emberyard.co.uk
Tube: Covent Garden
The classic American restaurant in the heart of theatreland is open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, offering such late-night joys as buffalo wings, deli-style cured meat platters, a wide selection of free-range meat for the grill and meatball subs. Again, it's a 10-minute walk from Holborn ahead of more overnight lines opening in autumn.
13 Exeter Street, WC2E 7DT; joeallen.co.uk