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February 6, 2024

The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in London

London is now one of the world's top cities for fine dining with 80 Michelin-starred restaurants.

By Alex Martin

London’s fine dining restaurant scene is thriving. Following the launch of the 2024 Michelin Guide, the city now has 80 Michelin-starred restaurants, including six with a maximum three-star rating. The Ledbury, run by Brett Graham, became the latest London restaurant to join the best of the best alongside the likes of Core by Clare Smyth and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on three stars.

Although a Michelin star isn’t the only indicator of what makes a restaurant stand out, it remains the award that most chefs strive for. All six three-star restaurants are naturally included in our list of the best restaurants in London, but three-star dining isn’t for everyone. We’ve also picked our favorites from the two- and one-star restaurants, as well as one that has yet to enter the Michelin Guide but seems destined to do so.

The dining establishments that scooped a spot in the guide cover an array of different cuisines representing London’s vibrant multicultural food scene. While all 80 restaurants are well worth a visit, to make things a bit more manageable we’ve curated a list of the best eateries in London that are, in our opinion, the best of the best.

[See also: The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in London]

Kitchen Table

Situated on the culinary haven of Charlotte Street, the two-Michelin-starred Kitchen Table (pictured above) has long been considered London’s best chef’s table experience. A pioneer in the art of performative dining, Kitchen Table provides both dinner and the show with just 20 bar stool seats that surround chef patron James Knappett’s kitchen.

Offering just one tasting menu (vegetarian options are available), diners put their faith in Knappett to provide the best of British produce in refined style. The menu changes daily (yes, daily) according to the best produce.

First opened 11 years ago, Kitchen Table continues to be a hot ticket in town. Reservations are snapped up almost as soon as they are released and cancellations are usually filled by a lengthy standby list. In 2021, they upped the ante with a major glow-up of the interiors and the menu, quite possibly with intentions for a third star.

kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Da Terra

da terra open kitchen
Da Terra is East London’s first two-Michelin-star restaurant / ©Da Terra

Located in Bethnal Green Town Hall, the Brazilian-inspired Da Terra has made culinary waves since opening in early 2019. Head chef and co-owner Rafael Cagali, who has experience at several Michelin-starred restaurants including The Fat Duck, won his first Michelin star within just nine months of opening, making Da Terra the first starred restaurant in East London.

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The first star turned Da Terra into a novelty for committed foodies. Their charming 40-cover restaurant started to fill out on Friday and Saturday evenings. However, interest exploded when it was awarded a second star in the very next Michelin Guide, becoming one of only 15 restaurants in the city to boast two or more. That turned it into a destination in its own right and now you’ll have to wait weeks to get a prime table in front of Cagali’s open kitchen.

Da Terra is a tasting menu-only restaurant, offering an 11-course menu (including canapes and petit fours). While all courses are accomplished in their own right (read our review here), it is Moqueca that takes your breath away. Moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew taken from the northeast of the country. Presented at first in a big copper pot complete with langoustines, turbot and okra, it is then refined and re-presented in two-star form. The finished article is a wonderful sauce served with brown butter, wild turbot, toasted cassava flour and hen of the woods mushrooms.

daterra.co.uk

Brooklands by Claude Bosi

brooklands restaurant
Brooklands by Claude Bosi / ©Peninsula Hotels

Easily going down as London’s most successful restaurant opening of 2023, Claude Bosi’s new restaurant had only been open for four months when it was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2024 guide. That gives the legendary French chef a total of four stars in the city with his Bibendum restaurant also holding two.

Brooklands by Claude Bosi occupies an envious position on the top of The Peninsula London, which also opened in 2023 to much acclaim. With views stretching out across Hyde Park, this Concorde-themed restaurant offers a bird’s eye view over London’s West End.

On the menu, you’ll find clever nods to British pop cuisine (the coronation chicken, made with liver pate) and relies heavily on the island’s finest produce (monkfish from Devon, lamb from the Lakes). The seven-course menu, at £195 ($250), leaves little doubt that we’re in two-star territory.

The restaurant itself is also a sight to behold. On the ceiling, a 48-ft, 2,700-pound replica of Concorde hangs above your head. On the floor, the carpet shows constellations of the night sky on the day Concorde took its final flight.

peninsula.com

Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal

Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal
Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal won two Michelin stars in 2023 / ©Hotel Cafe Royal

As a disciple of Hélène Darroze, Alex Dilling’s latest venture is a fitting restaurant to follow. Dilling worked with Darroze at the Connaught as executive corporate chef. He then earned two Michelin stars at The Greenhouse, a revered restaurant among London’s elite before the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to it. Dilling wasn’t down for long, however, opening his first solo venture at the five-star Hotel Cafe Royal in Piccadilly in September 2022.

The food at Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal is a continuation of his fine work at The Greenhouse. His philosophy is tried and tested: the finest ingredients and classic French techniques. It took just six months for the restaurant to be recognized by the Michelin Guide, achieving the rare feat of earning two stars at the first time of asking.

The restaurant itself is stylishly minimalist with an abundance of natural light. The fact that it’s situated in one of London’s best hotels, is an added bonus.

alexdilling.com

[See also: Alex Dilling on the Trials and Tribulations of the Michelin Guide]

Trivet

Trivet interior
Trivet’s dining room and open kitchen / ©Tom Osbourne

Trivet was first opened in October 2019 by Fat Duck alumni Jonny Lake. Although, alumni doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to Jonny. He was the executive head chef for Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant group for 12 years, including when Fat Duck was crowned the best restaurant by the World’s 50 Best. So it was no surprise that foodie pulses were sent racing when he stepped back behind the pass as the head chef of a new venture in London Bridge.

After surviving a tempestuous 18 months, Trivet is now thriving (read our review here). It was not only awarded its Michelin star in 2022, but Lake’s founding partner, Isa Bal, received the highly-regarded Michelin Sommelier Award. In 2024, it reached new heights by earning a second star.

Trivet is deconstructed fine dining. There is no tasting menu, only a la carte. Diners are welcome to stay for one, two or three courses or simply enjoy a cocktail at the chic bar. Apart from some delicate crackers, there are no canapes. Instead, Trivet prides itself on hearty portions of perfectly prepared high-quality ingredients.

The 450-label wine list is presented in chronological order according to the earliest mentions of wine in literature. While France and Italy dominate the lists of most fine dining restaurants, Bal has instead championed those countries with the longest history of winemaking. Diners are encouraged to expand their horizons by trying lesser-known grape varieties from Georgina, Turkey and Greece.

The food menu is not so much seasonal as it is adaptable. Instead of changing dishes completely, Lake adapts the individual ingredients according to what can be sourced. By shunning constant change, Lake has perfected certain dishes by leaving room for refinement.

trivetrestaurant.co.uk

Pavyllon

Yannick Alléno
Yannick Alléno / ©Pavyllon London

Yannick Alléno needs little introduction; the revered chef has amassed 16 Michelin stars during his glittering career including the three-star 1947 at Cheval Blanc. In 2023, he chose Four Seasons Park Lane to make his hotly anticipated London debut and, within seven months of opening, scooped yet another coveted star.

Alléno is known for his bold, complex sauces made using his signature extraction technique and healthy desserts that swap refined sugars for healthier alternatives.

The menu at Pavyllon London features an assortment of hot and cold starters (plant-based diners will be pleased to hear there’s an entire section dedicated to veggies). If you want to try something with a wow factor, the star of the show has to be Alléno’s signature ‘badaboum’ – cut into the perfectly poached organic egg and oscietra caviar oozes out.

pavyllonlondon.com

The Ledbury

Australian chef/patron Brett Graham has been wowing diners at The Ledbury since 2005. It earned its first Michelin star just a year after opening and a second in 2010. The restaurant then closed in 2020 before reopening in 2022 with revamped interiors and a new concept offering just one tasting menu at £210 (approx $270).

Curiously, very little information is offered about the menu. The restaurant has a primitive website and no presence on social media. At a time when Instagram is used to drive bookings, The Ledbury offers an enticing sense of mystery – one that is increasingly rare in today’s modern world. The novel approach has certainly paid off, as in 2024 it was deservedly elevated to three Michelin stars, becoming just the sixth restaurant in London to hold the accolade.

The tasting menu changes often, but a sample menu offers a glimpse of what diners can expect. With ingredients like Poole Bay mackerel and veal sweetbreads, Graham champions British ingredients and local suppliers. Graham also supplies some of the ingredients himself, namely from the restaurant’s very own dedicated mushroom cabinet.

theledbury.com

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay and matt abe
Gordon Ramsay (right) with head chef Matt Abe / ©Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Combining contemporary elegance, an intimate ambiance and unparalleled service, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is a must for the culinary connoisseur. It has retained three Michelin stars since 2001, making it one of the longest-standing three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

Since its opening, it has continually wowed diners with its consistent devotion to quality. The menu prides itself on superb ingredients and sublime flavor combinations, whilst the size of the restaurant – only 14 tables – ensures every diner receives an exceptional degree of attention.

The restaurant has retained its high standards despite losing the incredibly talented Clare Smyth, who left her position as head chef in 2016 to open her own London restaurant, Core, which also features on this list. Today, Chef de Cuisine Matt Abé, who worked under Smyth, is responsible for the kitchen.

gordonramsay.com

Core by Clare Smyth

Core by Clare Smyth
The interiors at Core by Clare Smyth / ©Core

Previously head chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth struck out on her own and has since established one of the best restaurants in London. Core was widely tipped to gain a coveted third star in the 2020 Michelin Guide but was instead held on two stars to the surprise of industry experts. It only took one more year for Smyth to achieve the pinnacle of fine dining, earning that third star in 2021.

The blend of high-end and casual is a refreshing twist that adds to Core’s atmosphere. Smyth wants everyone who comes in to have a good time and to make sure diners relax enjoy themselves, something that she thinks is more important than winning awards.

The vibe at Core is different to what you might expect; Smyth calls it “casual luxury,” taking humble ingredients like the potato or carrot (the Lamb Carrot, a dish of braised lamb but with the carrot taking center stage, is one of Core’s signatures) and “flipping it on its head” to create sustainable haute cuisine.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Core by Clare Smyth closed in 2023 to undergo a significant renovation of its interiors and the addition of a new bar called Whisky and Seaweed.

corebyclaresmyth.com

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

chef's table at Hélene Darroze
The pink-marble chef’s table at Hélene Darroze at The Connaught / ©Jérôme Galland

This three-Michelin-starred restaurant showcases the talents of renowned French chef Hélène Darroze. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, the restaurant closed for two months to undergo a total refurbishment. Parisian design team Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur were brought in to give the restaurant a fresh look, brightening the interiors and adding a spectacular pink marble chef’s table overlooking the pass and the kitchen.

Not only were the interiors modernized, but the menu as well. It reopened with a new a la carte offering that put a greater emphasis on British producers but still retains odes to her classic French training. The British-themed offerings include ‘caviar with langoustine, oyster and runner beans’ and ‘Denbighshire pigeon with beetroot, wild blueberry and Mexican molé.

the-connaught.co.uk/helene-darroze/

La Dame de Pic London

La Dame de Pic London interior
©La Dame de Pic London

Set within Ten Trinity Square, the former Port of London Authority HQ that was recently re-masked into a breath-taking Four Seasons Hotel, La Dame de Pic is the work of internationally acclaimed chef – Anne-Sophie Pic. Coming from a family of successful chefs (Pic’s father and grandfather both attained three Michelin stars at the family restaurant in Valence), Pic’s decision to open a London outpost was met with huge fanfare across the capital.

[See also: The Chefs Fighting to Make Fine Dining Sustainable]

With a relaxed feel, the restaurant’s pared-back interior focuses on offering guests a completely unpretentious experience, giving full attention to Pic’s beautifully presented cuisine. Offering a menu that flits between British and French cuisine, the majority of the ingredients are British produce. Pic’s ability to merge these two neighboring nations is what makes La Dame de Pic so spectacular and shows why she is widely regarded as a legend in the restaurant world.

ladamedepiclondon.co.uk

Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London at The OWO

Mauro Colagreco London
Mauro Colagreco’s first London restaurant inside Raffles London at The OWO / ©Justin De Souza

One of the world’s biggest chefs arrived in London with aplomb in 2023 (read our full review here), opening not one but three restaurants at the new Raffles London at The OWO. Mauro Colagreo is best known for his work at Mirazur, which has previously been named the best restaurant in the world. There he makes the most of local produce and he’s done much the same in London.

The Argentinian chef worked on the concept for over 18 months, traveling to producers from Cornwall to the Cairngorms in search of the best of British produce. It’s a brave step, but one he has not taken lightly. Evening menus come in either three- or five-course form. Assuming you’re not here on a budget, the five-course tasting menu (£165 / $205) and the Exploration Route wine pairing (£125 / $155) is the recommended path.

Vegetables are the stars of this show. Before each course arrives, you get a beautifully illustrated card telling the history of its hero ingredient. 

The restaurant’s living-room style furnishings (plush carpet, thick drapes and plump sofas) make for soft acoustics. Restaurants usually amplify the background noise, here they seem intent on suppressing it. That’s helpful when you need to hear about the canapes, less so when you’re looking for atmosphere.

raffles.com

Aulis

aulis chef's table
The intimate setup makes quick friends of guests and chefs alike / ©Aulis

Hidden away in Soho’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it St Anne’s Court is Aulis – an intimate chef’s table concept from Simon Rogan AKA the brains behind the Lake District icon, L’Enclume. Head chef Charlie Tayler and his small team guide just 12 guests per seating through a winding tasting menu, with each course using ingredients from Rogan’s Lake District farm.

Following a facelift which saw it expand into the space next door in order to add an adjoining lounge, used for pre-dinner drinks and the first four or so courses, Aulis re-opened in summer 2023, fresh with big ambitions. Despite L’Enclume’s weight in the Michelin guide, Aulis London had been snubbed since it first opened in 2017. Until now, that is; as of February 5, the restaurant is the proud recipient of its first Michelin star.

aulis.co.uk

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Alain Ducasse at The Dorechester
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester / ©The Dorchester Collection

One of just six London restaurants with three Michelin stars, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has long been regarded as the city’s ultimate fine-dining destination, having held all three since 2010. Ducasse’s career has been laden with Michelin stars, currently holding 18 and at one stage having as many as 21.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers contemporary French cuisine in modern and elegant décor along with professional and friendly service. The seasonal menu changes frequently, but diners can expect a mix of British ingredients and French techniques. There is also a vegetarian menu (Jardin) in an ode to the changing habits of diners.

The restaurant also houses the most famous dining table in London. Located in the center of the dining room, the Table Lumière is surrounded by 4,500 shimmering optical fibers which drop dramatically from the ceiling cleverly allowing guests to enjoy the ambiance and buzz of the restaurant whilst being nearly screened from view. Guests also dine off of stunning Hermès china sets and Puiforcat silverware and drink from Saint-Louis crystal glasses.

You can read our exclusive interview with the head chef Jean-Philippe Blondet here.

thedorchester.com

Lecture Room & Library at Sketch

Sketch Lecture Room & Library
The Lecture Room & Library at Sketch, one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city / ©Jean Cazals

Occupying what used to be the headquarters of Christian Dior, Sketch is chic, glamorous and trendy. It has held the maximum three stars since 2020, putting it in an elite group.

[See also: Sketch Reveals Redesign of Iconic Pink Dining Room]

The Lecture Room & Library, at the top of the Grade II listed building, offers haute cuisine by the extraordinary chef Pierre Gagnaire in a plush setting of studded ivory leather walls, ornate plasterwork ceilings, and rich furnishings in purple and crimson. Gagnaire has a global empire to run, so he entrusts Johannes Nuding to run the kitchen in his place.

Diners can choose between a seven-course tasting menu (vegetarian available) or a full a la carte menu. There is also a vast wine list containing some impressively expensive vintages on offer. An added bonus here is the guest bathrooms, which look like something out of a Stanley Kubrick film and are without doubt the most Instagrammable toilets (if there is such a thing) in London.

sketch.uk.com

[See also: The Best Restaurants in New York]

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