The best restaurants in London

Over the past few years, Shoreditch has become one of the areas of London with the most diverse eating out options. It's here where some of the more unique restaurants are appearing, thriving in an area that (for the moment) is a easier to break into than Soho. There are a lot of unique restaurants out this way - and here's our edit of what we think are the best... 

 

The Clove Club
Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
What We Know: One of the best restaurants in town and one of the few to make it into the World's 50 Best list, The Clove Club is fast becoming a London institution. Head into the main restaurant for a regularly changing set menu which is at the heart of things here - or to the bar for cocktails and nibbles.

 

Smokestak
Address: 35 Sclater St, London E1 6LB
What We Know: Originally a staple of Street Feast, this is Smokestak's first permanent home. It's from David Carter, who originally worked in Claridges and Roka and who now is now responsible for some of the best smoked meats in town. You'll have to try the brisket, for sure, but it's worth working through the entire menu. Expect to be smelling rather smokey for a while after, though (unless you sit on their terrace).

 

Popolo
Address: 26 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DU
What We Know: This Italian restaurant is from chef Jonathan Lawson, who has worked with Theo Randall for five years and has opened his own place, with cuisine described as Italian with a touch of Moorish and Spanish.

 

Blanchette East
Address: 204 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
What We Know: The original Blanchette was a big hit in Soho, serving up small plates of French cooking. This restaurant has a similar small plates approach as the original, but the menu has expanded to include more influences from South France and North Africa too.

 

The Frog
Address: 2 Ely’s Yard, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street E1 6QR
What We Know: Adam Handling had huge success in Westminster at the Caxton Grill, but now he's set up his own spot in Shoreditch. It's a much more casual affair than before, but the food and its influences remains much the same. There's a great value tasting menu here, and the chicken butter is to die for.

 

Som Saa
Address: 43A Commercial Street, London E1 6BD
What We Know: Often referred to as the best Thai food in London, this has been set up by the trio of Andy Oliver, Mark Dobbie and Tom George. They originally gained a huge following at a Climpson's Arch residency before crowdfunding their own spot. Expect great Thai food using the best of British produce.

 

Rök Smokehouse and Bar
Address: 26 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NZ
What We Know: Rök, which literally means "smoke" in Swedish, are brining, pickling and smoking various British ingredients - with a focus on delivering the kinds of smoked meat dishes, cures, pickles and vegetable dishes that you'd see on tables across Northern Europe.

 

Oklava
Address: 74 Luke St. London EC2A 4PY
What We Know: Selin Kiazim originally won lots of fans during her stint at Kopapa. Her own restaurant focuses on Turkish cooking and is being designed to reflect her "bustling eating times as a child." Expect a regularly changing menu here.

 

Taberna Do Mercado
Address: Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial Street, E1 6BG
What We Know: This is the latest from Nuno Mendes, best known for Chiltern Firehouse and Viajante before that. This time he's gone back to his roots, with an all-day restaurant serving Portuguese tapas and more. If you can make it for the morning, try the custard tarts which are among the very best in London.

 

Lyle's
Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ
What We Know: James Lowe's restaurant at the Tea Building in Shoreditch proved that a restaurant in Shoreditch could gain a Michelin star. After previous success at the Ten Bells, this all-day restaurant showcases his food with a regularly changing menu. They also have lots of special guests popping in from time to time. And they aim to serve a damn fine coffee throughout the day too.

 

Andina
Address: 1 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ
What We Know: Martin Morales is also behind Ceviche, although this restaurant takes a slightly different approach. It takes its influence from Peruvian ‘picanterias’, traditional family run restaurants serving local people from breakfast through to dinner.

 

Dishoom Shoreditch
Address: 7 Boundary Street, London E2 7JE
What We Know: One of London's biggest success stories, Dishoom seems eternally popular. Serving up all manner of Indian small plates, there's just as big a focus on the bar here as the food. Expect to wait for your table at peak times here.

 

Merchants Tavern
Address: 36 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PG
What We Know: This is a collaboration between Angela Hartnett and Canteen founders, Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton-Malone together with head chef Neil Borthwick. It's in a revamped Victorian warehouse which used to host Cantaloupe restaurant. Expect a modern European menu plus a separate bar menu featuring British themed drinks.

 

Viet Grill
Address: 58 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London, E2 8DP
What We Know: If you're after great Vietnamese food in London, then one of the places to head to is Kingsland Road - with some of the best places in town right here. This is the sister restaurant of Cay Tre and a more laid-back vetnamese spot.

 

Hawksmoor Spitalfields
Address: 157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
What We Know: The original Hawksmoor, and for many the best. Known as the group that transformed steaks in British restaurants forever for the better, this is a perfect place to come to for a meat-fest. And expect some cracking cocktails too - head to the bar downstairs for those and extra snacks not on the main menu.

 

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