5 neighbourhood gems to visit in London this autumn

Caption: Odette’s Art Deco vibes add to its photogenic appeal. Credit: Odette’s

The temps have cooled, but London’s kitchens are still red-hot. This autumn, join OpenTable and Mastercard to support local restaurants in the city through the Dine Local campaign. From 23rd October to 19th November 2023, book a table at one of the participating neighbourhood spots and take a bite out of London’s vibrant food scene

The Mastercard partnership highlights the staggering range of cuisines London is known for, from modern British to soulful Italian and inventive Japanese—restaurants that reflect London’s signature cosmopolitanism.

By dining at local spots, you support the small businesses that are the heart and soul of this city. 

When making your reservation, keep an eye out for special Dine Local Experiences that offer one-of-a-kind opportunities, like special tasting menus or complimentary drinks. We’ve rounded up the five London restaurants you need to make a reservation at right now.

Read on for 5 independent restaurants in London.


Mr Lobo (Angel)

A brightly coloured cocktail on an embroidered table runner at Mr Lobo in Angel.

Caption: Cocktails at Mr Lobo are carefully crafted by mixologist and owner Miguel Lobo. Credit: Mr Lobo.

For Peruvian fare, try Mr Lobo in Angel Islington 

Step inside Mr Lobo and you’ll be hit with the heady scents of ají pepper, cilantro, cane sugar, and pineapple. Owner, head chef, and mixologist Miguel Elespuru Ponce and his partner Katia Viaud offer a sensory trip to central South America via vibrant artwork and top-notch ceviches. If you’re drinking, pair your bites with an icy pisco sour or the smoky signature cocktail with muddled blackberries inspired by Lobo’s former bar in Lima, Peru. Whether you’re well-versed in Peruvian food or new to the cuisine, Mr. Lobo is the ticket. 

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Odette’s Restaurant (Primrose Hill)

An interior view of the dining area that has a brick wall, wall art, and small wooden tables at Odette’s in Primrose Hill

Caption: Odette’s Art Deco vibes add to its photogenic appeal. Credit: Odette’s

Treat yourself to a meal in a picturesque setting at Odette’s Restaurant in Primrose Hill

Wedged between mid-Victorian shops, Odette’s has been a Primrose Hill staple since 1978. Locals can’t get enough of its glowy, velvet-accented dining room—or its consistently great modern European food. Owner Chef Bryn Williams’s Welsh and British heritage is on full display in dishes like Welsh black brisket with starchy potatoes and crispy salmon with stuffed courgette flowers (plus a separate vegan menu). There are two experiences you can enjoy as part of the Dine Local campaign, including a set menu or a la carte option. 

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Rossella (Kentish Town)

An Italian spread featuring pasta with bolognese sauce, caprese salad with toasted bread, a mozzarella basil pizza, and clams at Rossella in Kentish Town.

Tuck into Nonna-approved pizza and pasta at this crowd-friendly gem. Credit: Rossella

Enjoy Nonna-approved pasta and pizza at Rossella in Kentish Town

This family-run trattoria is steered by Luca Meola and as inviting as it gets. Exposed-brick walls and wooden tables set the scene for a laidback family-style feast of pillowy gnocchi and chicken in herby tomato ragu. If you’re here with a large crew, sprawl out in the main dining room; if it’s a more intimate meal, cosy up in the deli area, decked with wheels of cheese (there’s even outdoor seating with blankets and heaters). Spend a leisurely evening here and you’ll soon understand why Rossella has claimed a spot on OpenTable’s Top 100 restaurant list for five years in a row—this is a delicious slice of dolce vita in London.

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Yama Momo (East Dulwich)

An interior shot of Yama Momo featuring fresh seafood on ice.

Caption: Sushi and seafood are given the star treatment at Yama Momo. Credit: Yama Momo

Be transported to Japan at Yama Momo in East Dulwich

Yama Momo is the next best thing to a fully-fledged Japan trip, via East Dulwich. This Izakaya and sushi restaurant is popular amongst Lordship Lane locals, with a contemporary feel and an exciting menu. Jewel-esque nigiri topped with sweet glazes appear like edible works of art, and more substantial main courses include truffled rib-eye, a creative riff on teriyaki. Add an impressive sake and cocktail selection—yuzu spritz, anyone?—and you’ve got one of the most imaginative Japanese spots in South London.

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Pahli Hill (Fitzrovia)

Homestyle Indian cooking by chef Avinash (Avi) Shashidhara headlines the menu at Pahli Hill. Credit: Pahli Hill Bandra Bhai / Lateef Photography

For soulful Indian classics, try Pahli Hill in Fitzrovia

Chef Avinash Shashidhara (whose papdi chaat starter appeared on the Great British Menu in 2023) steers the kitchen at this contemporary, home-style Indian restaurant. Expect expertly executed dal makhani and tangy Goan prawn vindaloo in the dining room upstairs. As part of the Dine Local campaign, you can opt for a two or three-course lunch menu for an especially comforting mid-day feast. The restaurant’s sibling spot downstairs, Bandra Bhai, a Bollywood-themed cocktail bar, is locally loved for drinks flavoured with Indian-inspired ingredients like mango and pistachio.

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Pooja Shah is a freelance writer originally from New York City but now living in London. She writes on food, travel, wine, and lifestyle. Her work is at www.pooja-shah.com. Follow her on Instagram at @poojashah1130.

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