London is one of the world’s fine-dining powerhouses. The city’s deep well of culinary influences—and a cavalcade of top chefs—propel it to the upper limits of gastronomy.
An Italian stalwart in Mayfair takes family-style dining to new heights—and has a MICHELIN star to prove it. A tasting menu-only institution in Notting Hill doubles as a launching pad for many successful city chefs. In Soho, a revered hotel restaurant turns out exquisite modern renditions of French gastronomic fare.
London has no shortage of formal restaurants to suit up for, but these places rise above the rest. Read on for a guide to the city’s 15 most dazzling fine-dining restaurants to book now.
This hard-hitter from Monica Galetti, who opened the restaurant with her husband David in 2017, spotlights French and South Pacific flavours. After years at MICHELIN-starred Le Gavroche, Galetti now steers a menu that exudes creativity while paying homage to her Samoan and New Zealand roots. Mere’s colourful three-course lunch menu is a standout in London’s fine-dining arena, as is the restaurant’s understated but modern basement dining room. Choose from artfully plated starters including cod crudo with seaweed, buttermilk, and ponzu, and salt-baked carrot with buckwheat, bergamot, and ras el hanout before moving on to mains such as veal sweetbreads or Cornish stone bass. The rose opera—a raspberry jam and rose ganache layered with sponge cake and lychee sorbe—is a gorgeous way to conclude this inspired culinary journey.
Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay (The Strand)
This stunning restaurant by Gordon Ramsay’s team blends French fine dining with smooth service. The experience unfurls in a gilded dining room in the heart of the iconic Savoy Hotel. It is a tribute to chef and restaurateur Georges Auguste Escoffier, who took the helm of the hotel’s kitchen in 1890. These days, executive head chef James Sharp combines seasonal ingredients with classical techniques. The results are gorgeous, celebratory dishes such as fallow deer with Bordelaise sauce and fragrant sole Véronique with tarragon and Muscat grapes.
Locanda Locatelli (Mayfair)
Locanda Locatelli is widely regarded as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. There are plenty of reasons why spouse team Giorgio and Plaxy Locatelli’s flagship has retained its MICHELIN star every year since it was first awarded in 2003. The restaurant’s ethos is based on “la convivialità” (the spirit of conviviality), giving meals here a family-style vibe. The antipasti menu is full of simply prepared faithfuls, such as anchovies, cuttlefish, and grilled vegetable salad. But it’s the fresh pasta that blows diners away. Gnocchi and housemade spaghetti are topped with luscious seasonal sauces. The lemon cremoso dessert, made with pecan biscuit, lemon skin confit, yoghurt crumble, and crème fraîche ice cream, is a masterclass in precision.
Founder Alan Yau’s stylish Chinese restaurant created ripples in the capital when the original Hanway Place outpost opened in 2001. Hakkasan is the first Chinese restaurant in Britain to receive a MICHELIN star. Its refined dishes, sleek interiors, and inventive cocktails have since transformed it into a global nightlife brand. Expect a menu of Cantonese heavyweights featuring crispy roast Peking duck with pancakes, delicate dim sum, and stir-fried pepper beef with Merlot. Savour them while sipping playful cocktails such as The Hakka, a blend of vodka, sake, lychee, lime, coconut, and passionfruit bitters.
The Ledbury (Notting Hill)
This modern European institution makes regular appearances on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The Ledbury is steered by chef Brett Graham and reclaimed its two MICHELIN stars in March 2023 (after losing them due to closing during the Covid-19 pandemic). The restaurant also served as a springboard for the successful careers of many chefs in the capital, including Isaac McHale of MICHELIN-starred The Clove Club and chef Sally Abe, who ran the UK’s first MICHELIN-starred pub, Harwood Arms. A 2022 refurb brought reimagined interiors, featuring marble and wood accents and a unique mycelium wall (chef Graham is known for being obsessed with mushrooms). Deer are raised on the restaurant’s estate, and game often plays a starring role on the innovative and ever-changing tasting menu.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Knightsbridge)
Get ready for chef Heston Blumenthal’s whimsical take on molecular gastronomy at this MICHELIN-starred Knightsbridge marvel. Expect surreal and iconic dishes such as meat fruit (a vibrant chicken liver parfait shaped like an orange) and powdered duck breast. Feast on it all in a sleek, grey-toned dining room at the Mandarin Oriental. Groups of four to six should splurge for the chef’s table for a bespoke meal and a closeup of the thrumming open kitchen. Larger parties can book a private velvet-clad dining room, suitable for up to 12.
MICHELIN-starred Benares is a flagbearer for modern haute cuisine. The subterranean space feels refined yet relaxed and makes an ideal backdrop to explore chef Sameer Taneja’s playful India-inspired menu. The food here pairs traditional South Asian ingredients with cutting-edge techniques, such as oyster and cured sea-bream chaat and tandoori poussin. Get the tasting menu for the ultimate subcontinental odyssey.
La Dame de Pic (Tower Hill)
Acclaimed chef Anne-Sophie Pic offers her inimitable take on French cooking at this Tower Hill trailblazer. Pic is known for evolving menus that bend European haute cuisine rules. Her lunch menu features creations such as skate wing meunière with grilled leeks and dulse and salt marsh lamb, marinated in kombu and fig leaf. Opt for the six- or eight-course evening tasting menu to explore more of Pic’s genre-defying dishes.
SOLA Soho (Soho)
Californian sunshine comes to London at chef Victor Garvey’s elegant neighbourhood gem. The restaurant retains the MICHELIN star it gained in 2021, adding to a list of accolades that includes three AA Rosettes and a place as the 59th Best UK restaurant at the National Restaurant Awards. Sola’s plant-filled dining room evokes the natural beauty of the Pacific West Coast. Bright Californian flavours mirror the space with a tasting menu of colourful dishes such as the Spring Garden, a medley of bacon, eel, and foie gras served alongside seasonal flowers and vegetables. Enjoy them with your own wine (for a corkage fee) or one of the American-sourced vintages from an extensive list.
Frog by Adam Handling (Covent Garden)
The menu at Adam Handling’s Theatreland restaurant is a sophisticated ode to seasonal and local cuisine. Frog’s interiors, all plaid and leather, are adorned with illustrated maps that show the provenance of its ingredients and underscore the MICHELIN-starred restaurant’s commitment to transparency. Begin your evening downstairs at the walk-in-only bar Eve for a pre-dinner drink before tucking into Balmoral chicken with broccoli or Cornish cod with preserved lemon and whey.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (Mayfair)
The Dorchester’s flagship restaurant has held three MICHELIN stars since 2010 and boldly challenges French cooking conventions. Chef and patron Jean-Philippe Blondet serves imaginative mains such as lobster medallions with chicken quenelles, Périgord truffle, and housemade semolina pasta, plus unexpected sweet treats including blood orange with goat milk and argan oil. Add a light and airy dining room with striking green accents, and you’ve got a fine-dining experience to remember.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum (South Kensington)
With its stained-glass windows and vaulted ceilings, the opulent MICHELIN house is an ideal setting to enjoy Claude Bosi’s haute cuisine—it’s no surprise the restaurant regularly features on lists of London’s most attractive dining rooms. Check out the ground-floor oyster bar, then step into Bosi’s swanky MICHELIN-starred restaurant. Expect a menu of three, five, or seven courses featuring tastes of the season. Indulge in the signature Bibendum egg, an umami-rich mushroom duxelles with coconut foam and curry powder, before digging into scallops in brown butter dashi and Brittany rabbit with Scottish langoustine.
Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal (Piccadilly)
Acclaimed chef Alex Dilling started his career at Alain Ducasse’s Adour in New York before moving to Caviar Russe, where he became known for his creative uses of caviar. His first standalone London restaurant, Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal, opened in Autumn 2022 and has just been awarded two MICHELIN stars. A hushed temple to French classics with just 34 seats, the chef’s eponymous restaurant is an intimate dining affair. Dilling’s elegant tasting menu changes often but could include delicate wild turbot with cuttlefish jus and Basque chorizo or wagyu sirloin with green asparagus and pomme soufflé for two.
CORE by Clare Smyth (Notting Hill)
Chef Clare Smyth was part of the team that led Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to bag three MICHELIN stars in 2001. She brings that signature firepower to the seasonal British menu at CORE, one of her solo ventures. The restaurant is a rustic-chic space that keeps regulars returning for its homely atmosphere and joyful—yet technically sound—food. Cases in point: creamy scallop tartare and duck two ways with braised morels and wild garlic. Get a group of 10 together to sit at the chef’s table for unparalleled views of Smyth’s open kitchen.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught (Mayfair)
Hélène Darroze’s three MICHELIN-starred restaurant spotlights seasonal produce sourced from the farmers, makers, and growers with whom she has cultivated relationships. Each picturesque small plate features a star ingredient, prepared with a variety of accompaniments. Onion is presented with Ibérico lomo (pork loin) and thyme, and pigeon comes with parsnip, dates, and ras el hanout. The dining room’s muted tones and yellow accents provide a sleek backdrop for Darroze’s refined dishes. For a one-of-a-kind meal, book the chef’s table experience: Diners are seated at a pink marble table overlooking the kitchen while a bespoke seven-course menu is prepared before their eyes.