St. John

4.6
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2475 reviews
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£41 and over
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British
Fergus Henderson’s original home of “Nose to Tail Eating” opened in a former smokehouse around the corner from Smithfield Market in 1994.

Celebrating the finest of indigenous British produce and making the most of what is seasonally best whilst applying straight forward cooking techniques, St. John is now celebrated as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World and in 2009 was awarded its first Michelin Star.

Nose to tail eating means that, where appropriate, every part of the animal should be put to good use in the kitchen and so along with Roast Beef and Lemon Sole, diners will find Rolled Pig’s Spleen, Kidneys and Ox Heart, Liver and Chitterlings as well as the Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad, something of a ‘signature’ dish.

Whilst often cited as not a restaurant to take a vegetarian to, the kitchen source and prepare dishes for vegetarians with the same amount of studiousness as they do the meat, fish and poultry and desserts.
What 2475 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined 3 hours ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Very disappointed. We had really been looking forward to this place as it’s been regarded as an institution, but was a big let down. Service was poor. We told the server it was our first time here and asked what are some popular dishes and got the response “menu changes twice a day”, fine we get it (probably could have been delivered with less sass). So, we asked what she would recommend and got the response “I don’t know, shrug, menu changes very often... everything is good”. Turns out not everything is good. Mullet was dry and dropped on the table with no explanation, so we got a big glob of wasabi that completely over powered the fish. Devilled kidneys tasted like anyone could cook at home. Would not recommend this place. Judging by other bad reviews this place has been on the decline for a while. Hopefully they try and do something about it.

WL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All round brilliance. I have eaten many great meals over the years in many great restaurants but this was right up there with the very best. Maybe London’s best restaurant? Staff were great too. I loved every minute.

JR
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing food!!! Great place to come anytime. The bar is a great space for random visits and the dining room offers a great experience.

JG
Orange County
23 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious roasted bone marrow, rabbit was prepared beautifully, great rice pudding

KS
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

“I’m sure it was just a fruit fly”
This sentence ended one of the most disappointing evenings I can remember. We’d been looking forward to this meal for several months. We arrived about 15 minutes early and decided to get a drink at the bar before eating. The hosts reminded my husband that they would “need the table by 9:30” it was only 6:30. We were seated and then after a few minutes greeted by our server - whom we never saw again. There was some big wig she was taking care of next to us who apparently was having a meltdown and she spent the entire night trying to recover. Another server took pity on us and came over, but she had 8 tables of her own and was not very attentive. Our reservation was at 6:45 and by the time we were told the specials at 7:15 - they had run out of them. In 30 minutes! We placed our order for the one remaining appetizer special and didn’t see our waitress again for 20 minutes when we ordered the bone marrow, both came out at the same time. The marrow was good, the other was pretty mediocre. When we finally we able to flag down our waitress again to order our main dishes it was almost 8:00. The main dishes were ok, my rabbit was good. We ordered after dinner drinks and another 20 minutes later mine came out, with a bug in it. The drink was replaced with an eye roll and the above mentioned quote. When you drop £200 at an establishment you really hate to feel like a bother to the staff. They knew we were upset and did comp the drink with the bug in it and the desert we ordered which was also just ok. All in all the just fine food was overshadowed by the truly abysmal service.

AQ
Munich
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely great! Thanks!! A little let down there was no grouse that day but nevertheless thorougly enjoyed every bit

S
London
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

St John never disappoints - a London dining institution. Food, drinks, service and atmosphere all outstanding. The perfect spot for a leisurely lunch. We’ll be back again soon.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

We very much appreciate the effort of the staff. They were very attentive and helpful. The problem is we felt the food, much to our disappointment, was highly over-rated. With the press hype, reputation,etc., we expected much more. Average food taste and quality.

KS
Munich
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stylisch Industrial Style ambience, though warm atmosphere and not noisy. Suits all dining occasions from business lunch, eating out with friends or a romantic dinner.
Delicious dishes of genuine seasonal products in well chosen combinations from starters to desserts. The wine selection has something to offer, too. Mostly bottles. I had the white, rosé and the red they offer as "house wine" and all the tasted very good. Well, I came back directly the day after my first dinner and will return as often I can when I'll be in town again. Highly recommended!

KB
New York Area
229 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I had a wonderful dinner. We will certainly returned the next time we are in London.

EO
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the true culinary gems of the world. Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you bone marrow, bravo St John team. Bravo

BB
London
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience at St. John. Looking forward to returning.

RN
London
5 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As good as ever. The kidneys were fabulous. Good wine. And service from all great. Remains a special place

M
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best of British food in the most beautiful venue that was rustic and romantic. Service was excellent and very helpful.

D
London
12 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Came here after seeing Anthony Bourdain's 'The Layover'. I feel rather conflicted as the food is undoubtedly prepared and cooked carefully. However, I can't help but feel that the nose to tail concept is more about showing the public how an ox heart and Jerusalem artichoke can taste exactly like beef and potatoes. To me, it was more about the adventure/experience rather than the food itself. It wasn't the best meal I've tasted, nor the most complex but definitely memorable.

T
London
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really good food, ox heart was delicious and tender.

NC
London
2 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had been over 15 times in St. John and it has always been a great experience, no exceptions.

This time I was with my mom, we enjoyed first three starters at the front bar, all exceptionally cooked/perfectly prepared, along with a couple of Fergoni. The dishes were: whole crab with mayonnaise, game liver toast and snails salad. Stunning.

When we moved to the restaurant we moved on with another 4 starters, cold roasted lamb, squid in a wine sauce with aioli, duck hearts with mashed cannellini and razor clams salad. All very tasty and to the point. We then both had a grouse, which I think is one of St John’s masterpieces, and to close the evening off, a dozen of madelains with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a glass of Pedro ximenez. Every time I taste the madelains I come to the same conclusions: they are the best on planet Earth, God bless them.

Usually we either have a Claret or Bourgogne rouge, but this time we tried the Macon, which wasn’t as good as the two other wines, but it did the job, even though I’m probably not gonna have it again.

It’s always a great pleasure coming back. Favourite address in London.

ML
Ottawa
7 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Start to finish, Amazing. Thanks!

BC
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautifully prepared food. Everything I ordered was delicious. Efficient but friendly service. Enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and particularly like the phones off in the dining room signs. All in all a great dining experience.

JB
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on 2 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just the perfect evening! The food and service were both amazing! The skate salad was a great light first course. And you have to try the Welsh rarebit - so darn good. I can’t stop thinking about the gingerbread, either - it was super tasty! Loved it!

HD
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Really wonderful food and wine and I very much enjoyed my visit. The quality of the food was admirably high and the ingredients very fresh. The service was a bit lackluster and I felt a bit ignored but that may be because I was dining alone. The first waitstaff person didn’t even say hello but just took out a paper and looked at me expectantly. I had questions, which made me feel uncomfortable at this point. I also received a bit of a off handed response to how one of the dishes was intended to be eaten. When it came time to pay, most card readers in the U.K. ask whether you wish to add a tip, which I did. The waitstaff ran the card and didn’t ask if I wanted to add the tip. Luckily I had some cash. I asked the waitstaff if they could break the bill I had to leave a tip—they couldn’t open the till. The whole situation felt embarrassing which is not great for a fine dining establishment. So, really wonderful food, service could definitely be improved/retrained.

HP
London
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been coming here for a while, I have 3 observations;
1. The retention of staff in this place speaks volumes.
2. The amount of people dining alone says to me, that this is a venue where the food can trump conversation.
3. You can always get a booking, but the place is always full.
Just consistently superb, but we all know this.

D
Houston
61 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. I get the roasted bone marrow every time for the first course. On this occasion, fortunate to dine during grouse season. Roasted wild grouse!!! As always great place to cap off a trip to London.

TG
Hampshire
13 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Very rich food, as expected... small table on a corner, which wasn't necessary as not busy and was a little disappointing for a special birthday treat. Reasonable value albeit a little expensive on most wines.

PC
Sacramento
17 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was quite good. My only complaint is they ask you to dress smart casual but the restaurant doesn't match. Everything was really old, now I know it's an old building but I've been to plenty of restaurants in old buildings that didn't feel, I don't know, sticky. You eat at tables with paper tablecloths and though you are at separate tables there is the feeling of eating family style. If you are going to ask your customers to dress then the setting should match. But don't forget, the food was really good.

SF
1 review
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a very good evening after 22 years away. The only criticism was the booking time. Our time slot given to us was strictly 6.45 having requested 7.30 - 8pm. At 8pm there were st least 4 tables still empty. Hard to understand the logic - but everything else was excellent.

LS
London
3 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Marvellous. As ever. An institution.

B
Tucson
18 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We as a delicious meal. Skate salad was a lovely refreshing starter. Dressed in a light vinaigrette. The the middle white pork dish with cabbage. This was so tender and delicate in flavor.
This restaurant was not crowded when we arrived but soon filled up to capacity very quickly. We had two glasses of a very nice merlot.
Would definitely recommend this restaurant for unique dishes.

SF
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Delicious food, served in a clean and very automatic setting, no personal feel to interaction with staff. No good menu recommendations, nor explanations of what we were ordering, although we did mentioned that it was our first time there. What made it more upsetting was the fact that we had to get to the place, from Central London, which I guess set out expectations higher as it was a special destination restaurant, it was not close to us at all.
The food itself was good, but I wish that I was told that pork chop that is served here is not your normal chop that you’d see elsewhere, with a bone and lots of meat, instead it was a small medallion of meat that was covered in fat, and fried skin to a crisp. If I would have known that, I would never have ordered it, however, if I’m ever near that neighborhood again, I would visit this place for dinner again, definitely will order something else (never that pork chop again) but one thing for sure, never again would I take an Uber, taxi, bus or tube to get to it, if I’m near I’m going in, otherwise, it’s a pass for me

MB
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the mackerel followed by the skate. Both were excellent. And neither were meat!!!!
The sides menu is strange. Green salad is a green salad. Greens is also a green salad. I felt the waiter could have warned us we were ordering two things the same. I expected greens to be green vegetables.
Overall very good and I recommend

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superlative!

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AS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This place was on the top 30 World's Best Restaurants list according to Travel and Leisure/Food and Wine. Naturally, we wanted to give it a try on our recent trip to London. I guess our expectations were too high. We ordered duck (good), kidney (very good), bone marrow (didn't like) and a pork dish, which was just bad. How can a restaurant that specializes in meat dishes ruin a simple pork entree? Yes, I would still recommend. While not worth the hype, it's an interesting place. You just have to order the right things.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

A Very long hair in the pie

GR
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The service was overall poor (somewhat abrupt and slap dash wine pouring skills) which let down our otherwise good overall experience.

OT
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a wonderful meal, definitely the best we’ve had in London!

D
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lively space, loved the service and food as usual. It hasn't changed since I first went, and that's a good thing for me. The bone marrow was delicious, and we scored a lovely bottle off their expansive wine list. Recommended.

MG
Austin
18 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was an awesome meal

A
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. Top notch everything!

MW
London
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Please fix the bathrooms. Brill night though. Thank you.

BB
London
5 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our lunch was as ever absolutely delicious - made more so by seeing the patron obviously enjoying himself hugely on the next door table. Venison and radish salad tender and yummy, sea bass beautifully cooked and buttermilk pudding sublime

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