By Anton Constantinou
Knowing where to eat out in London can prove difficult for the indecisive among us. You could easily fill a book with the number of places to chow down a good steak or burger, and international cuisine is just as readily available. Like most cosmopolitan cities, London is jam packed with cheap eats, cafes and fine dining establishments, not to mention a stack of celebrity haunts. That’s assuming you’ve not already set your heart on some street food. You really are that spoilt for choice.
If you’re currently working in London or have recently arrived from abroad, it’s likely you’ll be after something close to the city centre. Honing in on the key business districts, we’ve drawn up list of the best places to go for everything from ravioli to sharing plates.
Waterloo is a principal commuter hotspot in central London. Part of the London Borough of Lambeth, it lies one mile east of Charing Cross, and occupies a prime location on the River Thames. Waterloo Bridge, which runs between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, offers views of Westminster, South Bank and The London Eye. It also connects Waterloo to The Strand: one of London’s most important thoroughfares.
Where to eat
The Laughing Gravy
Tucked away on Blackfriars Road, and a short walk from Southwark tube station, is a modern British eatery which oozes sophistication. Partly borrowing its name from a Laurel & Hardy film, The Laughing Gravy mixes rustic game fare and contemporary meat and fish plates. All dishes are expertly crafted using the freshest, seasonal ingredients, and served in a humble, homely setting. The restaurant is ideal for a romantic evening meal or small scale business lunch.
Alternatively, you can dine at Wahaca: a vibrant Mexican chain diner with a site on the terrace right under Queen Elizabeth Hall. Expect award winning street food, and a full filled atmosphere.
The City of London
Often referred to as the Square Mile, the City of London is a major business and finance centre with a history dating back to the Roman times. More than 450,000 people work there and it’s also home to the vast majority of London’s skyscrapers and tallest buildings. Given the sheer volume of people commuting in and out of the City of London each day, it’s jam packed with places to eat and drink, from the well-known to the more obscure.
Where to eat
Duck and Waffle
On the glamorous end of the scale is Duck and Waffle, located on 40th floor of the Heron Tower in Liverpool Street. The highest 24/7 restaurant in London offers breath-taking views across the City. The round-the-clock menu spans breakfast, brunch, cocktails and wine, to a fancy small plate late-night menu.
Paternoster Chop House
Those with a big appetite are advised to check out the Paternoster Chop House in Warwick Court. Steak, pork and lamb dishes are cooked up in a Josper grill and served with a choice of béarnaise, peppercorn, red wine gravy or horseradish.
Marylebone is a wealthy area of central London, situated inside Westminster. It consists of Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east.
Where to eat
Orrery on Marylebone high street is considered one of London’s best kept secrets. Snazzy furniture and a cheery yellow awning make this French restaurant an ideal summer spot. Classic dishes on the menu include truffle and potato ravioli and wild mushroom and herb risotto. For desert, we recommend the chocolate and coffee cake.
Comptoir Libanais is a well-established Lebanese restaurant chain with nine restaurants in London alone. The canteen style menu includes cold and hot mezze, tagine, wraps and mint tea. The Marylebone branch can be found on Wigmore Street, a mere three minute walk from Bond Street station.
Victoria is a small London district, located inside the City of Westminster. The main streets running through Victoria are Buckingham Palace Road, Wilton Road, Grosvenor Gardens, Vauxhall Bridge Road, and Victoria Street itself. The area is a mixture of private and social housing, commercial property and retail. Government departments including Public Health England, the National Audit Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government are also a common sight. The area sits directly between Belgravia, Westminster and Pimlico and close to the River Thames.
Where to eat
Hungry foodies won’t be let down by the cured meat and cheese sharing plates served up at Tozi. The rustic Venetian-Italian restaurant is ideal for parties, birthdays and corporate events.
Lime Orange is an excellent Korean restaurant, which you’d be forgiven for walking past without a passing glance. Wedged between a tiny hotel and newsagents, it’s suitably placed to attract a niche following, and serves up some of the finest Korean food in London. For a taste of true Korea, try the Bibimbap: which is essentially a mixture of rice, sautéed vegetables and meat, served piping hot in a sizzling bowl with a runny egg on top to bind all the flavours together.