Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

There was a time, not too long ago, when restaurants in City of London would wrap up the store after dinner on Friday and remain closed until the functioning breakfast crowd reappeared Monday morning. The beating heart of London’s all-important financial industry, packed with glass skyscrapers, hurried commuters and very little in the way of cultural institutions, was not considered a place any rational person would want to spend their free time.

Well, not anymore. With the hip bars, restaurants and galleries of Shoreditch creeping west towards Liverpool Street, the revival of historic sites such as Leadenhall Market and the Royal Exchange and the realization that the 40th floor of these skyscrapers is a brilliant place for restaurants where the view comes to a prize, has meant that Square Mile is now the destination for you bottomless brunches, casual lunches and decadent dinners. Here is our guide to the best restaurants in the City of London.

Galvin La Chapelle

One of a number of restaurants in town with one Michelin star, this classic French eatery by brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin – also by Galvin on Windows in Mayfair – is housed in a beautiful historic building on the edge of Spitalfields Market, making it an impressive place to entertain before food even arrives. Fortunately, the menus stand more than up to their surroundings, with classic French techniques pushed into the service of British quality ingredients. Think Cornish lamb with courgette and basil puree and stuffed courgette flower or wild sea bass with royal jersey, fennel, squid aioli and lobster bisque. There are also full vegetarian and vegan menus as well as a fantastic Sunday roast.

35 Spital Square, E1 6DY,


After a long time of taking into account barley latte with a meaty appetite, there is no shortage of good steak in the Square Mile, but the best (in our humble opinion) is to be found at Blacklock. All meat is sourced from the Warren family, who have bred and aged native and rare breeds of wealthy animals on their Cornwall farm since 1880. Despite this pedigree, a slap-up meal here will not break the bank, with the primary Porterhouse at £ 8 / 100g and cocktails very sharply priced at £ 5 each. There are also plenty of options for non-meat eaters and an express menu for those looking for a quick everyday lunch.

13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 8AA,

Cinnamon cuisine

The East London outpost of Vivek Singh’s hugely popular Cinnamon restaurant group is quite conveniently located in the former East India Trading Company warehouse in Devonshire Square. This large, brightly lit space (note the 5,000 mother-of-pearl tiles) features a tandoor grill bar, terrace, private dining room and self-contained anise bar, as well as the main restaurant, each serving Singh’s signature Indian modern cuisine. The menu changes seasonally, but core must attempts include lamb kebabs, black lentils and kadhai-spiced paneer. For the full experience, opt for the nine-course sharing party featuring all of the restaurant’s biggest hits, including its Lucknow-style chicken byani, samosa chaat and lemon powder with strawberry chaat.

9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL, kanel- Kø


As you may have guessed from the name, Angler is the place to go for some of the best seafood in the City of London – a high order considering Billingsgate Market is just down the road. The proud owner of a Michelin star since 2013, you will find this sophisticated restaurant on the seventh floor of the South Place Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering glorious views of some of the oldest parts of the capital. Led by chef Gary Foulkes, however, the food is decidedly modern, with innovative techniques and unusual flavor combinations that create a meal worth taking time. A wine list curated by sommelier Francesco Tessa also guarantees a serious examination thanks to its extensive offer in glass and bottle.

3 South Place, EC2M 2AF,

Jose Pizarro

Like the original concept for small plates, authentic tapas joint ventures have done great business in the capital over the last decade or so, and with six places to his name, José Pizarro is your go-to for a true taste of Spain. The third restaurant bearing Pizarro’s name, Broadgate Circle Outpost, with its beautiful terrace and large gin and tonic menu, is as close to authentic European aperitivo hour as you are likely to get to in the city. Order a selection of tapas from the classic menu – our favorites are chorizo ​​al vino, spicy shrimp fritters and shrimp a la plancha – and graze lazily while watching the world go by.

36 Broadgate, EC2M 1QS,

City Social

Should you happen to find yourself in need of a great meal in an upscale London neighborhood, you are almost certainly no more than a few minutes from a Jason Atherton restaurant. The Michelin-starred chef has six restaurants and two bars spread across the city, as well as a handful more sprinkled around the world, each displaying reliably delicious food using fine seasonal ingredients. City Social is located on the 24th floor of The Gherkin and is quite literally head and shoulders above the rest. The atmosphere here is casual fine dining, so expect a mix of obsessed business types that close deals in the private dining room and groups celebrating special occasions in the luxurious leather parties that look out over the London skyline.

25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ,


Another instant hit from JKS Restaurants — the family-run group behind Trishna, Bao, Gymkhana, Hoppers, Sabor, and many more — Brigades takes its inspiration from the army’s root bars in India, where soldiers went to eat, drink, and socialize. The experience is therefore something like mixing dinner at a fantastic Native American with a pint at the pub, if your local of course happens with exquisite Indian art deco interiors by Brady Williams Studio. Live sports, pool and cards are offered along with a menu of exciting Anglo-Indian small plates such as cheese and onion bhajias, goat stomach vindaloo samosas and pearl chicken.

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR,

Duck and waffle

When you are 40 floors up in one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers (in this case Heron Tower), it can be easy to reach the coast on your panoramic view. Thankfully, Duck & Waffle does not. This year it celebrates its tenth anniversary and this is your go-to for heavenly comfort food of the best order. The bacon-wrapped dates are legendary, while the menu also includes a number of Mediterranean-inspired small plates (think grilled squid, beef cheek donuts and goat cardigan) as well as, of course, the namesake duck and waffle. Just visiting to drink? Pull up a seat at the bar and sip a Duck and Stormy while admiring the view.

110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY,

The Lady of Pic

The City of London’s most acclaimed restaurant is the two Michelin-starred La Dame De Pic. Hidden behind the magnificent façade of the Four Seasons Hotel in Ten Trinity Square, this classic French restaurant is overseen by Anne-Sophie Pic, the world’s most decorated female chef. There is no a la carte menu here, instead diners are given the choice of a four-, six- or eight-course tasting menu, each with a sophisticated parade of dishes, such as John Dory with courgette, chartreuse, Granny Smith apple, shiso and marigold or artichoke with curry, genmaicza, mezcal and peanutpraline. Be warned but the entry level offer comes in at £ 190 per person. Person with paired wines — perhaps a bill best picked up by these expense accounts.

10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ,

Read more: The best restaurants in Canary Wharf


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