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Top 10 Best Hidden Restaurants in London

Picture of Top 10 Best Hidden Restaurants in London

You want to get away, far from maddening crowd, but you live and work right here in London. Is there anywhere to eat around here that doesn’t require queuing around the block? Damn that no-bookings on-trend policy! It’s all hype and zeitgeist. What you need is an unassuming restaurant that nobody knows about but that will tick all your restaurant-must-have boxes: cosy atmosphere, inspiring cuisine, unusual wines and beers, welcoming staff, an unusual viewpoint of secret doorway, and no queue out the door. Well, keep these to yourself, but here are 10 restaurants that you won't want to tell anyone about.

Image of Chokhi Dhani

Battersea
Bar / Restaurant
Indian

Located close to the US embassy near Vauxhall, Chokhi Dhani restaurant is one of those hidden gems that has to be experienced to be believed. This is an Indian restaurant where you can eat, drink, be entertained and immerse yourself in the experience. On the ground floor, grab a bargain with Indian street food all under £5 a plate. Eat like a king upstairs with a menu that embraces Rajasthani cooking but uses interesting ingredients like game and foie gras. If you're new to Rajasthai cooking, order a Thali to experience a little taste of everything. Don't forget to spend time in the restaurant's library and while away the hours outside on the terrace taking in the river views.

Image of Taberna Etrusca

City of London
Restaurant
Italian

This slim pocket of real estate between St Paul's and Bank Tube stations is synonymous with banking and finance and general fiscal high brow stuff. Yet, if the summer sun is shining brightly and the skies above are painted blue, the pretty courtyard at this secluded Italian restaurant, in the classic trattoria style, will be filled with romance and love and faces of glee (business lunches are also welcome too obviously). The short passage to the side of the restaurant leads to a secret courtyard where a timeless slice of Tuscany can be brought to you on plate in the form of simple, yet expertly crated Italian cuisine. The best restaurant in the City of London to escape for an hour or two.

Image of PowderKeg

Clapham
Restaurant
British

Although a visit to this out-of-the-way restaurant might require a short walk up St John's Hill, the area has nascent kudos; plus, the further away from nearby Clapham Junction station you can get, the better. The quirky conservatory restaurant at the rear (beyond the bar section, which you MUST visit for a cocktail libation before dinner) has an antiquated, Georgian feel and the dim lighting provides heady, almost Dickensian, romance. The menu is all about British cuisine. In fact, the chef takes pride in having entirely British ingredients. Top tip: favour a starter over a dessert. Best dish: pork belly with kale, especially with a bottle of Chapel Down Bacchus English wine.

Image of Indian Accent

Mayfair
Restaurant
Indian

The thriving restaurant scene in Mayfair might not immediately strike you as "hidden", but when faced with so many spectacular dining options near Green Park, Piccadilly and Regent Street, it can be difficult to work out exactly which one to choose. We'll make it easy for you: if you're a fan of modern Indian cuisine in a chic, yet casual atmosphere, do yourself a favour and book a dinner (lunch or brunch if you're on a budget) at Indian Accent on Albemarle Street. It's close the Royal Academy of Art, the Burlington Arcade and the Ralph Lauren flagship London store so make a day of it! What to order? The black dal and the salli per eedu are always a good place to start. This is living!

Image of Romulo Cafe London

Kensington
Restaurant
Filipino

This cosy, Filipino restaurant in Kensington is possibly not the first place that springs to mind when planning a trip to the Design Museum, Holland Park, Kyoto Japanese Gardens, or the excellent Leighton House Museum nearby. However, no matter which local cultural experience you choose, make sure you complete the day out in London with a portion of their slow-cooked ribs in the beef sliders, amongst other satisfying dishes. As accommodating as a family-run restaurant should be, Romulo Cafe has an authentic welcome which makes you feel right at home. This is the kind of restaurant you'll want to return but won't want to tell anyone about, keeping it as your little secret.

Image of Cafe Spice Namaste By Cyrus Todiwala

City of London
Restaurant
Indian

Run by TV Chef, Cyrus Todiwala, this hidden Indian restaurant near the Tower of London has been around for more than 20 years in a homely former 19th-century courthouse between Tower Bridge and Aldgate. Enjoy the usual menu suspects - chicken tikka, pork vindaloo - but come for dishes with more unexpected ingredients. All the meats are sourced from tiny farms across the UK. We enjoyed an ostrich bhuna and a British shellfish curry. Veggie? Don't worry - there are plenty of dishes on the main menu and also another seasonal vegetarian menu. Sample the beetroot curry and artichoke dish with Cotswolds grown split yellow peas. Top tip: Save room for puds and then go for a stroll along the river.

Image of Pellicano Restaurant

Chelsea
Restaurant
Italian

Sitting discreetly along a quiet residential street in Chelsea, this family-run Italian restaurant may not have the fame of some of its illustrious neighbours, but that's part of its understated charm. Look out for the orange awning and step inside for rustic yet stylish regional Italian food at its best, plus lesser-known wines from small producers on the island. It's a firm locals' favourite, and it's easy to see why with charming staff and an unassuming atmosphere often missing in these moneyed parts.

Image of The Remedy

Fitzrovia
Bar
European

The north edge of Fitzrovia, along the Euston Road, seems an unlikely dead zone of activity, but that's the point of this hidden restaurant list: finding gold where nobody is looking. The Remedy wine bar and kitchen serves delicious small plates of very simple dishes, each with no more than four ingredients. The house specialities, however, are oysters and sausages, but we advise ordering the entire menu. Oh, and if you like wine, they have 250 bins of the stuff and the engaging staff have a story to tell about each of them. Grab a seat at the bar if you can! Cosy, comfortable, and delightfully friendly.

Image of Towpath

Dalston
Bar
Italian

This is one of those hidden gems you'll find totally by accident. We did, when we cycled along the Regent's Canal between Kingsland and Angel one sunny day. It should really remain a secret, but we know you cant keep secrets (unlike us). It's a long walk from almost everywhere, thus ensuring its secrecy too. This south facing cool cafe has communal chairs and tables on the actual towpath - clue in the name - and serves breakfast, brunch, cakes, coffee, and lovely sourdough sandwich fuel using locally sourced ingredients. Dog-friendly, kid-friendly, cyclist-friendly (there's a bike tune up shop next door), so kick back and enjoy a lovely glass of homemade ginger beer. Or a glass of wine.

Image of Chisou

Chiswick & Brentford
Restaurant
Japanese

Hidden away like a secret restaurant on a Kyoto side street, Chisou Chiswick restaurant is an oasis of Japanese calm, away from the bustling high road. The ground floor is split between intimate booths and a traditional sushi counter. Head upstairs for sake bar and a sky lit dining space. Serving the very best Japanese food, the menu is gimmick free, the focus instead on exceptionally fresh fish and authentic dishes. Changing chef's specials, an amazing sake list and a cosy atmosphere make Chisou Chiswick a true taste of Japan.

Image of Dinings

Marylebone
Restaurant
Japanese

You'll find this wonderful little sushi restaurant tucked away down a small residential street in Marylebone. Keep your eyes peeled as you approach in case you miss it, the exterior is that small and non-descript. Inside, seat yourself at the bar and prepare to be amazed as the chef whips out his collection of enormous knives and creates the most incredible, ornate sushi you've ever laid eyes on. And it's not just a sight to behold, it tastes spectacularly good too. If you're vegetarian or vegan, just say the word, and they'll rustle up something amazing especially for you.

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