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Top 10 Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in London

Picture of Top 10 Best Hidden Gem 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, and no queue out the door. Well, keep these to yourself, but here are 10 restaurants that you’ll want to keep a secret.

Image of Powder Keg Diplomacy

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 (see also The Plough and Ben's Canteen). The quirky, verdant 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. Tip: skip dessert in favour of a starter. Best dish: pork belly with kale, especially with a bottle of Chapel Down Bacchus English wine.

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 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 secret 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. Best place in the City of London to escape for an hour or two.

Image of The Remedy

Fitzrovia
Bar
European

The north edge of Fitzrovia, along the Euston Road, seems an unlikely dead zone of activity for a hidden gem restaurant; but that's the point of this list. This 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. Basically, we advise ordering the entire menu. Oh, and if you like wine, they have 250 bins of the stuff! 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 can keep secrets (unlike us). It's a long walk from almost everywhere, thus ensuring its secrecy too. This south facing cool cafe has some communal chairs and tables on the actual towpath - clue in the name, people - and serves breakfast, 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.

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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.

Image of Cafe Spice Namaste By Cyrus Todiwala

City of London
Restaurant
Indian

Run by TV Chef, Cyrus Todiwala, this hidden gem Indian restaurant 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.

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