Tourists on holiday in London and Londoners alike know that Leicester Square is the heart of London’s West End. If you’ve never been on a night out in London, Leicester Square is usually the best place to start, what with the multitude of theatres - Royal Opera House, Coliseum, Palace Theatre, Wyndham Theatre - and cinemas - Odeon, Warner Brothers, Prince Charles - all within walking distance. And then there’s all the bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs to think about too. Whether you’re out with your family and the kids, or whether you’re with your mates for a big night out, you’ll need to find somewhere to eat first. Which is why Fluid London has put together this guide to the best places to eat in Leicester Square to book a table at, leaving the hardest decision for you being in which direction to take the remainder of your night out.
Image courtesy of Flickr user garryknight
Piccadilly / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
Tredwell's on Upper St Martins Lane comes from the Marcus Wareing Restaurants group. This restaurant near Leicester Square has an informal setting for diners to enjoy modern London cooking. Quality and affordability is at the heart of the restaurant, capturing the vibrancy of the surrounding area and appealing to the array of people that visit the West End.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
It's smart casual attire at this French restaurant near Leicester Square, but as it's something special, it's worth it. Two things to note upon entering: two floors of sophistication basked in leather and dark colour; and the al fresco effect of plants on the wall. The modern French cuisine is stunningly presented as art pieces that look too good to eat. Signature dishes include onion soup and braised duck, but it's the wine list that blows me away with over 30 pages to choose from.
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: British
Just off the bustling Leicester Square in London's West End, on Upper St. Martins Lane, you'll find Stringfellows. The popular club has always been a celebrity hangout ever since the 1980s, and this has continued on to the present day. Once inside, you'll see why. Stunning, beautiful girls, two spectacular levels - with various stages, private rooms, cocktail seating - and to top it all, the most exquisite late-night fine dining restaurant you'll find in London. Think classy steaks and lobster dishes; decadence abounds.
Heliot Steak House
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Steak House
A gourmet oasis elevated above the glamorous gaming floor, Heliot Restaurant, Bar & Lounge on Leicester Square brings modern British cuisine to the landmark Hippodrome casino. This cosmopolitan casino restaurant is headed by chef Barry Vera, who takes inspiration from the site's illustrious heritage, by injecting exciting twists into time-honoured recipes. A fashionable destination for American beers and cooling concoctions, the Heliot bar is a curved, glowing spectacle in the restaurant's centre.
Joe's Southern Kitchen & Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Sometimes only dirty Deep South food will do. Joe's restaurant in the West End brings irresistible fried chicken to the table alongside platters of buffalo wings, mac 'n' cheese and fries with chicken salt to feed that soul food craving. Their signature beer can chicken is a must try, as are their honey butter baked cornbread and creamed mash with chicken gravy. Not into fried chicken? How about some beef short rib, and New Orleans vegetable gumbo instead? As it is located right on the edge of Covent Garden, this place gets rammed. However, their basement bar, Cocktail Baby, will quench your thirst while you wait. Download
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
In the heart of Theatreland, Spaghetti House offers friendly dining on two floors, just a stone's throw from Soho with its endless entertainment and Covent Garden with its theatres, cinemas and shopping opportunities. Eating leisurely, the staff won't hassle you, but if your show is starting soon you can be rest assured that you'll be served quickly. This rustic-modern Italian restaurant is a great place to meet and eat in Leicester Square, easily accessible from the tube station.
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Across the street from the famous gentlemen's club with which it shares its name, Le Garrick restaurant and bar near Leicester Square is a convivial and well-established, with a classic menu of French cuisine. Spread over two floors, the ground floor dining room offers a window view of the bustle of Covent Garden outside, while the intimate basement with its candlelit alcoves fosters a more discreet atmosphere. A lively crowd of playgoers and theatre faces soak up the weekly live music.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Fusion
Leicester House is one of only a few restaurants actually in Leicester Square, or its verges. It offers French Vietnamese dining on the fringe of Chinatown. This transformed Georgian townhouse also has fifteen decorated bedrooms with two additional suites, in case things get heated. The restaurant serves French Vietnamese cuisine, drawing on the influences of its Chinatown location. With renovated rooms and all day dining service, Leicester House brings a new energy to the area. It's a convivial destination for locals to drop in for a quick bite or pre theatre snack and a beer, plus a 2am license makes it a great late night cocktail bar in Leicester Square.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Indian
Lotus, an authentic fine Indian dining restaurant located on Charing Cross Road near Leicester Square. Named for the national flower of India, Lotus marries tradition with innovation to present a truly gourmet experience. Chef-Patron Bhaskar Banerjee has over two decades of culinary experience, working as Chef d'Hotel for exclusive venues such as Marriott, Sheraton, Le Meridian and The Taj Group. For Lotus he has created a collection of signature dishes which combine traditional cooking techniques with imported Indian spices and fresh locally-sourced meat, fish and game including British roe deer, duck and the famous Queenie scallops from the Isle of Man.
Morada Brindisa Asador
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Tapas
The menu at Morada Brindisa Asador restaurant in London's West End is largely focused around cooking over charcoal and includes techniques from across Spain where asadors are ubiquitous. Dishes are prepared and cooked at the bar, in the Josper oven or over the Robata grill. The menu puts a big emphasis on meat, seafood and vegetables; grilled, roasted, stewed and braised. One of those restaurants in the Leicester Square area that will suit groups of carnivores who wish to start their big night out in London with a decent feed.
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