Culture Trip's Ultimate Guide to Eating and Drinking in Mayfair

Ling Tang / 
Ling Tang /  | © Culture Trip

Culture Trip is obsessed with finding the most delicious plates of food available in Mayfair, and we’ve compiled our top picks in one easy-to-bookmark list.

It’s 8am and you’re rushing to an early meeting, desperately in need of coffee and a croissant to power you through. Or it’s 2pm, you’re starving at your desk and can’t face eating a sad, stale sandwich yet again. Then it’s 9pm, you’re at after-work drinks and you want to head somewhere that you know will make you happy, entertained and full.

Whatever your situation, Culture Trip’s got your back. We’ve eaten our way around Mayfair to find the most inventive, the most characterful and – best of all – the most reliably delicious food and drink. These are the places you’ll become a regular at. Let us introduce you.

Coffee and breakfast

1. Mayfair Pasta And Sandwich Bar

Cafe, British, Salad Bar, Soup, Fast Food

You cant beat a good cheese toastie
© MMWoolly / Pixabay

This tiny, old-school cafe can be found 30 seconds from Bond Street tube. The traditional exterior and metal table and chairs outside let you know that this true builders’ caff (it’s frequented often by those working on the Crossrail project) is an ever-reliable stalwart. With a glass deli counter displaying sandwich fillings and friendly staff who address everyone as “love”, the comforting charm of this cafe can’t be overstated. Expect greasy spoon fare with an Italian twist – and it’s genuinely good rather than just hangover-salving. Prices are low (especially so for Mayfair) and the amount of butter is generous. Highlights include the doorstep-sized slices of toast (we always get ours with Marmite) and the toasted sandwiches and panini, which are hefty enough to knock out a bad day at 50 paces. It’s not trendy or cutting-edge, but this tiny cafe has our hearts.

2. Workshop Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, British, Contemporary

Coffee © Malmaison Hotels / Flickr
© Malmaison Hotels / Flickr

This well-known London coffee roastery and cafe has several spots around London – for good reason, because their coffee is delicious. A hotspot for creative types, each drink is carefully crafted however your heart desires. The pastries are delicious (we love the pain au chocolat in particular). In a world where anonymous chain coffee shops are on every corner, sometimes it’s nice to head somewhere with local character.

Lunch

3. Selfridges Food Hall

Deli, Food Court, Grocery Store, British, Salad Bar, Contemporary

Delicatessen - Selfridges Food Hall - Oxford Street - London. Image shot 06/2008. Exact date unknown.
© British Retail Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Yes, it’s expensive and busy. But Selfridges is a London institution, and its food hall is one of the highlights of Mayfair. While some visitors have enough in the bank to treat it like an everyday supermarket, it’s also perfectly accessible to the hungry office worker. With impeccably stocked shelves that carry even the most obscure ingredients to the flawless, fresh produce, it’s ideal if you want to buy something special for your kitchen. Where the food hall really comes into its own, however, is for a lunchtime treat. There’s everything from Middle Eastern salads to mochi ice cream ready to take away. Chop’d, with its large, customisable boxes of freshly dressed salad, is a particular highlight. If you want to soak up the atmosphere, sit down at the ramen bar or order a salt beef sandwich to stay. Frankly, it’s worth going just to have a look around and to fill up on the prolific free samples of whatever delicacies happen to be on offer that day.

4. Feya

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Healthy, British, American

A matcha latte
© dungthuyvunguyen / Pixabay

This gem of a cafe will catch your attention thanks to the beautiful floral displays inside and out of the front window. The marble tables, picture-perfect cutlery and pink seating lets you know that this is an Instagrammer’s dream – but Feya comes through on quality as well. Open from morning until night, you can expect beautifully presented bowls of grains, fruit and vegetables, as well as the usual selections of turmeric and matcha lattes. Most of all, Feya feels like a peaceful respite from the buzz of Central London, making it the ideal spot to catch your breath amid the hustle and bustle.

5. Sushiology

Fishmonger, Restaurant, Sushi, Japanese

Sushi
© designnprint / Pixabay

Don’t let the unprepossessing storefront put you off – this small shop is a hidden gem of London’s sushi scene, like the hidden smear of fiery wasabi inside a tuna roll. You just have to turn up and trust in the fish. They supply wholesale some of London’s finest Japanese restaurants, so are able to lower their own prices accordingly. Everything is spankingly fresh and assembled to order, and you can customise your sushi, nigiri or donburi (sliced raw fish on a bed of rice) however you’d like. The interior isn’t anything special – think small tables and scruffy chairs, so it’s not the place for a business lunch – but for something casual or picking up dinner to take home, it’s ideal. Best of all are the prices, which are gloriously low for a generous serving of sushi in Central London. You can also order for pick-up if you don’t want to wait in the shop.

Dinner

6. Pachamama

Bar, Restaurant, Peruvian, Central American

Dinner
© Levoqd / Pixabay

A “Peruvian inspired” banger of a restaurant, Pachamama isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for a quiet dinner. If you want to be titillated by big flavours and loud music, however, it’s ideal. The small plates concept means it’s an ideal place to go as a group, and the food has wide-ranging influences that come together into a clamouring, insistent tableful of zestiness. Our picks are the chicharrones – small nuggets of deep-fried pork smothered in a sticky, savoury sauce – and the flawless pisco sour, which is as good as any you’d drink in Peru.

7. Tibits

Restaurant, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Swiss

It doesn’t get much more varied than Tibits, the laid-back Central London buffet that offers over 40 vegetarian and vegan delights with which to fill your plate. The Swiss chain is the ultimate realisation of the buffet concept, and all the food is temptingly laid out in front of you.You pay by weight, minus a free bread roll. What’s on offer varies, but you can expect everything from Asian slaws and Lebanese rice salads to British pies with mushroom instead of steak and Spanish potatoes. On Tuesdays, everything is vegan. It’s a great place to head to after you’ve had a few too many, as they’re open until midnight – and a big box of satisfying salad is a much better option than a sad styrofoam box of fried chicken. It’s cosy and quirkily decorated inside, with the only danger being that you might get accidentally salad-happy and load your plate with 1kg of impeccably prepared vegetables.

Drinks

8. The Iron Duke

Pub, British

A pint of beer
© PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

If you’re looking for a classic pub, this is it. Named after the Duke of Wellington (and painted an appropriate shade of Wellington boot green), this traditional boozer has everything you might expect from a British pub – pints, packets of crisps and wooden tables to get cosy and gossip around. It’s reasonably priced given its central Mayfair location and can get pretty busy, with punters spilling out on the pavements in the summer.

9. Mr Fogg’s Residence

Bar, Cocktail Bar, British, Tea

Situated near Green Park station, this quirky cocktail bar is styled as the home of eccentric British adventurer Phileas Fogg, whose tale of traversing the world in 80 days has travelled just as far as the fictional man himself. Decorated with hoards of exotic ornaments from his travels, the bar has a Victorian theme and is a great place to pop for a drink after work if you want to avoid the expensive hotel bars of the area and instead hit somewhere between a pub and a £30 martini. Yes, it’s a little gimmicky, but the drinks are solidly delicious and the cosy bar is a great place to avoid the tourists.
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