has been something of a media hub thanks to the range of offices in the area but over the years it has also evolved into a foodie hotspot, especially along Charlotte Street. The area is also fantastically diverse in terms of cuisine; from Peruvian to Scottish to Taiwanese, you’ll find it all here.
Restaurant, Peruvian, Japanese, $$$
has gone from a pop-up to a permanent restaurant in Carnaby to a second site on Charlotte Street. Whereas the Kingly Court spot was bright and bold, the décor here is lighter, with lots of blue and wood accents. The menu is much the same though; punchy Peruvian
food with Japanese
influences, including ceviche, BBQ meats, quinoa salads and lots of pisco sours.
Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Asian, Fusion, $$$
is one of those restaurants where you just want to order the entire menu. The fusion of Asian and Middle Eastern
flavours manifests itself in dishes like grilled octopus with black sesame mayo and spicy pork mince, chargrilled cauliflower with tzatziki and coriander chutney, and Goan crab tacos. It’s a similar story with the cocktails, which feature strong fruity and spicy ingredients. If you score a seat at the counter, you can watch the chefs wrangle these flavours and get them looking so good on the plates too.
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
The original Bao
has become so popular (there seems to permanently be a queue to get in) that it was only natural a second site would be opened. The Fitzrovia branch of Bao has the same signature steamed buns but also a host of exclusive dishes too, such as fried chicken chops, XO sweetcorn with spiced beef butter and chiang shi rice bowls. And best of all, you can book seats downstairs so no need to wait.
Restaurant, European, Contemporary, $$$
, named after the street it’s on so you’ll have no trouble finding it, is the more relaxed sister to the Michelin-starred Portland (on, you guessed it, Portland Street). The seasonal, broadly European-with-a-few-Asian-influences menu features a mixture of cold cuts and crudos, small and large plates and desserts, so you could share dishes like roasted bone marrow with snails and parsley and sardine & squid ink tempura or you could keep a Cornish plaice with young carrots, dandelion and yuzu beurre blanc for yourself. Same goes for the wine list, which has been thoughtfully curated and features many very reasonably priced varieties by the glass.
Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, $$$
is the ninth restaurant that chef Jun Tanaka (who you may recognise from his television work) and whilst it may sound unimaginative, the experience of eating here is anything but boring. There’s an elegance to the French-Mediterranean food, which sounds simple – oxtail croquettes, sea bream with lemon confit and miso, pain perdu with vanilla ice cream – but is extremely well executed. They also give vegetables proper care and attention here, elevating them from humble side dishes into exciting plates. The Ninth also makes a great spot for a romantic dinner thanks to its intimate atmosphere, flattering lighting and of course, fantastic food.
, from chef Virgilio Martinez, opened when Peruvian
restaurants became extremely fashionable in London and has remained popular ever since, even spawning a sister site in Covent Garden
. The menu is all about showing off modern Peruvian food using a mix of quality British produce and native ingredients not often seen here, like Amazonian ponzu, fermented Andean chillies and Inchicapi corn. Even for those familiar with Peruvian food, the plates at Lima taste so fresh and exciting, and look pretty as a picture too.
Mac & Wild
Restaurant, British, $$$
Mac & Wild
grew from a venison street food stall in Borough Market
into a pop-up into a permanent site (plus another in the City) thanks in no small part to the superb Scottish
produce they showcase. Venison is the star, coming in different cuts or in their famous Veni-Moo burger – beef and venison patties, cheese, bernaise and onions – which was voted best burger in town in 2016. Haggis, Balvenie smoked mackerel and highland beef all feature, as does whisky from across the country, because nothing complements Scottish food quite like a wee dram.
is ocated in the London Edition hotel, run by Phil Carmichael and part of Jason Atherton’s restaurant empire, so you know you’re in for something special. It’s modern British food here, using meat and fish from some of the country’s top suppliers, so you’ll see the likes of Norfolk quail, Cornish plaice and Buccleuch Estate beef. This place does come with a price tag, but you can’t knock the quality of the cooking, and those famous interiors make it worth a visit.
Restaurant, Tapas, Spanish, Italian, $$$
Part of the family that incudes Opera Tavern, Ember Yard and Dehesa, Salt Yard
serves up modern Spanish
tapas with a few Italian twists. There are classics to be found – charcuterie and cheese, tortillas and croquetas – but the real strength of this place is in their more innovate takes on tapas like Iberico presa with grape aji blanco and salted grapes and compressed watermelon with buffalo ricotta and grilled padrons.
Cafe, Restaurant, European, Asian, Vegetarian, Pastries, $$$
More of a café than a full-on restaurant, Kin
deserves a mention because it’s fully vegetarian (there’s also a strong vegan and gluten-free offering too). The menu changes daily and makes great use of seasonal, organic and nutritious produce, so as well as salads, soups, sandwiches and egg dishes you can get specials like raw sushi and vegan burgers. And yes, they haven’t forgotten about cakes and pastries either, so you can score a wholesome meal without compromising on flavour.