Pre-theatre dinner date? Post-work catch up? Whatever your occasion for dining out in one of the world’s culinary capitals, there’s one thing that’s certain: you won’t be short of choice in central London. Leicester Square, and the wider Soho and Covent Garden areas, see millions of visitors pass through each year. So, whether you’re after sophisticated high dining or something more casual, you’ll definitely find something to suit your tastes. We’ve asked our local insiders to share their best-of-the-best recommendations.
“Like stepping back into 1930s Paris” is how our local insider Josh describes Brasserie Zédel’s grand Art Deco basement. Expect traditional French fare – we’re talking lobster bisque, choucroûte and French onion soup – served in a cavernous, marble interior. Prices are very reasonable, given the quality of food and superb location, with a three-course set menu costing from £14.95. Brasserie Zédel is also attached to a cocktail bar, Bar Américain, and cabaret venue – perfect for a Roaring 20s-themed date or evening out. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
If you’re looking for a touch of exclusivity in your meal out, this 12-seat chef’s counter can certainly deliver. Situated in the basement of the Blue Posts, an 18th-century pub in the heart of Soho, Evelyn’s Table is, quite simply, a fantastic night out. Watch the artistry unfold as chefs prepare your dishes in front of you – linguine with parmesan and black truffle, roasted skate wing and veal sweetbreads all feature on the high-end menu. Intriguing and exciting in equal measure, Evelyn’s Table adds that certain je ne sais quoi to any special occasion. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
Casita Andina offers casual and convivial dining in a charming Andes-inspired setting. The fresh, warm interiors are accented by Peruvian patterns and artwork, transporting you from grey London skies to more colourful climes. The owner is trailblazing chef Martin Morales, whose menu is inspired by Peruvian home cooking. There’s plenty on offer here, and sharing is encouraged. The mouthwatering bass ceviche with amarillo chilli tiger’s milk is famously good and a London must-try. For a restaurant with an AA rosette to its name and owned by a celebrity chef, Casita Andina is excellent value with mains starting at a wallet-friendly £8. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
This Taiwanese restaurant and teahouse fuses Chinese tradition with British seasonality. Run by the team behind the hugely popular Bao, Xu is a more formal offering, with staff in formal dress and stylish wood-panelled interiors creating a retro, 1920s vibe. The selection of dumplings is always popular with diners, and the charcoal-roasted shou pa chicken a favourite. Downstairs, you’ll find a glamorous tea bar, and there are also two game rooms where you can relax and play a spot of mah-jong. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
Small and busy, Asian fusion restaurant Freak Scene offers tapas-style dishes that burst with flavour, colour and originality. They’re ideal for sharing, too, so this could be a smart move if you’re looking to get cosy with someone. The menu changes weekly, so expect something different each time you visit (you will definitely want to return, no question). Take a seat at the counter to watch the chefs preparing your food and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of this popular city dining spot. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.