Looking for dinner with a healthy dose of style on the side? You can’t do much better than these gorgeous places to dine in the capital. Discover London’s most beautiful restaurants.
Even the most Insta-averse of you will have noticed that there is no shortage of drop-dead gorgeous places to eat in London. Our fair city is adorned with a bounty of aesthetic restaurants that look every bit as good as the food they serve tastes.
From the sky-high dining options like Searcys (that’s literally in one of London’s most iconic buildings) to the understated bohemian charm of places like Sessions Arts Club and Beranjak you’ve got plenty of options.
That’s before we even get on to YOPO and the Big Mamma group with their bombastic approach to design, but you’re getting hungry so let’s cut the chat and get stuck right in…
The Most Beautiful (& Fancy) Restaurants in London
City of London
This is a restaurant that takes the concept of dining as an experience seriously. They do it through stunning design. That experience starts as you whizz your way up the glass-fronted lift to the top of a skyscraper and only gets better from there.
It’s impossible not to be lured in by the views – from your perch on the 38th floor, the sight of the city spread out in a glittering sea is striking enough to draw your attention away from the loveably OTT interior, if only for a moment.
With such a stunning setting, it would be easy enough for SUSHISAMBA to rest on its laurels when it comes to the food. Luckily for all of us, they do no such thing, serving up a vibrant menu that takes its influences from Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines. Two words of advice: go hungry.
Have no doubt: Ave Mario is one of the most visually arresting restaurants in all of London. One of several spots run by the Big Mamma Group (who also own Gloria and Jacuzzi, featured below), it brings the exuberance of Italian cuisine straight to London’s hungry diners.
The interior is a stylish cross of modern and bohemian with a huge bar, blood-red banquets and some very OTT lighting. Tt is nothing if not in-your-face and that OTT style makes it a perfect spot for big birthday bashes and dinners that get a little loose.
The kitchen boasts the talents of Chef Andrea Zambrano who makes Ave Mario a foodie’s paradise (especially true if said foodie also appreciates exceptional cocktails).
The place is a modern take on the Parisian cafe. The furniture and decor look classic but there are flares of modernity throughout that make the place pop.
On your table: French bistro classics. Start with oysters and try the duck-liver parfait. Trust us. You will have a tough decision next though. Lobster or steak for mains? We ended up going for both – perhaps a bit of an OTT move in a restaurant this sophisticated, but we have no regrets.
Madera at Treehouse is one of the prettiest eateries the city boasts. This quirky restaurant features a spellbinding interior adorned with beautiful hanging plants and greenery that will make you feel like you walked out of the city and into the garden of Eden itself.
Tucked away a short walk from Oxford Circus and nestled at the top of a very tall tower, you’ll be gazing out over central London as you dine. The views are some of our favourite in London.
The menu covers a range of dishes with Mexican cooking at its core but drifts to take into account the London palate. That means alongside the classics you’ll find vegan and veggie options and of course, a killer brunch menu. Don’t miss out on those tequila-marinated prawns…
It’s no understatement to say that Sketch is more than just a place to eat – it’s also a place to enjoy some of the most creative and beautifully artistic interiors in London.
The place looks like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland, colour and flare are dished out in abundance across multiple spaces each running on their own theme.
As far as the food goes, their three Michelin stars say it all. The presentation is extraordinary, and the flavours are sublime. Make sure you book well in advance as, understandably, tables here can be hard to come by.
Beach Blanket Babylon
Notting Hill, Shoreditch
Established in 1990, Beach Blanket Babylon quickly made a name for itself as one of London’s best-looking restaurants. Housed in a Rococo-style Georgian mansion, it’s one of those see-and-be-seen spots to dine.
For those of you looking for the perfect place to have an alfresco lunch or a romantic dinner, this is it. Though that said you don’t want to miss out on the interior of this one – we’re getting fairytale banquet vibes from the period furniture, hanging chandeliers and light so low it might as well have come from a candle.
The food is spectacular – perhaps topped only by the expertly crafted cocktails.
Looking for something utterly slick? Check out NoMad Restaurant – the uber-cool eatery of the NoMad Hotel.
Yes, we did say hotel. We don’t normally plug hotel restaurants but when they look like this, we’ll make an exception. The atrium – awash with hanging leaves and all kinds of greenery – is one of the coolest backdrops you could ask for your dinner.
The food is excellent too – Executive Chef Ashley Abodeely has chosen to focus on locally sourced and high-quality ingredients and the results are some of Covent Garden’s best eats.
Sessions Arts Club
Sometimes London’s fancy restaurants get a little over-the-top. That’s not always a bad thing – It’s just that sometimes you need a pure class.
If that’s the case, Sessions Arts Club should be very high on your list. The setting is the old judges’ dining room at Sessions House in Clerkenwell. The Beautiful Grade II listed building exudes charm with its high arches, artwork and peeling paint.
What comes out of the kitchen – helmed by Florence Knight of Polpetto fame – is a storm of ingredient-forward and at times surprisingly simple cooking that never fails to impress.
Big Mama group have already got their name in this guide with Ave Mario but we’d be wrong not to include Jacuzzi.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with character, this place has it in abundance. It’s been described as a ‘four-floor pleasure palace’ and comes replete with classic Rococo elements, its own tree and what must have been a rule to not fit a light unless it’s a chandelier.
It’s not all style though. The cooking has some real substance. Their pasta dishes don’t disappoint and who can say no to lobster risotto with cuttlefish ragu?
The restaurant of The Mandrake Hotel has always been a pretty decadent place to dine, but when YOPO got a makeover it also became one of the most flashy.
Dark walls that gleam with a sort of gun-metal chic and fixtures that melt off the walls are only upstaged by the restaurant’s centrepiece: A giant stuffed ostrich with a python for a neck, native American headgear and burlesque fans for wings.
The only thing that can take your attention away from that? Delicious small plates of South-American-inspired cuisine and a menu of excellent cocktails to go with it.
Bob Bob Ricard
When it comes to signature dishes, Bob Bob Ricard stands out. The menu takes its inspiration from French and Russian cooking but also features touches of English inspiration at points, all done beautifully.
Although many Londoners come for the Beef Wellington, the Steak Tartare Imperial with Siberian Sturgeon Caviar is nothing less than exquisite. If you want a drink, try the Russian Standard Platinum Vodka – it’s smooth, velvety, and positively delightful.
That would mean, though, that you forgo the opportunity to hit the ‘press for Champagne’ button at your table – one iconic part of the restaurant’s frankly bombastic interior. Sitting in one of their plush booths you might just feel like a Russian tsar revelling in the opulence of the days of old.
The Ned’s nod to the Asia-Pacific region is another big hitter on the list of London’s many gorgeous restaurants. It’s called Kaia and it drips with sophistication. High ceilings and chequered marble flooring box out a setting of old-world charm.
The bar and much of the furniture look like they haven’t changed for several generations – but when they look this good, why should they?
The food is on point – that Robata grill turns out some real gems and they have access to really good quality fish for their sushi.
The cocktails are similarly excellent – While the cognac and rum cocktails are amazing, the tequila lovers among you will fall in love with their Gran Centenario Reposado.
Searcys at The Gherkin
Searcys at The Gherkin is modern, fresh, classy and clean cut. The fact that it sits under the dome of one of London’s most iconic buildings is a plus. So is the way you can pick out even more of London’s iconic buildings out of the skyline from here while you eat, we suppose.
Service is exceptional and the food will not disappoint. Try their Lake District lamb rump if it’s on the menu – we’re big fans. Special mention must go to the Champagne collection in this place too. Searcys really know what they’re doing when it comes to bubbles, and how can you not pop a bottle at a restaurant like this?
You’ll be enjoying that food in a room that’s as easy on the eye as what’s on your dish. The setting is a classic dining room: white tablecloths and lovely wooden floors. The only place it breaks from tradition is with a canopy of flowers above you on the ceiling. Trust us when we say this is date-night perfection.
Looking for a sumptuous dish that will tickle your taste buds? The Merryfield duck breast with Sichuan pepper, Mandarin orange and rainbow chard will do the trick
Petersham Nurseries delivers a fine-dining experience that feels close to nature. That’s partly because what’s on your plate has the feel of farm-fresh produce and also because the restaurant is decked out with an abundance of plants from their adjoining nursery.
It’s very tastefully done and brings a vitality to the dining room that’s entirely unique to this restaurant.
Service comes with a touch of the unique too. Even though the place takes itself (and its Italian cooking) seriously, the vibe is super convivial and lacks any of the stiffer vibes you might find at some of London’s other fancy restaurants.
Another restaurant to boast tasteful decor and breathtaking greenery, 14 Hills boasts actual trees growing on the dining room floor – oh and views from 14 floors up in the city of London.
We reckon you can’t do much better than that when you’ve been battling your way through the pea soup of London all day.
Among a menu of vegetable-focussed cooking you’ll find more than enough options that won’t leave you feeling like you need a week of strict dieting to balance out your meal. That said the chateau briand off the grill… We’ll be having one of those, please.
It would be rude to talk about London’s best-looking restaurants and not mention Scotts. They’ve got two locations in the city and both of them are very impressive to look at. It also happens that the Mayfair spot is an institution, serving pleasure seekers since 1851.
At the Richmond location, you’ll find all the same 19th-century charm that you do in Mayfair but with the inclusion of a delightful terrace that sits above the Thames. Both are perfect settings for the extravagant seafood dinner that Scotts serves up, but that terrace just about edges it in our books.
Founded in 2010 by famous restaurateurs Sandro Silva and Marta Seco, Amazonico offers an unforgettable dining experience.
The gorgeous greenery and decor inspired by the depths of the Amazon jungle were designed by highly revered artist, artist Lázaro Rosa-Violan.
The food is inspired by the unique cultural contributions of Asian and Mediterranean communities in Latin America. The result? Some crazy fusion experiments that deliver on wow factor as much as the decor.
The Exmoor Cornish Baeri and the empanadas with Wagyu beef will have your palette dazzled for days. Seafood lovers simply must try the Chupe de Langosta, a half-native lobster, bisque with edamame beans.
This Nigerian tapas restaurant is one of the most fashionable establishments to grace our city in the past few years. Chuku’s specialises in serving up fine Nigerian dishes that are designed to be shared.
It’s social, it’s stylish, and it’s the place to go if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the capital.
Want to try something truly tasty? Then you’ll want to order the Cassava and Ata DinDin, a spicy dish of cassava fried with sweet red peppers and onion.
Not a fan of spicy food? Then try the caramel kuli kuli chicken – it’s delicious! For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the plantain waffle.
When you want British cuisine at its finest in the plushest of settings, you want Annabel’s. This place has the look and feel of a luxurious garden. Surrounded by beautiful plants, you get the feeling that you’re dining somewhere exotic and very expensive, which we guess is the point.
There’s an elegant vibe here, and it’s teeming with life and energy. The bar section, commonly referred to as The Club, has a refined style that evokes the grandeur of Victorian times.
Annabel’s features a talented team of some of London’s most accomplished chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists. Enjoy a glass of wine or two over Arancini, Pistilli di Zafferano, Piselli e Aglio Nero – you’ll be glad you did!
One Twenty One Two Restaurant
Next up, we have One Twenty One Two Restaurant, a prime destination for Londoners looking for an opulent dining experience in the city centre.
Situated in the Royal Horseguards Hotel with a dazzling view of the Thames, you’ll have a hard time finding a better place to eat when in London. Long ago, the building used to house the Chief of the M16 and let us tell you, that spy had taste.
The dining hall is grand and home to velveteen furniture that you kind of can’t help but sink into. Your waiting staff will be immaculately dressed and on your plate will be food that is equally as stylish.
That food? British dishes with a European twist that puts the fine in fine dining.
Skylon Bar And Restaurant
If you’re looking for a restaurant on the banks of the Thames with floor-to-ceiling windows to provide the view and perhaps a rather dramatic central bar – look no further. This is one dining spot that never disappoints.
The food is rich, decadent, and just as irresistible as the prized vintage wines that they serve here.
Don’t let the unassuming name fool you. Megan’s Battersea Power Station outpost is a gorgeous waterfront all-day dining restaurant with serious style.
Taking their culinary inspiration from the world’s sunnier spots, this is the place for a lazy brunch or dinner with your mates as you feast on hearty (and tasty) dishes.
As you’d expect from a place like this, the breakfast options are on point and include plenty of veggie and vegan options too.
With its sleek modern Middle Eastern decor The Soak is so gorgeous you might find yourself being more interested in taking pictures to post on Instagram than eating.
You’d be a fool if you did, because the food is very good and the cocktails are even better.
Take, for example, the British Ploughman’s Platter. This luxurious dish includes cured ham, Somerset brie, peppered beef, plate, mature cheddar, pork pie, piccalilli and red onion chutney, mixed leaves, brown seeded bread, and Maldon salted butter.
Kol is a cool little unique restaurant in London. Why? The chef here takes British ingredients and uses them to produce some of the best Mexican food in the city – but we’ll let the Michelin Guide’s star tell you that.
The warm colour tones here at Kol resemble the stucco commonly seen throughout Mexico and Latin America, and touches of potted desert plants complete the image.
Food will change with the seasons but one dish you should try if it’s on the menu is the Nicatole corn and yellow pepper custard, with British caviar – we loved it.
A final tip, if possible, don’t leave without trying the Mextapique, a decadent dish of pumpkin cooked in a corn husk, with smoked pumpkin, cashew, and roasted succulents.
Berenjak spot made the list for good reason: the interior is perfection itself, and the food is just as fantastic.
This establishment sports a beautiful dining room inspired by Persian design. In a back room you hung with rugs that let glimpses of the white plaster walls peek through you could easily forget you’re in the heart of London.
The dishes are also Persian, which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is all kinds of wonderful. Not sure where to start? Go for the tasting menu. It’s not much more expensive than ordering a main and a starter or two each and you’ll get to try more of the excellent cooking.
Another one from the Big Mamma Group (who own Ave Mario, an early entry in this guide) Gloria is wildly popular due to its beautiful interior and excellent food, to the point where it’s one of the best-known restaurants around.
The interior is essentially a kitsch interpretation of a traditional trattoria. Kitsch is cool – Gloria said so.
It’s not all about the fancy and gorgeous interior either. The food does not disappoint. Opt for the carbonara served in a whole wheel of pecorino cheese. Drool.
That’s reason enough to go, isn’t it?
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
Oyster bars are all the rage in London these days. There’s a strong tradition of oyster bars in the city and Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill is proud to carry it on.
Although the name contains the word bar and grill, this isn’t an ordinary eatery, as it’s a high-end champagne and oyster bar operated by insanely popular Chef Richard Corrigan.
If you’ve never experienced the pleasures of a champagne and oyster bar, the wood-paneled bistro charm of this place isn’t a bad spot to try it in…
Bacchanalia divides opinion at the London x London office. It could be said that this is a money-over-substance type spot, but there are cohorts of people in this city who would disagree. One they no one can deny is that it looks hella stunning.
Literal angels will be hanging over your table as you dine – angels sculpted by Damien Hirst no less. As the name suggests, the restaurant is a tribute to the classical festival of excess and Roman murals also grace the dining room – as do millennia-old artifacts of antiquity.
The food is a finicky mix of modern Greek and Italian cooking. Some of it, like the grilled Octopus on fava puree, is well worth eating. Just be prepared to lay down top dollar for it.