If there’s one thing that my friends know about me – it’s that they never have to talk me into going for a meal at an amazing restaurant. London is known for having such an incredible food scene, and that recognition is incredibly well-deserved; what with the tiny, hole-in-the-wall pubs at every corner, little corner bistros and family-run favourites. Throw in a gin bar or two and you’re well on your way.
My point is, you’re in good hands if you’re looking for a good place to eat whilst in London – whether it’s for a few days, a week, a month or you’re there to stay.
For my last trip to the city in October, I made a point to create a list of thirty restaurants that I’d like to try, and I was able to cross off twenty nine. As a food lover, I considered this an accomplishment. It not only satisfied my hunger for trying new places (see what I did there?), but it also helped me to narrow down to this list of my top five favourite restaurants, cafés and bakeries in London this go-round. And in the spirit of our official transition to winter just yesterday – I think an autumnal restaurant round-up is in order.
Emilia’s Handcrafted Pasta – St Katherine’s Docks
This takes the number one spot for one reason, and one reason alone. It’s the same reason that led me to book dinner there two nights in a row. The lamb ravioli. WHAT A TREAT.
Emilia’s Handcrafted Pasta will soon have three locations in London – St Katherine’s Docks, Aldgate and Wood Wharf, the Wood Wharf location still soon to open. My personal favourite is the Emilia’s at St. Katherine’s Docks – I loved the atmosphere and the stunning view of the marina whilst enjoying a beautiful meal.
EATALY London – Liverpool Street
La Terrazza, Il Mercato, Pasta e Pizza, Illy Caffe – you name it. It’s hard to go wrong the second you walk through the doors of Eataly London. Located just next to Liverpool Street Station, you have three restaurants inside the building and a terrace restaurant (La Terrazza) outside. Each brings a unique take on their offerings, and none have failed to please. However, if eating out isn’t really your style – Eataly London is also a massive grocer. With hundreds of Italian wines, cheeses, fresh and dried pasta, olives, candies, coffees and more, it becomes your go-to spot for anything you need for a night in of Italian cooking.
Franco Manca – South Kensington
Who doesn’t love a good pizza spot? Franco Manca is a pretty frequent stop for me – it’s no shocking surprise that I stopped twice in ten days for my favourite magherita pizza with mozzarella di buffala. It’s a cute little spot – no matter the location you stop into. Casual, friendly, rustic, and most importantly – fantastic food.
A glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo never hurt anyone either.
Caffè Tropea – Russell Square
Caffè Tropea has been a favourite of mine for nearly four years now. Nestled into Russell Square, it’s well-loved by long-time residents of the area, students that are studying in the area or even stoppers-by for an espresso or a cappuccino.
The dish that had me salivating for most of my trip this last autumn was the Penne Arrabbiata – a spicy chili, tomato-based sauce that could cure any cold and warm even the chilliest of bellies. See what I did there?
Il Baretto – Marylebone
If you’ve ever been to Chiltern Firehouse, you’ll know where Il Baretto is. A lovely little ristorante nestled in just across the street from Chiltern, Il Baretto becomes the beautiful “spot next door” that’s perfect for a night out with your friends or a date night with your partner. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal here – it’s a spot that continues to impress, time and time again.
Have you been to any restaurants recently in London that you loved? Let me know in the comments! xx