With its iconic landmarks and cultural significance, it’s no surprise that Trafalgar Square tops the list of must-see destinations for many.
However, amid the buzz of tourists and the grandeur of the square, one question lingers: where can you find a truly exceptional dining experience?
Worry not, for we’re about to embark on a culinary adventure that will put you on a whirlwind exploration of the best restaurants in and around this iconic London locale.
Media from ikoyi_london
Location: 1 St. James’s Market #1a, London SW1Y 4AH, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3583 4660
The culinary artists behind Ikoyi have perfected the art of crafting a menu that’s the epitome of excellence. Imagine aged sirloin adorned with salted citrus and lobster that’s a true testament to culinary finesse.
Then there’s the smoked jollof rice, a signature dish that transcends traditional boundaries and sets taste buds into a frenzy.
Plus, Ikoyi is a pinnacle of gastronomic achievement. Donning two Michelin Stars and recently earning a coveted spot on the 50 Best Restaurants in the World list, it’s a testament to their culinary prowess.
Media from scullyrestaurant
Location: 4 St James’s Mkt, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AH, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 7359 519227
Scully is the brainchild of the phenomenal Ramael Scully. It’s a culinary odyssey that celebrates global flavours, particularly drawing inspiration from the vibrant culinary worlds of Malaysia and South America.
Within its walls lies a menu that’s a passport to taste bud paradise. Imagine a BBQ sea bass adorned with sweetcorn succotash, dancing with hot sauce and a dollop of lemon labneh. It’s a flavour fiesta that’ll have you reminiscing long after the last bite.
But let’s talk about the dessert – the Pomelo, lime, orange oil, and caramelised popcorn creation is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s the kind of dessert dreams are made of, trust me.
Smith and Wollensky
Media from sandwollensky
Location: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam St, London WC2N 6HT, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7321 6007
Smith & Wollensky, the quintessential American steakhouse near Trafalgar Square, is your go-to spot for a classic steak fix. Imagine sinking your teeth into a steak that’s not just any steak – it’s a behemoth of flavour.
These cuts aren’t your average Joe either. They’re big, they’re juicy, and they’re downright delicious.
Yes, they might lean towards the pricier side, but let’s face it, sometimes you just need to pamper your taste buds, and Smith & Wollensky is the place to do it.
Media from corinthialondon
Location: 10a Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5AE, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7321 3100
Hungry for a dining experience that’ll knock your socks off near Trafalgar Square? Enter The Northall, nestled within the Corinthia Hotel, and you’re in for a treat that goes beyond just a meal.
Throughout the week, The Northall offers a modern European menu that’ll have you salivating just by reading it. From the A5 Wagyu beef that’s a mouthwatering dream to the Norfolk black leg chicken breast that’s all sorts of scrumptious.
And let’s not forget the hand-rolled strozzapreti with truffle – it’s pasta perfection.
Media from estiatoriomilos
Location: 1 Regent Street Saint James’s, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4NW, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7839 2080
Calling Estiatorio Milos a pescatarian paradise is an understatement. The menu here is a love letter to the freshest catch of the day. And let me tell you, passing up their oysters should be deemed a culinary crime.
But the oysters are just the tip of the seafood iceberg at Estiatorio Milos. Their cured fish platter is a melody of the sea brought to your table. And the Faroe Island salmon? it’s a slice of seafood heaven that’ll make your taste buds sing.
And let’s not overlook the Martini menu – it’s a mixologist’s dream and your ticket to a delightful evening.
Media from saintjacquesrestaurant
Location: 5 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1EF, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7930 2030
Now, what sets St Jacques apart? It’s the ever-evolving menu, a culinary canvas that changes with the seasons and the chef’s inspiration.
Speaking of must-tries, the calf liver and mashed potatoes with bacon and onion sauce are pure comfort on a plate. The air-dried beef paired with cantaloupe melon is a symphony of flavours that’ll have your taste buds doing a happy dance.
And let’s not forget the sea trout with crushed potatoes and lemon butter sauce, a dish that’s a burst of freshness and taste.
Media from hbigmamma.uk
Location: 15 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8QG, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7321 3100
In the land of cheeky Italian chains, Big Mama’s Ave Mario is the star attraction. This Italian gem is the latest and greatest in the heart of London, and boy, does it know how to make an entrance.
It’s all about the perfect blend of Italian tradition and contemporary culinary swagger. But if we’re talking standouts, the Neapolitan-style pizzas are the true heroes.
The pièce de résistance is the 60cm tall gelato tower. It’s a sweet delight that’s a feast for the eyes before it becomes a feast for your taste buds. Snap that Insta-worthy pic before you dive into this colossal dessert with your squad.
Media from thesambucagroup
Location: 3 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5BW, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3411 6858
The restaurant’s chic decor seamlessly combines modern elegance with a touch of rustic charm. Whether you’re seeking a romantic dinner for two or a lively gathering with friends, Sambuca’s ambience sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.
One of Sambuca’s best-sellers is their Truffle Risotto. It’s a creamy, velvety risotto infused with the rich earthy flavours of truffles, accompanied by delicate shavings of Parmesan cheese that melt into the dish. Definitely recommended!
Media from barrafinaadelaidespecials
Location: 10 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4DH, United Kingdom
Contact: [email protected]
The mastermind behind Barrafina is none other than Chef Nieves Barragan Mohacho. She honed her skills at the acclaimed El Bulli in Spain before bringing her talents to London.
And despite its shoebox size, Barrafina always manages to draw a crowd. This place is textbook “small but mighty”. The atmosphere is energetic and buzzing, perfect for a fun night out with friends over sangria and plates ideal for sharing.
One of their most raved-about items is the ham croquetas. These crispy, fried croquettes are filled with creamy bechamel and Serrano ham that will make your tastebuds do a happy dance.
Media from admiraltylondon
Location: 66 Trafalgar Sq, St. James’s, London WC2N 5DS, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7930 0066
As soon as you enter this resto, the soaring ceilings, maritime artefacts, and relaxed sophistication transport you to a bygone era of dining.
But the food is anything but old-fashioned. Under Head Chef Manoj Vasaikar, you’ll find playful twists on British classics using seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
Must-try dishes include their flawless fish and chips, with light and crispy beer batter encasing fresh cod or haddock. And don’t miss their decadent Admiralty burger piled high with Ogleshield cheese and bacon jam.
Leicester Square Kitchen
Media from lsqkitchen
Location: 31-36 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LH, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7666 0902
Nestled in the bustling entertainment hub of Leicester Square, Leicester Square Kitchen brings a tasty twist to British dining. Helmed by Michelin-trained chef Adam Handling, this restaurant whets the appetites of theatregoers and foodies alike.
But the true star here is Handling’s inventive seasonal menu. You’ll find playful starters like the “Scotch egg and chips” – a soft-boiled quail egg encased in sausage and crispy pork crumbs.
Don’t miss the seared salmon with brown shrimp butter showcasing the finest British seafood. And save room for the epic chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream.
Media from bellaitaliarestaurants
Location: 10 Irving St, London WC2H 7AT, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3004 4193
When that Italian food craving hits while visiting Trafalgar Square, Bella Italia is the place to be. As soon as you pass under the striped awnings and step inside, you’ll be swept up in the hustle and bustle of a bustling Italian trattoria.
While everything on the menu sings with flavour, a must-try is Bella Italia’s crispy-crust pizzas. Toppings like the spicy diavola with spianata piccante salami and the loaded rustica with prosciutto, mushroom and olive will transport your taste buds to Napoli.
Tandoor Chop House
Media from tandoorchop
Location: 8 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4HZ, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3096 0359
Tandoor Chop House specialises in the fiery cuisine of northern India. From smoky tandoori chicken to rich curries laden with spices, every dish bursts with authentic Indian flair.
Once you’re here, you should definitely try their melt-in-your-mouth Raan – succulent lamb leg marinated in yoghurt and spices then slowly roasted until fork-tender. Dip it in the smooth raita for an incredible flavour and texture combo.
And don’t forget to save room for the pistachio kulfi ice cream!
Media from laocafelondon
Location: 60 Chandos Pl, London WC2N 4HG, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3740 4748
Looking for a taste of Laos in the heart of London? Then this is the place to be!
You can start your exploration of Lao fare with the fiery papaya salad, where shredded green papaya mingles with tomatoes and peanuts. Feeling brave? Try the larb – minced meat or mushroom salad bursting with fresh mint, cilantro and zesty lime juice.
But the star of the show is the khao soi – coconut curry noodle soup loaded with tender chicken, crispy egg noodles, and pickled greens. Each slurpable spoonful is creamy, spicy, tangy perfection. Pro tip: add a dash of chilli oil and vinegar on your table to heighten the flavours!
Media from condesa_tapas_bar
Location: 15 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7NG, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3601 5752
The moment you set foot in Condesa, your senses will go on fiesta. Papel picado banners flutter from the ceiling, upbeat ranchera music fills your ears, and the divine aroma of sizzling fajitas makes your stomach sit up and sing ole!
But what will really get your attention is their flavour-packed Mexican fare. Their tableside guacamole is creamy perfection, while Baja fish tacos crackle with the one-two punch of crispy fish and zesty salsa.
Media from bancone.pasta
Location: 8-10 Lower James St, London W1F 9EL, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 3034 0820
With its convivial atmosphere and friendly Italian staff, Bancone brings a hearty taste of Rome to London. Come hungry, leave happy!
Oh and for a hot tip, you can’t visit Bancone without indulging in their off-menu speciality: the golden, fried supplì al telefono. This baseball-sized rice croquette oozes with molten mozzarella – so sticky it will “string” from your mouth to the phone if you get a call while eating it!
Media from thaisquaregroup
Location: 21-24 Cockspur St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5BN, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 20 7839 4000
As soon as you set foot into this sleek, modern dining room, you’ll be surrounded by the enticing aromas of lemongrass, coconut milk, and red curry paste. Thai Square offers an extensive menu of Thai favourites like pad thai, green curry, and tom yum soup, each bursting with complex flavours.
While everything on the menu of Thai Square shines, regulars rave about the Thai Square special – hor mok seafood curry. This creamy, coconutty curry is infused with aromatics like lime leaves, basil, and chilies, and loaded with fresh prawns, scallops and fish.