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The Top Iconic Dishes in London

In the incredibly diverse and ancient city of London, chefs draw inspiration from every corner of the globe and every era of culinary history, resulting in a dining scene of unmatched inventiveness and cosmopolitanism. Iconic dishes in London might come wrapped in newsprint at a nondescript chip shop or scooped from a buffet tray at a budget-friendly Indian establishment, and London's most talented chefs all have a signature dish that visiting foodies must try. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Explore London's top restaurants and discover them for yourself.

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The OpenTable Team
11 Restaurants
Updated December 02, 2019
Restaurants:Kai, The Ledbury, Restaurant Story London
Price Range:££££ - ££££
Cuisines:Chinese, British
Neighborhoods:Mayfair, Notting Hill, London Bridge
A photo of Kai restaurant

Kai

££££
Chinese
Mayfair
4.7
1462 reviews
“Liberated Chinese cooking” is the motto of Kai, a plush Chinese restaurant consistently ranked among the best in London. Their creative menus, equal parts classic Chinese and eclectic creations, feature lots of vegetarian options and the best-selling wasabi prawns. One of the most interesting dishes at Kai, however, is on the dessert list, which is uniquely presented at the beginning of the menu, a concept meant to evoke the happy emotions of childhood. It’s a durian and vanilla souffle with salted caramel sauce that showcases the unusual custardy texture and bittersweet pungency of Southeast Asia’s stinkiest native fruit.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Ledbury restaurant

The Ledbury

££££
British
Notting Hill
4.8
2312 reviews
Under Australian chef Brett Graham, The Ledbury in Notting Hill earned a place near the top of many lists of the world’s best restaurants. Graham’s signature dish—flame-grilled mackerel with smoked eel, shiso peppers, Celtic mustard, avocado puree, and pillows of cucumber agar-agar filled with mackerel tartare—wows with its beauty as much as its flavor, plated like a watercolor painting with its components swiped, daubed, dotted, and placed with precision amid tiny edible flowers and micro leaves. Every dish on the modern European menu promises similar splendor, with the Ledbury serving some of the most iconic dishes in London in impeccable style.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Restaurant Story London restaurant

Restaurant Story London

££££
British
London Bridge
4.8
917 reviews
The eponymous stories told by the four- to 11-course tasting menus at chef Tom Sellers’ debut restaurant in London have multiple inspirations—fairy tales, British history, Sellers’ own childhood, and his transformation into an acclaimed young chef after intensely training at some of the best restaurants in the world. An often talked-about dish at Restaurant Story is the bread and dripping, a simple offering of beef tallow and house-made sourdough bread. The tallow takes the form of a melting Victorian-style candle, pooling into an unctuous dip for the bread as the course progresses.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Murano restaurant

Murano

££££
Contemporary European
Mayfair
4.6
2069 reviews
Murano’s owner and head chef Angela Hartnett takes inspiration for her comforting culinary creations from the Italian grandmother and aunts who helped raise her. With equal space for comfort-food classics and lighter options, Murano’s menu subdivides to encourage diners to compile their own de-facto tasting menu. Highlights include Hartnett’s signature roasted sweetbreads with pickled melon, fennel puree, and spiced bread, and a rare-breed pork with home-cured bacon, apple, lovage, and pistachio. Such dishes have made Murano a Mayfair favorite for more than a decade.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

££££
British
Knightsbridge
4.7
6847 reviews
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, inside the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, presents world-class dishes inspired by the culinary history of Britain, developed in collaboration with historians. The most famous dish on the menu is the “meat fruit” appetizer, a chicken liver mousse sculpted to resemble a mandarin orange, a recipe with origins circa 1500. The chef’s legendary triple-cooked chips show up alongside Hereford rib-eye, as a fillet or bone-in rib for two, prepared in an early 19th-century fashion. Meals might end with ice cream from a custom trolley equipped with a hand-crank that mixes custard with liquid nitrogen, or the critics’ favorite tipsy cake with spit-roast pineapple.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Angler - London restaurant

Angler - London

££££
Seafood
Liverpool Street
4.7
992 reviews
Angler occupies the top floor of the South Place Hotel, a location featuring a rooftop terrace with a retractable roof for al fresco dining. At the helm of the restaurant is chef Gary Foulkes, who trained under British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes and learned from his mentor an approach emphasizing simplicity and the meticulous preparation of top-quality ingredients. At Angler this means fish and seafood, sourced sustainably from British waters and prepared with French-, Asian-, and Scandinavian-influenced techniques. Repeat customers recommend the tartare of yellowfin tuna with Hass avocado, wasabi, and shiso for its balanced delicate and bold flavors. Foulkes’ signature dessert is a banana, salted caramel, and Guanaja chocolate tart.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Coach Makers Arms restaurant

The Coach Makers Arms

££££
British
Marylebone
4.6
184 reviews
The Coach Makers Arms, a gastropub in Marylebone, is equal parts nostalgic British drinking institution and contemporary fine-dining restaurant. The historic pub’s fireplaces, stained glass, and British produce-focused menu are nods to its long London heritage, while the upper-level dining room presents an elevated dining experience. The pork croquette with green apple sauce is a popular starter, and an entrée representing classic English cuisine at its most satisfying is the restaurant’s version of bangers and mash, with house-made sausages, rosemary mashed potatoes, and apple and onion gravy. The puddings menu likewise sticks to the classics, among them Bramley apple pie and plum and blackberry crumble with ginger custard.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of som saa restaurant

som saa

££££
Thai
Shoreditch
4.8
408 reviews
som saa brings the bold, pungent, spicy flavors of Northern Thailand to a converted former fabric warehouse in Spitalfields. The vibe—young, trendy, and hungry for a memorable meal—represents the livelier side of London’s high-end dining scene, and the menus at som saa deliver across the board. Many patrons stick to flavor-packed bar snacks and heady cocktails, but multi-course meals are an enticing option too. For the main event, consider the crispy-fried whole sea bass under toasted rice with smoked chilies. The zesty pork, prawn, and peanut salad makes a perfectly cooling accompaniment.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Trinity restaurant

Trinity

££££
European
Clapham
4.9
2843 reviews
Trinity in Clapham Old Town sports modern and immaculate offerings that change with the seasons. The dining room décor reads as sophisticated in its simplicity, and café-style seating on the terrace is delightful on a sunny day. If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the chance to order the crispy pigs’ trotters with crackling and sauce gribiche—it comes highly recommended by critics and repeat customers alike. A dedicated vegetarian menu presents treasures too, among them a warm salad of chestnuts, Jerusalem artichokes, and truffle. Trinity prepares seven of their signature tarte tatins per day, usually requiring reservations in advance.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Scott's Restaurant restaurant

Scott's Restaurant

££££
Seafood
Mayfair
4.8
1253 reviews
Scott’s Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in London, serving elegant fish and seafood dishes since 1851. While their menu features plenty of luxurious items like caviar, oysters, and Champagne, it also offers a chance to enjoy such British classics as fish and chips, potted shrimps, and Welsh rarebit in their most elegant incarnations. Many dishes reflect the influence of French, Nordic, and Asian cuisines as well, such as monkfish and tiger prawn masala with pilaf rice, and gravlax fjord trout with Swedish mustard dressing and pickled cucumber. We suggest the shareable-sized steamed treacle sponge pudding for dessert.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Portland Restaurant restaurant

Portland Restaurant

££££
British
Marylebone
4.8
1516 reviews
The menu at Portland Restaurant, a contemporary British bistro with subtle Mediterranean influences, changes daily, but repeat diners rave about its wild game pies. The menu occasionally features a game pithivier, a perfectly bronzed parcel of pastry concealing a spiced and herbed mixture of mallard, pheasant, partridge, rabbit, and/or venison, invariably caught wild in the British countryside. At Portland the not-so-humble pie might have shavings of black truffle on top. Most menu items showcase seasonal vegetables of heritage and heirloom varieties, and the wine list is equally rarefied.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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