There are beautiful things on and off the plate at the prettiest restaurants in London!
Plenty of restaurants have style, and many more have the substance. But putting the two together isn’t always easy, which is why we’ve simply got to applaud the prettiest restaurants in London for marrying delicious food to a keen sense of the aesthetic. Whether they’ve opted for muted pastel tones or wildly OTT decor, this lot are some of the prettiest restaurants around!
Please note: all of these restaurants are currently closed for indoor dining under England’s lockdown rules; however, you can still experience some via takeaway and delivery options.
1. sketch, Mayfair
This list isn’t in any particular order, but whichever way we did order it, sketch would probably have emerged at number one amongst London’s prettiest restaurants. From the breathtaking spectacle of The Glade, to the pink, David Shrigley-bedecked The Gallery, to their ever-Instagrammed toilets, this place is straight up gorgeous. Read all about it here.
2. Maggie Jones’s, Kensington
Nope, you’re not in the Dorset countryside. You’re actually in Kensington, inside the rustic restaurant Maggie Jones’s, which appears not to have changed since the late 1800s. Cannily designed to look like a rural farmhouse, the restaurant specialises in hearty dishes such as venison and mash, and guinea fowl in white wine sauce. Yum! Find out more here.
3. 14 Hills, City of London
A recent addition to the capital, where it sits beneath tranquil rooftop The Garden at 120, 14 Hills is one hot spot. I mean, just look at the plush furnishings, elegant bar, and tropical plants, artfully festooned around the place. They also do a mean brunch, in case you needed another reason to visit… Learn more here.
4. Mama Fuego, Greenwich
Out in Greenwich, you’ll find Mama Fuego. Whilst many of our prettiest restaurants may wow with foliage and luxury fittings, Mama Fuego goes for restrained 60s elegance, in a restaurant dripping with wooden fixtures, plush upholstery, and an impressive sunken dining area. Dishes skew towards the Aussie, and the cakes aren’t to be missed. It briefly closed for the winter, and has been unable to reopen yet as a result of the pandemic – see more on their website.
5. Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
It’s a firm fixture on our most romantic restaurants in London list, and for readily apparent reasons. Snag a seat in the “fairy room”, and you’ll be dining beneath insanely ‘grammable cherry blossoms whilst being sat next to a roaring fire. Food skews towards fancy, French, and filling – with a price point to match – but it’s nonetheless a meal to remember! More information can be found here.
6. La Poule au Pot, Belgravia
Like Maggie Jones’s, but altogether Frenchier! Belgravia’s cutest French restaurant is actually a cousin of Maggie Jones’s, which explains the similarly rustic vines and photogenic decor. A menu of snails, French onion soup, moules, and more make it one to visit, and they’re continuing their Eat Out To Help Out deal through September, too. Read our guide here.
7. Mari Vanna, Knightsbridge
This one flew under our radar until recently, but no beautiful restaurant can escape the eyes of Secret London for long! Mari Vanna is a study in Russian elegance, combining opulent chandeliers with homely touches like retro crockery. Carb-heavy dishes like pirogis, borsht, and beef stroganoff certainly don’t hurt its appeal, either. Find out more here.
8. Amazonico, Mayfair
Rocking a pretty gorgeous arboreal theme, here’s Madrid transplant Amazonico, which brings the flavours of Peru, Colombia, and Brazil to Mayfair. It’s a toss-up as to what’s more exciting – the caramelised pineapples, spun over a gentle flame for four hours for maximum taste, or the tropical interiors, dotted with models of peacocks and tropical creatures. You can read all about it here.
9. Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
I’d estimate a good 60% of Bob Bob Ricard’s attraction lies in their downright dangerous “press for champagne” button, but you can also feast your eyes upon vintage blue and gold interiors, whether that be at the bar or in their ultra-luxe dining room. Happily, there’s a second, similarly champagne-happy site over in The Cheesegrater, but the Soho spot remains the OG. Find out all the details here.
10. Casa Do Frango, London Bridge
Piri piri is, naturally, so good they named it twice, but equally nice are Casa Do Frango’s exposed brick interiors, light-flooded dining room, and artfully dotted house plants. Plus, with cocktail bar The Green Room hidden in the basement, it’s a place you’ll want to spend plenty of time in – especially once you’ve tucked into the chicken! They’re another spot continuing Eat Out To Help Out through September, so a visit is definitely in order… See more here.
11. Bancone, Soho
I’m entirely biased on this one, since Bancone happens to be one of my all-time favourite restaurants in London. The original branch sits in Covent Garden (reopening September 8, FYI), but a more recent opening in Soho features counter dining, antique mirrors, and an olive tree in the heart of the restaurant. Some of the finest pasta dishes in town round off a truly special dining experience. Read our review here.
12. Jardin du Jasmin, Kensington
Instagram adores this Damascene cafe (recently transplanted from Fitzrovia to Kensington), which dazzles from the moment you walk in. Glorious tiling, a storm of hanging lights, and a moving poem from diplomat and poet Nizar Qabbani sort the aesthetics, whilst horraa osbao, kabset lahme, and knafeh will take care of the hunger. Read all about it here.
Perched precariously over the waters of Regent’s Canal, Cafe Laville makes our prettiest restaurants list for the gorgeous views it commands of the water. It’s doubly special in summertime, when the glass doors are thrown open for al fresco dining – and triply special if you can dig into a plate of freshly-made pasta at the same time. More info here.
14. Linnaean, Nine Elms
The Battersea Power Station development is emerging from a sort of no-man’s land to become one of London’s most interesting areas (especially when this floating pool pitches up), and Linnaean is a big part of that. Part beauty salon, part cafe, it earns a spot on our list thanks to pastel colours and floral decor – and cake, of course. Never forget the cake. Learn all about it here.
15. Bar Douro, London Bridge and City of London
We’re eternally grateful for all that Portugal has given the world, but especially for the holy trinity of port, pasteis de nata, and azulejos. Luckily, you’ll find them all in spades at Bar Douro, which marries brilliant small plates with a sense of design flair. Just look at those tiles! Find out more here.
16. Uchi, Hackney
Right up at the restrained end of the design spectrum amongst London’s prettiest restaurants lies Uchi, which eschews the bells and whistles of Insta-ready dining in favour of something authentic. Sunken dining tables, soft wood, and white curtains permeate a homely, wholesome space, which is quickly filled with as much sushi, robata, and tempura as you can muster. Find out more here.
17. Santo Remedio, London Bridge
My memories of Santo Remedio are, admittedly, a little hazy, having ventured along to try their bottomless margarita brunch. (Yes, that is as amazing as it sounds). Still, a quick scan of Instagram reveals a riot of colour, and since the food is pretty excellent too, it’s well worth checking out. Read all about it here.
18. Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
Circolo Popolare and sister restaurant Gloria certainly aren’t known for their subtlety. Gigantic pizzas, outlandish pasta dishes, and a fabulously OTT lemon meringue pie are the standouts here… if your eyes are fixed only on the menu, of course. Otherwise, you’re probably looking at the fairy lights and 20,000 bottles of booze – which is pretty understandable. Full information here.
19. The Petersham, Covent Garden
The entire Petersham Empire is extremely aesthetic, from their charming Richmond garden centre and tea room, to the homeware shop in the heart of Covent Garden. That extends to neighbouring restaurant The Petersham, which goes all in on the plants and chandeliers, without skimping on the flavour. Sunny days are best spent in the whitewashed courtyard, a world away from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden. Read all about it here.
20. Bodega Negra, Soho
Although the sign may offer GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, the reality is in fact TACOS TACOS TACOS. Which seems like a reasonable compromise, right? Head to the basement for low-lit dining amongst artfully distressed furniture, and don’t forget an all-important snap in front of their very misleading neon sign. Here are all the details.
21. Palm Vaults, Hackney
Hackney isn’t often mistaken for Miami, but when you sit down for a latte and cake in Palm Vaults, we’ll forgive you for being confused. Mint green and soft pink are the dominant colours, and if you really love them, you can pick up some sweet merch to rep the tribe. Perhaps banana bread is a cheaper place to start, though. Find out more here.
22. Ampéli, Fitzrovia
Greece is a gorgeous place, especially if you’re wandering through the whitewashed buildings and winding streets of a Cycladic village. At Ampéli, you sadly won’t be doing that, but your tastebuds sure will as they meander from whipped feta, to smoky lamb chops, to pitch-perfect loukoumades with a poppy seed custard. Your eyes, meanwhile, can focus on swish gold fixtures, interesting art, and a massive Greek wine list, which is compensation enough in our eyes. Read our review here.
23. Minnow, Clapham
Great things come in small packages, and squeezed into a little space on the fringes of Clapham Common is Minnow. The inviting frontage hits at their serious design credentials, and the stained glass window inside just proves that. Seasonal British cooking is the hallmark of their menu, and with a heavyweight Sunday roast on offer too, you’ll fall in love with more than the decor at one of the prettiest restaurants south of the river. More info here.
24. Peggy Porschen, Belgravia and Chelsea
It’s a great irony of London’s urban planning that a place so grey and uninspiring as Victoria Coach Station can sit basically right next door to one of the prettiest bakeries in town. Perfectly pink Peggy Porschen have now expanded to Chelsea, but that hasn’t stopped people queuing out the doors for cake, and a snap beneath the flower-garlanded entrance. Find out more here.
25. Berenjak, Soho
Modelled on the hole-in-the-wall eateries of Tehran, Berenjak has a ravishing range of kababs, khoresht, and more Persian dishes available. If you can snag a seat in the Hayat, you’ll find a cosy, comfy space hidden behind a curtain, which really is the perfect hideaway to try everything on the menu. They’ve also got a late-night bottomless kebab menu – need I say more? Learn more here.
26. Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia
The best thing about Dalloway Terrace is that you can come back every season and see it in a different outfit, because it’s often dressed in russet for autumn, or twinkling with frosted pine in winter. Instagram is usually an excellent barometer of this, but there’s really never a bad time to wander along. You can see more here.
27. Brother Marcus, Spitalfields
Another of our prettiest restaurants that goes heavy on the plant life, Brother Marcus have just recently opened a branch in Spitalfields. It’s all very a e s t h e t i c, but perhaps even prettier is The Step Sister, a tower of sweet potato, courgette and feta fritters, avocado and kale, turmeric yoghurt and a poached egg which had our Georgie swooning. Read her review here.
28. SUSHISAMBA, Covent Garden
When your first restaurant is high up in the Heron Tower, and commands views over The Gherkin, you’d better do something special for a sophomore effort. Thankfully, SUSHISAMBA’s gorgeous overgrown jungle – finished off with bespoke lighting, marble counters, and plush velvet chairs – does just that. More info here.
29. Brunswick House, Vauxhall
Ever been in a restaurant and wished you could walk out with a load of the fixtures? I mean, apart from all the previous spots on this list, of course. Well, at Brunswick House, you can, for everything you see is for sale – because the restaurant doubles up as an antiques shop, filled with chandeliers, mirrors, and chairs. You’ll be leaving with more than just a full stomach, I’m sure. See more here.
30. A.O.K, Marylebone
Yup, the design is A.O.K here. Branches of white petals extend across the upstairs restaurant (they’re even on the wallpaper), whilst the tiles in the downstairs bakery are equally swoonworthy. Come for breakfast, stay for lunch, and then load up on pastries – sorted! Read all about it here.
31. Saint Aymes, Marylebone and Tyburnia
Perhaps the most Instagrammable coffee shop in town is also the fanciest, as Saint Aymes top their beverages with edible 24ct gold. Add a steady diet of pinks, purples, and pastels in the design – plus the flower-bedecked exterior – and you see why it’d be a crime to leave it off this list. See more here.
32. Ziggy Green, Mayfair
A tropical taqueria with a taste for all things Bowie (the album cover for Ziggy Stardust was shot on the street outside), Ziggy Green dips into the flavourful offerings of Tulum, Mexico for their array of ceviche and tacos. Oh, and their infamous bottomless dinners come with a watermelon margarita fountain, so you’re definitely going to want to check them out here.
33. Tiffany Blue Box Cafe, Knightsbridge
The words “Tiffany” and “aesthetic” are virtually synonymous, so it’s no surprise to find the brand’s Harrods cafe on this list. Inspired by the NYC flagship cafe on Fifth Avenue, the London spot features the famous Tiffany blue for the walls, upholstery, and crockery, and boasts a rather delectable afternoon tea. Find out more here.
34. Apple Butter, Seven Dials
Giving the Garden of Eden a run for its money, Apple Butter’s claim to being one of London’s prettiest restaurants leans heavily on the giant apple tree at the heart of the cafe. Middle Eastern-inspired desserts should provide plenty of temptation. Read all about it here.
For more foodie updates and dreamy restaurants, follow our dedicated food & drink page The Mouthful on Instagram!
Also published on Medium.