In case you can’t tell, I was torn between two names for this post: my favorite restaurants in London versus the most Instagrammable restaurants in London. In the end, I decided on some combination of the two. Because why choose one when you can have both? (Shoutout to my dad for that nugget of wisdom)
While you’ve probably heard of some of these spots (or possibly even most of them if you’re a local!), I really tried to find a few restaurants off-the-beaten-path on my most recent trip to London. So there’s sure to be a restaurant or two even a true Londoner has never tried!
Keep reading for the full list and please share your favorite restaurants in London in the comments section! I’m always on the hunt for a new, delicious spot. Extra points to Gryffindor if I can add it to my list of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London too.
What I’m Wearing:
Shirt: J.Crew | Sweater: Ann Taylor | Skirt: LOFT, sold out
Before I dive into my favorite restaurants in London / the most Instagrammable restaurants in London, I thought I should begin by highlighting two of my favorite Instagrammable restaurants in London: the bridge with a view of Buckingham Palace in St. James’s Park and the bank directly across the Thames from Westminster Abbey. Highly specific, I know… But the photos are so great!
And now, for the real reason why y’all tuned in for this post. We all know you’re here for the food.
My Favorite Restaurants in London & The Most Instagrammable Restaurants in London
Aubaine: I mentioned this restaurant in this post, but trust me when I say that Aubaine is now officially added to my list of London staples. AKA places I must go to every time I visit London. Located in the Selfridges store (aka right in the middle of all of the great shopping on Oxford Street), the wisteria-filled Aubaine is seriously an Instagrammer’s dream. I went for their brunch on my most recent trip to London, and I already can’t wait to go back and try their dinner menu (and delicious-looking cocktails!).
The Berkeley: Okay, okay… yes, The Berkeley is a hotel. But they have one of the best afternoon teas in London, so I had to include it on my list. This hotel is mere steps from Hyde Park (and a short walk from Buckingham Palace) and their Prêt-à-Portea is definitely something to write home about. Especially if you’re into fashion. Many of the dishes served during their Prêt-à-Portea are inspired by couture fashion – just trust me when I say that this is an experience you must have while in London!
The Booking Office: I’m a bit biased here. On both of my past two trips to London, I’ve stayed at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. The first time because my friends recommended it, the second because I was in a pinch to find lodgings for that night and it was a hotel I knew and loved (and didn’t cost too many points and is super close to King’s Cross aka it’s easy to get around from there). The Booking Office is the restaurant on the first floor of the St. Pancras Renaissance, steps from the exit for the Eurostar train. This restaurant features Victorian era decor as it was the original ticket office for St. Pancras Station. AKA it’s gorgeous. In the interest of 100% honesty, the food is fine and the drinks are delicious… but the ambiance is what makes it great.
Borough Market: I talked about this market previously here… but in addition to being a fun thing to do in London, it’s also a great place to go for a bite to eat! If you’re being touristy in the Bermondsey area (aka by London Bridge / the Shard / the Globe theater), it’s one of the best places to go for a bite (or a few) and a drink (again: or a few).
Campania: My friend and I wandered into this Italian spot while on a desperate search for brunch before visiting the Columbia Road Flower Market (read more about that market here). While the restaurant is definitely Italian food, it (a) is super cute and cottage-y inside and (b) has a very vegetarian-friendly brunch menu. Great spot to pop into if you find yourself in Shoreditch (or heading to the flower market!).
Churchill Arms: I love this restaurant. Truly, love. Not only does Churchill Arms have the most Instagrammable exterior, but it totally takes you by surprise. From the outside, it looks like a traditional British pub (but with a bit more flair). From the inside, it looks like a traditional British pub. But guess what? It’s Thai food. And by the way – it’s both affordable and delicious. I love it. If you’re staying in/near Notting Hill (or find yourself in the area), you should definitely make a point to pop by during your trip.
Dishoom: Yes, it’s so cliche to recommend this spot… But, honestly, it’s worth the wait and Dishoom lives up to the hype IMO. There’s a reason why every location of this Indian restaurant is full (with a queue at least 30 minutes long) every night of the week. To make the wait go by faster, I like to grab an East India Gimlet or a Kalamansi Smash from the bar (both are delish!). BTW, Dishoom is ideal for the shared-plates lover. And slightly less ideal for those who highly dislike sharing plates (but you can still make it work!). I love the Dishoom Calamari, Vegetable Samosas, and literally any dish accompanied by the House Black Daal.
Farm Girl Cafe: Another one of my Notting Hill faves, Farm Girl features locally-sourced food that is somehow even more Instagrammable than the restaurant itself. Honestly. This restaurant is not only one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London – it might just be one of the most Instagrammable restaurants I’ve ever encountered. They serve a Rose Latte with rosewater-infused milk and flower petals. Is it good? I have no idea, I haven’t tried it. But I’ve seen it, and my friend had to physically restrain me from taking a picture of it. Somehow, Farm Girl even manages to make a sandwich look gorgeous (and it was delicious, btw). Don’t ask me how. It’s witchcraft. Just trust me and go.
Franco Manca: If you’re looking for an inexpensive-but-delicious neighborhood pizza joint, Franco Manca is one of my London faves. My friend and I literally went twice within a span of three weeks last winter. It’s a really great budget-friendly spot with locations all over London. I personally like the Bermondsey location as it’s super intimate.
The Gilbert Scott: Okay, this one’s a bit out there (mentally, I mean… It’s actually right next to King’s Cross so it’s definitely not physically out there): do you remember the music video for “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls? It was filmed just outside the entrance to this restaurant and wine bar, located in the St. Pancras Hotel. In case you didn’t know, my very first concert was the Spice Girls, so I just about died upon seeing that. But moving on. On my most recent trip to London, my friend asked me to drinks at George’s Bar – the wine bar adjacent to The Gilbert Scott restaurant (probably because it was in my hotel and she knows I’m lazy). While we didn’t eat at the restaurant, the drinks at George’s Bar were seriously incredible. Albeit a bit pricey. But worth it because of the gorgeous interiors. And gorgeous/delicious drinks.
The Ivy Soho Brasserie: This restaurant is Instagrammable AF, super chic, and beyond delicious. As a result, you should expect to wait, but the wait is well worth the reward. On my most recent trip to London, my friend and I popped over to The Ivy Soho for brunch (which ended up being more like lunch after we waited at the bar for an hour and had a few drinks). So worth it. I lovedddd their cocktails, and the Eggs Royale (aka salmon eggs benedict) were truly A+. The interiors are gorgeous and, combined with the photo-ready cocktails, this restaurant is seriously one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London.
Josephine’s Filipino Restaurant: My friends and I wandered into this spot only blocks from The British Museum last winter, after a very long afternoon filled with lots of mulled wine. We were searching for something cozy and different, and trust me: we got it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t frequently have Filipino food, so I really loved the chance to try something new. Josephine’s wasn’t too pricey and it easily accommodated our large (and growing!) group – we had about 10 people at our table by the end of our meal!
Levant: OMG. This was such a fun night. On my most recent trip to London, I accompanied my friend and his boyfriend to Levant for a night of dinner and drinks. What we didn’t know before arriving: this Lebanese restaurant features bellydancing shows several times each night. And every show strives to achieve a high degree of audience participation (aka audience bellydancing). I forced my friend to partake and proceeded to just about die of laughter. While the music was a bit loud, Levant had a great ambiance and seriously delicious food. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in/near Soho, Mayfair, or Marylebone on your next trip to London!
Londrino: I was actually slightly conflicted as to whether or not to recommend this spot. I loved it, but it’s definitely a restaurant for the more adventurous eater. Londrino is a Portuguese-inspired restaurant, only steps from the Shard, with a regularly changing menu. When I went, I loved the octopus and the quail (and the wine list!).
Mai Sushi: My friend and I are so proud of ourselves for discovering this hole-in-the-wall sushi spot. It’s seriously such a gem. Mai Sushi is located near King’s Cross and is super delicious, authentic, and surprisingly budget-friendly. I actually went twice on my most recent trip to London – so worth it.
Sketch: Oh. My. Lanta. This restaurant is seriously one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London. Slash the world. You might recognize this restaurant from Instagram, as it’s pretty much an Instagrammer’s paradise. Slash an Interior Designer’s dream. While this restaurant is quite expensive to the point of being overpriced (and very touristy), it’s worth it for the experience, at least in my opinion. Seriously: who doesn’t love a pink room? You definitely want to have a reservation before going to Sketch, as this Mayfair spot books up weeks in advance (especially for afternoon tea!). Oh, and don’t forget to go to the bathroom. You’ll understand when you see it. Hint: it looks like an alien invasion.