If there's one question that we're tired of answering here at Foodism it's: "what are the best restaurants in London?". Primarily because that's a very big question that deserves a lot more time and attention than a simple list written the week before Christmas. Secondly because, even after all that thought, it's a really hard question to answer.
Deciding on the very best restaurants in London would require dissecting and analysing the very concept of what it means to be "the best" in the food industry and what it takes to be a successful restaurant in this day and age. Issues such as sustainability, fair treatment of staff and sourcing of produce are – after all – just as important as the actual taste of the food and should definitely come into play when trying to decide what the best restaurants in London are.
That being said, with a brand-new decade looming and a – let's just call it hectic year behind us – we thought we'd look back over the past year and all of the excellent eating and drinking that we've done. We just wanted to give a shout-out to our favourite spots – the places that we very simply enjoyed the most. You know what they say: to be the best, you've got to eat the best. So that's exactly what we've done by curating this list of the best restaurants in London according to, well, us.
We asked the Foodism team to round-up the best restaurants in London that they ate at in 2019 at three different price points. Remember: this isn't a definitive list but rather a collection of our favourite places to eat. And – let's face it – we ate a lot this year.
Mike Gibson, editor
£ Mangal 2
4 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BH
I'll contextualise this by saying I've got a massive weakness for Turkish food. I love a hot, bouncy flatbread struck through rich tarama; I love the hiss and splutter of marinated lamb grilled over scorching coals; I love the accompanying salad's delicate balance of sweet, bitter and sour. And yes, occasionally I have a weakness for a döner wrap in the dead of night when I'm late home, having not had dinner and occasionally having had a few drinks. What I don't love is the trope that kebabs, or Turkish food in general, need to be 'elevated'. I've been lucky enough to live in Dalston for the last three years, where I'd guess at there being at least 30 ocakbasi and mangal restaurants within a 100m radius, and the atmosphere and the mastery of flavour of one of these at the top of its game is something that needs no elevation whatsoever.
Having tried at least 6 or 7 of them, I've always gone back to Mangal 2 – the restaurant formerly best known for its genuinely hilarious Twitter account, run by Ferhat Dirik who, at 31, is surely one of the most perceptive minds in London restaurants (yes, really). Dirik has guided his father's restaurant business into the 21st century, and modernised it without rounding off any of the elements that have made it such a local hero, and become a mate in the meantime. There are a handful of great restaurants in my neighbourhood, but when I move, I'll miss this one the most.
Padella, The Dusty Knuckle
££ Casa do Frango
1st floor, 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU
Something that can occasionally get lost in the modern-day landscape of food in London is that food is allowed to be delicious, first and foremost. Similarly, when it comes to menus of dishes designed to share, there should be a common thread that runs through them. Casa do Frango (above the excellent Native, but now in Shoreditch, too) makes this point emphatically. A restaurant inspired by the piri piri chicken shacks of the Algarve in Southern Portugal, it serves grilled chicken in fiery sauce and a raft of accompanying sides (from African rice to simple grilled chouriço) that are, before anything else, absolutely delicious, and perfect to share. I went here for my last birthday with my family in tow, and had an outrageously good meal for around £40 a head. What helps is that good Portuguese wine, which makes up most of the list, tends to be brilliant value, meaning that with a big enough table you can order most of the menu once or twice over and guarantee a brilliant meal. The vibe’s great, too – which, given that its founders Marco Mendes, Jake Kasumov and Reza Merchant's background is in nightlife, shouldn’t be a surprise. Overall, this restaurant is a brilliant addition to London's dining scene, and you should go. And that, my friends, is how you write 200 words about a piri piri chicken restaurant without mentioning Nando's once. Ah, shit.
£££ Da Terra
8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF
Contrary to the first few series of Chef’s Table or the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, restaurants like the above prove that the most exciting cooking doesn’t always happen at the upper echelon of the dining scene. But, having said that, I think there’s still plenty of room for silver service, talented sommeliers, creative plating, and a tasting menu that guides diners through the imaginations of chefs of incredible pedigree and skill. That’s what you’ll find at Da Terra in Bethnal Green: chefs and founders Rafael Cagalli and Paulo Airaudo merge the cuisines of their native countries Italy and Brazil and land on something incredibly special. The aforementioned countries provide much of the basis for the food, but there are French, Japanese and Chinese flourishes, among others. I’d say the food is flawless, but it isn’t – that’s not a problem, though, when any minor flaws just add to the charm, and serve to underline that this is a restaurant of huge ambition that will only get better the longer it stays open.
Core by Clare Smith, Roganic
Lydia Winter, travel editor
£ Afghan Kitchen
35 Islington Green, N1 8DU
I'd like to start by saying I don't tend to stray too far from my N5 home turf when it comes to eating out ('cos I'm just such a Taurus, natch). My honourable mention goes to Xi'an Impression, which is just 10 minutes walk from my house – a firm favourite that's seen me through mates, dates, dumpings and dumplings – but my budget winner for 2019 is a new discovery, Afghan Kitchen. It's a similar deal: tiny restaurant, not high turnover, no bookings, cash only (although Xi'an does have the added bonus of being BYOB), not trendy but simply excellent. Pitch up at the door and grab a seat at a communal table upstairs, where you'll be plied with bowls of melty, perfectly spiced lamb with potato; pumpkin with yoghurt; lentil dal; and giant freshly made flatbreads. Come early or late as there's often a queue, or stop in for a pint or five from the extensive list at the Earl of Essex (another one of my 2019 favourites, if you're asking). And this won't matter to anyone but me, but there's a bus that goes from outside Afghan Kitchen that drops me right outside my front door. It doesn't get much better than that.
££ Top Cuvée
177B Blackstock Road, N5 2LL
Sticking with the theme of staying comfortably in my neighbourhood, Top Cuvée is less than a ten-minute walk from my house. I've been three times, always a Sunday evening when I want a distraction from the week ahead, and the restaurant is quiet and super chilled, although I'm assured it's vibey on a Friday night. You could go mad with the wine list here: it's both interesting and extensive, and I always end up having at least two more glasses than I mean to. That's in no small part thanks to owner Brodie Meah, always on hand behind the bar with recommendations, top ups and soothing conversation. I'm not actually a massive fan of small plates, but this is the kind of restaurant that reminds me how good it can be. I like to order a dish or two at a time – starting with bread topped with slivers of lardo and pickled shallots or smooth pork rillette with sourdough – and linger over my food until, well, I'm a bit pissed. Then all I need to do is amble home (the walk usually takes me about 20 minutes on the way back) to dreams of delica pumpkin, buckwheat and crispy shallots, and burrata with carrot rapé.
My mid-range shoutout goes to a restaurant about 100m up the road, Finks Salt & Sweet, which is sadly currently closed due to a flood with no reopening date in sight. I usually go here so often that I felt really quite emotional at this news, and continue to lament its closure at least once a week – especially because of the bang-on bloody marys, which are so cleanly restorative I'm pretty sure they're the only reason I made it through carni weekend in one piece. [At the time of writing, extensive research/Instagram stalking suggests Finks will be opening a new site in the new year]. An extra-special mention goes to Smoke & Salt in Pop Brixton, who have been churning out some of my favourite food in London since I properly knew what celeriac is. They're currently crowd funding for stand-alone site, and you can help them on their way here.
Finks Salt & Sweet and Smoke & Salt
£££ The Providores
109 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RX
Although it is/was in Marylebone, The Provs fits delightfully with my theme because it's conveniently located on the Victoria Line, which whisks me straight back to my beloved Highbury within 20 minutes (I'm telling you folks, N5 is the place to live). Kiwi chef Peter Gordon is probably the nicest guy in the world, and also one of the best chefs. He pioneered fusion cooking, inventing pairings like miso caramel and tamarind-roasted tomatoes, and went on to mentor Miles Kirby (Caravan), Anna Hansen (The Modern Pantry), Selin Kiazim (Oklava) and Skye Gyngell (Spring), and also worked with Fergus and Margot Henderson (St. John and Rochelle Canteen). If that doesn't impress you, I really don't know what will. I went here for lunch with my parents (thanks Mum and Dad), where I ate firm-yet-flaky hake with pearl barley and mussels in a dashi broth, and bacon ice cream with banana caramel sauce, olive meringue, maple cream and cornflakes. Yes, it was incredible. Sadly Peter and his business partner Michael made the decision to shut their doors this summer, but they've promised new things on the horizon. Hurry up already! Honourable mentions go to Primeur and Westerns Laundry (both within 15 minutes' walk of my house, of course) – they're not necessarily high-end, but you could easily get carried away with their seasonal British produce and brilliant selection of wines if you were that way inclined...
Primeur and Western's Laundry
Ally Head, staff writer
65 Commercial Street, E1 6BD
There have been so many great value for money restaurant openings this year; Bao Borough and Pophams, in my honourable mentions; Crispin and Stoney Street which, too, hold a special place in my heart. But Bubala steals the top spot with the effortless ease that made a fully vegetarian offering one of the most talked about menus of the year without so much as mentioning its lack of meat. Nab a window stool, as we did, nestle in amongst the palm plants and sip a fig leaf martini—you'll feel as effortlessly elegant as Elizabeth Taylor, apart from, you know, in 2020 on Spitalfield's Commercial Street. The subtle, fizzing atmosphere, pastel, minimalistic interior and aureate lighting at Bubala does that to you; fills you with excitement and makes you want to book a flight to Jerusalem, ASAP.
From the kitchen comes inventive Israeli fare, made from traditional Middle Eastern ingredients and served in a slow and steady thrum of small plates that allow you to while away the evening in no rush. Think zaatar dusted Laffa flatbreads, crunchy with olive oil and nearly larger than you, perfect for dunking in garlic-packed houmous and stuffing with biting, crunchy pickled vegetables; thick slabs of black seed honeyed halloumi, grilled aubergine creamy with date syrup and zhoug, and confit latke potatoes that fill you with joy before you so much as even taste them. It's deliciously decadent and intelligent veggie cooking, confident in its flavour, and no wonder; Marc Summers, formerly GM of Berber & Q, and Helen Graham, from the kitchens of The Palomar, The Barbary and The Good Egg, are behind the magic. Take your mum, take your mates, take your dog. Just whatever you do, get down, quick.
Bao Borough, Pophams Bakery
££ Wild By Tart
3-4 Eccleston Yards, SW1W 9AZ
It's not often that you walk into a restaurant and fall instantly in love; your infatuation blossoming steadily but surely in the weeks after you visit, the plates popping into your head once, twice, sometimes even three times a day until finally, a bit like with that song you wouldn't repeat or coat you simply couldn't afford, you succumb. Wild By Tart did just that; it drew me in hook, line and sinker. After my first visit, I scrolled the menu every other day; I pre-planned what other dishes to try; and I told all of my mates, including the old uni WhatsApp last active in October and my Grandma who lives in Reading, that they simply had to get down a la pronto.
Glistening in a quiet corner of Victoria's Eccleston Yard, Wild By Tart is an interior shop, deli and restaurant all in one, with a photography studio, to boot; and if that wasn't impressive enough, the open kitchen serves really damn good food, too. It's unbelievably fresh, for central London, with veg and meat coming directly from owner Jemima's family farm; everything else is sustainably or locally sourced. The menu, quite a thing in itself with over 20 dishes, champions a mish-mash of bold and traditional flavour combinations. Normally, I'd find so much choice overwhelming, but in this case, it means you can take literally anyone and leave with all parties happy. IMO, you can't go wrong with ordering a bottle of the all-natural MAAL Malbec and settling down for a night of candlelit catching up and intimate tête-à-tête over soul-warming, nourishing dishes. Enjoy.
Emile, Lina Stores King's Cross
£££ The Dairy
15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
Yep, sure, fine, I know, The Dairy has been a firm favourite on the London food scene for years now, but the lunch I had here was arguably the best I've had all year. The restaurant is the brainchild of chef Robin Gill, formerly of Noma and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, and wife Sarah. It's my top pick for higher end London grub for a number of reasons. Number one: it's always packed with a steady thrum of hungry customers on even the gloomiest of days, testament to how great the food is, and still maintains impeccable (but not intrusive) service. Number two: the interior is reminiscent of the ranch in Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, bare brick walls juxtaposing chipped vases full of fresh meadow flowers, and up-cycled wooden chairs lining rustic oak tables. In other words, it looks wicked. And number three: upstairs, the rooftop buzzes with an 80,000 strong beehive, herb garden and veggie patch, where much of the produce you eat is grown.
It's a formidable combination that means you don't really want to leave. I enjoyed a leisurely three hour lunch here with a friend in October and whiled away the whole afternoon people watching; both the chefs in the open kitchen, constructing their masterpieces, and the dog walkers on Clapham Common battling the influx of Autumn leaves. The Dairy has an unpretentious, charismatic charm that comes from making the very best of their basics; dishes are largely curated from simple, no-fuss ingredients, service is stripped back but effective, and the dishes use smart but not pretentious flavour combinations that leave you wondering who to bring next. Whilst the set lunch menu is a total bargain—it'll cost you less than a three-course meal at Pizza Express—I'd recommend booking in come evening for a special occasion. Be prepared to splash out a little. It'll be worth every penny.
Lucas Oakeley, editorial assistant
£ Roti King
40 Doric Way, NW1 1LH
One of my more memorable visits to Roti King involved queuing up outside the restaurant for about 50 minutes in the cold and pouring rain with my mother. We were wet, we were miserable, and we were so hungry we contemplated sacking off our plans and heading to the Nando's nearby instead. The reason for our visit was to celebrate that I'd just gotten a new job. In fact, it was this very job here at Foodism. We eventually sat down sodden and half-frozen on a cramped table, elbow to elbow with the couple next to us, desperately trying to uncork a bottle of the third most expensive white we could find at the nearest M&S, and proceeded to have the loveliest meal of the entire year.
The food at Roti King is an obvious draw – there might not be a better bite in the city than a scrag of flaky roti whirled around the tangy remnants of a bowl of curry dhaal – but it's the overall experience of eating there, and the overwhelming sense of comfort and warmth that emanates from the kitchen and the staff, that makes it one of my favourite restaurants. It's worth the wait no matter the weather.
101 Thai Kitchen, Singburi, Lime Orange, Sagar
££ Four Legs
4 Compton Ave, N1 2XD
If your only pub dining experiences to date involve incinerated Richmond sausages, putty-like gravy and pappy carrots, you need to get out more often. To be a bit more specific, you need to get out more often to the Compton Arms in Islington where the talented folks over at Four Legs have set up shop in the kitchen. Yes, the Gunners have been woeful but don't take it lightly when we say that this residency from chefs Jamie Allan and Ed McIlroy is the best thing to have happened in an Arsenal pub all year.
The dench dexter cheeseburger has stolen a lot of the limelight on social media but there's honestly not a plate I've sampled at Four Legs that hasn't been an absolute slam dunk. The menu changes on the reg – ranging from dime dropping dishes of XO hake to beef chow mein and brown crab tortellini – and the Sunday roast is an alley oop, to boot. Please go there.
Levan, Hoppers, Legare, Smoking Goat, Dishoom
34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
I am not a fancy man. I always feel a bit uncomfortable whenever dressing up (a bit like when you see an animal wearing human clothes in a '90s movie) and the chance to come by a restaurant where I can get my laughing gear around flawless cooking while wearing something I can actually feel relaxed in is always a massive plus in my book. That's why Moro – to me, at least – is one of the very best restaurants in London.
Dining here is like dining at the home of a very close friend; a home where it would admittedly be a bit of a faux-pas to take your shoes off and roll up a cig on the table, but a home where you nonetheless still feel like you belong. It doesn't hurt that every dish is ambrosial, either. I can still vividly recall a charcoal hunk of grilled lamb, timed to perfection, blushing all over, and coated in an anchovy, rosemary and paprika butter that reminded me how eating meat can be an experience for all the senses. Particularly when it's sourced well, and cooked even better. Sam and Sam Clark's Moro is a classical that I'd happily play on repeat every day of the week.
Babur, Mortimer House Kitchen, XU, Soutine, Imperial Treasure
Ben Winstanley, contributing editor
Victoria Market Halls, 191 Victoria Street, SW1E 5NE
Date: October 2015. Location: Brighton. A depth charge has just exploded in my mouth as unctuous oxtail, smoked ox heart, and a sweet potato and turnip whip hammer flavour onto my taste buds faster than I can register. The wisp of smoke is delicate, not at all overbearing, while the oxtail melts on the tongue without any need to chew, the touch of sweetness from the whip reigns back the meatiness ever-so slightly. My first exposure to Tom Griffiths' Flank concept remains vividly clear in my mind – and for good reason.
Griffiths picks up Fergus Henderson's nose-to-tail mantle, adds just enough contemporary edge, and packages it up in a string of excellent-value street food stalls and pop-ups across London. The venues for Flank, places like Victoria Market Halls, often belie the technical skill going on underneath the surface of these grab-and-go masterpieces. Griffiths' 16-hour smoked beef naan, for example, is the kind of sleeves-rolled-up filth you crave after an evening on the tiles, but it relies on fundamental building blocks of flavour: salt, fat, acid, heat (shoutout to Samin Nosrat). That softly, softly smoked beef is topped with a homemade smoked chili sambal, fresh herbs, a meat bottarga (read: salty dry-cured beef), and crunchy pickled veg all wrapped up in a fresh beef fat naan. It's undeniably good eating.
Griffiths has been talking about a bricks-and-mortar restaurant since the first time I grabbed a post-service pint with him. If 2020 is the year it finally materialises, get ready for the best meat-focused restaurant since Smokestak and Pitt Cue (RIP) opened their doors.
Sichuan Grand, Dastaan, Hoppers
££ Bob Bob Cité
The Leadenhall Building, Level 3, 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB
I'm going to get some stick from my fellow 'dism contributors for placing Bob Bob Cité – an unashamedly OTT champagne palace, where caviar and lobster thermidor costs you the obligatory arm and a leg – in the (ahem) moderately priced section of this piece, but allow me to explain.
Bob's is a place where it's easy to get carried away: the tantalising 'press for champagne button', the spenny shellfish, and the banker clientele taking the mick on the company card. It's a restaurant that screams blow the budget; eat first, ask questions later. But I've successfully visited this ludicrous gaff on more than one occasion this year, without having to quietly console my bank account afterwards. It's all about choosing wisely.
Outgoing executive head chef Éric Chavot (his replacement is as yet unnamed) is one of the great masters of French cuisine in London – and, here, the menu he helped create sings with classic technique you'd normally associate with our cousins from across the Channel. Escargots en persillade redolent of unsociable garlic quantities (£9), giant boeuf en croûte with truffle jus goodness (£22.5 per head), and ephemeral Île Flottante (£9.50) all smack of the kind of occasion dishes that I associate with an evening well spent. No doubt I'll be back in 2020 – maybe for a glass of chablis and the outrageous fishmonger's pie.
Seabird, Decimo, Takahashi
1 St James's Market, St. James's, SW1Y 4AH
Not everyone likes fine dining. Whether it's the obligation to dress up, the frustration of small portion sizes, or the sickening sense of imposter syndrome that a formal service can elicit, it's an environment that, understandably for some, feels too foreign to justify the expense. But modern establishments are moving further and further from the frippery that surrounds 'posh' restaurants towards an experience that elevates culinary method and ingredient quality without raising the levels of pomp.
My two favourite restaurants this year both found this sweetspot: the first of these is the utterly spectacular Tom Kemble at The Pass (sadly out of town in West Sussex), but a little closer to home you'll find the groundbreaking Ikoyi.
Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan's restaurant is best described as a composite of the food the former grew up on in Ikoyi (a wealthy borough in Lagos, Nigeria) moulded into the framework of fine-dining. Head chef Chan honed his craft under pioneers Heston Blumenthal, Rene Redzepi and Claude Bosi but here has hoarded the treasures of West African food culture and distilled them into a tasting menu where guests are spun around the continent at breakneck speed. It wouldn't be true to call this an 'authentic' representation of African cuisine, nor is this the intention, rather something altogether different. Ikoyi, simply put, is one of the most individual restaurants in London.
Just thinking about the signature crab jollof makes me salivate like a dog staring at a butchers counter…
Bibendum, Launceston Place, Core by Clare Smyth
Mark Hedley, contributing editor
161 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8HX
As an anti-vegetarian, I would usually approach the invitation to visit anywhere called 'Spinach' with skepticism at best, outright refusal at worst. But as a decade-long Lordship Lane resident it would have been remiss of me not to try it out. In its former life as Chandelier, it was one of the only establishments on the Lane which wouldn't allow buggies. Given that East Dulwich is the epicentre of South London's Nappy Valley, this was not a wise business decision. Fortunately, Spinach and its delightful owner Melissa are very happy for you to bring along your little ones. Indeed, the roof conversion now makes for a happy little private dining room if you can take up enough seats to fill it. Even if you can't stand kids (probably avoid Dulwich, then), Spinach is worth a visit. Brunch is the winner here. Yes, there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options, but you can always have an extra portion of protein. We all love smashed avocado (it's the law now, right?) but it's so much better with crispy bacon on the side.
Terroirs, Mr Bao, Bánh Bánh
12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Levan is just… lovely. It has a lovely atmosphere, a lovely menu full of lovely seasonal dishes and an especially lovely 15-page natural wine list. Levan ticks just about every box you could want from a restaurant. It's a spot to eat, and be seen eating. The plates coming out of the pass are inventive without being over-the-top and crucially never lose touch with the most important gastronomic aspect of all. Which, as we all know, is being straight-up delicious. The comté fries will have your eyes rolling to the back of your head in ecstasy and, perched at a window-facing counter with a bottle of something natty, I'd challenge you to find a more pleasant dining experience in London.
£££ The Game Bird
The Stafford London, 16-18 St James's Place, SW1A 1NJ
Fine dining can too often drift into the needlessly experimental, a confusion of fusion, or the try-hard avant garde. None of these are an issue at The Game Bird, which prides itself on delivering the classics with added verve. Take the humble smoked salmon starter: at The Game Bird, a trolley is rolled over where you are presented with a choice of multiple salmons, smoked in multiple ways, with a selection if multiple accoutrements. (Opt for the H Forman & Son smoked over Balvenie casks, served with a mist of the single malt.) There aren't any bad dishes here – James Durrant cut his teeth under Jason Atherton and has certainly learnt a lot from his former master – but given the restaurant is named after it, you'd be a fool not to try The Game Bird. It's the most delicate, tender pigeon I've ever eaten, ingeniously complemented with a mix of hearty veg, and a jus nicknamed 'bullshot' – made from a combination of the meat and sloe gin, poured over the dish from a hip flask. What's not to love?
Restaurant Story, Trinity, Bibendum
Jon Hawkins, editor-in-chief
£ Forza Win/Forza Wine
Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN
I'm cheating twice here (sue me!), because not only are Forza Win and Forza Wine very definitely two entirely different places but they're not especially cheap, either. And yet here they are – my sole selection at the lower end of the price range. What's that about then? Well, you just have to look at things in a different way. Start at Forza Win's millennial-industrial small-plates Peckham-Italian and from 6-7pm (Tuesday to Saturday) you'll get a plate of ridiculously good pasta and a glass of wine (also ridiculously good) for £10. A tenner! Grab a custardo (a shot of espresso and creme anglaise) for £3 to steel you for the 3-minute walk (and a ride in a lift – woo!) to sister bar/restaurant Forza Wine, with its properly grown-up, stripped-back setting and stellar South London views. Here, you can finish off with a limoncello (£4) and soft-serve ice cream with salted caramel and biscotti (£3). That's £20 for two drinks, two courses and coffee/custard, and you've covered less distance than a trip to the loo and back at Big Restaurant. See, I told you it made sense.
Mama Dough, Honor Oak Park (at 5pm, with babies and rabbit-shaped sourdough pizza)
££ L'Oculto Cocina
325 Brockley Road, SE4 2QZ
There was always a risk that translating the dinky Lewisham tapas bar with quirky opening hours into a bigger and more polished venture down the road in Brockley was going to go wrong. As it turns out, the fans of the original (which is still going strong and now known as Little L'Oculto) needn't have worried. The sequel is every bit as good, mostly because the owners have recognised that spectacular ingredients put together with one eye on tradition (regional Spanish, mostly) and another on invention wins every time. There's an absolutely stellar wine list, too – the owners are also award-winning importers of low-intervention Spanish wines, which never hurts, does it?
£££ Goodman Mayfair
24-26 Maddox Street, W1S 1QH
Launched in 2009 into the heat of the financial crisis, it's kind of a triumph that Goodman made it this far, yet here it is at ten years old – positively ancient in London restaurant years – in all its meaty glory. I'm well aware London's absolutely rammed with more exciting, more modern and cheaper restaurants, none of which come with that macho Mayfair 'banquettes and expense cheques' baggage, but ultimately I'm glad there's a place here for Goodman. They really know how to look after you, the steaks are all-time (the sides are great, too), and above all it's a lot of fun. I get the feeling we might be needing a bit of that in 2020. Will it still be here in 2029? You wouldn't bet against it…
Frenchie Rue Du Nil (they wouldn't let me put this in because it's in Paris, which apparently doesn't count as London, but honestly I've had longer tube journeys without leaving zone 3. It's brilliant, by the way)