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Michelin Star Restaurants in London To Add To Your Bucket List

Food & Drink /


The capital’s starriest dining spots

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London is one of the top cities in the world for fine dining, with 69 restaurants awarded Michelin stars in the 2022 guide. But which ones are worth shelling out for? Here we bring you the C&TH pick of Michelin-starred restaurants in London, from a West African restaurant which was recently named one of the world’s best restaurants to an unassuming Hackney gem and one of the city’s riverside institutions. 

Best Michelin Star Restaurants in London 2022

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KOL

KOL, Marylebone

Growing up in the tiny Mexican town of Cuernavaca, Santiago Lastra first started cooking to help his family cope with the grief of losing their father. Now, he’s making culinary waves all over the world. Santiago made a name for himself running sell out supper clubs around the world, but his most recent venture is perhaps the most exciting yet. Santiago heads up KOL in Marylebone, which offers a unique kind of Mexican food, using British ingredients to create eclectic tasting menus: think langoustine tacos, Cheltenham beetroot tostadas and guacamole made of pistachio. The Chef’s Table experience is particularly special, offering diners the chance to watch Santiago and his team of chefs cook up exclusive dishes straight out of the test kitchen alongside a bespoke drinks pairing. After KOL picked up its first Michelin star last year, Santiago told us: ‘my dream was to represent Mexico, and the Michelin star proves Mexican food has this feeling of quality. It’s at the level of other cuisines in the world – it’s complex and interesting, but also refined.’

9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA; kolrestaurant.com

Ikoyi

Ikoyi, St James

This two Michelin-starred restaurant hit the headlines recently after being named in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Founded by friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Chef Jeremy Chan, it combines West African spices with British ingredients, made using organic meats, biodynamic vegetables and fish from UK waters dispatched using the Ikejime method. Think aged sirloin with salted citrus and lobster, turbot and caramelised chicken wings, smoked jollof rice and a poppyseed and rum cake. 

1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AH; ikoyilondon.com

Lecture Room & Library at Sketch

The Lecture Room & Library at sketch, Mayfair

A Narnia-style hub of restaurants, bars and art on Mayfair’s Conduit Street, sketch is a dining emporium like no other. Dreamed up by restauranteur Mourad Mazouz, it’s made up of four uniquely designed restaurants and a bar which sits beneath the Instagram-famous pod-style toilets. The Lecture Room & Library is the most high-end offering, with three Michelin stars to its name – making it one of only five restaurants in London to hold this accolade. Somewhat hidden on the left side of the three-storey 18th century townhouse in which sketch is housed, the restaurant has a notably exclusive feel. Upon entering guests are greeted in a dark corridor and taken up a red-carpeted staircase, before being welcomed into the palatial ballroom-like dining room through a set of grand double-height doors. Food is equally impressive: whether you go for the tasting menu or pick dishes from the à la carte, you can guarantee innovative fare served with artistic flourish – think whimsical starters which arrive as miniature banquets and a grand amalgamation of desserts spanning all sorts of textures and flavours.

9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG; sketch.london

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HIDE, Mayfair

Rumour has it over £20 million was spent putting together HIDE, Ollie Dabbbous’ hugely ambitious, multi-floored Piccadilly project. It worked, though: after launching in 2019, the venue won a Michelin star within months of opening. Evidently, the name is ironic: with wraparound windows overlooking Green Park, HIDE is very much on display. There are three different spaces to explore: all-day restaurant HIDE Ground, the more expensive HIDE Above, and bar HIDE Below. All food served here is excellent, but HIDE Above’s tasting menu-only offering is exceptional, with plates presented as works of art. Current dishes include barbecued lobster and glazed veal sweetbread – or, opt for the vegetarian, baby aubergine with tonburi and sesame, and grilled sparassis (also known as cauliflower mushroom). Helming the drinks side is Hedonism Wines; guests can choose from an extensive list displayed on a millennial-friendly iPad. 

85 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NB; hide.co.uk

Restaurant Story

Restaurant Story, London Bridge

Tom Sellers tells his life story through a unique selection of tasting menus at this renowned Tooley Street spot. He opened Restaurant Story aged just 26 back in 2013, following stints at Noma and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York. In 2018, the restaurant started a new chapter after a refurbishment, taking on a more grown-up feel while upholding the playful element Sellers is known for. There’s no menu as such: diners are asked for likes and dislikes before a tailored selection of dishes arrive theatrically at the table. Some classics feature time and time again though: the ‘Storeos’, for instance, a savoury spin on an Oreo cookie filled with cheese instead of cream; and the beef dripping candle, a candle made from beef fat melting into a dipping sauce for sourdough – Instagram gold.

199 Tooley St, London SE1 2JX; restaurantstory.co.uk

Trinity

Trinity, Clapham

Holding the award for Clapham’s only Michelin star is Trinity in the Old Town, headed up by Adam Byatt. When the restaurant opened back in 2006, the mission was to serve great food that was ‘seasonal, inspirational and, above all delicious’ – and that hasn’t changed, despite its ever-growing acclaim. At its core, Trinity is a neighbourhood restaurant; clearly high-end, but never stuffy or pretentious. Set menus are the name of the game, with dishes changing seasonally – though the Classics menu is a six-course extravaganza of some of their signatures, such as crispy pigs trotters, shellfish ravioli and turbot cooked on the bone. Upstairs you’ll find a more casual dining room (aptly called Upstairs) which is well-suited to private dinners or events, offering sharing-style plates like bouillabaisse with rouille, devilled Mylor prawns and roasted cauliflower with date ketchup. 

4 The Polygon, London SW4 0JG; trinityrestaurant.co.uk

Kitchen Table

Kitchen Table, Fitzrovia

After 15 months of closure, Michelin-starred Fitzrovia restaurant Kitchen Table reopened in July 2021 with a fresh look and an exciting new menu. Spearheaded by husband-and wife-duo, Noma-trained James Knappett and sommelier Sandia Chang, Kitchen Table used to sit at the back of gourmet champagne and hot dog restaurant Bubbledogs, which sadly closed for good during the pandemic. It’s been repurposed as a cocktail bar though, while Kitchen Table continues to serve as an intimate dining room seating just 18 – meaning the whole restaurant is pretty much a chef’s table. The setting may be low-key, but the two-Michelin-starred food is anything but: diners will embark on a dazzling 20-course gastronomic feast. Prepare for some surprises – the daily-changing menu is intentionally enigmatic, with one-word descriptions of dishes, but the chefs will talk you through their magic along the way. 

70 Charlotte St., London W1T 4Q; kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Benares

Benares, Mayfair

Benares has always taken a flavours-first approach to cuisine, and unlike some of its Berkeley Square neighbours, you won’t catch diners letting their sizzling tikka mains go cold while they capture the perfect Instagram shot (the low lighting inhibits photography, even if you should be so inclined). The approach pays off: it delivers flavour in abundance. London has a plethora of excellent Indian eateries, but Benares is the obvious choice for the finest modern Indian food in the capital, with one Michelin star to its name. Don’t miss the Baked Malabar Scallop, a plump Scottish scallop baked in the shell with rich coconut curry plus the vegetarian-friendly Paneer Tikka, a Colston Bassett stilton malai cottage cheese tikka served with quince murabba.

12a Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS; benaresrestaurant.com

UMU Sushi

UMU, Mayfair

Forgoing the theatrical bells and whistles found at London’s more name-checked Japanese establishments, Umu favours a more refined, less westernized cuisine that won it a Michelin star within months of opening (it now has two). Around 70 per cent of the fish served is British, and such is Chef Yoshi’s dedication to the highest quality produce that he personally trained Cornish fishermen in the ikejime method of killing and preserving fish to ensure it met his exacting standards – order the mixed sashimi, and you’ll taste the difference. But it’s not all about the sushi – the seasonal kaiseki tasting menu takes you on a journey of elegant, traditional and previously unheard-of dishes, with many of the top contenders being fully vegetarian.

14-16 Bruton Pl, London W1J 6LX; umurestaurant.com

Brat, Shoreditch

Brat, Shoreditch

Brat is slang for turbot: the star dish at this endlessly cool restaurant, cooked here in an iron cage over an open wood fire grill. It’s the first solo restaurant from award-winning Welsh chef Tomos Parry (previously at Kitty Fishers), and has become a hugely popular spot since opening in 2018, securing a Michelin star within just six months of opening. Brat sits above the equally trendy Smoking Goat, with pared-back interiors, tightly packed tables and an open kitchen which fills the space with a deep charcoal aroma. Alongside the show-stopping turbot (which will set you back a casual £85), the menu features a selection of Basque-inspired small plates and charcoal grilled mains. 

4 Redchurch St, London E1 6JL; bratrestaurant.com

The River Cafe

The River Café, Hammersmith

A city stalwart set on the banks of the Thames, Ruth Rogers’ River Café has been serving exceptional Italian food to Londoners for over three decades. Little has changed at the restaurant since it first opened, with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and a daily changing Italian menu – alongside some long-standing dishes, like the famous Chocolate Nemesis dessert. In summer, it’s all about the riverside terrace, which calls out for sun-dappled lunches fuelled by Italian wine. 

Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA; rivercafe.co.uk