Leroy - Michelin lunch place in London

The Best Places for Lunch in London

Food & Drink /


Out for a spot of lunch?

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Whether you’re looking for a light bite, or the perfect spot for a business meeting, these restaurants have your back – these are the best places for lunch in London.

Lunch – it’s the most underrated meal of the day. Breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’, and dinner gets all the fanfare – any important date night or occasion is marked with a dinner, after all (you wouldn’t propose over lunch, would you?). In the wake of these attention-grabbing mealtimes, lunch gets overlooked. Poor lunch. 

However, we think there’s a defence to be made for that in-between meal time (which acts as the perfect bridge between the first and last part of our days). Wondrously light, and often all you can think about from roughly 11am, we think there’s an art to the perfect lunch. And these restaurants absolutely nail it… Here’s a guide to the best places for lunch in London.

The Best Places For Lunch in London

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Rabbit on the Kings Road - Mille Feuille

Best for… Farm to table Lunch

Rabbit

Where: Chelsea

Our review: Rabbit is a little haunt on King’s Road run by the Gladwin Brothers (also of the Fat Badget, Nutbourne, and the Shed) – and it’s more than worth heading here for brilliant food that doesn’t need to shout to be heard. Enter the space and feel as though you’ve been transported to a local gastropub in the countryside, thanks to its all-wood, all-leather look. Banquettes rink the space, sitting comfortably under stag skulls and stuffed birds. The staff here will be quick to expertly inform you that the menu is built around what is currently ripe to harvest, and prepared and plated within 24 hours – so you can guarantee everything here is uber-fresh. For farm-to-table food, this is the place, and its interiors certainly reinforce that fact. 

We particularly recommend the plant-led set menu, if you’ve the time on any weekday barring Monday; this offering is plant-led rather than plant-based, taking its cues from the dinner menu (avoiding waste, it uses a similar set of ingredients). Whilst it might be three-courses, this is surprisingly light and feels very healthy. You’d be remiss if you didn’t choose the marmite mushroom eclairs snacks – which, for those who love or hate alike, will be a hit. Follow with the lunch and dessert offering of the day, and plenty of wine sourced from vineyards also owned by the Gladwin brothers. By Tessa Dunthorne

Hero dish: Marmite mushroom eclairs, which don’t actually contain any marmite. Their secret? Mushroom mayonnaise with a strong hit of umami.

rabbit-restaurant.com

Townsend

Best for… An Arty Lunch

Townsend

Where: Whitechapel (specifically, its gallery)

What’s the vibe: An understated and focused menu of seasonal, produce-led plates, prepped by head chef Chris Shaw, previously of the Petersham Nurseries. Plus, it’s perfectly located in the Whitechapel Gallery, so it truly hits the happy intersection between foodies and art lovers. We think it’s perfect for an inspiring and well-earned weekend lunch, following a long peruse of the exhibitions upstairs. Read our full review here

Hero dish: The fried wensleydale with pickled walnut ketchup – tangy and oh-so-moreish.

townsendrestaurant.co.uk

The Best Restaurants in London for Art Lovers

Leroy - Michelin lunch place in London

Best for… Great Value Michelin Lunch

Leroy

Where: Shoreditch

What’s the vibe: One of the best-valued Michelin starred lunches you can get your hands, knives and forks on in London. A cosy and unassuming bistrot tucked away in Shoreditch and a menu created by head chef Simon Shand, you can expect thoughtful food that excels in its simplicity. Plus, it’s oh-so-cool: enjoy a seasonal meal to the sound of classics on vinyl, whilst peeping in on the kitchen thanks to the restaurant’s laidback open-plan.  

Hero dish: Raviolo of chicken, sweetcorn and girolles, a classic done well. 

leroyshoreditch.com

Macellaio Steak

Best for… A Boozy Lunch

Macellaio RC Battersea

Where: Battersea, obviously

What’s the vibe: It’s currently got a free corkage offer on, so is a bring-your-own vino kind of jaunt. Whether that means a quick bottle on the way to the 1pm reservation, or bringing one of your special occasion bottles from home, this restaurant is ideal for a boozy lunch with a bit of agency over what you’re drinking. Not to mention, there’s a great food offering, too – think all the Italian classics, headed up by famed chef Lello Favuzzi (previously of the Wolseley). 

Hero dish: Burrata and Ricotta Tortelli with brown butter, hazelnuts, aged balsamic and sage… Best paired with white wine, but we won’t tell anyone if you fancy a red instead.

macellaiorc.com

park chinois dim sum

Best for… A Booze-Free Lunch

Park Chinois

Where: Mayfair

What’s the vibe: Keep your head on with Park Chinois’ newest Thursday and Friday offering… A dim sum lunch in collaboration with French Bloom (makers of excellent alcohol-free bubbly). Expect a selection of signature dumplings and dishes paired perfectly with handcrafted cocktails, and – trust us on this weird request – make sure to check out the loos whilst there, as they’re easily amongst the most Instagrammable loos in London. 

Hero dish: Ibeìrico Siew Long Bao Dumpling, paired with the strawberry & basil French Bloom Le Rosé. 

parkchinois.com

The Best Dim Sum in London

Mei Ume - restaurant in London for lunch

Best for… A View at Lunch

Mei Ume 

Where: Tower Bridge – at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

What’s the vibe: Ultra-luxe fine-dining Chinese and Japanese fusion, with direct views of Tower Bridge. They’ve got a fabulous set lunch menu which offers up food as delicious as the views (no, seriously – you’ll not know whether the plating or the view deserves to feature on today’s BeReal). 

Hero dish: Wagyu dumplings, which positively melt in your mouth.

meiume.com

Rarebit - restaurant lunch menu in Elephant & Castle

Best for… An ‘I Found It First’ Lunch

RAREBIT

Where: Elephant & Castle

What’s the vibe: A new opening, so get there before anyone else has discovered it. Think all-day local dining which celebrates modern British food. Suppliers are all local, too, with coffee from Climpson & Sons, bread and pastries from Flor, produce from Natoora, and… so on. Head chef Liv Lionel draws on what this cuisine means to her as a young British Caribbean woman. 

Hero dish: Baked figs with Greek yoghurt, honey and walnut. Yum.

rarebitfood.co.uk

Best for… A No Waste Lunch

Apricity

Where: Mayfair

What’s the vibe: All the vibes of a shabby chic East London pop-up, but in the heart of Duke Street, Mayfair. The menu is deliberately designed to minimise waste wherever possible, and all the more creative for it. Head chef Chantelle Nicholson frequently uses one recipe’s byproduct as a core component in another, meaning the food offering is part of a little circular economy. 

For Chantelle and her team, talks of a ‘circular economy’ are not just talk, as one recipe’s byproduct will form a core component in another. Read our full review here

Hero dish: Surprisingly early on in a meal here, the amuse bouche – a savoury chickpea donut with a heavy-umami caramelised red onion filling.

apricityrestaurant.com

The Tamil Prince, in Islington

Best for… A Pub Lunch

The Tamil Prince

Where: Islington 

What’s the vibe: A pub lunch with a twist – think typical British pub fare crossed with the flavours of Tamil Nadu. This is a recent opening in North London that’s been met with rave reviews from food critics across the capital, and rightfully so: the small plates are perfect for sharing and a particular standout are very exciting cocktails which utilise South Asian spices. 

Hero dish: The Mango Lassi. All the dishes are inspired by Head Chef Prince Durairaj’s childhood in Southern India, and the desserts are amongst his favourites.

thetamilprince.com

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