Easily accessible from all over the city, Victoria is one of the capital’s most popular meeting points. It borders the neighbourhoods of Belgravia, Chelsea, Westminster and Pimlico, with an endless stream of landmarks on its doorstep – plus a handful of the city’s theatres. But where to dine there? Historically Victoria itself hasn’t had much to offer on the foodie front, but in recent years we’ve seen an influx of trendy eateries popping up there – helped by the recent Nova development, which has given the area a new lease of life. Read on to discover the best restaurants in Victoria, from brunch hotspots to Michelin-starred fine dining and Italian trattorias.
The Best Restaurants in Victoria
Brooklands at The Peninsula
London welcomed its first billion-pound hotel this September: The Peninsula. Of course it’s a picture of glamour, primely located near Hyde Park and featuring oh-so-chic interiors from Peter Marino. Its piece de resistance? A rooftop restaurant headed up by Claude Bosi, offering magical views of the city skyline and featuring a unique design inspired by its namesake, Brooklands racetrack. Bosi, alongside Chef de Cuisine Francesco Dibenedetto, has crafted a refined tasting menu offering which pairs French techniques with British produce: expect dishes like Exmoor caviar with roscoff onion, and Great Fen Farm celeriac ‘Nosotto’ (a Bosi trademark made with pine nuts).
1 Grosvenor Pl, London SW1X 7HJ, peninsula.com
One of London’s most iconic hotels, The Goring is the perfect spot for a special occasion. It’s been a firm favourite with the royals for years – and indeed is the only hotel to have been granted a Royal Warrant for hospitality services. A meal in its elegant, Michelin-starred dining room is a real treat: whether you’re there for breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner, you can guarantee the slickest of service alongside top-notch food. The menu is centred around high-quality produce from the British Isles: think grilled Cornish mackerel, Longhorn beef wellington, Rhug Estate lamb saddle. Some dishes have been on the menu for years, such as The Goring Eggs Drumkilbo made with native lobster and caviar, which the Queen Mother is said to have enjoyed during her trips there.
15 Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW, thegoring.com
Rail House Cafe
Just round the corner from Victoria station you’ll find Rail House Café, nestled within the buzzing Sir Simon Milton Square. The offspring of Fitzrovia’s Riding House Café, this popular spot is a large and airy space with industrial chic interiors, partly inspired by the concept of a bustling metropolitan station. It’s a great all-rounder – the menu offers everything from brunch to burgers and roasts. Brunch-wise, there’s a wide array of sweet and savoury dishes – from pancakes with streaky bacon to sweet potato fritters and a full English. If you’re after more of a lunch vibe, the skewers are a highlight – think marinated meat, fish or halloumi paired with a grain bowl, mash or corn chowder. And then there are the ‘Sunday Soul Roasts’: choose between slow-roast pork, chicken, 45 day aged sirloin or a truffled portobello and sweet potato wellington, served with all the trimmings.
8 Sir Simon Milton Sq, London SW1E 5DJ, railhouse.cafe
Founder Zan Kaufman was inspired to set up his own food stall after trying the best burger he’d ever eaten in New York. Two years later, he moved to London, bought an old van and converted it into a burger food truck – which quickly became a hit. In 2015, Bleecker opened its first bricks-and-mortar kiosk in Old Spitalfields Market, and two more venues followed: a 20-seater takeout joint in Victoria, and a 30-seater in the Bloomberg building. So what’s Zan’s secret? Look away vegans: he believes burgers are all about the beef – rare-breed, grass-fed beef sourced from small farms in the UK. It’s nothing fancy, but definitely delicious – the double cheeseburger is a long-standing favourite, best enjoyed alongside a portion of sweet potato fries.
205 Victoria St, London SW1E 5NE, bleecker.co.uk
This neighbourhood restaurant in Pimlico is spearheaded by Katie Exton, who worked as a sommelier at Chez Bruce and The River Café before opening Lorne in 2017. It’s a lovely, light-filled spot decked out with plants, serving a seasonal modern British menu focused around local produce. At the moment, your meal could look something like: BBQ heritage carrots with radish slaw and lime pickle to start, followed by roast guinea fowl breast with potato galette and gremolata, with a chocolate delice and cookie crumble dessert. With Exton at the helm, of course wine plays a big part too, with a large cellar and downstairs bar where you can head for a post-dinner nightcap.
76 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE, lornerestaurant.co.uk
The Victoria outpost of Daisy Green’s ever-expanding Aussie-inspired restaurant group is characteristically vibrant, with leafy décor and a pretty courtyard stretching out onto Sir Simon Milton Square. It’s open from breakfast through to dinner, though perhaps most famous for its brunch, with standout dishes including the famous sweetcorn fritters, and blueberry buttermilk pancakes topped with whipped mascarpone cream – with the option to add 90 minutes of free-flowing fizz. Dinner-wise, in true Aussie style much of the food is focused around the charcoal BBQ – not just grilled meat and fish, but lots of veggies too. There are small plates like halloumi fries, chorizo croquettes, popcorn prawns and lamb cutlets, followed by grills including chicken parmigiana, tandoori salmon and fire roasted aubergine. Plant-based diners will love the Bondi vegan board, which is piled high with smoky BBQ tofu steak, crispy potatoes, corn ribs and more. Whatever time you go, be sure to try one of the margaritas: there’s a new menu of delicious tequila-based cocktails inspired by the folklore that surrounds the origin stories of the famed drink.
11 Sir Simon Milton Sq, London SW1E 5DJ, daisygreenfood.com
Ten years ago, Andrew Wong took over the restaurant Kym’s from his parents – and over the past decade, he has transformed it into one of the most renowned fine dining Chinese restaurants in London. A Wong is a celebration of China’s diverse culinary history, featuring both traditional fare and more surprising dishes not often seen in the UK. The famed ‘Collections of China’ menu takes diners on a three-hour journey through the country’s 14 borders, from dim sum to Cantonese roast pork, peking duck and Yunnan seared beef – with a vegetarian version also available. Despite its critical acclaim (and two Michelin stars), the Victoria restaurant has an unpretentious and relaxed feel, with a ‘Forbidden Den’ area downstairs which you can book for private events.
70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE, awong.co.uk
Tozi has been around since 2013, and is a staple restaurant of Victoria’s dining scene. And if you haven’t visited yet, this isn’t one to sleep on. Offering up Venetian-style small plates, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a fresh take on Italian cuisine. You’ll be impressed from the minute you enter; high ceilings and dim lights create a hulking space, but it doesn’t feel empty, rather erring more on the side of grand. On the walls, check out old-school Italian films. It’s an ode to Italy’s culture and food without being too in your face about it. The menu shifts consistently and seasonally, and you can note where trendy food is being given its fair moment: raw prawns are popping up on every chef’s table right now, and this is no exception. Rest assured that this is a safe place to try this adventurous dish: it’s remarkably fresh tasting. By Tessa Dunthorne
8 Gillingham St, Pimlico, London SW1V 1HJ, tozirestaurant.co.uk