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What are the best restaurants for a splurge?

Going to London with four friends to celebrate our collective 30th birthdays this summer. We want to find five great restaurants so each of us has our own night to celebrate and we're in the mood to splurge. It would be cool if we could find five different types of restaurants (Italian, Indian, etc.), but if a place is really great we don't care what kind of cuisine it is. 

5 Answers

top answer by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I would definitely try The Botanist which is one of my favorite places there. It’s right on King's Road so you can do some pre-dinner shopping if you like and it’s a great place for people watching. I had the oysters for an appetizer and then sea bass for my main course (I don’t know why I had so much fish) and both were excellent. I would plan to have a drink in the bar area before you sit down for dinner because it’s a lot of fun.

Also on the same street is the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill  which is a Marco Pierre White restaurant. It’s a lovely, understated place with a very sophisticated ambiance and great food. I think I actually had fish & chips here (yes, they serve that) and thought it was great.

This definitely isn’t the most original suggestion, but I can’t resist Rules. It’s London’s oldest restaurant and it’s just too much fun not to try. I can’t say I thought the food was exceptional, but London isn’t exactly well known for its food anyway. The service is incredible, though and the décor looks like something right out of Edwardian England. Great place for a pre-theater dinner since it’s in the theater district.

The River Cafe is another incredible place to go both for the atmosphere and the food. It’s run by a very famous restauranteur whose name escapes me at the moment but it’s absolutely amazing. Their fish stew is amazing so be sure to try it. I think you can actually sit outside although we didn’t. Be sure to make reservations, though, otherwise it can be hard to get in.

I actually have two dream restaurants that I want to try but haven’t yet—maybe these will work for you—

Le Gavroche—this is a two Michelin star restaurant that has won every award in the book and everyone I know says it’s amazing. I’m not 100% sure what you consider a splurge, but I can promise you this is one. Also, make sure you dress well—they don’t allow sneakers.

Apsleys--OK, I admit it—I want to come here as much for the décor as the food. It’s also a Michelin star restaurant and super glam. I’ve also always wanted to try out the Lanesborough Hotel Library Bar in the hotel (Apsleys is located in the Lanesborough because a) it’s gorgeous and b) they specialize in cognac which I love. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Botanist (restaurant)
  2. King's Road (attraction)
  3. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill (attraction)
  4. Rules (restaurant)
  5. The River Cafe (restaurant)
  6. Le Gavroche (restaurant)
  7. Apsleys (restaurant)
  8. Lanesborough Hotel Library Bar (attraction)
  9. Lanesborough (hotel)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Terry from Sarasota

I don't know about Italian, but London has the best Indian restaurants of any city I've been to, just about everywhere you look, you will find a good Indian restaurant.  This is no doubt due to the long history between England and India.

Lets start with Amaya Restaurant Grill & Bar, good tapas and a good bar.

Next is Moti Mahal, a bit pricey, but the food is good, and the bar has every whiskey known to man kind.

How about some Chinese?  Try Barshu, excellent Sichuan cuisine !  Or perhaps Hakkasan, for good dim sun.

Sorry for the brevity of this post, I'm running out time for other endeavors tonight !

Have a great time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amaya Restaurant Grill & Bar (restaurant)
  2. Moti Mahal (restaurant)
  3. Barshu (restaurant)
  4. Hakkasan (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
אודליה from Ra'anana

I really like Gaucho. They have ~8 locations in London, very popular restaurant chain. All locations are fancy and the meat is fabulous!! The best accessible is Gaucho in Piccadilly, but the Gaucho Tower Bridge has the best view of London Bridge.

I'd recommend ordering the rib-eye steak, which I think is the best there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gaucho (restaurant)
  2. Gaucho (restaurant)
  3. London Bridge (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jerry from Toronto

Here are some high-end restaurants that also serve great food (because you can definitely spend a ton on mediocre food at a high-end place in London), and are worthy of a splurge:

Mediterranean/Israeli: NOPI in Soho. This is a Yottam Ottolenghi restaurant, and really, it's just phenomenally good food from top to bottom on the menu. I've been a handful of times and it's never disappointed .

Italian: Bocca Di Lupo in Soho. In my opinion, this is the best Italian restaurant in London. The menu is organized by regional cuisine, which it stays true to. The wine menu is also top-notch (I believe they've won awards for this). Tip: across the street is the restaurant group's other business, an excellent gelato place called Gelupo where you can stop in for dessert. 

British: St. John Bar and Restaurant in Farringdon. This is modern British fare in the form of nose-to-tail dining. Excellent food, with an obvious emphasis on meat, in all it's varieties. 

Indian: Rasoi Vineet Bhatia in Chelsea. This is modern Indian cuisine, located in an elegant townhouse in Chelsea. The best Indian food experience in London, I believe. Michelin-starred for almost a decade now.

Japanese: I have yet to find a Japanese restaurant worthy of the high-end price tag in London, and that compares to the best in LA/SF. Perhaps  the global high-end chain Nobu (London)?  (I have not tried the London one, but I assume the quality is similar across all.)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bocca Di Lupo (restaurant)
  2. Gelupo (restaurant)
  3. St. John Bar and Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Nobu (London) (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Scott from New York City

Dinner by Heston was one of our best meals in London, a definite splurge, and iconic for it's historical aspect. Also, it's right on the park, which is beautiful.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dinner by Heston (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

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