11 May 2012

My Top 10 London Restaurants: West End Edition

When Time Out London published a list of its top 50 restaurants in London last year, I picked out some of my own favourites from the list. I thought they might pick a new top 50 this year but so far nothing has materialised so I thought I'd put together a list of my own, which includes the go-to places I consider when organising a meal in the West End. Most of these restaurants are located in Soho and Marylebone; it's probably no coincidence that they fall on an almost straight line from NoMaRo to the BFI.

I've arranged them into two rough categories according to style and ambiance but none of these places requires a jacket; nor are they stuffy or snooty. The list is roughly in order of preference, within the two groups. I tried to include a variety of cuisines, i.e. burgers, ribs and steak. Just kidding, veggies: most of these places offer a good range of vegetarian dishes, although I would avoid Meat Liquor, Pitt Cue Co and Le Relais de Venise if you don't like meat. So, without further ado, here are my favourite ten restaurants in London's West End.

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Casual cool to casual chic
  • Meat Liquor. 74 Welbeck Street, W1G 0BA (Tube: Bond Street). WebsiteTwitterMini-review. In 10 words: top burgers, great cocktails, cool vibe, long queues. Go now.
  • Pitt Cue Co. 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB (Tube: Oxford Circus). WebsiteTwitterReview. In 10 words: Ribs, ribs, ribs, burnt-end mash. Worth the wait. Go early.
  • La Bodega Negra. 16 Moor Street, W1D 5NH (Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square). WebsiteReview. Upstairs: casual but cool Mexican caff with cocktails. Downstairs: smarter.
  • Polpo. 41 Beak Street, W1F 9SB (Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus). WebsiteTwitterMini-review. In 10 words: Tasty Venetian small plates, erratic service, great wine list.
  • Mishkin's. 25 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JS (Tube: Covent Garden). WebsiteTwitterReview. In 10 words: Polpo's LES Jewish deli-inspired cousin. Salt beef, gin, meatloaf.

  • Riding House CafĂ©. 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ (Tube: Oxford Circus). Website. Twitter. Review. In 10 words: cool, friendly all-day dining. Great burgers, yummy puddings, delicious cocktails.
  • Le Relais de Venise. 120 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QG (Tube: Bond Street or Baker Street). Website. Mini-review. In 10 words: perfect steak, frites and salad. Er..that's it.
  • Il Baretto. 43 Blandford Street, W1U 7HF (Tube: Baker Street). Website. Review. In 10 words: friendly but stylish neighbourhood Italian. Excellent sharing plates and pizzas.
  • Hix. 66 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP (Tube: Piccadilly Circus). Website. Twitter. Review. In 10 words: terribly English, painfully cool. I love the fish fingers.
  • Dean Street Townhouse. 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 4QJ (Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square). Website. In 10 words: Classy but unfussy. Mac 'n' cheese. Mince and potatoes.

I recently rounded up the best places to eat in the rapidly gentrifying King's Cross, and next on my list may well be an east of EC1 eateries

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