The List

People often ask “where should I go?”, or “what’s the best restaurant in London?”.

Really, they should also provide details of: who and how many people they’re eating with; what the budget is; what kind of eating experience they enjoy and are after; where in London they’re looking; what cuisine they’re craving; whether it’s a lunch or dinner; if it’s a special occasion or a casual night out with friends … you get the idea.

The Rocket & Squash Guides will build up over time, and cover a wide range of areas, cooking and eating styles. In the meantime, here’s my list of favourites (in no particular order). Hot right now, classic institutions, or, quite simply, near to where I live. Maybe you’ll like them too?

For a bit more rhyme, reason and order, keep your eyes on the Guides section.


Informal, off the cuff and/or spontaneous eats

  • Black Axe Mangal
  • Bleecker St Burger
  • Bao Fitzrovia
  • Koya Bar
  • Santa Maria Pizza
  • Roti King
  • Phoenix Palace
  • Towpath
  • Padella
  • Kanada Ya
  • Xi’an Impression
  • Monty’s Deli
  • Blacklock

No particular occasion, but a proper meal

  • Lyle’s (at lunchtime)
  • The Quality Chop House
  • Smoking Goat
  • Kiln
  • Som Saa
  • Smokestak
  • Ducksoup
  • Clipstone
  • Spedding at P. Franco
  • St John Bread and Wine
  • Honey & Co.
  • The Marksman
  • Cora Pearl
  • Pidgin
  • José
  • Brawn
  • Morito Hackney Road
  • 40 Maltby Street
  • Salon
  • Noble Rot (and a glass of house)
  • XU

Treat, special occasion, or someone else is paying

  • Lyle’s (in the evening)
  • Noble Rot (with all the wine)
  • The Clove Club
  • Portland
  • Barrafina (Drury Lane, Adelaide St, Frith St)
  • Sabor
  • Brat
  • Bright
  • St Leonards
  • The Ledbury
  • Gymkhana
  • Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs
  • Sushi Tetsu


NB. The above are all restaurants I’ve been and will go back to, so can personally recommend. Hedone and Kitty Fishers are notable holes in my experience, and I suspect would otherwise have made the cut.