In the culinary world, a Michelin star is a much-coveted award for any top chef. The anonymous critics of the prestigious guide travel the world, dining at some of the world’s most talked-about eateries, finding the places that deliver (in their admittedly subjective eyes) perfect, consistent cooking. Last night (March 27), in their first in-person ceremony in two years, they unveiled their 2023 guide. London has once again delivered, with over 70 Michelin star restaurants here in the capital.
The reviewers’ tastes often tend towards the expensive and ritzy, but keep an eye out for the less terrifyingly-priced meals at lunch. They can be perfect for knocking off work early on payday and experiencing some cooking from the world’s best chefs. Bon appetit!
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⭑⭑⭑ London restaurants with three Michelin stars ⭑⭑⭑
While there were no new additions to London’s list of three Michelin star restaurants, all five of last year’s honourees retained their status in the dining field. They may be pricy, but the Michelin Guide has deemed them all ” Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!”
1. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea
The angriest chef on television really has something to shout about: his flagship restaurant in Chelsea, south-west London, has retained their three Michelin stars for 2023, twenty-five years after it first opened. It marks 22 years of holding the three Michelin star distinction. Dining here currently stands between £155 for the lunchtime “a la carte menu”, and £250 for the “carte blanche” menu – where customers are treated to an entirely bespoke meal.
2. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Hyde Park
Is eating in hotels ever really that fun? The Michelin crew seem to think so, bestowing a full three stars on this posh-as-you-like west London restaurant that they praise for its comfortable luxury. The tasting menu is £210 (with truffle and caviar additions available at £8 per gram, each) and the a la carte option will run you £150.
3. The Lecture Room & Library at Sketch, Mayfair
Let us tell you that there is nothing sketchy about this place, which is one of the most gorgeous restaurants in our capital. Not to be confused with the (equally opulent) dining rooms downstairs, which serve different menus, the Library is the room to dine in if you want to ‘taste the stars’ and enjoy a menu of sophisticated French food. An a la carte lunch will run you £140, but it does include a half bottle of wine! Meanwhile, the dinner tasting menu starts at £190 (or £170 for the veggie option.).
4) Core by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill
Clare Smyth left Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to do her own thing and it’s gone rather well, to put it rather mildly. Her restaurant jumped straight into the big time by earning two Michelin stars in 2019, nary a year after opening. The Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant a third star shortly afterwards, which they’ve retained possession of since. All this has earned Core to a well-deserved place in the tippity top tier of London fine dining. They offer a selection of tasting menus, with their Core Classics costing £205, and their evolving Core Seasons offering costing £225. An a la carte lunch, meanwhile, will run diners £155.
5. Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
Connaught blimey! Darroze’s restaurant recently underwent a bit of a pastel transformation – a risky move in the Michelin realm where highly awarded restaurants seldom tinker with their recipes for success. However, it paid off, and they retain possession of their third star for yet another year. A three-Michelin-star meal here will run you £215, in the form of their ‘taste of spring’ offering. But you can net a weekday lunch for the comparatively tame price of £125.
⭑⭑ London restaurants with two Michelin stars ⭑⭑
Less than a handful of London restaurants walked away from the Michelin ceremony with a new two star award to their name, with most retaining theirs from previous years. So, the the two-star-club is still vaunted territory, and a good marker of where to splash out.
6. La Dame de Pic, Tower Hill
The French establishment kept its previously awarded two stars for their inventive menu from the renowned Anne-Sophie Pic. Located in the Four Season’s Hotel, the restaurant overlooks the Tower of London and Tower Bridge – a view that is sure to make the food taste all the nicer! Their upper end tasting menu – the Voyage – will run you £190, but lunch can be had for a slightly tamer price of £100 on Fridays and Saturdays.
7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge
Clever-clogs cooking from the wickedly-inventive Heston Blumenthal rocked the Michelin folks’ world. The famed mandarin-resembling ‘Meat Fruit’ above, for instance, actually contains a chicken liver and foie gras parfait. Dinner at ‘Dinner…’ borders on an educational experience, with their historically-inspired tasting menu, and each dish given a rough time period from whence it dates back. A three-course set lunch is a modest £59, or an eight-course meal at the chef’s table will run you upwards of £230.
8. Le Gavroche, Knightsbridge
Head here for showstopping plates from legendary chef, and son of the founder, Michel Roux Jr. The full tasting menu here, with wine, can reach a wallet-wobbling £401. But by the end you should be suitably sloshed, and fed, to sign away the bill anyway!
9. Kitchen Table, Goodge Street
Kitchen Table is where you go for a proper sit-down-and-don’t-move tasting menu. Dinner starts at 6pm, and it won’t finish until over four hours later. With that much time and food and care – across a menu that is a surprise each night – the £300 price tag starts to make a little more sense! That’s without drink, by the way…
10. A. Wong, Victoria
Chef Andrew Wong made an immediate splash with his immaculate Chinese cooking, and in 2021 his eponymous restaurant made the jump from one star to two. They’re still going strong with food that celebrates China’s 14 international borders, and “3000 years of culinary history.” For lunch, it’s all about the traditional a la carte dim sum, but dinner offers the chance to try ‘The Collections of China’ for £200.
11. Da Terra, Bethnal Green
Da Terra translates to ‘on the ground’, a reflection of chef duo Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali’s Latin American and Italian roots. Guests aren’t given a menu upon arrival, as there is no choice – you’ll eat what you’re given! And for the three hour experience you can expect to pay £215.
12. Story, London Bridge
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT
Every meal is a story, and that’s especially true here. Chef Tom Sellers uses seasonal British produce to create his intricately linked tasting menus, and originally netted his second star just shy of eight years after opening the doors to this excellent spot. As with Da Terra, there’s no menu – you just have to trust the chef. The current tasting menu is 10 courses stretched over 3-4 hours for £225, and is available for lunch or dinner. Yum!
13. The Clove Club, Shoreditch
This famed Old Street restaurant sits within the Grade II-listed Shoreditch Town Hall. Chef Patron Isaac McHale runs a seasonal tasting menu of modern and elegant produce which is set at £195, or a shorter version of the affair priced at £155. McHale’s other restaurant, Luca, also received a Michelin star at this year’s ceremony.
14. Ikoyi, St James’s
Head chef Jermemy Chan presents a stunning menu with a foundation in west African cuisine. There’s a focus on micro-seasonality and only using produce at its very optimal state. The full tasting menu will cost you a pocket-emptying £300, while their shorter lunch menu is still a pretty whopping £180.
15. Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea
The fact that the Michelin Guide gave this restaurant, found on the first-floor of an art-deco building that once served as the headquarters of of Michelin in London, should come as no surprise. But it’s not nepotism at play, instead one could argue that Claude Bosi has had to work harder to earn the space and create food appropriate for the building’s gorgeous settings and storied history. Lunch will run you £145, while their full tasting menu will have you coughing up a minimum of £215 for the experience.
16. ⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal, Piccadilly
Chef Alex Dilling’s love affair with caviar shines through in his dishes at Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal. Having only just opened in September of 2022, the Michelin Guide promptly awarded the restaurant two stars and venerated status. A set lunch can be had for £65, while the tasting menu hovers around £175 – but that depends on how many optional extras you take advantage of!
17. ⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ The Ledbury, Notting Hill
Meals at The Ledbury, which only recently re-opened after a two-year hiatus, are measuredly relaxing experiences. The restaurant’s success can be tied to chef Brett Graham’s close relationship with suppliers and the expert hands at work in the kitchen. The lunch time tasting menu costs £165, while the full experience dinner tasting menu, with matching wines, will empty your bank account to the tune of £325.
⭑ London Restaurants with one Michelin Star ⭑
Here is where you’ll find world-class cuisine at a steal of a price. There are still some expensive restaurants in this list, naturally, but many hide great deals for those after incredible dining experiences.
Central London Michelin star restaurants
⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ Luca, Farringdon: expertly rendered Italian food that makes all the more sense when you find out it’s from the team behind The Clove Club.
Hakkasan, Tottenham Court Road: fine dining by way of China at this famous restaurant. (Their Mayfair branch also boasts their own Michelin star.)
The Ninth, Goodge Street: romantic, Mediterranean restaurant with an informal character.
Pied à Terre, Goodge Street: modern, gourmet food accented by foraged ingredients and adornments. A four-course lunch starts at £55.
Dining Room at the Goring, Victoria: exemplary British cuisine in a luxury hotel.
Barrafina, Soho: much-loved Spanish tapas bar with counter seating.
SO|LA, Soho: The Golden State on a plate at Victor Garvey’s Cali-inspired restaurant.
Wild Honey St James, St James’s: following 12 successful years in Mayfair, the restaurant moved to St James’s and garnered a Michelin star in 2022, which it has since held on to.
Quilon, St. James’s Park: seafood dishes in a south-east Indian style – they’ve had their Michelin star since 2008!
⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ St. Barts, Barbican: comfort and homeliness infuse each delicate-looking morsel that is surprisingly packed with flavour.
HIDE, Piccadilly: Ollie Dabbous’ spot boasts a fairytale staircase and a near 7000-strong wine list. Lunch can be had for just £54 – or you can grab breakfast from their bakery.
The Ritz Restaurant, Green Park: classic seasonal cooking in a wow-inducing dining room. A properly ritz-y affair.
KOL, Mayfair: Delightful Mexican-British fusion food with a stunning interior.
Gymkhana, Green Park: ever popular Indian restaurant, with four-course lunch for £44.
Jamavar, Mayfair: Botanical themed cocktails are served alongside some truly cracking Indian street food-inspired dishes. A 3-course lunch can be had for just £47.
Amaya, Knightsbridge: Indian cooking with an Oriental touch, a 6-item lunch is just £44 at weekends.
Muse, Belgravia: showing a great meal can be had anywhere, even a 23-cover converted mews house.
Marcus, Knightsbridge: Marcus Wareing’s restaurant relies on excellent ingredients rather than over-complicated technique.
Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay, Knightsbridge: the wine selection is so good they built the dining room around the floor-to-ceiling wine cellar.
Kai, Mayfair: a Chinese restaurant with an impressive ‘little plates’ menu and serious prestige.
Pollen Street Social, Oxford Circus: seasonal British cooking in a (comparatively) relaxed setting.
Sabor, Mayfair: Nieves Barragan and José Etura explore the sabor, or flavour, of northern Spanish cuisine with aplomb.
Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden: British food, with a theatrical flair at Adam Handling’s flagship restaurant – perched above his sinfully good Eve Bar.
Umu, Mayfair: Japanese restaurant serving a ‘kaiseki tasting menu’ of eight ‘exquisite’ courses.
⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ Taku, Mayfair: a 16-seater omakase experience from Chef Takuya Watanabe, following a decade running Jin restaurant in Paris.
Veeraswamy, Mayfair: claims to be the oldest Indian restaurant in the country, spicing up London since 1926.
Murano, Mayfair: Angela Hartnett’s European restaurant gained its original Michelin star within just four months of opening!
Benares, Mayfair: modern Indian cuisine from British ingredients to challenge pre-conceptions of Indian food.
Evelyn’s Table, Soho: An intimate dining experience in an 18th century pub beer cellar, serving up modern European dishes.
Locanda Locatelli, Marble Arch: Italian cuisine from one of the best Italian chefs in the world.
Portland, Marylebone: elegant meals that focus on ingredients, not starched tablecloths. A 3-course lunch can be had for just £49
Trishna, Marylebone: colourful, convivial Indian dishes with an emphasis on coastal cuisine.
St. John, Clerkenwell: nose-to-tail eating loved by foodies and other carnivores.
City Social, City: Jason Atherton’s 24th floor restaurant keeps a shiny star.
Club Gascon, Barbican: flavours straight outta south-west France with modern innovation.
Angler, Liverpool Street: fancy, fishy food and a stunning rooftop terrace.
East London Michelin star restaurants
⭐ NEW ENTRY ⭐ Cycene, Shoreditch: a roving experience of a meal that has you dining in various intimate rooms around the restaurant – including in the kitchen itself.
Lyle’s, Shoreditch: a constantly changing, no-choice dining experience for £95.
Brat, Shoreditch: Tomos Parry’s Welsh-Basque spot has won near-universal praise. Don’t miss the Basque cheesecake!
Leroy, Shoreditch: the restaurant formerly known as Ellory maintains one star for their range of British plates. Grab a 3-course lunch for just £32.
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields: fine French food in a dramatic, high-ceilinged setting.
Behind, Hackney: a fish-focused tasting menu restaurant that originally earned their star after just 20 days of service.
Cornerstone, Hackney Wick: relaxed vibes suffuse this seafood restaurant where 8-courses can be had for just £75.
Casa Fofō, Hackney: Asian and Mediterranean flavours mingle at this no-frills, passion-fuelled, restaurant.
West London Michelin star restaurants
Elystan St, Chelsea: ‘pure, seasonal, ingredient-led, gimmick-free dishes’, they say. A three-course set-price lunch is just £39.50.
The Five Fields, Sloane Square: dashing, dainty cooking celebrating produce from their own Kitchen garden.
Harwood Arms, Fulham: gastropub that serves up an infamous Sunday roast.
River Café, Hammersmith: esteemed, genre-defining Italian restaurant down by the Thames.
La Trompette, Chiswick: head west for modern French cooking.
Kitchen W8, Kensington: neighbourhood restaurant puts out ‘modern English with a French soul.’
Endo at the Rotunda, White City: a 16-seater sushi counter made of two hundred year wood, located at the top of the landmark BBC Television Centre where you can enjoy ‘sushi in the clouds, where the sea meets the sky’.
South London Michelin star restaurants
Trinity, Clapham: this neighbourhood restaurant keeps its Michelin Star for the fourth year running.
Sollip, Southwark: A Korean-inspired fine-dining spot with influence from European and French style.
Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common: a local favourite, with focus on Mediterranean cuisine.
Trivet, Bermondsey: Kitchen and cellar bar with ingredients and dishes from all over the world.
Dysart Petersham, Richmond: a gastropub inspired by the beautiful countryside surroundings of Richmond Park and Petersham Woods.
Also published on Medium.