Our guide to eating at London’s best restaurants for less…
You may be surprised to hear that you can eat at London’s best restaurants every day if you want to – without breaking the bank. We take a look at the city’s Michelin-starred hotspots and world-renowned restaurants which also have great value on the menu…
Head to The Ritz’s restaurant for failsafe haute cuisine. The lunch menu is more expensive than most, but then you are eating in one of the most glamorous dining rooms in the world. For £57 you can enjoy three courses, featuring goose liver and brill with mussels and champagne sauce – only the most luxurious ingredients, even at lunchtime! Three-course set lunch, £59.
Even “the world’s sexiest restaurant” needs derrières on seats at lunchtime, hence the Erabu Lunch Menu featuring starters like tuna tataki with ponzu, mains such as roasted Atlantic cod with red chilli shies salsa, and dessert for £36. While the set menu sadly doesn’t include the infamous black miso cod, the day’s deliciously fresh sushi selection served between appies and mains will ease your woes. Lunch menu, £36 per person for appetiser, sushi selection, main and dessert.
The legendary London hotel has two famous restaurants within its walls – China Tang which exudes Art Deco glamour, and impossibly elegant Alain Ducasse which boasts three Michelin stars. The former has a lovely set lunch menu for just £35 including a selection of dim sum and a classic Cantonese main, while the latter offers three courses for £70 including two glasses of wine. Worth every penny.
Experience a taste of Michelin-starred Nordic dining in St James’ for less than a pair of Topshop jeans. The buzzy restaurant is great for special occasions, so why not head there for a birthday lunch with friends to enjoy indulgent dishes such as cod with mussels, lobster mayonnaise and samphire? Two courses for £27, three for £30.
Basque country has more Michelin stars per mile than you can shake a stick at. Luckily you need only head to Hyde Park Corner to experience the region’s cuisine at Ametsa in The Halkin hotel. The set lunch menu is less than £30 and includes a selection of exquisite tapas and a main. Not bad for a Michelin-starred restaurant, run by Veuve Clicquot’s 2012 World Best Female Chef, Elena Arzak. Two courses for £29, £7.50 supplement for dessert.
Pied à Terre
One of London’s longest-standing Michelin star restaurants has an extensive wine cellar with more than 5,000 bottles – and with such a great value lunch menu, you can go all out on drinks. A starter and main course is just £29 and gives you more options than most set menus, and there’s even a fully veggie option.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge is home to the restaurant to one of the world’s most famous and cutting-edge chefs. Supper at The Fat Duck will set you back a couple of hundred pounds (without the wine pairing), but the lunch menu at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is only £45. That’s not bad for one of the top restaurants in the world, giving you a three-course taste of the menu inspired by historical dishes. A highlight is the Marmalade Pudding which dates back to 1750. Three-course lunch menu, £45.
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
The recently opened state-of-the-art 5* Nobu Hotel is home to… Nobu. No surprises there. What is surprising, however, is that they have a weekend brunch menu that includes unlimited sushi, oysters, ceviche and other decadent treats from the brunch bar, as well as a selection of family-style dishes and desserts – and all for just £53. Check out our full review of one of the most extravagant brunches in town, here. Weekend brunch from £45.
The legendary venue off Piccadilly has long been the go-to for the upmarket St James’ crowd who crave a bit of glitz – think 1920s style interiors, golden central bar, live jazz and overflowing champagne flutes. But the venue has recently opened itself up to a wider crowd, by offering set menus for both lunch and dinner – and a devilishly good Saturday brunch menu, accompanied by live music and a party atmosphere. Having become surprisingly affordable as of late, it’s one of London’s best-kept secrets. Set menu from £22 for two courses; Saturday brunch from £30.
Perched high above the streets of central London, Aqua Kyoto is one of the most fashionable places around for a bite to eat and a few cocktails. For a meal that’s good for you as well as your wallet, choose their Home Grown menu, which uses sustainable, organic ingredients, and will set you back just £30 for three courses and a cocktail. Home Grown Menu, £30. Available Monday-Friday 12-2.30pm, Monday-Thursday 5.30-10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 5.30-7pm
Loved by stylish locals and foodies alike, Isabel’s Mayfair has recently launched its very own Express Lunch Menu to fit into the lives of busy Londoners. Enjoy an array of famed classics on the South American menu, from a pizzette to start, blackened chicken for main and a glass of wine to whet the whistle. Spend your next business meeting or speedy catch-up with friends in front of the iconic mirrored ebony bar, with everything from the plates, menus and even the scent designed by the founder, Juan Santa Cruz. £28 for two courses – £35 with a glass of wine.
Fenchurch Restaurant, Sky Garden
Located on floor 37 of the Sky Garden, the Fenchurch Restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the capital and beyond. Inevitably, this comes with a price tag to match – but if you head up there for lunch from Sunday to Wednesday, you can dine on two courses for just £34.50, or three for £39.50. Dishes on the set menu include salmon tartare with pickled beetroot, pork belly with beluga lentils, and spelt risotto with poached duck egg.
You can’t help but feel special on a trip to Shaun Rankin’s highly-acclaimed Ormer Mayfair. Impeccably elegant, ever exclusive, the restaurant offers beautifully presented, high quality dishes amid stylish surroundings. Go for their express two-course set lunch menu, which includes a glass of house wine, tea, and coffee for just £29.50. Available throughout April for lunch only, Tuesday-Friday. Book directly with the restaurant quoting ‘April Special.’
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