Prepare to queue at these hip no-bookings restaurants, which boast great food and a buzzing atmosphere.
Sited on London’s stylish Charlotte Street, this casual dining restaurant offers farmhouse-style cooking, bourbons, shandies (beer and cider-based cocktails), and shakes served up in milk bottles.
With walls made of corrugated iron, stripped wooden tables and oil drums for seats, diners can expect a relaxed, family-friendly vibe. Tasty dishes include crispy chicken wings, grilled leg of lamb and roast suckling pig. Finish off with popcorn ice cream drenched in a smoked fudge sauce. At weekends, punters can enjoy brunch, coffee and a Bloody Mary, while roast dinners are served on Sundays.
Don’t be fooled by the affordable menu and no-bookings policy; this restaurant offers top-notch, flavoursome cuisine. Escape long queues by avoiding the restaurant around 1pm on weekdays and from 7pm for dinner.
Set in a former pumping station, this intimate, no-frills restaurant in London’s Soho serves up seasonal modern cooking in a chilled-out setting.
Tuck into mains like squid and chorizo, Welsh black beef, whole sea bream and vine leaf wrapped monkfish, while heavenly puds include chocolate pot and salted caramel cream, and Yorkshire rhubarb and Prosecco jelly with buttermilk sorbet.
Food and wine is easy on the pocket at this understated eatery. Although there’s no bookings for the busy evening sitting, you can book a table for lunchtime. Get me to the Greek!
Take your place in the queue for this modern tapas bar, which has two branches in London in Covent Garden and Soho.
Based on Cal Pep in Barcelona, diners perch on one of 29 leather bar stools around a long marble bar, which faces the buzzy open kitchen.
It’s hard not to be wowed by the soaring ceilings and large windows in this convivial space, but it’s the food that really dazzles. Small dishes include grilled quail, classic tortilla, and octopus with capers. Wash it all down with a sherry cocktail or two.
With six branches across the capital, this restaurant chain keeps things simple: diners can either order the burger or the lobster, and both dishes cost £20. The lobster can be boiled, grilled or served up in a brioche bun, while the flavoursome burger (made with corn-fed steak from the hills of Nebraska) is presented with a salad and french fries.
Based in one of London’s coolest foodie hubs under the railway arches in Bermondsey – which boasts a popular Saturday food market – is this gem of a restaurant, which often tops lists of the capital’s best eateries.
The place is owned by Gergovie Wines, which sells artisan wine from small-scale producers in Italy, France and Slovenia. The wine bar had a kitchen fitted and is now open for four nights a week.
With a daily changing menu of six small plates, a few sizeable mains and a couple of desserts, sample dishes include confit duck, raw celeriac and hazelnuts, and veal ragout.