With more than 17,000 restaurants across the Capital creating one of the most diverse dining scenes in the world, it can be hard to keep up, even for the biggest foodies.
Chefs are sharpening their knives and polishing their passes for the annual London Restaurant Festival.
They’re getting ready for an entire month of showing off their skills. Menus will change just for the festival, with each restaurant showcasing their most famous bits all the while playing with new recipes and ingredients.
And, to make it even more appealing, each of the below dining destinations in the Square Mile will be offering up special set menu deals for the whole month of October. Be sure to visit a few of these spots, tasting your way around the City of London’s most exciting eateries.
5 course menu and 5 glasses of wine for £130
The Michelin-starred French restaurant is a City of London institution. It’s pure old school elegance. Sit within the wood and marble clad space, feeling like a proper French aristocrat. Then let the chef Pascal Aussignac show you just why he’s held onto the Michelin star since 2002. His inventive food doesn’t miss a beat, showcasing the best elements of French cuisine all the while championing the power of wine pairing. And, if the festival menu is still too pricey, head to the sister restaurant, Comptoir Gascon, for a three-course set menu for only £29.50. Bargain!
57 West Smithfield EC1A 9DS
Two courses & a cocktail for £30
The steak kings in the City don’t miss out on the chance to show off their meaty prowess. Each of their locations is taking part in the London Restaurant Festival this year, offering up their own set menu deal to those who book ahead and as for it. And, with these guys being the best sustainable option in the mix, you can rest easy knowing you’re supporting an ethical business in the Square Mile.
Three courses for £45. Add a bottle of Soave Classico Montetondo for £29
This Italian bistro located by Liverpool Street, is the perfect unpretentious sanctuary. Designed to look and feel like a Roman villa, the space is cosy and relaxed – the perfect location for diving into homey Italian dishes made by some proper professionals. Go proper Italian-style by ordering a starter, pasta and a main course. You’ll be full of traditional goodness. And can easily add on a dessert, if you have the room. But, if we’re being honest, there is always room for dessert. Just saying.
11 Sandy’s Row E1 7HW
Four courses a complimentary cocktail and a carafe of wine for £75
The Curtain’s very own Southern American comfort soul food restaurant is bringing its upbeat flare to the festival. Each night, they’ll be hosting live musicians within their large dining room, adding to the fun dining vibes. Get a starter cocktail before diving into their Feast Menu which comes with a whole lot of wine. You’ll be leaving a little tipsy and very full. The sign of a night well done.
45 Curtain Road EC2A 3PT
Tasting menu & a glass of Champagne for £40
The dim sum kings are throwing their hat in the ring for this festival – showing off their fine dining Cantonese cuisine. We’re obsessed with their Broadgate Circle location with massive balcony and stylish interiors. And then there’s the food offerings. We could sit there all day long sampling each of their long list of dim sum dishes, each of which is as delicious and visually stunning as the next. We highly recommend trying out their special festival tasting menu to get an idea of what they’re all about. And, while you’re there, head down to their small patisserie for some of the most extravagant desserts in the City. You won’t be disappointed here.
1 Broadgate EC2M 2QS
Six dish tasting menu for £30 per person (min 2 people sharing). Lunch only
The pan-Asian restaurant sitting right by The Monument is a great alternative spot to head to in the City. They’re all about using organic and locally-sourced produce to recreate both traditional and thoroughly modern dishes. It’s all packed full of flavour and looks super Instagrammable. Good aesthetics are always welcome these days in London. This London Restaurant Festival deal is only running for lunch, making it a great excuse to take an extra-long break with colleagues throughout October.
1a Pudding Lane EC3R 8AB
Three courses & a glass of Chandon Brut for £28
This chain is one of the best in London and each of their sites is taking part in the festival again. The Guildhall and Bank locations are our favourites because of their historical settings but quality stays the same at each destination. It’s made for City workers and has that old steak house and cigar bar feel about it while still being modern and a bit fun. And, being influenced by Argentinian dining, you can expect some bold and deep wines to sip on while you tuck into a big ol’ steak.
Peruvian Feast with Pisco Sour for £65
This massive set menu consists of about 11 different dishes. When they say feast, they really mean it. There’s no messing about here. Sample some of their signature ceviche dishes while getting into the crunchy pork belly chicharrones and stir-fried noodles. They’ve also made room for two desserts so pace yourselves – this is going to be a journey. Pair it all with some more classic pisco sours and you’ve got your evening sorted. Just be sure to book ahead.
73 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3HR
Four course set menu for £35
Sitting right on the river, this is the one to go to if the weather is good. Perch outside, looking over the City’s waterside skyline while sipping on a spritz and tucking into their really affordable four-course menu. They’ve even got a wine flight available for an extra £35 only for London Restaurant Festival. It’s can all be paired to the dishes you choose on their London Restaurant Festival menu.
1 Paul’s Walk EC4V 3QH
Surf, Turf & Champagne for £39.50
The guys are huge players in the City of London food and drink scene – partly because of their size and extensive offerings. Within their central location, they have a cocktail bar, wine tasting room, M Grill restaurant, whisky lounge, private members lounge and four private dining and event spaces. And even though they’re best known for the red beef offerings, they’re adding some of their seafood options into the game for the festival. Get a glass of Champagne, a 250g rump steak topped with lobster, chips and a sauce for just 39.50. Winner!
2 & 3 Threadneedle Walk 60 Threadneedle Street EC2R 8HP
Three courses for £28
The City based Scots are all in for this year’s event too. Grab three-courses of hearty Scottish grub without missing out on their piece de resistance – their Venimoo burger. Damn that baby is one of our favourite burgers in the City. But, as game season is still on, check out their seasonal Scottish dishes while you’re at it. We’re fans of these guys for both lunch and dinner there’s no need to limit yourselves at the Devonshire Square location.
9A Devonshire Square EC2M 4YN
Three courses and a cocktail £39
OXO Tower Brasserie might not be located within the City of London, but it certainly has some of the best views of the area. Perch up on a table overlooking the Thames and take in views of the City. Get all the best British classics for Autumn including the beef cheek and oxtail ragu, the chermoula-marinated lamb rump and pancetta-wrapped pork fillet. It’s classic cooking done well. And the view just makes it that much better. Not a bad place to start your food tour this London Restaurant Festival.
OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street SE1 9PH
Three course set menu for two people at £60
Does anything sound dreamier than a mozzarella bar in the Square Mile? We think not. The casual dining restaurant lets mozzarella be the star that it is, topping pasta dishes, pizzas, salads and sitting all on its own – covered in olive oil and salt. And they do burrata too – so go all out on this hyper cheesy menu, washing it all down with some cocktails and bubbles while you’re at it.
Unit 4, 5-7 Limburner Lane EC4M 7AX
Three courses, bubbles and a Negroni for £65
This drinking spot is hugely popular with City workers and has slowly being ramping up its food options. Their festival menu consists of three-courses (don’t miss the super gooey vegan brownie) as well as their signature Negroni. Plus, some bubbles for extra fun. We see it as the perfect group dining destination too, thanks to their super varied menu which offers up all kinds of dishes – being gluten free and vegan friendly too. They cover all bases.
11, 13 & 14 South Place EC2M 7EB
Seafood platter and champagne for two at £40
This City seafood spot offers up a super special platter full of your favourite swimmers. Bring your own bib and tuck into this huge feast. Or be a little classier than us and take your time munching on all that lays before you. Either way, you’ll leave with a belly full of high-quality seafood and plenty of Champers. And, if you want to go extra special then move over to D&D’s Angler for Michelin-starred seafood. They’re also taking part in the London Restaurant Festival, serving up a six-course tasting menu & a glass of Champagne for just £70. That’s hard to come by at fine dining restaurants like Angler.
16 New Street EC2M 4TR
Tasting menu & glass of champagne for £65
Galvin La Chapelle are celebrating their 10th birthday and are going all out for October. Their tasting menu will include all the best dishes they’ve served over the last decade – great for both loyal fans and Chapelle newbies too. They’ve also got a series of other deals running throughout the same time period including their Family Sunday Lunch three course menu for £42.50 and their Express Lunch 2 course set menu which comes with a glass of wine for £38.50!
35 Spital Square E1 6DY