Tastemakers dish up the Capital’s best cuisine for London Restaurant Festival this October.
When it comes to dining out Londoners certainly are spoilt for choice.
With tens of thousands of eateries dishing up all manner of cuisines of across the Capital, London can lay claim to one of the most innovative and diverse foodie scenes in the world.
But with so many openings, closings, and menus changing by the hour, it can be hard to keep up.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the choices in your local food truck park, let alone in amongst the revolving door of restaurant choices in Soho, Covent Garden, Knightsbridge and, of course, the Square Mile, the London Restaurant Festival could be the highlights reel you’ve been waiting for.
The festival is a month-long celebration of dining out across the city. A impressive roster of more than 350 restaurants are set to take part in a series of gastronomic tours, tasting menus, and one-off dining experiences all designed to show off the Capital’s culinary chops.
Tickets for the chef-hosted dining experiences, starring the likes of Angela Hartnett, Tom Aikens and Yotam Ottolenghi were snapped up weeks ago, as were spots at the table for London’s Longest Lunch and the Ultimate Gastronomic Weekend.
But if you’re stomach is already starting to grumble at these missed opportunities, worry not. There are still plenty of chances to get your fill of the festival throughout October.
Visit londonrestaurantfestival.com to view the full program of events and menus and book your place at the table.
More than 250 restaurants have developed bespoke menus specifically for the festival, each designed to provide a diners with a taste of what they stand for with value to match.
Menus start at £15 and range from the neighbourhood favourites you hoped nobody else knew about all the way up to the Michelin-starred names on every foodie’s wishlist.
Highlights include Iberica Farringdon’s three-course tapas lunch menu at £18 and Humble Grape’s set menu of modern European dishes (£23 for two course, £28 for three). At the other end of the scale, Hakkasan is offering three courses of Michelin-starred Chinese cuisine plus a cocktail for £38, or chow down on two courses and a glass of Laurent Perrier 39 floors up at Searcy’s at The Gherkin.
For the first time in the festival’s history, nine of the city’s most exciting restaurants will strut their stuff in the form of one-off tasting menus paired with matching wines.
Spots at Barrafina’s ‘New Wave Spain’ dinner and Newman Arms ‘Argentine Adventure’ have already been snapped up, as have those to Republic’s East India pop up.
But let’s focus on the positives: there are still tickets available to four-course ‘Inspired Italy’ dinners at Trullo on 12 October and Osteria on 14 October. Pocket-sized pizzaria Santa Maria has seats available for its four-course pizza partnership with Birra Moretti on 6 and 13 October, as does Tokimeite for its eight-course kaiseke dinner with matching Suntory whiskeys on 27 October.
If you’re looking for more of a geographic overview of London’s gastronomic delights, book a spot on one of the festival’s restaurant tours to try five different dining spots in one day.
This year sees the return of the popular Japanese Journey (think Chisou, Tonkotsu and Bo Drake, among others) and the Cicchetti Trail, which covers Italian favourites Pizza Pilgrims, Polpo and Mele e Perre.
Soho and Fitzrovia are well represented by Talli Joe, the Smoking Goat and Portland, while Regent Street & Hendon Street’s tour features Momo, Hendon Street Kitchen, Piccolino and Frescobaldi.
Devonshire Square is also highlighted for the first time, starring Moorgate stalwarts Pitt Cue Co and Old Bengal Bar as well as up-and-comer Cinnamon Kitchen.