The City of London is traditionally all about the red meat offerings – we all love steakhouse – but there’s a huge assortment of seafood spots around the City too. Old school fish loving institutions still dominate the area; known for their sustainably sourced seafood which can easily carry a hefty price tag.
It can be hard to get cheap seafood in the City (trust us, we’ve tried to find it) but if you’re going to spend a pretty penny, you best know where to do it. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our favourite seafood restaurants, where you can indulge in all the prawns, oysters, salmon or sea bream your heart desires.
These guys rule the sea. They’re the Poseidon of the Square Mile. The Michelin-starred seafood restaurant specialises in all kids of fishy food options, turning your garden variety cod into something spectacular. For lunch, you’ve got to go for their set menu for two courses from £30 or three courses from £34, with an optional wine pairing from £20. That’s super affordable for Michelin-star dining. And, if the weather permits, be sure to nab one of the tables on the outdoor terrace, looking over the City’s skyline. Listen to the passing cars and buses, trying to imagine they’re squawking seagulls instead.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place EC2M 2AF
Sweetings has been around since 1830. It is a London institution. And it continues to be crammed full of loyal customers each and every lunchtime. The seafood is served simply (they don’t want to mess about with the high-quality fresh stuff) and the service hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years either. Don’t expect flashy Instagrammable food and drinks here. That wouldn’t fit in with the famous no nonsense charm here at Sweetings in the City. It really feels as if you’ve stepped back in time when you’re dining. Any fish loving Londoner should come here at least once in their life. Add it to the bucket list.
39 Queen Victoria Street EC4N 4SF
The seafood experts of Spitalfields (shown in lead image) focus heavily on responsible sourcing. And, having their own wholesale branch, they are heavily involved in how they get their produce. Fresh and sustainable seafood is key, ensuring the menu is always changing, depending on what was caught that day. That’s why we always look out for their daily specials which are guaranteed to impress. Either sit in at their fairly casual dining area or take away some seafood for a little treat out in a park nearby while the sun’s out. They even host oyster masterclasses for those who want to learn a little about shucking while feasting on all kinds of oysters.
8a Lamb Street, Old Spitalfields Market E1 6EA
We come to Kaspar’s for the decadent Champagne and seafood centrepiece bar. Yes, they serve meat and veg here too, but the seafood spectacles, with chefs popping in and out of the kitchen to refresh the platters of oysters, prawns and lobsters, is like a show. It’s the perfect warm up for those heading off to the theatre right afterwards. Head over to the American Bar either before or after eating too, being sure to sample some of their world-class cocktails within their signature 1920’s art deco-styled space. It’s classic elegance at the Savoy.
The Savoy, Strand WC2R 0EY
Located right in Diagon Alley – better known to muggles as Leadenhall Market – is this behemoth of a restaurant. It spans three floors, has its very own outdoor terrace within the historic market, and boasts a total of four private dining rooms. Moreover, as it’s owned by the prestigious Billingsgate wholesaler Chamberlain & Thelwell, it has access to the very best seafood in town. They get some of the best stuff before most other restaurants in London are even allowed in the door. And, even though it has traditionally been the domain of City suits, it is quickly becoming a destination restaurant with people coming from all over to try out the Chamberlain’s experience.
23-25 Leadenhall Market EC3V 1LR