If you’re looking for the capital’s top ranked eatery at the National Restaurant Awards, then you’ll have to head East.
Brat, in Shoreditch came in seventh last year, which was still the best restaurant in East London. This year, it’s done even better, becoming London’s highest ranked restaurant in third position.
The zero waste restaurant, Silo, in Hackney won the Sustainability Award, and, rightfully so, the restaurant practices nose-to-tail cooking that uses the entirety of every animal killed and anything that isn’t eaten is turned into compost.
There were dozens of central London eateries, including The Ritz, which featured in the top 100.
The Ledbury, in west London headlined an array of other edgy eateries listed in the top 100.
Trinity in Clapham was the best ranked restaurant in south London.
So, if you’re looking for dinner in east London, then look no further.
Address: First Floor, 4 Redchurch St, Shoreditch, E1 6JL
Brat is named after the old English of the restaurant’s signature dish, charcoal grilled turbot. The eatery is modelled on the family-run eateries in Geteria, in northern Spain, which cook vast amounts of seafood over flames.
The menu at Brat showcases chef Tomos Parry’s love of simple, yet delicious ingredients in dishes - from smoked cod and grilled peas, to asparagus with fresh cheese.
The awards said: “If you’re looking for no-frills, fire-led cooking in the capital then call off the search – at Brat in Shoreditch, chef Tomos Parry gives a masterclass in grilling on a stove that looks like it’s been plucked straight out of mediaeval times.
“No meal is complete at the buzzy dining spot without a huge piece of meat or fish grilled to perfection, however – sorry vegetarians.”
Address: 49-51 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3PT
Manteca is a modern British-Italian restaurant, with a menu that includes a range of salumi cured in-house, a selection of hand-rolled pastas, and fire-cooked cuts of meat and fish to share.
The eatery is almost entirely British-focused when regarding the sourcing of ingredients, as Chef Chris Leach, works directly with farmers and suppliers, across the UK.
The restaurant’s simple design creates a light space by day, and one that feels quite moody and atmospheric when the lights are dimmed at night.
The judges said: “While those who fancy a blowout meal are well catered for, a party of two could easily dine for under £40 per head, with drinks, and leave with both their bellies and their hearts full to bursting.”
Address: 1-3 Green Lanes, Newington Green, N16 9BS
Perilla is a beautifully-designed restaurant on the site of an old kid’s cafe on Newington Green.
The menu has been designed to achieve a low price point, with its five-course tasting menu, at £59, intended to be more accessible for all - whilst still holding its two starred Michelin standard.
Other dishes on offer include aged pork rack with petits pois a la Francais, and whole grilled sea bream with tomatoes, herbs and garlic.
18. Da Terra
Address: Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9NF
Rafael Cagali’s Town Hall restaurant is a sophisticated, intimate dining experience that belies its location on a busy east London road, according to the judges.
The judges said: “Da Terra’s modern European menu combines the flavours of Cagali’s Brazilian and Italian roots with flair and humour.”
There are two evening tasting menus of seven and 10 courses, with a five-course lunch menu also available.
Da Terra opened in January 2019 and was awarded its first Michelin star just eight months later, it then went on to receive its second, in 2021.
Address: 49 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, E2 7RG
Brawn started off as an edge pig and natural wine joint, but has now turned into the perfect neighbourhood restaurant, according to the National Restaurant Awards.
The judges said: “Over the years chef-patron Ed Wilson has lightened his touch and broadened the restaurant’s scope so there is a more Mediterranean feel to its food.
“The menu is divided neatly into snacks and small starters, larger starters and mains and Wilson has a knack of ensuring that practically every dish jumps off the page.”
They said: “The room has a worn but loved feel, like a comfy pair of slippers you can’t wait to sink into.”
Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ
Lyle’s is one of the most progressive and interesting restaurants in the capital and has become a foodie sensation.
Head-chef James Lowe, spent four years as head chef at British food institution St John Bread and Wine and he’s continued the tradition with his own restaurant.
The menu changes daily as dictated by the seasons and what Lowe can get his hands on, either from suppliers or what his kitchen team can forage locally.
The judges said: “What makes Lyle’s standout is Lowe’s dedication to his craft. There’s an underlying geekiness to his approach that sees him go above and beyond what is typically required of a chef.”
35. Mangal 2
Address: 4 Stoke Newington Road London, N16 8BH
Initially Mangal 2, founded by restaurateur Ali Dirik, operated as a traditional Turkish grill.
However these days, it is led by Ali’s sons Ferhat and Sertaç, who have developed a far more gastronomically ambitious, ingredient-led approach to Turkish cuisine
Dishes will appear familiar, with kebabs, kofte and pide all featuring on the menu, but it’s the execution that catches you off guard.
The National Awards said, “This is a restaurant trying to redefine what Turkish cuisine is, proving it to be far more nuanced and demanding of much greater respect.”
Address: Arches 322-324, Acton Mews, Haggerston, London, E8 4EA
Planque is relatively new to London’s dining scene, and is run by former Chiltern Firehouse chef Seb Myers.
While the Hackney restaurant is fully open to the public, it also has a membership element with regulars signing up to access on-site wine storage, priority reservations and members-only dinners.
The judges said: “At Planque he has created a refreshingly simple, wine-friendly menu that’s big on high quality cheese and charcuterie.”
“It’s also unashamedly French in its approach, as demonstrated by his calf’s brain and pepper sauce dish.”
Address: 1 Westgate Street, Hackney, London, E8 3RL
Hackney restaurant Bright is exactly that, a clever and shining example of what a restaurant should be.
Bright is open only for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and only from 12-2.30pm. So planning is essential to ensure you’re not disappointed, and you won’t be if you manage to bag a table.
The menu changes regularly, but features seasonal dishes inspired by the team’s travels.
The judges said: “Expect a variety of shellfish and pasta dishes, along with a small selection of heartier fish and meat plates, and a series of meticulously-crafted snacks to help whet your appetite.”
Address: The White Building, Unit 7 Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN
Douglas McMaster’s zero waste restaurant Silo is not only environmentally friendly, but stands shoulder-to-shoulder with fine dining restaurants around the globe in terms of food.
The restaurant has its own flour mill for ancient varieties of wheat, churns its own butter, and produces its own oat milk.
It practices nose-to-tail cooking that uses the entirety of every animal killed.
The beautiful crockery is made from plastic bags, and diners eat on tables from reconstituted food packaging, and anything that isn’t eaten is turned into valuable compost.
The judges said: “The menu illustrates a restaurant whose culinary ambitions match that of its environmental ones.”
Address: The Stratford, 20 International Way, Stratford, London, E20 1F
Patrick Powell’s high-rise Stratford restaurant is a sophisticated addition to east London’s dining scene, according to the National Restaurant Awards.
Allegra has an eight-course tasting menu under £50 and the accompanying wine pairing at a similar price. There is also a more expensive menu available, for you to try.
The National Restaurant Awards said “With a bar and outside rooftop terrace open in the summer, there are a few finer places to dine al fresco in the capital, let alone East London.”
Despite being recognised and appearing on this list, Allegra remains a hidden gem, with its somewhat out-of-place location - amidst the hoards of shoppers from Westfield, on its doorstep.
55. The Clove Club
Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT
The Clove Club, was set up in 2013 by Daniel Willis, Isaac McHale and Johnny Smith, who used to run supper clubs, across the capital.
The awards said: “Chef-patron McHale’s thoughtful and precise cooking is rooted in his Scottish heritage, but takes inspiration from across the world, gaining his restaurant a reputation for serving clever, technical and intricate food - that is a joy to eat.”
A tasting menu is available for lunch and dinner, as well as regularly-changing four-course set lunch menu - offering lunchers an accessible option.
74. Rochelle Canteen
Address: 16 Playground Gardens, Shoreditch, London, E2 7FA
Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson’s restaurant, on Arnold Circus, is one of East London’s best kept secrets.
Opened in 2006, Rochelle Canteen sits in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle School, and is only accessible to diners via a buzzer.
The judges said: “With a mixture of interior and outdoor seating, whitewashed walls and muted décor, the restaurant is bright, airy and inclusive.”
Rochelle Canteen serves a daily-changing selection of top quality, unfussy seasonal dishes, with breakfast, lunch and supper menus available. Whatever is on the menu, on the day you choose to visit, you won’t be disappointed.
99. La Dame de Pic
Address: Four Seasons Hotel at Ten, 10 Trinity Square, London, EC3N 4AJ
La Dame de Pic was launched in 2017 by renowned French chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, and it is situated within the Four Seasons, at Ten Trinity Square.
It was awarded its first Michelin star just eight months after it launched, and received its second in 2020. Cementing its reputation as one of London’s finest French restaurants.
The restaurant offers a choice of three tasting menus, ranging from four to eight courses that blend unusual flavour combinations, with elegant plating.
The National Restaurant Awards said: “Pic has been led by a strong sense of intuition, emotion and sensitivity – qualities that have led her to be recognised as the world’s most decorated female, Michelin-starred chef.”