50 Great Restaurants to Help Out in London This August
Designed to help support the British hospitality and restaurant industry, the government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative offers 50% off food and soft drinks per diner, per seating, up to the value of £10 through August, from Monday to Wednesday.
The following independent restaurants have signed up to take part in the scheme: As a diner, all you have to do is turn up, and the 50% will be deducted from the bill at the end of the meal (the restaurant claims this back from the government). It’s important to note that the initiative only counts towards dine-in (and not takeaway or delivery), and that COVID-19 safety precautions should still be observed — so, wash your hands, observe any protocols, wear a mask as necessary, and tip generously!
Have a heavy hitter on your list that you’ve always wanted to visit? Here’s your chance.
Quo Vadis — Book Now
This Soho institution is back with superb cocktails and a smoked eel sandwich to die for, plus outdoor seating for warm weather.
Barrafina Dean St — Book Now
London’s quintessential tapas bar has unparalleled ambience, and cooking to match. Perch at the bar, or grab a seat with a chilled glass of cava outside.
Ikoyi — Book Now
What happens when one of London’s most creative restaurants adopts a more casual offering? At this West African-influenced establishment in St. James, the smoked jollof rice with aged sheep kebab is unmissable.
Barrafina Coal Drops Yard — Book Now
Gleamingly fresh seafood and vegetables, croquetas, and sweetbreads are a few of the specials diners might find on this newly-reopened tapas bar’s blackboard.
Barrafina Adelaide Street — Book Now
With marble counters and a beautiful curved bar, Barrafina’s Covent Garden outpost is about as good as it gets. Pull up at the bar for drinks and a few plates of peerless tapas.
Leroy — Book Now
Raffish in spirit, polished in execution; head to this outstanding Shoreditch wine bar for modern bistro cooking, excellent wine, and affable service.
At the top of most Londoners’ wishlists, these places work beautifully for a range of occasions.
Rochelle Canteen — Book Now
Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold’s blissful Shoreditch restaurant offers elegant British cooking in bucolic surroundings. Hit that Notify button to be in with a chance of snagging a table.
Trullo — Book Now
White tablecloths, soulful Italian cooking, and a contemporary feel have made Trullo a modern classic, with a legion of fans to match. Fresh pasta and a slice of tart are both essential.
Hicce — Book Now
Pip Lacey’s Mediterranean-leaning cooking has won her plenty of accolades, and her restaurant’s covered terrace in Kings Cross is the perfect setting in which to experience it.
Townsend — Book Now
Each Wednesday, this understated British restaurant is holding a series of ‘supper clubs’, with an £18 four-course menu of dishes like Brixham crab or courgette flowers with smoked chilli and honey featuring.
Manteca — Book Now
Through August, one of London’s favourite go-tos is offering any two pasta dishes, focaccia, and gelato for £10 under the scheme.
Maison Bab — Book Now
The owners’ contemporary take on the humble kebab has made Maison Bab a hit; under the initiative, guests can now receive a kebab, mezze, and fondue fries for the princely sum of a tenner.
Cool and casual, these excellent restaurants also come with a helping of industry kudos.
Larry’s — Book Now
This new all-day Peckham restaurant comes from the owners of the acclaimed Salon and Levan. With US-style deli sandwiches and pasta during the day, it morphs into a small plates and natural wine hangout in the evening.
Koya Soho — Walk-ins only
The udon noodles at Koya are peerless, and there’s plenty of outdoor seating through the rest of summer. Don’t miss out.
Koya City — Walk-ins only
Like its sister Soho restaurant, Koya’s restaurant in Bloomberg arcade has exceptional Japanese small plates, udon, and ample space to lounge al fresco.
Tacos El Pastor — Book Now
With a plate of tacos costing the same as a coffee under the initiative, this vibey Borough Market taqueria is a perfect pit stop. Sadly, mezcal and beer isn’t covered in the reduction, but don’t let that stop you.
Gunpowder Spitalfields — Book Now
Outstanding Indian food with a twist is Gunpowder’s calling card, and it deserves it’s reputation as one of the city’s best. The lunch menu is available from Monday to Wednesday at just £8 for four dishes.
Casa & Plaza Pastor — Book Now
Bookend a Kings Cross visit with a few plates of tacos and a drink here, and a couple of specials to share.
Sager + Wilde Paradise Row — Book Now
Elegant small plates, natural wine, and hand-rolled pasta make Sager + Wilde a modern day classic; drop in early in the week for a couple of dishes, or a low-key supper.
Legare — Book Now
This Italian restaurant near Tower Bridge combines impressive pedigree with a neighbourhood feel; as well as pastas, don’t miss the clams, best paired to a thirst-quenching glass of natural fizz.
Gunpowder Tower Bridge — Book Now
The same excellent regional Indian cooking as its Spitalfields sibling, but with plentiful al fresco seating and a memorable view of the river.
Kudu — Book Now
One of Peckham’s standout restaurants, Kudu’s European approach with a South African twist has earned it a loyal following. The Kudu bread is essential to start.
Sager + Wilde Hackney Road — Book Now
East London’s favourite natural wines and cheese toasties — the latter, at half off, is just over £4. It’d be crazy not to.
Coal Rooms — Book Now
A diversion from comfort is offered at this Peckham local in the form of a 6-course tasting menu, featuring dishes like seabass tartare with jalapeno granita, and grilled monkfish with brown butter dashi and samphire.
Bubala — Book Now
Head to this excellent Middle Eastern restaurant in Spitalfields for a colourful mezze spread on Mondays, for just a tenner under the dining initiative; there’s also an good value set menu on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Fallow — Book Now
This sustainability-focused fine dining spot turned to comfort during lockdown, and the hits from its menu — aged Dairy cow burger, corn ribs — are yours for £10 at lunch, Monday to Wednesday.
Elliot’s — Book Now
Wood-fired seafood and vegetables, and natural wine on the Borough Market street; Elliot’s is about as good as it gets. As a bonus, the market is a little more civilised earlier in the week.
Granger & Co. Chelsea — Book Now
Bill Granger’s Aussie brunch and all-day restaurant takes inspiration from across the globe, with a killer white chocolate and pistachio pavlova for afters.
Ducksoup — Book Now
This timeless Soho restaurant and wine bar now also offers outdoor seating; slow-cooked seasonal dishes and pastas stand out, and natural wine is the tipple of choice.
Keep it Casual
Drop into these outstanding spots for a drink, and graze on a few plates while you’re there.
Popolo — Book Now
Spanish and Italian small plates, pastas, and wine are quintessential Shoreditch; so too is the restaurant’s cosy counter and warm service. Get the risotto if it’s on.
Fare — Book Now
Excellent pizzas and Mediterranean dishes are merely an excuse to visit this laid-back Clerkenwell restaurant; the wine list and well-priced nitro cocktails are also absolutely worth your time.
Lady of the Grapes — Book Now
This Covent Garden bar’s all-female wine list is absolutely worth diving into; so too are perfect platters of cheese and charcuterie.
The Drop — Book Now
Vermouth and British-leaning cuisine are two reasons to visit this superb bar and restaurant in Kings Cross; so too is the relaxed atmosphere and peerless service.
Camino Kings Cross — Book Now
Excellent for everything from dates to group dinners, this Spanish restaurant does a fine line in tapas and speciality dishes like suckling pig, and Galician-style octopus.
Camino Bankside — Book Now
Perfect for bookending a stroll along the South Bank, Camino’s tapas tastes even better on its spacious, cosy terrace.
Albertine — Book Now
This intimate Shepherds Bush wine bar and restaurant is back with a stellar lineup of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, ideally paired to a glass of wine (or two).
Stoney Street — Book Now
Breakfast and lunch (galettes, porridge) at this soothing Borough Market establishment are exceptional; in the evenings, it becomes a cosy wine bar, with a short menu of pastas, sl0w-cooked dishes, and puddings.
The Anchor and Hope — Book Now
One of London’s original, and best, gastropubs continues to be best-in-class even today. Cooking leans homely and European — but it’s still a proper Waterloo boozer, so grab a couple of drinks while you’re at it.
Don’t want to travel too far? Keep it local with these superb neighbourhood go-tos.
My Neighbours the Dumplings Clapton — Book Now
Newly reopened, a range of classic Chinese dumplings (from potstickers to siu mai), sharing dishes, and cocktails are more than enough reason to head back to this Clapton favourite.
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar — Book Now
Berber & Q’s little sister in Exmouth Market has always been excellent value, and even more so under the initiative. Mezze, rotisserie chicken, and breads fresh from the oven are exceptional.
Ombra — Book Now
Who needs Venice when you have spritz and the Regents Canal? This being Hackney, this Venetian-inspired restaurant’s chef has worked at some of London’s best — pastas and desserts are unmissable.
Korto — Book Now
Sweet service and an all-day menu of Mediterranean-influenced dishes make this Muswell Hill cafe a fixture with locals for a reason.
Oren — Book Now
Dalston locals who ordered Oren’s Tel Aviv-inspired dishes via delivery might wonder how the food could possibly get better in a dining room. Here’s a chance to find out.
Laxeiro — Book Now
A Columbia Road institution, the Spanish cooking at this cosy restaurant punches above its weight. Tortilla, garlic prawns, and croquetas are prepared with care; meanwhile, a set lunch offers superb value.
Patty & Bun — Book Now
Diners can now get Patty & Bun’s legendary burgers, rosemary fries, and confit wings for less under the initiative; available at any of their sites.
Homeslice — Book Now
Perfect for sharing, guests can now get Homeslice’s excellent pizzas for less under the initiative; available at any of their sites.
Pique-Nique — Book Now
Rotisserie chicken and roast potatoes make for a simple, low-key dinner during the week; or go large at this Bermondsey bistro with a veal T-bone or whole fish designed for sharing, with souffle for afters.
Kin + Deum — Book Now
Pumpkin curry and slow-cooked beef Massaman are just two dishes on this contemporary Thai restaurant’s menu. Family-run and beloved by its London Bridge locals, service is as warming as the food.
Le Bab — Book Now
Already a shoo-in for relaxed midweek dinners, Le Bab’s modern takes on classic shawarmas and mezze now represent even more value.
Coqfighter Soho — Book Now
Crisp, succulent chicken sandwiches, wings, and tenders make for perfect fare any day of the week; even more when said burger is available for a mere £4.50. Excellent craft beers and cocktails, too.
Royal Oak Marylebone — Book Now
At this Marylebone local, dishes like beer-battered cod, slow-cooked pork with crispy kale, and truffled risotto are easy to love — wash it all down with a pint.
The Swing — Book Now
Drawing inspiration from Japan to the Mediterranean, this West Hampstead restaurant’s eclectic approach makes it perfect for early week dinners; vegetarians are very well-catered for.
Little Duck — Book Now
Casual and welcoming, Dalston’s Little Duck is about as good as neighbourhood dining gets. Expect relaxed, Mediterranean-leaning dishes like a risotto with peas and parmesan, or veal with borlotti beans, chard, and lemon.
My Neighbour the Dumplings Victoria Park — Book Now
Like its Clapton sibling, the dumplings at this Chinese-inspired restaurant are worth venturing out for, and there’s a pretty garden at the back for warm summer evenings.