Image Courtesy Barrafina

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!

Big Tickets

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.

Image Courtesy Trullo

Modern Classics

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.

Image Courtesy Coal Rooms

Insider Favourites

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.

Image Courtesy Fare

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.

Image Courtesy Kin + Deum

Neighbourhood Standbys

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.