10 Best Traditional British Food Restaurants In London
1. The Pig and Butcher
Islington has no end of elegant restaurants showcasing fine cuisine from across the world. However, for hearty food in the British tradition, you can’t beat The Pig and Butcher. After opening in 2012, this restaurant has been serving North London residents fresh food in their country style dining room. The atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful, making this the perfect venue for a family lunch or laid back celebration.
The folks at The Pig and Butcher have been careful to curate close and special relationships with their artisan suppliers, allowing for a menu that changes daily according to what’s best and in season. However, you’re always sure to find high quality meat and fresh veg. Their on site butcher ensures a consistent quality of the food and something fresh, new and exciting to try on each different visit. An emphasis on seasonal produce sets The Pig and Butcher apart from the many chain restaurants and pubs on offer nearby.
Address: 80 Liverpool Rd, Islington, London N1 0QD
Opening times: Monday – Wednesday: 12 – 11pm, Thursday – Saturday: 12pm – 12am, Sunday: 12 – 10pm
If you thought chophouses and steakhouses were only for the rich, think again! At any branch of London’s Blacklock you’ll find no end of delicious meat dishes at a reasonable price. Blacklock offers beef, lamb and pork chops, ribs and cutlets cooked to smoky perfection.
Inspired by the founder’s origins in the countryside of Cornwall and Devon, all their meat is produced ethically by a small farmer, making for a deliciously guilt free indulgence of so much meat. Unfortunately, vegetarians will probably have to steer clear of this particular restaurant, as here at Blacklock it’s all about the meat. In fact, you’ll only find one main course dish without it.
Star of the show is the ‘all-in’ option, which offers an enormous tower of the restaurant’s best chops, along with bread and sides, for you and your group to devour. You won’t be eating for the rest of the day!
Locations and opening times vary, see website
3. Prawn on the Lawn
Don’t be fooled by the funny and cute name – Highbury and Islington’s Prawn on the Lawn is deadly serious about great seafood.
As an island nation, there’s nothing more British than good, fresh seafood, and there’s no shortage of it here. And don’t worry that British waters have been plundered in order to provide this bounty of fish and shellfish, as Prawn on the Lawn is passionate about sustainable fishing and protecting our oceans, and all products are sourced ethically.
The menu changes daily according to what the fisherman have captured that day. However, on a typical day you’re likely to discover familiar favourites such as mackerel and hake, as well as more exotic options such as oysters, ray wing and seared tuna.
Prawn on the Lawn is the perfect new years resolution restaurant: healthy and sustainable, so it won’t ruin your waistline or your ethics. This venue is big on quality but low on space, so booking is essential at peaks times if you want to avoid a long wait.
Address: 292, 294 St Paul’s Rd, Highbury East, London N1 2LH
Opening times: Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 10pm, Sunday: 12 – 4pm
4. Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings
If you’re after quality British food but also fancy a few epic Instagram photos, B&H Buildings is the perfect restaurant for you. Located just off the vibrant Exmouth Market area, B&H is truly a photographer’s and foodie’s paradise.
The interiors of the restaurant, bar and party space have been expertly designed by their in-house creative team for a look that’s clean, modern, and free of dated trends and impractical fads. It’s as much an art and design space as it is a restaurant, with other distinct spaces on offer, including a private dining room.
On the menu you’ll find classic British favourites with a light, modern twist, such as Welsh rarebit, braised beef and spring chicken. There’s a wealth of choice here, whether you’re a health nut, a gourmet expert or prefer familiar flavours. Ingredients are sourced fresh and locally wherever possible, with an emphasis on quality and sustainability.
Address: 42 Northampton Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 0HU
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 11am – 12am, Friday: 11am – 1am, Saturday: 10am – 1am, Sunday: 10am – 6pm
5. The Dairy
The outward appearance of The Dairy in Clapham is laid back and no nonsense, perfect for the traditional British style of eating. Modest and affordable, it’s the perfect place for a chilled date or dinner with friends after a day out in exciting Clapham.
As you browse the menu you’ll be served home made bread still warm from the oven. That is perhaps not in the traditional British style, but it’s a nice touch all the same.
Simple British dishes are served with quality ingredients, making even the most familiar favourites fresh and exciting. You’ll discover pork belly, Cornish crab and Yorkshire duck, among other mouthwatering options.
Everything is created with a minute attention to detail, and served on generously sized rustic plates. You’ll also discover French and Middle Eastern influences among the British dishes, making each meal something new and different.
Make sure you stick around the cocktail bar and enjoy some of the hand crafted drinks, as The Dairy is open until the small hours for a laid back drinking experience, the perfect way to round off your excellent British meal.
Address: 15 The Pavement, Clapham Town, London SW4 0HY
Opening times: Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Friday: 12 – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Saturday: 10am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sunday: 10am – 3:30pm
6. The Fox & Pheasant
A staple of life in Britain is the country pub. Small, charming and friendly, pubs across Britain are places for the community to gather, for friends to meet and families to enjoy meals together. In these increasingly troubled and ever changing times, they are a constant in British life. The Fox & Pheasant in Chelsea does well to capture the cheery community feel of a traditional British pub, both in its atmosphere and in its food.
Run by famous British singer James Blunt and his wife Sofia Wellesley, the pub has been renovated from being an out of date boozer to a smart eating and drinking establishment on an elegant mews street. Thin warm wood panelling, leather arm chairs and roaring open fires. Thanks to the couple’s celebrity and society connections, the pub has been frequented by members of the royal family and A-list stars alike.
The traditional British food on the menu is sourced from local suppliers, and includes scotch eggs, pigs in blankets and roasts all day on a Sunday.
Address: 1 Billing Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9UJ
Opening times: Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 12am, Sunday: 12 – 11pm
7. Battersea Pie Station
If you think of wholesome British comfort food, chances are that pie comes to mind among other things. Therefore, a trip to a pie restaurant is essential if you want to truly experience traditional British food. Tucked away under one of Covent Garden’s famous arches, this humble pie shop packs a powerful flavour punch.
Despite the misleading name, you won’t actually have to cross Battersea Bridge in order to enjoy the offerings at Battersea Pie Station. The eatery is in fact located in Covent Garden, an easy journey from most places in Central London. The pies at this joint are flaky, golden and delicious. They come at a bargain price and with a range of fillings, with many meat and vegetarian options available including goats cheese and butternut squash.
Whichever pie you end up choosing, it’ll be served with a heap of creamy mashed potato and rich, dark gravy, not to mention a range of best of British sides including green beans and baked beans.
Address: 28 The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RA
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 11am – 7:30pm, Saturday: 11am – 8pm, Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Whenever people thinking of what it’s like to dine in Britain, the image of an elegant and traditional British afternoon tea is undoubtedly one of the first that comes to mind. A real afternoon, or high, tea is a quintessentially British activity, enjoyed by many Britains across the country at tea time. The combination of delicate little sandwiches, bite sized desserts and plenty of hot cups of tea makes for a delicious dining experience which many visitors to the UK are keen to try.
If you’re serious about getting the most out of your afternoon tea, you can only get the best at Claridge’s. Each sandwich and cake is intricately prepared with the finest ingredients money can buy and full of exclusive British specialities, making for a taste like no other. The hotel honours British culture by getting its afternoon tea experience exactly right, and while it’s not the lowest price tag in town, it’ll be one of the most unforgettable experiences of your trip.
Address: Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 2:45pm – 5:30pm
9. Mac & Wild
Scottish cuisine is known to be come of the finest that Britain has to offer, and for good reason. The cool temperatures, rolling highlands and wide open spaces make for some of the best fish, game and wild birds in the world, and foodies from all over the world flock to Scotland to sample what it has to offer.
While you may not have time to travel the hundreds of miles up to Edinburgh or Inverness to experience Scottish food for yourself, you can certainly get an idea of what makes it so popular at Mac & Wild, a Scottish restaurant with two branches firmly rooted in the streets of London. Smoked salmon, haggis and venison are often on the menu, and you’re bound to find something you haven’t tried before!
Locations and opening times vary, see website
10. The Frog
Home of hipsters and young professionals, Hoxton has long been the place for Londoners to try innovative food trends and cuisine from around the world. However, even the hippest diners sometimes experience a craving for the comforting food of home, and that’s where The Frog comes in.
Combining familiar ingredients with a creative twist, owner Adam Handling has created a popular destination for quality British food, with the ever changing menu boasting such delicacies as Cheese Doughnuts and Chicken Butter. The restaurant is also dedicated to becoming a zero waste business. What’s not to love?