Unique Restaurants in London: 12 Cool Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in London
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Are you searching for the most unique restaurants in London? From Soho to Shoreditch, here are 12 of London’s best places to eat.

When I first wandered the winding streets of London, it wasn’t just the historical sites that caught my eye. It was the unexpected flavors and settings of the city’s dining scene, infused with that distinctive London charm. This city isn’t shy about its culinary prowess, offering an array of spots that turn dining into a full-blown experience. The most unique restaurants in London serve up a feast for the senses, and every meal is an opportunity to create stories worth sharing.

In my quest for extraordinary food, I’ve stumbled upon places that redefine what it means to eat out, creating unforgettable experiences for those who choose to stay in London. Imagine sipping a cocktail in a WWII bunker turned bar or cutting into a steak in a reimagined Victorian train car. These are the kinds of experiences that await in London! What’s more, some of the best food in London comes from unassuming corners and charming nooks.

As we delve into this guide, I invite you to join me in exploring the coolest places to eat in London. Whether you’re after a sky-high dining room with panoramic views or a secret garden eatery, London has a table for you. Without further ado, here are twelve of London’s most unique restaurants.

The top restaurants to visit in London right now
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Unique Restaurants in London

Ready to check out what London has on its menu? There’s a whole bunch of cool places waiting for you, from fancy dinners to quirky little spots. Come along as we show you the best places to eat in London.

Looking for a place where you can eat in the dark? Or would you prefer somewhere you’ll find actors serving up your food? Whatever kind of fun meal you’re after, London’s got it. Here’s your go-to list of the most unique restaurants in London. Get ready to make your meals memorable!

1. Dans le Noir ?

Ever thought about eating in the pitch black? At Dans le Noir ?, you’ll dive into a meal where your eyes don’t get a seat at the table. This spot takes you on a flavor ride in the dark, guided by amazing visually impaired staff. It’s one of London’s most unique restaurants that you need to check out!

The first time I ate here, it was all about the surprise. You can’t see what you’re eating, so every bite is a guess. It’s fun trying to work out what’s on your plate! The menu’s a secret and it changes regularly. Despite this, the food is always packed with zingy tastes and top-notch ingredients.

This spot isn’t just about great food. It’s about the unique human exchange without the preconceptions that come with sight. Plus, you’ll be contributing to a good cause. Dans le Noir ? raises awareness about blindness and employs those who often face barriers to work.

Don’t forget to book in advance, as this one-of-a-kind experience is in high demand. Affordable? Not exactly, but worth every penny for a dinner you’ll talk about for years. For anyone searching for a unique restaurant in London, this is your spot.

Dans le Noir ? is one of the unique restaurants in London.
Experience dining in total darkness at Dans le Noir ?, a unique restaurant guided by visually impaired staff.

2. Sarastro

Sarastro makes dining out an adventure. Located in Covent Garden, it’s all about big, bold flavors and an atmosphere that feels like you’ve stepped into a theater. The place is decked out with grand decorations — think golden balconies and lots of color — which makes every meal a show of its own. Hands down, this place is one of the most fun places to eat in London.

On the menu, Mediterranean dishes take center stage. Sundays are for roasts that get everyone talking, and the sea bass? It’s got its own fan club. The food here is all about making a splash, matching the lively opera performances that fill the room.

Sarastro is a hit for those looking for a meal out that’s wrapped in showbiz dazzle. With mid-range prices, it’s accessible yet feels like a splurge. It stands out as one of the best places to eat in London for those who love their meals served with a slice of drama.

Remember to book your spot, as tables here are as coveted as front-row seats at a West End show. This is one dining experience that’s designed to be as memorable as the city itself!

Sarastro offers a theatrical dining adventure with bold flavors and vibrant decor.
Sarastro offers a theatrical dining adventure with bold flavors and vibrant decor.

3. sketch

No list of the most unique restaurants in London would be complete without mentioning sketch. Here, food, art, and music come together to create an unforgettable dining experience. This spot in Mayfair isn’t just a restaurant. It’s a canvas where every meal has a touch of whimsy and creativity.

As you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a space that’s always changing. There’s quirky art lining the walls and funky music setting the tone. The Pink Room is an Instagram favorite, dressed in, you guessed it, all pink with plush velvet chairs and artful details. It’s a dreamy backdrop for your dining experience.

The menu is a playful mix of modern European dishes, crafted to amaze and delight. Each plate is a work of art in itself. Make sure to try the foie gras terrine with a tangy cherry compote and the beautifully arranged chocolate dessert that looks too good to eat. It’s food that excites the eyes and the palate.

Sketch is a must-visit for those who love their meals with a side of the extraordinary. It fits the bill for one of the unique places in London to eat, offering a feast for the senses. The price tag is on the higher end, but the experience justifies the expense.

Booking ahead is smart, as this place is popular for a reason. Get ready to snap some photos – your friends won’t believe you were at a restaurant and not an art gallery!

sketch intertwines food, art, and music for a whimsical dining canvas.
sketch intertwines food, art, and music for a whimsical dining canvas.

4. supperclub.tube

If you’re looking for fun restaurants in London, you’ll want to know about this place. Get ready for a journey on the tracks of taste at supperclub.tube. Climb aboard a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage for a meal that’s moving, even though the train isn’t. Parked at the Pump House in Walthamstow, this dining experience is as quirky as they come!

The carriage retains its retro charm, with original details that’ll have you feeling nostalgic. But it’s the food that’s the real trip here. Chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreño brings Colombian-inspired dishes to your table, turning your dinner into a vibrant celebration of flavors. Think fresh, zesty, and full of life, much like the streets of Bogotá.

With a set menu that changes every month, you’re in for new tastes each time you visit. The four-course meal is a journey in itself, with each dish telling a story of culture and passion. It’s a communal affair, so you’ll be sharing tables with fellow diners. It’s perfect for foodies looking to make new friends.

The price? Surprisingly reasonable for such a unique setting. Supperclub.tube lands as one of the coolest places to eat in London, blending history, fun, and fine flavors.

Embark on a taste journey at supperclub.tube, a fun restaurant in a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage.
Embark on a taste journey at supperclub.tube, a fun restaurant in a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage.

5. The Murder Express

All aboard The Murder Express for a dining adventure that’s part theatrical show, part culinary excursion. Situated in the bustling heart of East London, this immersive experience transports diners back to the glamorous age of early 20th-century rail travel, with a deliciously mysterious twist. Hands down, it’s one of the most unique places in London to eat.

As the drama unfolds around you, you’ll tuck into a menu crafted with care, designed to complement the intrigue. The dishes are as much a part of the story as the characters weaving through the carriages. Each course reveals a new clue to the night’s enigma. From hearty British classics to twists on international cuisine, the food is both a comfort and a discovery.

This is the spot for those who like their dinner served with a side of suspense. The train sets off from Pedley Street Station, a specially created venue that’s as convincing as it is charming. The price point sits comfortably in the mid-range, which makes it an accessible option for a special night out.

The Murder Express is a journey into the past, a nod to London’s best restaurants that know how to mix a dining experience with storytelling. Make sure to grab your tickets in advance — this train waits for no one, and seats are as coveted as a golden age detective novel.

Discover The Murder Express, where theatricality meets culinary adventure in a glamorous rail setting with a mysterious twist. | Source: https://themurderexpress.com/
Discover The Murder Express, where theatricality meets culinary adventure in a glamorous rail setting with a mysterious twist. | Source: https://themurderexpress.com/

6. Lahpet Shoreditch

Lahpet Shoreditch brings the zing of Myanmar’s street food right into the buzz of London. It’s a lively spot where sharing plates is the name of the game, and each dish packs a punch of flavor.

The vibe inside is cool and modern, with a laid-back feel that’s all about good times and great food. Their tea leaf salad is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a mix of crunchy nuts, zesty leaves, and bursts of spice. And that’s just the beginning – the menu is full of standout dishes, from hearty curries to tangy noodle plates, all authentic and all scrumptious.

This spot stands out for serving up some of the best food in London with a twist. It’s a go-to for those who love to try new things and enjoy a meal that’s out of the ordinary. The prices won’t scare your wallet either, offering a taste of Southeast Asia at down-to-earth prices.

At Lahpet, you can walk in and find a spot without too much trouble. To be sure you get a seat, a quick reservation is a good shout. It’s a popular place for anyone after a fun, flavorful meal.

Lahpet Shoreditch  is one of the unique restaurants in London.
Lahpet Shoreditch brings Myanmar’s street food to London, offering lively sharing plates with bold flavors.

7. The Top Hat Restaurant & Bar (Monopoly Lifesized)

Stepping into The Top Hat Restaurant & Bar at Monopoly Lifesized is like tumbling into a giant game of the classic board game. Located in the heart of the city, this playful restaurant brings the fun of Monopoly to life. You’ll find a dining room that feels like you’ve passed ‘Go’ and collected $200. It doesn’t get more unique than this!

The menu offers a creative twist on British classics, featuring dishes that are familiar yet fancied up. You can dive into a delectable fish and chips or go for a shepherd’s pie that comforts with every spoonful. And for a sweet finish? Their desserts are a playful nod to the Monopoly properties we all know and love.

This restaurant is a hit for families, gamers, and anyone looking to add a dash of play to their meal out. The atmosphere is buzzing with energy, and the food keeps pace. Without a doubt, it’s a standout among the unique restaurants in London for dinner. Prices are reasonable, considering you’re dining in a London hotspot.

It’s wise to book ahead if you’re planning to visit, especially if you want to pair your meal with a round of lifesized Monopoly. The Top Hat Restaurant & Bar is all about great food and board game thrills, offering a dining experience you won’t find just anywhere.

The Top Hat Restaurant & Bar immerses diners in a playful, city-centered experience inspired by the classic board game.
The Top Hat Restaurant & Bar immerses diners in a playful, city-centered experience inspired by the classic board game.

8. Cahoots London

Hop on down to Cahoots London, a quirky underground bar set in a disused tube station from the 1940s, where the Blitz spirit is alive and kicking. It’s not just a bar, it’s a time machine that zips you back to post-war London, complete with sandbags, subway tiles, and vintage ads.

The drinks here are the main act, mixed with British flair and served in old mugs, hip flasks, and even wartime cans. But the nibbles? They’re just as much a draw, with British favorites like sausage rolls and scones jazzed up with modern touches.

Cahoots is a secret hideout for those in the know, which makes it one of the hidden gem restaurants in London. The atmosphere is lively, with a dash of cheeky humor that keeps the mood light and the laughter flowing. It’s the perfect spot for a casual night out with friends or a fun date.

While the price for drinks might lean towards the higher end, the experience is well worth it. It’s like stepping into a scene from an old British film, where every corner tells a story. Remember to book a ‘ticket’ because this train-themed bar fills up fast, and you don’t want to miss this underground escape!

Cahoots London, a lively underground bar in a 1940s tube station, channels Blitz spirit for a nostalgic time-travel experience.
Cahoots London, a lively underground bar in a 1940s tube station, channels Blitz spirit for a nostalgic time-travel experience.

9. Bustronome London

Imagine savoring gourmet dishes while taking in the London skyline from a double-decker bus. That’s Bustronome London for you! This innovative dining experience combines sightseeing with fine dining, offering a meal on the move that showcases the city’s famous landmarks from an elevated view.

The food is a delightful journey through contemporary French and British cuisine. Each dish is designed to reflect the journey through the city. As you pass iconic sights like Tower Bridge and The Shard, you’ll enjoy a sequence of beautiful plates that are easy to eat on the go.

Bustronome is ideal for tourists and locals looking for a different way to see the city. It’s a rolling restaurant that turns a meal into a scenic trip. The price reflects the unique experience and the gourmet offerings, placing it in the higher-end category but with value that’s clear as you dine and gaze out.

Reservations are key, as this traveling treat is sought after for its dual delight of taste and tour. Bustronome London is not your average bus ride; it’s a dining escapade that’ll take you to new heights. Are you ready to experience one of London’s most unique restaurants?

Experience gourmet dining with a view on Bustronome London, where a double-decker bus combines fine dining with sightseeing.
Experience gourmet dining with a view on Bustronome London, where a double-decker bus combines fine dining with sightseeing.

10. Evans & Peel Detective Agency

Next up on our list of London’s coolest restaurants is Evans & Peel Detective Agency. For a night of mystery and mixology, Evans & Peel Detective Agency is the speakeasy that London whispers about. Tucked away, this bar is a nod to the Prohibition era, where a detective-themed front leads you into a world of vintage charm and secret stories.

Here, the cocktails are as crafty as the detectives they’re named after. The drinks menu is a creative dossier of flavors, and while the cocktails steal the limelight, the food plays a brilliant supporting role. You can dig into smoky barbecue flavors and other American classics that pair perfectly with the inventive drinks.

This spot is a haven for those who love a bit of roleplay with their night out. The staff stay in character, adding to the immersive feel of a bygone era. It’s ideal for an evening out with a twist, whether you’re out with friends or looking for a unique date night.

In terms of cost, it’s mid-range, making for an accessible slice of the past without the vintage price tag. Make sure to play along and book an ‘appointment’ with the detective; this experience is just too good to leave to chance!

Explore Evans & Peel Detective Agency, a speakeasy that whispers of the Prohibition era with vintage charm and secret stories.
Explore Evans & Peel Detective Agency, a speakeasy that whispers of the Prohibition era with vintage charm and secret stories.

Step into The Clink Restaurant Brixton, and you’re not just stepping into one of the most unique restaurants in London – you’re part of a story of transformation and hope. Set within the walls of Brixton Prison, this establishment serves up a menu of change, with meals prepared and served by the inmates as part of their rehabilitation.

The food here is surprisingly refined, offering a seasonal menu that features classic dishes with contemporary twists. The ingredients are locally sourced, ensuring each dish supports local producers and sustainability. It’s a dining experience that feels good for the palate and the soul.

Visiting The Clink is about more than just dining. It’s supporting a cause that gives back to the community and helps those working hard to change their lives. The ambiance is unique, respectful, and full of stories waiting to be heard.

With its affordable prices and noble cause, The Clink attracts diners from all walks of life. It’s a place that proves fine dining in London can have a heart and a mission.

Bookings are essential here, as the restaurant operates within specific hours and security guidelines. Dining at The Clink Restaurant Brixton is an opportunity to enjoy a meal that truly makes a difference.

Experience dining at The Clink Restaurant Brixton, where inmates prepare and serve meals as part of their rehabilitation.
Experience dining at The Clink Restaurant Brixton, where inmates prepare and serve meals as part of their rehabilitation.

12. Bunga Bunga Covent Garden

For an unforgettable finale to our list of the most unique restaurants in London, Bunga Bunga Covent Garden pulls out all the stops. This Italian-inspired eatery is a flamboyant festival of food and entertainment, where every night is a celebration worthy of the most exuberant Italian fiesta.

From the moment you step in, you’re greeted with a riot of color and a carnival atmosphere that makes your heart beat faster. The walls are adorned with quirky decor, and the air is electric with the sound of live music and laughter. It’s a place where meals are merry, pizzas are piled high, and the cocktails are as whimsical as the setting.

I remember laughing through a night here, charmed by the cheeky performances and the sheer joy of the place. It’s where you come for the fun and stay for the food, which is hearty, authentic, and downright delicious. Their meter-long pizzas are a talking point, and sharing one feels like joining an Italian family gathering.

Bunga Bunga offers a slice of Italy with a side of London cool. It’s among the best themed restaurants in London that capture the imagination and refuse to be just a footnote in your travel diary. While the prices might be a bit of a splurge, it’s a small price for such large doses of joy.

Ending our list with a personal favorite, I urge you to book ahead for this one. Bunga Bunga Covent Garden is a hotspot that everyone should visit at least once for a night of unabashed fun!

Bunga Bunga Covent Garden is one of the unique restaurants in London.
Dine at Bunga Bunga Covent Garden, an Italian-inspired extravaganza where every night transforms into a celebration of food and entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in London

Searching for more information to help you decide where to eat in London? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about London’s best restaurants.

Where can I go for a special dinner in London?

For a truly special dinner, you can’t go wrong with Sketch in Mayfair. It’s one of the best restaurants in London, offering a blend of art and cuisine that can make any occasion memorable. With its plush pink decor and creative European dishes, it’s a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

What is a must-eat in London?

When it comes to a must-eat, the tea leaf salad at Lahpet Shoreditch is a standout. This dish is a flavorful journey to Myanmar and is just one example of the best food in London that spans global cuisines. It’s unique, delicious, and embodies the city’s diverse culinary landscape.

Where do celebrities eat in London?

Celebrities are often spotted at The Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone, which is known for its exclusivity and chic atmosphere. It’s one of London’s best restaurants for spotting famous faces while enjoying exceptional food in a stunning, historic firehouse turned dining hotspot.

Chiltern Firehouse, where chic historic charm meets modern elegance set in an iconic fire station.
Chiltern Firehouse, where chic historic charm meets modern elegance set in an iconic fire station.

What is the hardest restaurant to get into in London?

The Murder Express is one of the hardest experiences to book due to its unique combination of dining and theatre. It’s a gripping journey back in time with a side of mystery, making it one of the most sought-after tickets in town. Plan to book well in advance to secure your spot on this thrilling culinary caper.

What are the top 5 British dishes?

British cuisine may not have the global reputation of some other national foods, but it has a number of hearty and iconic dishes that are deeply rooted in the country’s culture. Here are five of the top British dishes:

  1. Fish and Chips: This classic British fast food is a staple across the UK. It typically consists of battered and fried fish (commonly cod or haddock) served with chips (thick-cut fries). It’s often accompanied by mushy peas, tartar sauce, and a wedge of lemon.
  2. Sunday Roast: A traditional British Sunday dinner is a roast. This usually includes roasted meat (such as beef, chicken, lamb, or pork), roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding (a baked batter pudding), gravy, and assorted vegetables like carrots, peas, and Brussels sprouts.
  3. Full English Breakfast: Also known simply as a “fry-up,” this hearty breakfast includes bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, and toast or fried bread. It’s often served with a cup of tea or coffee.
  4. Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie: Shepherd’s pie is made with minced lamb and topped with a mashed potato crust, while cottage pie uses minced beef. Both are baked in the oven and often include vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions within the meat mixture.
  5. Afternoon Tea: While not a dish per se, afternoon tea is a British institution. It typically includes a selection of finger sandwiches (such as cucumber, egg and cress, smoked salmon, etc.), scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of cakes and pastries, all accompanied by tea.

Where is London’s most famous food market?

Borough Market is London’s most famous food market. Nestled under the railway lines, it’s a vibrant mix of traders selling an array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and ready-to-eat treats. This iconic spot is a must-visit for anyone looking for the best places to eat in London or to gather ingredients for an inspired home-cooked meal.

Unique Restaurants in London: Recap

Ending our journey of London’s most unique restaurants, it’s clear this city serves up unforgettable experiences with every meal. From the mystery of The Murder Express to the inspiring story behind The Clink Restaurant Brixton, each place gives you more than just great food – they leave you with stories to tell.

If I had to pick just one must-visit, I’d point you to Sketch. It’s not only about the meal – it’s an entire scene that sticks with you. It’s where food meets art in a way that only London can offer. This makes it a standout in the city’s lively food scene.

Each restaurant we’ve looked at is a piece of London’s vibrant puzzle, turning diners into fans of the city’s bold spirit. These aren’t just eateries. They’re landmarks of culture and fun. As you plan your trip to fly to London, remember these spots. They’re as important to your London story as any famous sight.

Now, it’s your turn to step out and make these experiences your own. London is ready to welcome you to its tables – the question is, which one will you choose first?

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