Marylebone. Though we’ve read it hundreds of times, we’ve still got no idea how to pronounce the name of this well-heeled West End district. What we do know, however, is just where to eat in Le Bone. Or, should we call it Mary for short? How about Boney M? Who cares? We were always taught not to speak with our mouths full anyway…
From Michelin-starred Mexican to traditional British pub classics given a twist or two, there is something for everyone in this food lover’s paradise. With that in mind, here are the best restaurants in Marylebone, London.
St. John Marylebone, Marylebone Lane
The newest addition to the burgeoning family has arrived, bringing with it a fresh and vibrant approach that is both unmistakably St. John and uniquely tailored to the sensibilities of its chic London neighbourhood, and is already one of Marylebone’s very best places to eat.
Its instantly recognisable, clinical bright white interiors tell anyone who’s previously dined at a Fergus Henderson restaurant that you’re going to get fed very well indeed, and St. John Marylebone delivers on that promise.
The menu here is tighter – daintier, even – than at both the mothership and Bread & Wine, but there’s still some famous flourishes to be found. Here, the iconic Welsh rarebit appears in croquette form and is a gorgeously funky piece of work. Those ”nose to tail” leanings are all present and correct, too, with a recent dish of gently pink lamb’s liver and horseradish a bracing, bruising but utterly memorable affair.
A little earlier in the year, a plate of lamb sweetbreads, wilted young lettuce leaves and the sprightly lift of tarragon have lived in the memory even longer.
With plenty of wine being poured with a flourish by the glass, these smaller plates just feel right as you take your place at a window stool, watch the passing foot traffic of Marybelone Lane and ponder just how far we’ve sunk. It’s obligatory to order a plate of madelines (£5.50 for a small one, but you know you want the larger batch for £11) for the road.
Make sure to check the daily menu to see what’s ripe, ready and in store; it goes online – posted as a snap of the restaurant’s blackboard – at 11.30am for lunch and 5.30pm for supper.
Address: 98 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QA
Trishna, Blandford Street
For those seeking a focused, flavour-forward dining experience, Trishna is a must-visit. This Michelin-starred restaurant specialises in coastal Indian cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh British seafood cooked with spice and verve, which sounds like all of the ingredients for a great meal in Marylebone, don’t you think?
Sitting rather ironically on Blandford Street, there’s nothing bland (sorry) about chef Sajeev Nair’s contemporary interpretation of the food of his homeland. Having grown up in Palakkad, Kerala, Nair understands the ins and outs of Indian coastal cuisine intimately, and the signature of funky, rich Dorset brown crab with butter, pepper, and garlic, all mashed and spoonable, has to be one of London’s most satisfying shellfish dishes.
Another Trishna crab classic is the nandu varuval – crispy soft shell crab, green chilli, a rocher of white crab meat, and a smooth tomato chutney all pull in the same direction to great effect. Just delicious.
The early evening menu, running from 5pm to 6:15pm, is a snip at £45 for four courses.
Orrery, Marylebone High Street
Orrery, named after a mechanical model of the solar system, is an elegant French restaurant located on the first floor of a converted stable block. The abundance of natural light hits you the moment you walk in, the restaurant’s huge arched windows and skylights letting in so much that sunglasses are genuinely needed on London’s brighter summer days. The reflective quality of the starched white table cloths only serve to pronounce this.
The refined menu, designed by Chef Igor Tymchyshyn, features classic French dishes with a modern twist. Though menu descriptions verge on the prosaic (Salmon, polenta, asparagus, veloute, or seabass and chive sabayaon, for instance), presentation is anything but, with artistic flourishes of dots and scrapes occasionally reminiscent of a Masterchef several seasons back. There’s no denying the clarity of flavour here, though.
Though you might tend to prefer a smoke at the end of your meal, the chicken parfait cigar here is the ideal way to start it. Close, instead, with a summery elderflower and strawberry pannacotta, adorned with a big puck of champagne jelly. Boom!
With its stunning rooftop terrace (start with Orrery’s signature Old Fashioned up here) and views of St. Marylebone Church, Orrery is perfect for a special occasion or a leisurely lunch, and stakes a fair claim to being one of Marylebones top restaurants.
Pacahama Marylebone, Thayer Street
Pacahmama, which translates as ‘Mother Earth’, is all about bold Peruvian flavours using British ingredients, placing an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability that we can very much get behind.
The menu here is divided into Raw, Snacks, Sea, Land and Soil, the former section a quadruplet of really very good ceviche, the highlight thinly sliced pucks of scallop, so fresh they appear to be pulsating, dressed in a spicy aji verde whose rougher edges are smoothed with a delicate cheese. Because it’s May and we’re in the UK, wisps of finely mandolined asparagus act as a fresh af garnish.
Anticucho skewers, available in both lamb and chicken, are given lift and intrigue via their a red wine vinegar marinade, their corners gnarly from the grill. The beef short rib croquettes here are perhaps even more addictive.
If you’re coming with your crew, order the seafood platter of grilled prawns, octopus, squid, scallops, sea bass fillet and roasted lemon. Save room for the churros. Speaking of which, a PSA of sorts; if they’ve got the crab churros on, reminiscent of the iconic Chiltern Firehouse crab doughnuts of the restaurant’s heyday, do not miss out on them.
Alongside, and considering Pacahmama is billed as a ‘’pisco bar’’ first and foremost, it’s pretty much obligatory to have a pisco sours or two, the version here perfectly poised. Seeing as the place closes at midnight, it would be rude not to have a couple more, don’t you think?
Address: 18 Thayer St, London W1U 3JY
L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele, Baker Street
Dubbed ‘The Best Pizza in the World’ and iconised in the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, L’antica is a superb, eminently affordable place for a swift, sprightly lunch or dinner.
Forget the unfortunate dispute that disrupted the opening of the first London site in Stoke Newington, the second branch in Baker Street is still proudly serving Neapolitan pizzas of the highest quality. If you’re looking for something that’s full of toppings, this isn’t the place. Here, less is more and the classics are done right.
One thing that perhaps isn’t traditional is their ‘Marita’ pizza a half’n’half (margherita and marinara) that’s one of their bestsellers. It does bloody work, though.
There are now outposts in Soho and Manchester, too, for those not keen to make the trek to Marylebone.
Address:199 Baker St, London NW1 6UY
Another of our favourite restaurants in Marylebone, Fischer’s is a Viennese-inspired brasserie that transports diners to early 20th-century Austria. With its dark wood panelling, period artwork, and traditional uniforms worn by the staff, this cosy eatery exudes old-world charm. The menu features Austrian classics such as wiener schnitzel and spätzle, whilst the desserts and cakes are, unsurprisingly, the highlight.
Open all morning through night without a break in sight, Fischer’s is perhaps at its very best when dropping in for elevenses. An Austrian classic, the ‘Franz Joseph Kaiserschmarrn’, feels appropriate at this time; a chopped pancake with cherry compote satiates all kinds of cravings. For something more savoury but still within the realms of ‘brunch’, the Holstein Schnitzel with anchovy, capers and egg is ace, too.
When it comes to the sweet side of the menu, we’re huge fans of the ‘Coupe Liegeois’ made with vanilla and chocolate ice creams, whipped cream and bitter chocolate sauce. Alternatively, go for the rich, indulgent sacher torte with the obligatory mountain of whipped cream, here balanced out smoothly with the addition of layers of apricot jam. Either way, order an espresso to round things all off.
Or, come for a proper feast in the evening; the restaurant boasts a fine selection of Austrian wines and beers and plenty of hearty, meat-heavy dishes to go alongside.
If you’ve been living under an especially large fire opal these last couple of years and missed the memo, Seymour Street’s KOL is a slick, upmarket Mexican restaurant that offers a truly exceptional fine dining experience.
Santiago Lasta heads up the kitchen, a chef with serious pedigree in the Venn diagram where fine dining and Mexican food meet; he was the brains behind Noma’s revered spell in Tulum, for starters. Here, he embraces British ingredients in favour of their Mexican counterparts, deploying native, wild-growing seabuckthorn instead of lime, and foraged local herbs in place of coriander among other flourishes.
It’s an approach that pays off in spades; the restaurant has already won a Michelin star and features on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants long list. Be warned, getting a booking at this popular spot can be quite challenging, but signing up for their newsletter will give you first grabs at new reservation releases. Don’t miss out on their signature mezcal margarita while you’re there.
Address: 9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA
Cavita is a beautifully designed Mexican restaurant whose ‘see and be seen’ backdrop fortunately never detracts from the excellent food on offer here. Be sure to try the divine pig’s head tamal and split the whole grilled octopus if you’re dining with a group, both full of textural intrigue and bursts of piquancy, the celebrated chef Adriana Cavita having a commendable lightness of touch and a wicked way with protein. It’s the perfect combination.
You can read more about Cavita and the aforementioned KOL in our round-up of the best places to eat magnificent Mexican food in London.
Carousel, Charlotte Street
If you’ve already eaten the length and breadth of Marylebone and are feeling somewhat uninspired, then perhaps the ever rotating cast of chefs and cuisines at Carousel will have you returning to dine in this part of London again?
A unique dining concept in the heart of Marylebone, Carousel is part restaurant, part creative hub. Each week, from Tuesday to Saturday, a new guest chef takes over the kitchen, with the restaurant introducing some of the brightest young talents from across the world to the hungry punters of Charlotte Street.
Coming up this month, the restaurant cum wine bar is playing host to Venezuelan born chef Patxi Andres, whose time working at arguably Chile’s best restaurant Boragó as well as London’s very own Black Axe Mangal has blessed his cooking with a rebellious, no holds barred sensibility. Later in the month, Mexico City’s Hugo Durán brings his celebration of indigenous southeastern Mexican cuisine to the counters.
In addition to the main dining area, Carousel also hosts art exhibitions, workshops, and live performances, making it a true cultural destination.
Address: 19-23 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RW
Lurra, Seymour Place
There’s a lot to like about Lurra. To start, it’s a bright, calming space, refined in design with one glass wall overlooking a gorgeous courtyard dining area. Shortlisted for the Best Restaurant Interior Design Award in 2015, it’s undeniably a gorgeous space to spend time in.
It’s the food, though, that is the main draw. The menu here draws on the Basque region of Spain, meaning that you can expect some seriously robust flavours on your plate. Famed for their whole roasted turbot long before Brat were doing their thing out east, as well as the signature steaks, check out our full write-up of Lurra here.
Address: 9 Seymour Pl, London W1H 5BA
Jikoni, simply meaning ‘kitchen’ in Swahili, is a cosy and colourful restaurant that celebrates the diverse culinary heritage of its owner, chef Ravinder Bhogal. The menu is inspired by her Indian, Kenyan, and British roots, resulting in a delightful fusion of flavours, and a mentality of ‘’cooking without borders’’.
Standout dishes include the iconic prawn toast scotch egg – as good as it sounds and then some – and a pressed, crisped shoulder of lamb with a house ras el hanout, served with flatbread. Oh, and the banana cake with miso butterscotch and Ovaltine kulfi is the one.
Jikoni’s Weekend Brunch, running from 11am to 3pm is a hoot; booking in advance for this one is very much recommended.
Address: 19-21 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DH
Locanda Locatelli, Seymour Street
A Michelin star holder for twenty years now, and helmed – in name at least – by the charming, twinkly-eyed celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli, the eponymous Locanda Locatelli focuses on traditional Italian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Housed in the 5-star Churchill Hotel on Seymour Street (opposite KOL, incidentally), executive chef Rino Bono and his head chef Sergio Fontana are now charged with executing Locatelli’s signature dishes, including the generous oxtail ravioli with wild mushrooms, and chargrilled mackerel with agrodolce onions and capers that calls to mind the sweet, sour interplay of the best Sicilian cooking.
Settle into the generously proportioned banquette seating, enjoy the equally generously portioned food, and get stuck into a bottle or two from the restaurant’s all-Italian wine list, and you’ve got yourself one of London’s best leisurely lunches. One that, it should be noted, isn’t cheap; mains don’t fall shy of £35 and pasta dishes remain resolutely in the mid-twenties. Still, if you’ve got the means, there are certainly worse Central London restaurants to splash the cash!
Address: 8 Seymour Street, London W1H 7JZ
The Grazing Goat, New Quebec Street
Marylebone may not be especially known for its pubs, but The Grazing Goat is an exception. You know you’re in good hands when you see Coombeshead Farm bread and butter opening the festival, and those hands also make a mean Scotch egg, its anchovy mayonnaise so salty it’s almost spicy, but in the best possible way. It’s giving devilled eggs, but with a difference.
Don’t stray from the snack section, where most of the best cooking is found; a plate of crispy lamb and black cabbage salsa – lightly fermented, sauerkraut-style – is the perfect accompaniment to another round of pints.
If you’ve come hungry, the pub does a mean pie, too. Currently, it’s an excellent chicken and bacon affair, the familiar gravy here substituted for a pungent Montgomery cheddar sauce. At £23, it’s a pretty premium pie, but it can comfortably feed two. The Sunday roast is also worth writing home about, but we’re writing online rather than to our folks, so for now we’ll leave it here…
With an outdoor terrace for sunny days, The Grazing Goat is perfect for post-work or pre-dinner drinks and bites. Mine’s a Doombar, please.
Address: 6 New Quebec St, London W1H 7RQ
The Wigmore, Langham Place
You wait for a great London gastropub in Marylebone, and then two come at once…
Ideal for taking a load off after a long morning’s shopping, The Wigmore is a luxurious restaurant/pub/definition-escaper that’s great for both perfectly poured pints and plates of poise and precision.
Tucked away in a grand, time-honoured banking hall, The Wigmore is a crowning part of the magnificent Langham hotel – a place where sophistication and classiness can be felt in its classic, leather-accented and wooden-furnished dining hall. But it hasn’t forgotten its pub origins; there’s an outdoor area to hang out in, and a fun-filled pub quiz every Monday evening!
Billing itself as a modern British Tavern that’s full of surprises, the menu features reimagined pub fare curated by Michel Roux Jr., holder of 2 Michelins stars at Mayfair’s Le Gavroche.
Diners can expect British boozer classics with a little French flair thrown in for good measure, exemplified by the buttered then fried Wigmore Sourdough Toastie, which features three cheeses – Montgomery cheddar, Ogleshield and Raclette – and a lingering pungency from mustard and sliced onion. Arriving blistered and burnished in all the right places, it is, according to Observer food writer Jay Rayner, ‘’the best cheese toastie in town’’.
Aside from that toastie, there’s a superb cheeseburger, given the French gastronome treatment with a completely unnecessary but totally irresistible slice of pressed, grilled ox tongue.
Marsala Scotch eggs and cock crab crumpets are must orders, too, however embarrassed you might feel ordering the latter out-loud. Pair with a pint of the Wigmore’s signature house Saison, and you’re in for a real treat. No wonder the Wigmore and bar manager Andre Ferreira took home the prestigious Cateys Award for Best Pub and Bar last year.
Address: 15 Langham Pl, London W1B 3DE
The latest restaurant from the innovative, hugely popular restaurant group, BAO Mary is the team’s take on Taiwan’s ubiquitous dumpling houses. Due to open later this month, we can’t wait to check it out.