With over 75 million passengers passing through London Victoria annually, and the station’s main thoroughfare essentially one massive pasty passage, it’s no wonder hungry travellers are constantly bemoaning the lack of dining options within the station complex. Do they really need five Upper Crusts and several Caffè Nero stalls?
An exaggeration perhaps, but to eat well here, it’s best to step out and into the Westminster wilderness for a proper feed. Here are our favourite restaurants, eateries and food halls close by; our round-up of the best places to eat near London Victoria.
Gopal’s Corner (0.1 miles)
Ideal for arguably the best Malaysian food south of the river…
Food courts seem to be proliferating in London faster than the city can handle them, with several blockbuster openings occuring in recent years. Though revered restaurant group JKS’ Arcade Food Hall on Tottenham Court Road has received the vast majority of media attention we’re just as enamoured with London’s Victoria’s Market Hall which has several stellar eateries all under one roof, Market Hall represents one of the best places to eat near London Victoria.
The fact it’s only a two minute stroll from the station certainly does no harm, but in reality, the selection of food options is the main draw; Baoziin’s superb dim sum, Pasta Evangelists’ cult ‘carbonara of dreams’, and Fanny’s flame-grilled kebabs have all found a home here.
But it’s at Gopal’s Corner where the finest food is found. The sibling to beloved London restaurant Roti King, here the proposition is similar; Tamil street food featuring freshly slapped roti canai, served in bundles to accompany nourishing curries unafraid of a little oil and salt.
But equally as satisfying are simple but umami-heavy noodle stir-fries, and banana leaf platters laden with curries, crisp papadam, and chutneys positively undulating with the funk of shrimp paste and assertiveness of chilli. Just superb.
Address: Market Halls, 191 Victoria St, London SW1E 5NE
Bleecker Burger Victoria (0.1 miles)
Ideal for the ultimate All-American burger experience…
Many of London’s culinary cognoscenti concur that Bleecker is the city’s best burger, and, though our opinion is more humble, we might just be with them.
An All-American burger which started life in London’s Spitalfields, Bleecker now has a second outpost just moments from London Victoria, as well as two more, in Bloomberg and Westfield; a testament to the brand’s growing presence in a city not exactly short on burger-based options.
It’s easy to see why Bleecker is going from strength to strength. The burger menu is a concise, no-frills affair, with just six options on the menu, five of which deploy 45 aged, grass fed beef from ‘the chef’s butcher’ Aubrey Allen, with the sixth – the ‘symplicity’ burger – a vegetarian offering using chef Neil Rankin’s much hyped fermented vegetable ‘meat’.
Basically, if you’re a carnivore, it’s cheeseburgers, single or double, with or without bacon. The paradox of choice is unlikely to fell you here.
The results are spectacular, tasting both ‘dirty’ (not a term we usually like to deploy) and possessing depth through those superior pattys. All in all, it’s a knockout, and the best burger you’ll find in this part of London, at the very least.
Address: 205 Victoria St, London SW1E 5NE
Casa do Frango Victoria (0.3 miles)
Ideal for a taste of Portugal and possibly the best peri-peri chicken in London…
Though London Victoria’s Nova development is, by most folk’s estimations, the devil’s work, it does house a couple of enjoyable options for dinner. The best has got to be the Victoria iteration of popular peri-peri chicken join Casa do Frango.
The restaurant’s name, which translates to ‘chicken house’, prosaically encapsulates its culinary focus. Casa do Frango Victoria brings the spirit of Southern Portugal to London, serving traditional Algarvian cuisine with a special emphasis on their signature dish – Frango Piri-Piri.
This dish, chicken grilled over wood-charcoal and brushed with an age-old Piri-Piri blend, has a satisfyingly smoky finish and blistered skin, which is what you’re here for, surely?
A word for the supporting cast and sides, which are a fine match to the headlining chuck – the rice with crispy chicken skin, chorizo, and plantain, is especially good.
Address: 2 Sir Simon Milton Sq, London SW1E 5DJ
A. Wong (0.3 miles)
Ideal for innovative and thoughtful contemporary Chinese food..
Now with two shiny Michelin stars above the door, A.Wong has come a long way since its opening in 2013. This ‘upmarket Chinese eatery’ (their words) is actually refreshingly welcoming, inclusive and reasonably priced, considering the level of cooking going on here.
Dim sum takes centre stage at lunch with a dedicated menu of intricate and playful dumplings, all delivered with downright deliciousness at their heart. At dinner, the lights dim some, the mood gets a little more sultry and the dishes more complex, now available in three separate tasting menus. If you’re going all out, the ‘Taste of China’ is a glorious journey.
Lorne (0.3 miles)
Ideal for creative British plates and beautifully sourced ingredients in an intimate setting…
If you’re looking for a three course affair – the menu, in a revolutionary move, is laid out in sections of starters, mains, and desserts – of unpretentious yet utterly flawless French-ish grub, then Lorne will see you right.
It’s a reassuring space to spend time in; with a neighbourhood restaurant atmosphere, service on point – warm, gracious and knowledgeable – and the food generous and soulful. It’s not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for.
A piece of fallow deer was beautifully cooked, with edge to edge pinkness and a good crust coming in at just the right level of bitter, paired with pomme puree and boudin noir. Yep, this is unapologetically traditional in its pairings, but sometimes, that’s exactly what you need, right?
Olivomare (0.3 miles)
Ideal for sumptuous Sardinian offerings from the sea…
The proposition at Olivomare, an elegant establishment sitting somewhere between London Victoria and Belgravia, is a simple one; Sardinian seafood dishes, cooked with care and precision. The restaurant more than lives up to that enticing billing, with a menu that is deceptively simple in its descriptions but premium in its delivery.
With an adjoining deli championing artisan producers from Sardinia, premium ingredients take centre stage here, with fish spanking, squeaky fresh, and both local and imported vegetables shown equal reverence.
The trofie with clams and grated bottarga is a must order, given piquancy via liberal additions of chilli, both fresh and dried, and some serious salinity with the addition of reduced clam stock and that fantastic cured grey mullet roe, playing the role of parmesan adeptly.
With whole fish coming off the charcoal grill, whether marinated or salt-crusted, and making up the bulk of the main courses, there’s plenty to luxuriate in here, making Olivomare the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch in Victoria.
Address: 10 Lower Belgrave St, London SW1W 0LJ
The Pem (0.6 miles)
Ideal for lively fine dining and modern British fare…
Okay, we accept that you might have to hotfoot it 10 minutes north east into Westminster to get to The Pem, but with the eating options around London Victoria not exactly resplendent, you may well be glad that you did.
This luxurious and lively fine dining restaurant, located within the elegant Conrad London St. James Hotel, is the work of renowned, loveable chef Sally Abé, who previously held a Michelin star at the London gastropub, The Harwood Arms.
The Pem’s name pays homage to suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, affectionately known as Pem by her family. The restaurant’s ethos reflects this spirit of celebrating women, with Abé leading a predominantly female team. The interior exudes an art deco charm, adorned in striking pinks and deep reds, with plush seats and banquettes offering a comfortable dining experience. It’s the perfect place to settle into.
The Pem has been recognised in the National Restaurant Awards, placing 97th, and coming 81st in Square Meal’s Top 100 list for 2023, a testament to its – and Abés – culinary credentials. The menu, dictated by the seasons, showcases high-quality, sustainable British produce. Abé’s signature dishes, such as her take on a classic Black Forest gateau served with English cherry ripple ice cream, truly hit the spot.
Even better, perhaps, is the chef’s sterling meat cookery, a skill honed when working at the Harwood Arms, no doubt. See the glorious Cumbrian sirloin of beef with turnips and mustard, perfect wall-to-wall, blushing pink cuisson. Now game season is in full, swaggering swing, we can’t wait to visit again!
Please note that The Pem is currently ‘in summer recess’, with bookings resuming on October 12th.
Address: 22-28 Broadway, London SW1H 0BH
Cyprus Mangal (0.4 miles)
Ideal for truly exceptional Turkish Cypriot fare…
Sure, the vast, vast majority of both Turkish and Cypriot restaurants are found in London’s north, but down in depths of Pimlico, an outlier exists doing some truly exceptional Turkish Cypriot fare. That outlier is Cyprus Mangal, just a short stroll from London Victoria, and a damn fine place to spend an evening of eating.
It’s also an eminently reasonable restaurant to feast big; a generous portion of lamb beyti (minced lamb, charcoal grilled), a freshly baked basket of Turkish bread and chopped-to-order tabbouleh won’t set you back much more than £20, which in this part of town, is, quite simply, excellent value.
Open daily from midday ’till midnight, it’s also an inclusive late night spot in an area of London that often feels pretty inhospitable. Bravo, indeed.
Address: 45 Warwick Way, Lillington and Longmoore Gardens, London SW1V 1QS
La Poule Au Pot (0.6 miles)
Ideal for French food made with love…
Is it Belgravia? Is it Victoria? Let’s not get bogged down in the minutiae of geographic semantics here, La Poule Au Pot has been a Westminster institution for almost 60 years, and continues to deliver largely Lyonnaise ‘bouchon’ classics to this day.
Indeed, La Poule Au Pot wouldn’t look out of place on Paris’ Rue des Martyrs or in the middle of Lyon’s Presqu’Île. This charming, old school restaurant is all about Burgundy bistro fare; expect snails with garlic butter, frogs legs, grilled calves liver, terrine of foie gras with Sauternes jelly, rabbit with mustard sauce…you get the picture, and it’s a very pretty one to paint.
With nooks and crannies, trinkets and even, whisper it, tablecloths, this is a spot best enjoyed as the nights draw in and the evening temperature drops (that’s right about now, then), Because when the candles are flickering, the carafes of drinkable are red breathing on the table, and the food is at its most hearty and comforting, there’s fewer better places to spend an evening in London.
Address: 231 Ebury St, London SW1W 8UT
Speaking of Belgravia, if you’re moving on there to continue your food tour of London, then check out our guide on where to eat in Belgravia. You may even recognise our previous entry in there!