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Rochelle Canteen

London

The Best Bistro Restaurants in London

These top bistros in London are recommended by World of Mouth experts.

Updated on Jan 28, 2024 | World of Mouth team

London has many outstanding restaurants, but the casual bistros are known for their cozy atmosphere and delicious food, from traditional French to Modern British. In this article, we highlight the best bistros in London so that you can find your new favorite casual restaurant. All places selected are based on recommendations from World of Mouth experts like chefs Isaac McHale and Merlin Labron-Johnson, and food writer David J Constable.

Try Mountain Beak Street, an open fire restaurant and one of the most popular newcomers during 2023. Or how about the modern classic St. John or reopened Bouchon Racine serving authentic French dishes? Regardless of what you fancy, this is the go-to resource for London's best bistros. Bon Appetit!

Mountain Beak Street

16-18 Beak St

16-18 Beak St, London W1F 9RD, UK

Mountain Beak Street is a laid-back yet stylish restaurant known for its unique concept of sharing plates. The food, mostly cooked over fire, is noted for its exceptional taste and quality. The restaurant offers a vibrant atmosphere, complemented by an impressive wine list and a knowledgeable sommelier.

Recommended by

Charmingly casual and effortlessly cool offshoot from the chef behind Brat. Great concept of sharing plates. Delicious food, cooked really well, mostly over fire. Expect the same buzzy atmosphere as Brat: same brilliant cooking, complemented by great wine list and sommelier.

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Mountain Beak Street

Mountain Beak Street

16-18 Beak St

16-18 Beak St, London W1F 9RD, UK

Brawn

49 Columbia Rd

49 Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG, UK

Brawn is a bistro-style restaurant known for its simple, yet perfectly executed dishes and an exceptional selection of natural wines. The place is recognized as a benchmark for what a bistro should be, and is a popular meeting spot for cooks and wine industry professionals. Visitors can expect an unpretentious atmosphere with a focus on quality ingredients and a commitment to straightforward cooking.

Recommended by

This is a restaurant that embodies commitment to simple cooking, and one of the benchmarks of what a “bistro” should be. Top notch wine as well, and the meeting house for so many cooks and wine industry.

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Brawn

Brawn

49 Columbia Rd

49 Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG, UK

Bouchon Racine

Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St

Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BP, UK

Bouchon Racine is a casual French bistro run by industry professionals Dave Strauss and Henry Harris. The restaurant is known for its classic, uncomplicated French cuisine, featuring favorites such as calves brains, terrines, herring and potato salad, and a notably wobbly Crème caramel. The restaurant, which is housed upstairs in a 300-year old pub, offers a French-led wine list and fine apéritifs and digestifs in an informal setting.

Recommended by

Casual French bistro fare delivered by true industry professionals Dave Strauss and Henry Harris. Expect classic, yet unfussy, French fare with some real crowd pleasing favourites like calves brains, terrines, herring and potatoe salad and great meat and fish….oh yeah, and a suitably wobbly Crème caramel. One that keeps dragging me back!
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Bouchon Racine

Bouchon Racine

Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St

Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BP, UK

Casse-Croûte

109 Bermondsey St

109 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB, UK

Casse-Croûte is a charming French bistro located on Bermondsey Street, reminiscent of the quintessential eateries found in France. The bistro offers a warm, relaxed atmosphere with red leather banquets, chequered tablecloths, and black & white tiled flooring. The menu, which changes daily, features a selection of classic French dishes crafted from fresh, seasonal ingredients and is known for its rustic and hearty meals such as snails, rabbit, and frog legs.

Recommended by

Picture the most classically classic tiny French bistro you can muster, pluck it from your mind's eye and plonk it down smack-bang in the middle of Bermondsey Street. That's Casse Croûte.Oozing with plenty of French character, this lovely little local eatery is all red leather banquets, paper-topped chequered tablecloths and black & white tiled flooring. Friendly, engaging and relaxed, the team seemingly knows what makes for an enjoyable dining experience and I for one find it impossible to have anything but a wonderful time.Diners are given the option of starter, main and dessert with a choice of three dishes per course. Chalked up on the blackboard in an old school way but snapped on a smartphone and uploaded to the world wide web in a very new school way, the menu features a changing selection of classics crafted around what is available on any given day. Snails? Excellent. Rabbit? Similarly so. Frog legs? Same story. Rustic, hearty and heartfelt in equal measure, the hits far outweigh the misses so choose what tickles your fancy and go for it. Side note: if the boeuf en croute with seasonal vegetables is on the menu, you should probably get it.A cosy atmosphere coupled with reasonably priced, well-executed, delicious food that feels as though it has been created with the sole purpose of making you smile, this is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant that makes you wish you lived in the neighbourhood. The kind of neighbourhood restaurant you would travel across town for. Indeed, we did. Often.

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Casse-Croûte

Casse-Croûte

109 Bermondsey St

109 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB, UK

Dorian Restaurant

105, 107 Talbot Rd

105, 107 Talbot Rd, London W11 2AT, UK

Dorian Restaurant in Notting Hill offers elevated British bistro cuisine, prepared by an all-star team led by head chef Max Coen. The menu is seasonal and committed to using British produce, with items like Sirloin, Winter Tomatoes, Liver Parfait Toast, Squid & Blood Orange, Pheasant & Chestnut, and Cabbage & Hazelnut making an appearance. The restaurant also boasts a fine wine list and is known for its Salted Caramel Custard Tart, a testament to its commitment to quality and taste.

Recommended by

Terrific seasonal menu with a steadfast commitment to British produceI dined and I dined hard at Dorian. Terrific seasonal menu with a steadfast commitment to British produce, the head chef here is Max Coen, ex Ikoyi, so you know you’re in safe hands. He also had stints at Kitchen Table and Frantzén in Stockholm. Menu items on my visit included Sirloin, Winter Tomatoes, Liver Parfait Toast, Squid & Blood Orange, Pheasant & Chestnut, Cabbage & Hazelnut and a Salted Caramel Custard Tart. This, of course, might not be what you have, such is the shifting menu and rotation of ingredients. A very fine wine list, too.

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Dorian Restaurant

Dorian Restaurant

105, 107 Talbot Rd

105, 107 Talbot Rd, London W11 2AT, UK

Noble Rot Lamb's Conduit

51 Lamb's Conduit St

51 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, UK

Noble Rot Lamb's Conduit is a welcoming spot that offers a vast list of wines paired with a seasonal British menu. The restaurant is known for its extensive wine list and cozy atmosphere, where guests can enjoy simple yet well-prepared dishes. Key highlights include the Slipsole with smoked butter, Whitstable oysters, and a notable bread selection.

Recommended by

Finally found my way to this place! Dan Keeling & Mark Andrew first created a no nonsense magazine that is going strong for 10 years already. In 2015 they opened Noble Rot Lamb’s Conduit. For me as a sommelier the perfect place. I could spend here hours. A cosy place, an extensive wine list, a broad amount of gems by the glass that change frequently, big smiles on the staff and fun conversations allround in the bar. Can’t wait to go back!

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Noble Rot Lamb's Conduit

Noble Rot Lamb's Conduit

51 Lamb's Conduit St

51 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, UK

Noble Rot Soho

2 Greek St

2 Greek St, London W1D 4NB, UK

Noble Rot Soho is a well-regarded restaurant known for its quality food and excellent wine selection. The menu offers a variety of dishes, including smoked eel with horseradish, pig's head & ham hock terrine, and a family-sized roasted chicken with morels and vin jaune sauce. With a vast wine list, expert sommeliers are available to guide you through your selection, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Recommended by

Amazing wine list / great cookingIncredible selection of wines by the glass / coravin plus really rather perfect cooking by chef Alex Jackson. They do a well priced menu du jour and I highly recommend trying the chicken with vin jaune and morels. Puddings too. All of them!

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Noble Rot Soho

Noble Rot Soho

2 Greek St

2 Greek St, London W1D 4NB, UK

St. JOHN Restaurant

26 St John St, Barbican

26 St John St, Barbican, London EC1M 4AY, UK

St. JOHN Restaurant, a Michelin-starred establishment, is known for its iconic nose-to-tail dining approach and simple yet perfect dishes. The menu, crafted by legendary chef Fergus Henderson, focuses on using every part of the animal and offering clear-cut, direct flavors that reflect traditional British cuisine. With a philosophy of simplicity and rigor, St. JOHN also offers an all-French wine list, sourced from its own winery in La Livinière, France.

Recommended by

Temple of gastronomy and place of pilgrimage, try the caracu.

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St. JOHN Restaurant

St. JOHN Restaurant

26 St John St, Barbican

26 St John St, Barbican, London EC1M 4AY, UK

St John Bread and Wine

94-96 Commercial St

94-96 Commercial St, London E1 6LZ, UK

St John Bread and Wine is a renowned establishment, known for its simple yet extremely tasty dishes, as well as its warm and welcoming atmosphere. It's a part of the St John family, and like its sibling in Farringdon, it champions nose to tail cooking. Visitors can enjoy a variety of meals throughout the day, from a slow Sunday lunch to a hearty dinner, all prepared by Head Chef Farokh Talati.

Recommended by

Fantastic simple food and lovely atmosphereSt. John or St. John Bread and Wine is a must-visit when in London.I had a long slow Sunday lunch here and everything was just perfect. The service was so professional, welcoming and friendly. The food was so simple plated and extremely tasty. Loved the grilled mackerel with chicory and green sauce. Could have sat there for many hours and just watch and follow them work and enjoy the atmosphere of the restaurant.

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St John Bread and Wine

St John Bread and Wine

94-96 Commercial St

94-96 Commercial St, London E1 6LZ, UK

Rochelle Canteen

16 Playground Gardens

16 Playground Gardens, London E2 7FA, UK

"Rochelle Canteen" is a modern British restaurant run by Margot Henderson, featuring a charming garden seating area. The menu is a blend of classic and modern European influences, with a focus on quality ingredients and simple, delicious dishes. Known for its warm and welcoming service, Rochelle Canteen is also admired for its brilliant dessert menu and is considered an ideal spot for a relaxed, long lunch.

Recommended by

Peak modern BritishIn a quiet and secluded converted school yard, Margot Henderson, the other half of St. John's Fergus, serves up hit after comforting hit (don't, whatever you do, skip dessert) - British classics, European influences - utilising fantastic ingredients and demonstrating an unbridled love for feeding people the good stuff. Book yourself a long lunch, cancel all plans and settle in.

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Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen

16 Playground Gardens

16 Playground Gardens, London E2 7FA, UK

40 Maltby Street

40 Maltby St

40 Maltby St, London SE1 3PG, UK

40 Maltby Street is a casual spot known for its Franco-British cuisine crafted by chef Steve Williams. The restaurant is lauded for its ever-changing menu and exceptional wine list, with the ham and mustard on a Saturday lunch being a popular choice. The venue, nestled in the warehouse of Gergovie Wines, celebrates local produce and its European influences, offering dinner service from Wednesday to Saturday and takeaway lunches.

Recommended by

Every single thing chef Steve Williams does is a little extra and very very good. Amazingly good Franco-British food by chef Steve Williams, who was saucier chef at The Ledbury when I worked there at pastry. Steve’s a f***ing good cook. Every single thing he does is a little extra and very very good. My wife says she had the best salad she’s ever eaten – the cucumber and lettuce salad – at 40 Maltby Street.

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40 Maltby Street

40 Maltby Street

40 Maltby St

40 Maltby St, London SE1 3PG, UK

Primeur

Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Rd

Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Rd, London N5 2RT, UK

Primeur is a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant known for its daily changing menu and welcoming staff. The restaurant offers simple yet delicious food, complemented by a well-curated, Natural wine-focused list. Please note, due to the small open kitchen and daily changing menu, the restaurant cannot guarantee the absence of allergens through cross-contamination.

Recommended by

Relaxed neighbourhood restaurant with daily changing menu. Simple, delicious food and super friendly staff. Short but well-judged Natural wine-focused list.

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Primeur

Primeur

Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Rd

Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Rd, London N5 2RT, UK

St. JOHN Marylebone

98 Marylebone Ln

98 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2JE, UK

St. JOHN Marylebone is the newest addition to the St John family, maintaining the minimalistic charm of its predecessors while offering a unique experience. The restaurant offers simple, high-quality dishes that highlight the main ingredient, such as oysters, potted pork, cod, and liver, accompanied by a diverse selection of wines. With its convenient operating hours, from morning to 10 PM daily, it provides a welcoming atmosphere for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making it a valuable addition to the St John brand.

Recommended by

The latest addition to the St John family.   Some connoisseurs were slightly skeptical when they heard that St John was planning to open a third establishment (after St John and St John Bread & Wine), this time in the rather upscale Marylebone area. Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about. The small venue captures the minimalistic and rough charm of the two original places without attempting to replicate them too closely. They serve no fuss dishes that allow the main ingredient to shine (from oysters to their signature potted pork, from cod to liver), offer a great selection of wines (also available for take-away), and have convenient opening hours - open daily from morning to 10 PM. It's a great addition to both the St John brand and the Marylebone area.
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St. JOHN Marylebone

St. JOHN Marylebone

98 Marylebone Ln

98 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2JE, UK

Café Deco

43 Store St

43 Store St, London WC1E 7DB, UK

Café Deco is a cozy restaurant in Bloomsbury, known for its simple yet classic dishes crafted by Anna Tobias. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, it offers a range of dishes made with quality ingredients that are in season. From perfectly cooked asparagus to hake with clams and buttersauce, Café Deco ensures a delightful culinary experience with its delicious dishes and excellent service.

Recommended by

Casual restaurant and quality ingredientsCafé Deco is a small, atmospheric restaurant in Bloomsbury, open from lunch to dinner. Anna Tobias simple and classic food, focusing on the best possible ingredients in season. For lunch, we started with perfectly cooked asparagus with bagna cauda and for main course had hake, clams and buttersauce. Nice service and delicious simple dishes.

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Café Deco

Café Deco

43 Store St

43 Store St, London WC1E 7DB, UK

The Baring

55 Baring St

55 Baring St, London N1 3DS, UK

The Baring is a modern and welcoming neighborhood pub known for its delectable British cuisine. They emphasize sustainability and simplicity in their cooking, providing dishes like crispy pigs cheek and smoked eel, flavorful quail shish on a skewer, and perfectly roasted meats. The Baring also offers group dining options and gift vouchers, making it a suitable venue for social gatherings and gift-giving.

Recommended by

Modern, charming Neighbourhood pub serving up delicious British fare with flair. Exactly what this area needs. A warm and inviting neighbourhood pub, headed up by a charming FoH and chef duo who know great food and superstar service without the fuss. Think satisfyingly rich crispy pigs cheek and smoked eel, flavourful quail shish on a skewer, simply but perfectly roasted meats and some of the best chips I’ve had in a long time. In the short time it’s been open, I have eaten there twice, and have already booked in for my third visit. Hoping to go back for the Sunday roast one day too as no doubt it won’t disappoint.

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The Baring

The Baring

55 Baring St

55 Baring St, London N1 3DS, UK

Marksman

254 Hackney Rd

254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SB, UK

The Marksman is an esteemed gastro pub in Hackney, known for its exceptional dining experience upstairs, including a notable Sunday roast. Visitors frequently commend the establishment for its delightful blend of traditional and contemporary Hackney vibes, coupled with a consistently high-quality food offering. The Marksman's service extends beyond just dining, showcasing a range of local beers, ales, ciders, and a carefully curated selection of wines and spirits, making it a well-rounded destination for food and drink enthusiasts.

Recommended by

I’m recommending the Marksman as it’s my favourite pub in London - old hackney meets new hackney. always a great vibe and great food

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Marksman

Marksman

254 Hackney Rd

254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SB, UK

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