British, Traditional Restaurants in City
1. Boisdale of Bishopsgate Scottish restaurant in City Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate - EC2
“A complete contrast from the exterior bustle of Bishopsgate” – this Caledonian-themed wine bar (ground floor) and restaurant (basement) provides the same gutsy (some feel “heavy”), meaty Scottish fare of the Belgravian original, and is consistently decently rated food-wise.
2. Sweetings Fish & seafood restaurant in City 39 Queen Victoria St - EC4
“It feels as if one has been decanted into the 1920s but I never fail to enjoy my visits!” – “This unique City institution has a charm and authenticity that can’t be imitated” – a “joyous throwback” (founded, on a different site, in 1830) which offers “simple, well-executed British seafood classics” (followed by steamed puddings) at lunchtimes only, to a largely besuited crowd. The “eclectic seating arrangements” can “be a surprise to newbies” – you either perch at “makeshift bar-tops”, or cram into the rear dining room where “service is hindered by the lack of room, but everyone mucks in and plates get passed around”. “The waiters are nearly as old as the building, but that just adds to its appeal…”. “Black Velvet is served in pewter tankards, and a ‘bill of fare’ serves instead of a menu”. The experience comes at “ridiculous prices”, but most reckon they’re worth paying… “and the place does now take cards”.
3. Simpson’s Tavern British, Traditional restaurant in City 38 1/2 Ball Ct, Cornhill - EC3
“Like stepping back in time” – this “prehistoric eatery in the City” (est 1757) has “an incredible atmosphere” and is “old-fashioned in a way we can rejoice in”. The Dickensian menu of “traditional English” chops and roasts, steak ’n’ kidney pies and ‘stewed cheese’ on solid ratings in the last survey – and is “not for those with a small appetite”. Top Tip – “this ancient spot dishes up a top Full English”.
4. Paternoster Chop House British, Traditional restaurant in City 1 Warwick Court - EC4
This business-friendly venue overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral is part of the D&D London operation and offers “pretty good steaks” cooked over charcoal, although the “ridiculous prices” have sometimes detered all but expense account diners (and maybe also TV fans, as the show First Dates has been filmed here for the past six years). In November 2020, its moving sticks to a new site a short walk away due to the refurbishment of its current site.
7. The Four Sisters Townhouse British, Traditional restaurant in City 5 Groveland Court, Bow Lane - EC4
A Dickensian-inspired cocktail bar not far from St Paul's Cathedral, also serving a full menu of traditional bar food, sandwiches and more modern dishes, to help you soak up all those boozy concoctions.
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