Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Clerkenwell
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Clerkenwell restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 84 restaurants in Clerkenwell and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Clerkenwell restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Clerkenwell Restaurants
1. Palatino Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell 71 Central Street - EC1V
Chef Stevie Parle’s two-year-old pasta specialist is a real “crowd-pleaser”, with “consistently interesting, extremely tasty” Roman-inspired dishes emerging from its “impressively visible kitchen”. It’s part of a “warehouse-style” Clerkenwell work-space, but “when busy you forget the office atmosphere which can otherwise be a little cold”. Top Tip – “cacio e pepe is to die for”.
2. The Green British, Modern restaurant in Clerkenwell 29 Clerkenwell Grn - EC1
The Green is a modern British pub serving British and European dishes made with a love of seasonal quality ingredients.Situated just off Clerkenwell Green, on a south-west facing corner, our site boasts a ground floor pub and first floor dining room, both of which benef...
3. Sushi Tetsu Japanese restaurant in Clerkenwell 12 Jerusalem Pas - EC1
“Prefer it to The Araki…”, “the best sushi I’ve had outside of Tokyo…”, “superb…” – Toru Takahashi’s Clerkenwell venture is “beyond reproach”: “a true neighbourhood sushiya” that rivals London’s best-known names, at a fraction of the price, and delivers “astonishing flavours” and the “intimate” experience you’d expect of somewhere with just 7 seats, minded over by “delightful” staff. One perennial complaint though – “the whole dreary booking process”.
4. St John Smithfield British, Traditional restaurant in Clerkenwell 26 St John St - EC1
“The original nose-to-tail flag-bearer, and still a joy!” – Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson’s “stark” ex-smokehouse in Smithfield has won fame with “top quality, distinctive British cuisine” (“using unusual cuts”, most famously offal), and “although they might have started the trend, they still lead from the front with exciting, innovative and surprisingly delicious food”. It’s “honest, skilful cooking that puts the produce front and centre” on “an uncompromising and sometimes challenging menu”; and the “hearty-yet-nuanced” results are a case of “simple things done well”… “perfect”. With its brutally “simple and stylish”, “whitewash-walled” interior (“deafeningly loud” at times) and “relaxed but attentive service”, it remains “a must-go” (“what a place to take visitors to show off London’s restaurant scene”). Top Tip – “Eccles Cake with Lancashire Cheese is outstanding”.
5. The Quality Chop House British, Traditional restaurant in Clerkenwell 94 Farringdon Rd - EC1
“You either love or hate the iconic and original (and cramped and uncomfortable) Victorian booths, which are part of the charm of this Clerkenwell institution” (est 1869) , “which has not been a ‘Progressive Working Class’ establishment for a very long time, no matter what it says on the ancient, etched-glass windows!”. Relaunched in the early 1990s in the first stages of Britain’s latter-day food revival, it’s been run since 2012 by Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau and its ratings are going from strength to strength on the back of its “honest, modern-ish take on hearty traditional dishes” (“perfect for meat eaters – huge steaks”) and “unusual and interesting wines”. They run a deli and wine shop next door too, ‘Quality Wines’ which is currently a voguish haunt in its own right, with chef Nick Bramham producing a small menu of trendy small plates.
6. Berber & Q Shawarma Bar Middle Eastern restaurant in Clerkenwell Exmouth Market - EC1R
The tang of Tel Aviv-meets-North African tastes infuse the lipsmacking charcoal-grilled meats (and also the veg) at Josh Kat’s Haggerston railway arch, which is mostly a walk-in style place (though there are a few tables for bookings). But, in fact, it’s the more recent Exmouth Market spin-off that inspires more feedback nowadays: “Having Shawarma Bar in the title might make it sound like a kebab-shop but, it’s actually an unassumingly intimate restaurant, with great sharing plates and grill dishes that don’t break the bank”. And “it really punches above its weight in terms of the seriously delicious Israeli/Eastern Mediterranean dishes it turns out (the rotisserie chicken is amazing) complemented by an exciting, low-intervention wine list”.
7. The Drunken Butler French restaurant in Clerkenwell 20 Rosebery Avenue - EC1R
Chef Yuma Hashemi presides over an open kitchen – combining contemporary European small plates with influences from his boyhood in Iran – at this unusual Clerkenwell yearling. In the evenings, you choose from either a short (five-course) tasting menu or a long seven-course one. Sundays are given over to traditional Persian feasting, which fans suggest is the biggest draw here: “a meal to remember, with beautiful flavours and textures”: “tahdig (the caramelised crust at the bottom of a pot of rice) was a thing of utter beauty”.
8. Club Gascon French restaurant in Clerkenwell 57 West Smithfield - EC1
“The cuisine of southwest France is constantly re-invented to a superb level” at Pascal Aussignac and Vincent Labyrie’s influential establishment by Smithfield Market, which marked its 20th anniversary last year with a major overhaul. “The sumptuous atmosphere” has been retained, and Aussignac “continues to surprise and excite” with a “creative and imaginative menu that changes monthly”.
9. Café du Marché French restaurant in Clerkenwell 22 Charterhouse Sq - EC1
“Just the kind of spot you expect on the market square of a small French town” – this “delightful stalwart, hidden at the back of a cobbled mews off Charterhouse Square”, is an “unchanging old friend” to its big fanclub. “Convivial, candlelit and very romantic”, its menu is “not gourmet, but it delivers classic Gallic cuisine served with a lot of charm”; and regular jazz helps “adds to the great ambience” in the evening.
10. Bleeding Heart Restaurant French restaurant in Clerkenwell Bleeding Heart Yd, Greville St - EC1
“A bit of a one-off” – this sprawling, Dickensian, subterranean warren is “hidden away in a cobbled yard that itself is tucked away behind Hatton Garden”. “Though very handy for the City, it has a very romantic feel to it”, with “quiet out-of-the-way arches and alcoves”, but is as well-suited to conspiratorial business lunches as it is to “evening romance”. A “superb wine list” adds lustre to fairly traditional Gallic cuisine that’s a little “pricey” but “dependable”. Top Tip – “excellent-value set menu”.
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Top Clerkenwell Restaurants
These are the top restaurants in Clerkenwell based on reviews by Hardens users.
St John Smithfield
The Quality Chop House
The Drunken Butler
Café du Marché
Bleeding Heart Restaurant
Popular Cuisines in Clerkenwell