Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Knightsbridge
Hardens guides have spent 31 years compiling reviews of the best Knightsbridge restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 21 restaurants in Knightsbridge and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Knightsbridge restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Knightsbridge Restaurants
. Ognisko Restaurant
Polish restaurant in South Kensington
55 Prince's Gate, Exhibition Road - SW7
“Stylish, high-ceilinged and opulent” – the marvellous period dining room of the Polish Hearth Club (an émigré haunt in South Kensington) serves “well-cooked Polish specialities” alongside a selection of “extraordinary vodka”, all overseen by Jan Woroniecki. It’s just “a stone’s throw from the Royal Albert Hall” and the museums, “so perfect for a relaxing meal in sumptuous surroundings” during cultural outings, all at a very surprisingly reasonable price. The “peaceful terrace” is particularly recommended in this bit of town – and is now covered and heated in chilly weather.
. Big Fernand
Burgers, etc restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
39 Thurloe Place - SW7
The famous Parisian ‘hamburgé’ brand with over 55 branches in France and the Middle East quietly opened a London site at the start of 2020: a return to the capital after a failed attempt at colonisation which ended in 2014. A civilised venue in Francophile South Kensington (north of the tube), it serves nine types of burger along with excellent frites and looks set to carve a niche in the capital’s crowded marketplace for burger joints.
. Good Earth
Chinese restaurant in Chelsea
233 Brompton Rd - SW3
Fans of this “very popular, consistently above-average” family group – with venues in Knightsbridge, Mill Hill, Wandsworth Common and Esher – say it’s “on another level to most Chinese restaurants”, with “the best cuts of meat and fresh-as-you-like fish and vegetables”. Even fans, though, perennially complain about the prices: “still the best Chinese around, still the most expensive”. These days, a more affordable option might be the delivery/takeaway-only sites in Swiss Cottage, Battersea, Richmond and Wimbledon.
. Tapas Brindisa
Spanish restaurant in South Kensington
7-9 Exhibition Rd - SW7
Providing “tasty tapas on the well-trodden path between South Ken tube and the museums” means the well-known Spanish food importers can hardly go wrong with this “cheap and cheerful” fixture. There’s plenty of pavement seating to go with the “friendly staff and a really nice tapas menu with all the faves” – plus “great Spanish wines”.
Polish restaurant in South Kensington
20 Thurloe St - SW7
“The antidote to noisy, sterile London eating”, this “wonderfully different” old-world Polish institution near South Ken tube “feels like it has been here forever, because it has”. Since 1947, to be precise, but it’s certainly a “lovely time-warp – you can imagine it’s still 1962”, in the Cold War era when Christine Keeler and Roman Polanski had assignations here. More recent regulars have included the late restaurant critic AA Gill, and they’re all drawn back by the “never-changing menu” of robust Polski classics.
. Da Mario
Italian restaurant in South Kensington
15 Gloucester Rd - SW7
This “bustling and busy Italian very close to the Albert Hall” is a “fantastic little place”, where “children are always very welcome and well looked after” and the “food is good, especially the pasta dishes”. “It makes the most of its connection with Princess Diana”, who would bring Princes Wills and Harry here to lunch on pizza.
. Hawksmoor Knightsbridge
Steaks & grills restaurant in Knightsbridge
3 Yeoman’s Row - SW3
“Perfectly aged, hung and cooked – this place is steak-heaven”. Huw Gott and Will Beckett absolutely nailed it with this zeitgeisty 15-year-old chain of steakhouses, which they still part-own (and which – in July 2021 – announced the possibility, later cancelled, of floating on the London Stock Exchange to fuel future growth). For a generation of London restaurant-goers, “Hawksmoor hits it every single time” and the increasing introduction of fish from a dedicated buyer at Brixham market is a popular (and wise) innovation. Is it finally becoming a victim of its own success though? Ratings slipped notably this year due to an assortment of non-pandemic-related gripes (“beginning to feel formulaic…”; “just not tasty enough for such high prices…”; “still knocks out a succulent ribeye, but not what it was…”). Still, in late 2021 they’re gearing up for the biggest and most ambitious space yet, and their first branch amidst the scrapers of Canary Wharf. Spread over three levels, it will be housed in an eco-friendly floating pavilion made from sustainably sourced timber decking, aluminium extracted from hydro sources, and with a green roof planted with wildflowers and grasses! [Instead of the wildflowers and grasses and aluminium extracted from hydro sources, should we all maybe just eat less meat!? Ed]
Thai restaurant in Knightsbridge
9 Beauchamp Pl - SW3
“Thai food with a modern twist that’s miles away from the standard Siamese” is the hallmark of this long-established group whose half-dozen venues are “just the kind of local reliable Thai that everyone needs”. Having launched in South Ken in 1990, more recent expansion has seen branches opening in the affluent suburbs of Hampstead and Wimbledon.
Middle Eastern restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
7-9 Bute St - SW7
“Innovative and delicious Lebanese/Middle-Eastern cooking” has firmly established Barry and Patricia Hilton’s nattily decorated modern bistro in the ‘Petit France’ enclave close to South Kensington’s museums. “It’s great to see them back in action – they’ve tweaked the menu and the food is even more delicious”. “Fabulous service, too”. The venture started out with a series of pop-ups, and a second bistro that started off in Soho transferred to Queensway in summer 2021.
. Launceston Place
British, Modern restaurant in Kensington
1a Launceston Place - W8
“Discreet and off the beaten track” – this supremely “cosy and classy neighbourhood restaurant” is “tucked away in an attractive street in Kensington and well worth a visit”. “Ben Murphy’s cuisine is fun and playful”, providing “absolutely sensational” dishes that are “packed with flavour”. In the last year he has rightly been elevated to being chef/patron here and – in terms of quality, if not perhaps fame – this is “definitely the jewel in the crown of the D&D empire”.
Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge
31 Beauchamp Pl - SW3
“Absolutely spot-on sushi” tops the bill at this “upmarket, though friendly” pair in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, where “the food is absolutely at a level you would expect in Japan”. “Perfectly fresh raw fish, light and crunchy tempura, great wine with attentive and flexible service” make the Mayfair original “a reliable choice just off the fray of Oxford Street”.
Lebanese restaurant in Knightsbridge
II) 38 Beauchamp Pl - SW3
“The garlic sauce is a symphony on your tongue when you have shish taouk or a mixed shawarma at 3am on the way home” from the café sections of this “long-standing favourite Lebanese chain” (you may need to ask for the wrap menu at the posh Beauchamp Place branch). When it comes to the main menu, “expect the usual staples” of Lebanese cuisine. Opened 40 years ago by Marouf and Houda Abouzaki, sites have come and gone over the years, especially over the pandemic. The original ‘Maroush I’ at 21 Edgware Road is closed as of September 2021, and its return seems very uncertain at this point, so we’ve marked it as closed, RIP. That leaves four in the stable currently open – the well-known Knightsbridge branch, a smaller Earl’s Court Café, and a very dramatic, vast new-build restaurant, wine bar and market that opened in the boonies of Park Royal in summer 2021 (a bold opening that deserves support), and the Maroush Express on Edgware Road. (Under the same ownership: the eccentric but excellent Crockers Folly in St John’s Wood – see also – plus the more grab-and-go Ranoush branches).
. Wright Brothers
Fish & seafood restaurant in South Kensington
56 Old Brompton Rd - SW7
“Amazing seafood” – “really fresh and full of taste” – is the headliner at this oyster supplier turned producer turned “bustling” seafood bar at Borough Market, from brothers-in-law Ben Wright and Robin Hancock (now also with offshoots at Battersea Power Station and South Ken). In March 2021, acclaimed chef Henry Harris joined as group chef, adding his knowledge of classic meat dishes and fine wines to the Wright Bros’ traditional oysters, crustaceans and seafood platters. Top Tip: “curried oysters sounds awful and sacrilegious but is stunning – a real tasting experience”.
. Hot May Pot Pot
Chinese restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
30 Beauchamp Place - SW3
Amidst the glossy boutiques of Beauchamp Place, this beautiful, luxuriously decorated Chinese opened at the end of 2019, and – aside from a favourable review by Fay Maschler – has never really had the chance to make waves. It specialises in hot pots, and the menu features much in the way of seafood and wagyu beef to accompany or incorporate. It’s listed (without a star) by Michelin, who typically list only extremely expensive, culinarily ‘safe’ Chinese restaurants: you can view that as either a positive or negative.
Japanese restaurant in South Kensington
Walton House, Walton St - SW3
“An always-exciting menu, incredible food combinations and superb ingredients” remain points in common for this “fantastically inventive” duo of modern Japanese restaurants in Marylebone and Chelsea (“we thought the original was exceptional until we tried this one too…”). Branded in common, the owners – who formerly worked together in W1 – increasingly operate independently, with Tomonari Chiba in Marylebone and Masaki Sugisaki steering SW3. Both premises retain an aesthetic that some find “too cool”. The Marylebone original is on two floors, of which the bar upstairs is sometimes preferred. Chelsea is in a quiet mews, and has a courtyard garden that comes into its own in summer.
Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge
5 Raphael St - SW7
“Even in these troubled times, it never fails to deliver” – Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney’s “fantastic fusion” scene, a short walk from Harrods, wins impressive support as ever, despite the absence for much of the year of the supercar-driving international crowd for which it’s known (and it “can still be an OTT scene at times”). It helps that the “beautifully presented”, Japanese-inspired cuisine is reliably “fantastic”.
. The Enterprise
British, Modern restaurant in Chelsea
35 Walton St - SW3
This “friendly local” is as smart as its Walton Street regulars in a very soigné corner of Chelsea, providing “solid” service and “good food” – at prices that probably exclude it from the definition of a pub (it’s akin to a club for regulars).
. Cicchetti Knightsbridge
Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge
6 Hans Road - SW3
A “vibrant atmosphere (especially good for a group)” helps underpin the appeal of these “glitzy and lively” spin-offs from the San Carlo national chain of glam Italians, whose most central branch – just off Piccadilly Circus – is decked out with “marble tables and stylish chandeliers”. “Very tasty small plates” that are inspired by Venetian “cicchetti” are “served speedily”. In late 2021, they are due to open a second Knightsbridge branch, just across the road from Harrods.
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