Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London St John's Wood
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best St John's Wood restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 9 restaurants in St John's Wood and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing St John's Wood restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured St John's Wood Restaurants
1. PLU French restaurant in St John's Wood 12 Blenheim Terrace - NW8
“It is a complete mystery how the Michelin guide has failed to recognise Elliot Moss’s wonderful food creations”, say followers of his tiny but “opulent” three-year-old in St John’s Wood, where the only option is an extended tasting menu. “The chef is a true artist who does everything himself: each phenomenal and fun dish looks too good to eat but the visuals are actually secondary to the insanely addictive deliciousness of the flavours” (“his foie gras dish leaves you desperate for ‘just one more mouthful’… and I don’t even like foie gras!”) Fooderati insiders, Koffmann & Vines, also waxed lyrical over their meal here this year, proclaiming it ‘a true gastronomic experience’. “May he go from strength to strength.”
2. Chucs Italian restaurant in St John's Wood 3 Circus Road - NW8
“A throwback to old-school dining” – this wittingly old-fashioned chain (created in the last 10 years) channels an imagined La Dolce Vita lifestyle into its “enjoyable if slightly stuffy” mix of chic Italian cafés and restaurants (if you are of a certain age, think 1980s Tatler). They look “pretty” and are “attractive in their own way”: “not bad if a bit overpriced”. That’s the kind view anyway: harsher critics say they “could do better” and “don’t deserve a revisit”. But they must be doing something right, as in July 2021 they opened in St John’s Wood.
3. At Feast British, Modern restaurant in St John's Wood 49 St John's Wood High Street - NW8
2022 Review: Wholesome family fare with an eco-friendly twist is the promise of this new all-day arrival on St John’s Wood High Street – open from breakfast onwards and incorporating a child-friendly cookery school. The menu leans heavily on its plant-based associations.
4. The Ivy Café British, Modern restaurant in St John's Wood 120 St John's Wood High St - NW8
“You know what you are getting” according to fans of this sub-brand, spin-off chain, whose ‘café’ branches are a cut below those trading as a ‘brasserie’. They laud its “acceptable” cooking and say, “it’s great to see how well the Ivy’s formula has been rolled out with very atmospheric décor”. Even fans of the “really nice buzz” inspired by these “costly surroundings” can find the food “pretty average” though. And harsher critics (of which there are many) say “what is the point of this expensive and dreadful group? They just demean memories of the original Ivy”. Top Tip – “really reasonable for breakfast with decent portions in a pleasant atmosphere” (and you can book in advance for it, too).
5. Soutine International restaurant in St John’s Wood 60 St John’s Wood High Street - NW8
“Oh là là – looking 100 years old and dripping with charm” this “slick and relaxing” brasserie in St John’s Wood is proving “another instant Corbin & King classic”: “the décor is delightful and service is warm and graceful under pressure”. True to the form, the “food could be more ambitious”, but “for a family meal this lovely place is hard to beat”. (With the founders recently sacked, “will the new regime ruin everything?”).
6. Oslo Court French restaurant in St John's Wood Charlbert Street - NW8
“Let’s do the time warp again (…and again, and again, and again, and…)” – this happy relic at the foot of a Regent’s Park apartment block “hasn’t changed in 30 years, and why should it?” Stuck in perpetuity in the mid-1970s (complete with salmon-pink décor; long-serving waiters from that era; and a menu that’s not wittingly nostalgic, it just never changed) “it would take the hardest of hearts not to be moved to inexplicable joy by an occasional visit here”. The “amazing staff really look after you”, “you won’t leave hungry”, and the arrival of the dessert trolley provides a rapturous climax to the occasion. They are also terrific with kids, who often dine here as part of large family groups incorporating relatives at least 70 years their senior.
7. L’Aventure French restaurant in St John's Wood 3 Blenheim Terrace - NW8
“Run by the owner for 41 years and I have been a customer for over 35 years and the quality has never varied!” – Catherine Parisot’s “brilliant longstanding favourite” in St John’s Wood “never fails to delight”: in particular its cute interior and pretty location make it a top choice for a date. Under the “able guidance” of la patronne, it provides classic ‘cuisine bourgeoise’: “you always know what you are going to get as the menu never changes, but the food is always good”.
8. Crocker's Folly Lebanese restaurant in St John's Wood 23-24 Aberdeen Place - NW8
“Classic up-market Lebanese food” and “a good choice of Lebanese wines” from the Maroush group can be enjoyed in the unlikely surroundings of this lavish late-Victorian gin palace – a ‘folly’ constructed in the mistaken expectation that a railway terminus would be built nearby (the site turned out to be Marylebone). “The front bar is a reconstruction of the original pub, and is great for a pre-dinner drink”. Top Tip – “avoid Lord’s cricket days, when it gets busy with rowdy fans”.
9. Maguro Japanese restaurant in Maida Vale 5 Lanark Pl - W9
This tiny Japanese near Little Venice is “well worth seeking out”. “The food is served in a friendly manner and the sushi and sashimi is always very fresh”.
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