Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Bloomsbury
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Bloomsbury restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 33 restaurants in Bloomsbury and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Bloomsbury restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Bloomsbury Restaurants
1. Noble Rot British, Modern restaurant in Bloomsbury 51 Lamb's Conduit St - WC1
“Allied to the magazine of the same name”, Mark Andrew and Daniel Keeling’s Bloomsbury four-year-old took over the “lovely”, if “slightly cramped” premises that were previously the marvellously old-school wine bar Vats (RIP). It has a “brilliantly curated” wine list “featuring something for everyone: from small, natural and biodynamic producers using grapes you’ve never heard of (from areas you didn’t even know produced wine), to the grand marques of the first growth Bordeaux. There is something for everyone and the staff are ridiculously knowledgeable and keen to help guide you through as much or as little as you want”. The “simple” fare that accompanies it is better-than-incidental too (“sometimes outstanding”), and prepared with “an assured touch”. “It’s not a place for loony foodies of the Instagram persuasion, thank God. Just really good fun!” And “all without it being daylight robbery” too.
2. Isla British, Modern restaurant in Bloomsbury The Standard Hotel, 10 Argyle Street - WC1H
This hip American hotel opened in summer 2019 with several restaurants, including this garden restaurant overseen by Adam Rawson which offers a ‘seasonal menu, featuring light proteins and a predominantly natural wine list’. He will also be looking after ground-floor, street-facing ’neighbourhood’ bar, Double Standard (see also, and rooftop restaurant Decimo too).
3. Otto's French restaurant in Bloomsbury 182 Gray's Inn Road - WC1
“A joyous celebration of how restaurants used to be and how they should be”; “eccentric Otto” is “a breath of fresh French air”, and his “gift of showmanship”, “traditional service” and “classic Gallic cuisine” – all in a “pleasant and old-fashioned”, if slightly “faded”, dining room in out-of-the-way Bloomsbury – is part of a nowadays “unique” approach that most diners feel is “always a wow”. “Otto’s duck and lobster à la presse is superlative” (he’s recently added pigeon too), “the steak tartare is London’s best” and such culinary throwbacks form part of a “magnificent”, unreformed, old-school menu. Caveats? – some of the food is “devastatingly cream-rich – not all modern eaters could manage it” – and “though it’s all very likeable, watch out as the bill stacks up quickly”. “But it’s one-of-a-kind”.
4. Ciao Bella Italian restaurant in Bloomsbury 86-90 Lamb’s Conduit St - WC1
This “time-warp classic Italian trattoria” – a Bloomsbury fixture for more than 35 years – is “fun, bubbly, and has food as Mama would have made it” (somewhere between “delicious” and “not bad”). “The buzzy atmosphere makes you feel like you’ve stepped in off the streets of Rome”, and with its “1970s food at 1990s prices, the place deserves a medal” for value. Top Tip – “charming with young children”.
5. Savoir Faire French restaurant in Bloomsbury 42 New Oxford St - WC1
“Images redolent of ‘Le Gai Paris’ (the naked bottoms went perfectly with my slow roasted pork belly!)” grace the muralled walls of this “friendly and efficient” Gallic corner bistro, near the British Museum: “a reliable and enjoyable choice”, serving affordable classic French dishes.
6. La Fromagerie Bloomsbury International restaurant in Bloomsbury 52 Lamb's Conduit St - WC1N
A “mouthwatering array of wonderful cheeses” – they stock from the UK, Ireland, France and Italy – is the most obvious reason to pay a visit to these cafés-cum-cheese shops. But they also serve excellent snacks and meals throughout the day, making the most of “fresh seasonal ingredients”.
7. The Norfolk Arms British, Modern restaurant in Bloomsbury 28 Leigh St - WC1
“Great, good-value tapas” is a slightly surprising find at this classic London pub, “hiding” in sidestreet near King’s Cross: “a real revelation in an area not noted for good places to eat”.
8. Malabar Junction Indian restaurant in Bloomsbury 107 Gt Russell St - WC1
Keralan specialist in Bloomsbury – an early champion of South Indian cuisine in London – serving “interesting and unusual dishes”, and offering “a considerably better choice than the chains”. “There’s always a smiling welcome and excellent friendly service”.
9. North Sea Fish Fish & chips restaurant in Bloomsbury 7-8 Leigh St - WC1
“The real deal!” This “popular” Bloomsbury chippy – “run by the same family for more than 40 years” – is one of the best in town, certainly of those within striking distance of the West End. “The choice is always good, and simply grilled is a fantastic option”, or fried in matzo meal; and you can round off with “excellent English puddings and custard”. It’s a good idea to book.
10. Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury Hotel Afternoon tea restaurant in Bloomsbury 16-22 Great Russell St - WC1
With its foliage and fairy lights, it’s hard to believe that this hotel terrace (with fully retractable roof) is just two minutes’ walk from grungy Centre Point. Feedback is limited, mostly focusing on its afternoon tea possibilities; “great cocktails too in the adjoining Coral room”.
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