Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Mayfair
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Mayfair restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 106 restaurants in Mayfair and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Mayfair restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Mayfair Restaurants
1. Kai Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 65 South Audley St - W1
“A cut above any Chinese restaurant I have been to” – Bernard Yeoh’s “attentive but not overbearing” Mayfair stalwart celebrates its 20th birthday in 2023 and continues to offer a luxurious mix of “absolutely fantastic contemporary Chinese cooking” (what Yeoh describes as ‘liberated Nanyang cuisine’) twinned with an impressive wine list (swelling with Premiers Crus from Bordeaux, Burgundy and beyond). Even those who say the food is “lovely” though, feel it comes at “eye-watering prices”.
2. Maddox Tavern British, Modern restaurant in Westminster 47 Maddox Street - W1S
A very characterful Mayfair site – once a posh gentlemen’s outfitters and more recently a branch of Browns – now hosts this July 2022 newcomer (which opened too late to be included in our annual diners’ poll). Steaks feature prominently on a menu of ‘elevated’ British classics and there’s also a seperate all-day ‘tavern’ selection.
3. Butler’s Restaurant, The Chesterfield Mayfair British, Traditional restaurant in Mayfair 35 Charles St - W1
2019 Review: “Like an old London club”, this traditional Mayfair dining room is “spacious” and “there is absolutely no rush to serve you and get you out”. In a similar vein, “you wouldn’t necessarily go there for the food”, except for the afternoon tea in the adjoining ‘Conservatory’, go for the classic or novelty-themed version (it’s currently ‘The Original Sweetshop’).
4. Chucs Dover Street Italian restaurant in Mayfair 31 Dover St - W1
“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.
5. Bellamy’s British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 18-18a Bruton Place - W1
“With its quietly thrumming ambience, well-spaced tables and unobtrusive service from staff used to looking after royalty”, this “eternally discreet” brasserie hidden in a cute Mayfair mews is a long-established favourite for a blue-blooded, establishment crowd (and “perfect for doing business in”). Elegantly suited owner, Gavin Rankin, smoothly commands the space – “his team are wonderfully welcoming” and “all this is supported by classic French food, an excellent and keenly priced wine list, and a set lunch menu that’s a bargain (ideal for when Finance put a cap on your entertaining budget)”. Top Menu Tips – “Martinis, oysters and staples like steak tartare are prominent”.
6. Ormer Mayfair by Sofian, Flemings Mayfair Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 7-12 Half Moon Street - W1
“A choice of four 8-course tasting menus and a fantastic selection of wines” greets visitors to this 1930s-style, oak-panelled chamber in Mayfair, which scored uniformly high marks this year for Sofian Msetfi’s accomplished, seasonal British cuisine. There are also vegetarian and vegan alternative menus (the latter of which requires 48 hours notice).
7. Benares Indian restaurant in Mayfair 12a Berkeley Square House, - W1
Sameer Taneja’s “exceptional” cuisine continues to maintain the high standing of this well-known Berkeley Square destination. Despite the odd “unexciting” report, most accounts are of “fabulous” meals from “a menu that’s very spice-led and refined-tasting”. Located on the first floor, its modern design “doesn’t feel too ‘posh Mayfair’ in ambience terms”, with meals here said to be “well-paced” and “refreshing”.
8. Delfino Pizza restaurant in Mayfair 121a Mount St - W1
This “consistently excellent” “family Italian restaurant” has knocked out “authentic pizza, pasta and secondi dishes” in Mount Street for more than 50 years – and all at decidedly un-Mayfair prices. It closed briefly for a make-over in summer 2022.
9. Jamavar Indian restaurant in Mayfair 8 Mount Street - W1
“Real Indian cuisine” – “exquisite flavours from top-quality ingredients and stunning preparation” – have won a major reputation for this “top-class Indian”, founded by Samyukta Nair, whose family own India’s luxurious Leela Palace group. It occupies a “fantastic”, tastefully decorated Mayfair site, near Berkeley Square: “quiet enough for conversation whilst busy enough to create a reassuring hum”.
10. Amazonico International restaurant in Mayfair 10 Berkeley Square - W1J
“It’s the full experience – live music, vibe, décor, cocktails, food – that makes for a magical evening”, according to fans of this forested Brazilian-Japanese fusion haunt, in the heart of swanky Mayfair. On the downside, prices for its sushi and luxurious grills are “absurd”, but even those finding the venue “faintly ridiculous and definitely pretentious” say “the décor is worth the price of admission and I couldn’t help enjoying the ride!”
11. Pasticceria Marchesi 1824 Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Westminster 117 Mount Street - W1K
2021 Review: For a posh bun, it’s hard to upstage this new Milanese import: a fashionista favourite for its superlative cakes and also serving some more substantial dishes (such as risotti) alongside cocktails and wine. Too limited feedback for a rating as yet, but all of it enthusiastic.
12. Hakkasan Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 17 Bruton St - W1
“Fantastic, modern Chinese food” has long driven this famous Asian phenomenon. Launched in 2001, it has gone from a big, “overly dark” and nightclubby basement (“horribly loud music”) near Tottenham Court Road to spawn a very glam Mayfair offshoot; as well as 12 international spin-offs from NYC to Mumbai. “Eye-watering prices” and a mixed record when it comes to service, have always inspired jibes of “style over substance” here. But perhaps due to post-Covid challenges, such problems are in the foreground this year. Given that there have been blips before, they will probably get a grip. But it’s hard at present to ignore the many former fans saying “these ageing stalwarts need a refresh” (“I used to love it, but I think the bill now is silly and unjustified and the service is half-hearted and surly”).
13. Umu Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 14-16 Bruton Pl - W1
The “amazing” Kyoto-style kaiseki menu is a longstanding fixture of this low-key stalwart, in a quiet Mayfair mews (which was sold out of administration in 2020 after the collapse of the M.A.R.C. group). But, under executive chef, Ryo Kamatsu, it also offers a luxurious à la carte ranging from caviar to British game to sushi created from the finest Cornish fish. Predictably, there are complaints of “small portions at exquisite prices”, but this remains one of London’s most notable addresses for Japanese cuisine.
14. The Guinea Grill Steaks & grills restaurant in Mayfair 30 Bruton Pl - W1
“Proper man food!” is to be found at this “very old-school” Mayfair favourite – a dining room behind a well-known Young’s pub in a cute central mews, which feels “like a different century” (est 1952). “If you like steak in a traditional environment”, look no further: “there’s an extensive menu including a mighty mixed grill, a variety of prime grass-fed steaks or tempting traditional pies”. “Best of all, you can then go on for drinks in the attached pub!” No hiding, though, that its performance has taken a knock in these troubled times. While it’s always been “a bit expensive (but completely unique)”, some meals this year badly missed the mark due to service that was “nothing special” or poor preparation (“The Guinea used to be one of my favourite destinations for a sumptuous piece of charcoal-grilled beef, but the rib steak on my last visit was so tough it has hardly fit to eat”). BREAKING NEWS: In July 2022, Oisin Rogers, who has managed the dining room here for the last 6 years, announced he is moving on to pastures new.
15. Sexy Fish Fish & seafood restaurant in Mayfair 1-4 Berkeley Square - W1
“So loud” in every aspect – Richard Caring’s prominently sited seafood scene is an orgy of ostentatious styling, luxe seafood and sushi, and a crowd that’s Mayfair’s answer to ‘Love Island’. The kind view is that it’s “fun and full of life” (“they made our daughter feel very special for her 15th birthday”). The majority view is that “service is sloppy and prices absolutely outrageous”.
16. The Audley British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 43 Mount Street - W1K
The first London project for Artfarm – behind The Fife Arms in Braemar and Somerset’s Roth Bar & Grill, and now owner of Soho’s Groucho Club – this fine Victorian boozer (built in 1888) in Mayfair is set to relaunch in autumn 2022. Set over five floors, it will comprise a street-level pub, first-floor dining room (‘The Mount Street Restaurant’) and upper-floor event spaces, all showcasing artworks created by Hauser & Wirth’s roster of artists.
17. Hélène Darroze, The Connaught Hotel French restaurant in Mayfair Carlos Pl - W1
“The food is sublime”; “exceptional service” is “very friendly and interactive”; “… but WOW! the bill!!” – that’s the headline story this year on this famous French chef’s London outpost in this most blue-blooded of hotels. Despite numerous “exquisite” dishes featuring in reports, very many reporters feel “the costs verge on criminal” (and that “once you have seen the prices, it’s difficult to get past them as the food just doesn’t compensate for the full-blown attack on your wallet!!”). It doesn’t help that the restaurant was recently elevated by Michelin to three stars, and that an “interesting but not amazing” experience can now seem well below par (“how this dining room has the tyre maker’s top rating is beyond us”). And those seeking an old-school Mayfair environment should also look elsewhere: “the days of the Connaught of old are well and truly over”, with “a conscious decision to move away from the previous old-style look” – a move dismissed by critics as “suburban lounge décor in what used used to be one of the handsomest dining rooms in London”.
18. Jean-Georges at The Connaught Pan-Asian restaurant in Mayfair The Connaught, Carlos Place - W1K
It’s primarily as an afternoon tea haunt that this Mayfair base for the NYC star-chef attracts attention in our diners’ poll, for its “excellent sandwiches and beautiful pastries that almost look too good to eat” (“staff always ask us if we would like more… we always do”). At other times, this plush conservatory serves a pretty conventional brasserie menu (with little hint of the south east Asian specialities that established JGV’s Manhattan reputation), and on which one of the most popular items is, curiously, pizza.
19. The Punchbowl British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 41 Farm St - W1
2021 Review: Approaching its 300th birthday, this Mayfair pub is more stylish than most in the West End, partly due to its history of celebrity ownership (it was part of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s divorce settlement, with Ritchie getting The Queen of Pop’s share when they split). Foodwise, it’s also been a decent bet in recent times (although it did receive one ‘off’ report from a former fan this year).
20. Les Platanes French restaurant in Westminster 26-28 Bruton Place - W1J
2021 Review: In a Mayfair townhouse that was formerly the short-lived Babel House (RIP), this ‘contemporary bistro de luxe’ features a southern French menu from chef Thierry Laborde, and opened in mid-2019, too late for any survey feedback. In his early review, The Evening Standard’s David Sexton focused on its handsome design, variably realised and expensive cuisine, impressive wine list and bargain set lunch (£25 with wine).
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