Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London St John's Wood
Hardens guides have spent 31 years compiling reviews of the best St John's Wood restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 11 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
“One of the most creative and delicious meals I’ve ever had” – Elliot Moss inspires rapturous reviews from a small but very enthusiastic fan club, who acclaim his “luxurious” and “intimate” St John’s Wood two-year-old as one of London’s unsung gastronomic adventures. The restaurant recommends three hours to enjoy its £125, twelve-course tasting menu: “a feast that will amaze and delight any gourmand, providing sensory overload of the sights, smells and tastes”. (“My husband let the restaurant know in advance that it was my birthday, I think in the hope of scoring me a little extra cake or some such but what happened was phenomenal. At the end of the meal my dessert arrived with my portrait, in chocolate, on the plate!!! The chef, who works alone in the kitchen, is an artist with some of the best cooking skills either of us have ever experienced.”)
2. Chucs Italian restaurant in St John\'s Wood 3 Circus Road - NW8
Aiming for a taste of La Dolce Vita lifestyle, these retro-glam Italian cafés and restaurants mostly occupy the same sites as the eponymous clothing brand, and deliver classic casual Italian menus mixing pizza and pasta (both typically over £20 a plate) with both more and less substantial dishes. A brief involvement with Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine restaurant has ended, but a new, sixth branch debuted in July 2021 in the heart of St John’s Wood (on the site of a former Côte). With 84 covers, it’s the largest outlet to-date and opens all day from breakfast.
3. At Feast British, Modern restaurant in St John's Wood 49 St John's Wood High Street - NW8
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
“A bit clichéd, but never lets us down”, say fans of the sub-sub brand of this famous brasserie chain, who “have no idea why its reviews are so bad”. For too many reporters, though, these outlets represent “a failing imitation of a classic that is itself rather variable”, with a “disappointing. expensive, mundane menu and inattentive service”. The best bet? “Stick to breakfast and enjoy the surroundings”.
5. Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger Chicken restaurant in St John's Wood 128 Allitsen Rd - NW8
This once-thriving burger brand from Nick Jones’s Soho House group has been reduced to a single branch, under the arches in Vauxhall, and a supporting role at stablemate Chicken Shop in St John’s Wood. Fans reckon it’s “good for when you’re in a hurry” – perhaps they should hurry, while it’s still there.
6. Soutine International restaurant in St John’s Wood 60 St John’s Wood High Street - NW8
“A great addition to St John’s Wood” – Corbin & King’s “easygoing” (if “noisy”) brasserie is already something of an “instant classic”, thanks not least to its “romantic interior, which – even though it’s brand new – looks as if it hasn’t changed in a hundred years”. “The food is never really the main thing at C&K places: you go for the whole package”, and that’s true here too – the “simple” classic French fare, though “OK” is often “uninspiring”. To fans, though, “it’s less a meal, more a warm Gallic embrace!”
7. The Gate Vegetarian restaurant in Westminster 87 Allitsen Road - NW8
“Vegetarian food which will silence a complaining carnivore (i.e. me)” typifies the high enthusiasm for Michael and Adrian Daniel’s stalwart veggie chain, particularly the quirkily located original (complete with “lovely courtyard”) behind Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo, which fans credibly claim “has probably been the best place in London to go meat-free for ages”. Of the other branches, the newest St John’s Wood outlet (opened in 2019) inspires most interest, while the Sadler’s Wells and Seymour Place branches in particular are often ignored by reporters. In every case, though, the cuisine generally inspires compliments such as “interesting” or “very acceptable”.
8. Oslo Court French restaurant in St John's Wood Charlbert Street - NW8
“It’s always a joy to hear ‘Happy Birthday’ being sung again and again” at this buoyant family-run “relic”, “tucked away at the foot of a Regent’s Park apartment block”. “From the salmon pink tablecloths, ‘Kings’-style cutlery, candles, roses, toast melba and crudités with garlicky mayonnaise” to the resolutely dated, but “well executed” menu (“my potatoes were sautéed as they would have been c1972”), it’s a “unique, old skool dining experience” whose fundamentals “haven’t changed in over forty years”. For sure, “you won’t leave hungry” and you will eat “at very reasonable prices”. The very characterful service is “second to none” and ultimately what seals its appeal: “you cannot refer to this restaurant without mentioning the lovely Maria & Tony and never-to-be-forgotten Neil the dessert supremo”.
9. L’Aventure French restaurant in St John's Wood 3 Blenheim Terrace - NW8
“Still going strong” after 41 years – chef-patronne Catherine Parisot’s “lovely and atmospheric” hideaway in St John’s Wood remains first choice for a “romantic” date for many reporters. “The classically French menu hasn’t changed in years”, but regulars aren’t complaining – “Catherine is a wonderful host” and they’ve “never had a bad meal”: this is a place that “keeps its high standards for cooking and service, and keeps its customers”.
10. Crocker's Folly Lebanese restaurant in St John's Wood 23-24 Aberdeen Pl - NW8
The unique combination of a “beautiful venue” – an ornate late-Victorian pub built in the mistaken expectation that a railway terminus would arrive in St John’s Wood – and “wonderful Lebanese food” from the Maroush Group has made this unlikely destination one of the higher-rated restaurants in north London.
11. Maguro Japanese restaurant in Maida Vale 5 Lanark Pl - W9
“Lovely food” – including “wonderful sushi” – and “efficient service” have made this tiny Japanese near Little Venice extremely popular – deservedly so, for cuisine of this freshness at very reasonable prices. Set meals represent the best value, and the “well-presented bento boxes were a top delivery experience during lockdown”.
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