Top 5 restaurants in London

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 11:21 01/11/2013

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It takes more than a good dish to impress Londoners; dining in a global city should be an all-sensory experience.

Often you don't (and shouldn't) need to bust your budget on a fine-dining experience if you're after the true flavour of a city.

Here's our selection of the top five London restaurants to visit. Oh, and if you can't make the trip in person, have a look at the recipes online and give them a go at home.

Ottolenghi

London's very own, The Londoner, gushes over Ottolenghi, so it must be the place to go.

Pop past for a light and healthy meal (such as their famed Mediterranean salads), or treat yourself to some of its decadent cakes, meringues, or pastries.

The store stocks food to takeaway (think Pinterest-style picnic goods) and also gorgeous wee gifts. From lollipops to gingerbread pigs, they're guaranteed to impress and delight.

Buy a cookbook for take-home inspiration, or, if you're penny-pinching, simply download free recipes from their website.

You can find Ottolenghi shops in Notting Hill, Islington, Kensington, and Belgravia.

Bread Street Kitchen

Any of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants would be worth a visit, but Bread Street Kitchen (located on Bread St, funnily enough) is highly recommended for its location and ambience.

From within the city centre - at the foot of St Paul's Cathedral - it's the place for people who want to immerse themselves in the feel (and the flavours) of London town.

Open all day and into the night, it serves everything from breakfast to dinner, drinks, and desserts; perfect for entertaining large groups.

Borough Market

Borough Market in central London is the city's most renowned food market. With over 70 stalls it's a source of top British and international produce.

It's open Monday to Saturday, so there's no excuse for not swinging by. Check out their events schedule to time your visit with kitchen demonstrations, food-themed days, and special occasions.

Sample delights from Britain and abroad, or simply sit back and spend nothing but time as you take in the sights and the atmosphere.

Al Waha Restaurant

Al Waha means "oasis", and this award-winning restaurant is certainly a slice of Middle Eastern paradise in Notting Hill.  

Specialising in Lebanese food, Al Waha has a relaxed yet classy environment removed from the hustle and bustle. The prices are reasonable, and the service unpretentious.

It's a particularly good choice if you're vegetarian or vegan, as it offers plenty of dietary options and the chefs are happy to prepare your meal to order.

If you're not sure if you like Lebanese food (really though, how could you not?), I'd recommend trying out their online recipes.

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The Butlers Wharf Chop House

For the best of British food (not to mention breathtaking views) head to The Butlers Wharf Chop House, situated on the bank of the Thames, just beside Tower Bridge Road.

Kiwis will feel most at home here, with the rustic decor, wide range of ales, and - best of all - its reputation for the tastiest fish and chips in London.

It's own in-house butchery ensures consistently fresh, generously-sized meals.

From blue and white pinstripe aprons and impeccable service, to nostalgic recipes and sweet floral centrepieces, The Butlers Wharf Chop House provides the true English culinary experience.  

Do you have a favourite restaurant in London? Leave a comment below.

- Stuff

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