Food & Drink

The 8 best hidden restaurants in London

Published On 11/25/2014 Published On 11/25/2014
Kitchen Table
Kitchen Table
Rochelle Canteen
Flickr/Ewan Munro
Disappearing Dining Club
Pix Bar
Flickr/Steve Cadman
Gremio de Brixton
Kitchen Table
Sirenas
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1. Rochelle Canteen Rochelle School, London, E2 7ES (Shoreditch)

Bring your own beverages to this secretive, secluded joint and enjoy the simple aspects of a hearty meal.

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2. La Bodega Negra 9 Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JF (Soho)

There are two distinct parts to this bodega: the cafe (16 Moor St) is more relaxed and is clearly marked, while the restaurant (9 Old Compton St) definitely gives you the sexy, underground “negra” aspect of its namesake. Beyond the Amsterdam-esque neon lights at the entrance, the place is dark, loud, loads of fun. Start with a habanero soft shell crab, char-roasted mushroom and/or lamb tacos, and the spicy blue fin tuna ceviche, and keep the party going with classic margaritas, 30 plus types of tequila, and signature cocktails like Diablo (blanco tequila, ginger beer, creme de cassis). Pro-tip: make a reservation.

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3. Back in 5 Minutes 224 Brick Ln, , London, E1 6SA (Shoreditch)

The Disappearing Dining Club's Bi5M is a dark and intimate den whose varnished communal tables host their unique brand of "dinner parties, long lunches, and late nights". Fare is classic British (slow-roasted pork shoulder, haddock fillet w/ Welsh rarebit crust...), while the dozen-strong wine list is stocked on a "one case only" basis.

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4. Pix Confessional Cocktail Club 185 Portobello Rd, London, W11 2ED (Notting Hill)

Hidden below Pix restaurant in Notting Hill, this secret "confessional" is big enough for just eight guests and features menus in hollowed out Bibles, served through a small hatch in the door. What happens in confession, stays in confession.

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5. Oslo Court Oslo Court, Charlbert St, London, NW8 7EN

Situated just off Regents Park, this classic French restaurant has been quietly doing its thing for more than 40 years to much success, and yet most people don’t know it exists. There is a large block of fairly grim residential flats, which somehow house a restaurant that the changing of time has forgotten. The food, however, is still show-stoppingly great, and very reasonably priced at that.

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6. Gremio de Brixton The Crypt, St. Matthew's Church, Coldharbour, SW2 (Brixton)

To find this basically hidden resto, head to St. Matthew's Church in Brixton and instead of heading in the main door, dodge and go through the big creepy-looking gate down to the basement where a wonder of spanish tapas await you. Their menu is massive, and you’ll feel pretty smug sitting among the melting candles and exposed brick work chowing down on cured meats, grilled fish, and some seriously tasty veggies.

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7. Kitchen Table 70 Charlotte St, London, W1T 4QG (Fitzrovia)

Tucked back by the kitchen of Bubbledogs, this Michelin-starred resto showcases the talents of James Knappett and his team as you sit around home-style and get served directly from their pans to your mouth.

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8. Sirena's Southbank House, Black Prince Rd, London, SE1 7SJ

Tucked on a little side street off Embankment is a massive office block that looks more like a correctional facility than anywhere a restaurant should be. Hidden underneath, accessed through cold stairs with peeling paint and metal bannisters is a quirky Italian spot that generally goes against everything we know in a modern culinary world, yet thrives on a heaving lunchtime business.