Where can you find the best value fine-dining meals in London? Assuming that -- at least according to the venerated judges at the rubber tire factory known as Michelin -- one-, two-, and three-starred restaurants are all of roughly commensurate quality, we did the maths, and found out where you’ll get the most bang for your belly...
For the one-star restaurants, we took the average price of a main course on their a la carte dinner menu, assuming that they A) had an a la carte, and B) had main courses (unlike, say, some tapas/sushi places). There are 51 single-star spots in the capital, here are the top 10 best value...
St. John (address and info)
The menu, and therefore prices, rotate daily here, but the average remains amazingly low. Consistently in the top 50 restaurants in the world, this is an incredibly good deal.
Average main: £18.50
Trishna (address and info)
An Indian spot, all of its seven menus have some great deals.
Average main: £19
The Harwood Arms (address and info)
Proudly declaring itself "the only Michelin-starred pub in London", the prices remain amazingly pub-like, considering the quality.
Average main: £22.50
Lima (address and info)
New on the scene, Lima's already got a sister resto in Covent Garden.
Average main: £23
Gymkhana (address and info)
Despite being in Mayfair, the prices at this Indian spot are actually quite low.
Average main: £23
Arbutus (address and info)
A perennial candidate for "best value Michelin star", Arbutus' a la carte is surprisingly far down the list.The best deals are with its set menus, where you can get a three-course lunch for less than £20.
Average main: £24
Club Gascon (address and info)
The first French restaurant on the list, if you want the prices to remain low, go easy on the wine.
Average main: £24
Social Eating House (address and info)
Run by Gordon Ramsay alum Jason Atherton, he outdoes his former boss for price, here.
Average main: £24.5
Tamarind of Mayfair (address and info)
Another Indian spot, Tamarind has an even cheaper street food restaurant in Soho (Imli Street) if price is a concern.
Average main: £24.75
Kitchen W8 (address and info)
Defining itself as "Kensington's Michelin-starred neighbourhood restaurant", this is where prices begin to align themselves with what you'd expect from such a place.
Average main: £26
Barrafina (address and info)
It's a tapas restaurant, so it's a little unfair to judge it straight against the rest of the pack, but Barrafina's still an immensely good deal.
Average: Around £8 per dish
Amaya (address and info)
Although Amaya doesn’t publish a menu online, they state that their "average vegetarian dish" is a mere £11.
Average main: "£12 to £30 " (according to their website).
For the doubly blessed eateries, true a la carte eating generally ceases to exist, and the menus simply set a price for a minimum two/three/four courses, which vary greatly in size. There are nine two-star spots in London, and assuming that their minimum spend constitutes a decent meal, but these are the three most reasonable...
Marcus (address and info)
Another Ramsay alum, Marcus Wareing's spot advertises a £45 set lunch, and a great deal of flexibility in its dinner menu.
£85 for three courses
The Ledbury (address and info)
A current award magnet, the Ledbury is nevertheless one of the best two-star options in town.
£90 for four courses
Hélène Darroze (address and info)
Overcoming initial poor reviews, this place recently added another star -- to join its sister spot in Paris (also named Hélène Darroze) with two each.
£92 for five courses
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (address and info)
Dinner actually does have a true no-minimum a la carte, with the average price for a three-course meal here coming in at just £65 -- and you can get a three course set lunch for a mere £38!
£65 for three courses
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (address and info)
There are only two triple-threat winners in London (yes, Gordo owns the other), but Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester’s three courses for £90 is actually on level with many of the two-star spots sitting below it.
£90 for three courses
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1. St. John Bar and Restaurant26 St. John St, London
2. Trishna15-17 Blandford St , London
3. The Harwood Arms27 Walham Grove, Fulham
4. Lima31 Rathbone Pl, , London
5. Gymkhana42 Albemarle Street, London
6. Arbutus63-64 Frith St, London
7. Club Gascon57 W Smithfield, London
8. Social Eating House58 Poland St, London
9. Tamarind of Mayfair20 Queen St, London
10. Kitchen W811-13 Abingdon Rd, London
11. Barrafina54 Frith St, London
12. AmayaHalkin Arcade, London
13. Marcus170 New Bond St, London
14. The Ledbury127 Ledbury Rd, London
15. Hélène DarrozeCarlos Pl, Mayfair, London
16. Dinner by Heston BlumenthalMandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London
17. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London
If you're looking for world-class traditional British recipes, St. John is a no-brainer in Smithfield. This resto is consistently voted one of the best in the WORLD and it's a favorite of star chef Anthony Bourdain.
Michelin-starred Trishna brings upscale Indian cuisne to Marylebone. Impressive, but not stuffy, this much-loved eatery offers Southern Indian classics, with an emphasis on local seafare.
THA is a fine British establishment doling out local fare, fresh ingredients, and fresh libations on the reg.
From a guy who ran one of the "World's 50 Best" restaurants in Lima, comes Lima, a sky-lit Peruvian spot where rustic wood flooring gives way to geometrically patterned leather banquettes, imposing tilted mirrors for surreptitiously spying on other patrons, art you'll tell your date is "modernist" and probably be right (but then again who knows), and slatted walls clearly lifted from a very nice beehive.
Gymkhana is a cozy, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair. This spot, carefully decorated to evoke the era of British Raj, offers a seasonal, game-heavy menu.
Sweetly situated in London's SoHo neighborhood amongst a thriving theatre district, Arbutus is a fine dining restaurant with a diverse menu with a bevy of choice wines served by the carafe (third of a bottle).
Club Gascon, Michelin-starred since 2002, brings fine dining to Farringdon. This French restaurant offers a truly special dining experience. Expect all the usual upscale French dishes to make an appearance (or, in the case of foie gras, occupy its own section of the menu).
The Social Eating House gives British food a better name, taking a seasonal, experimental approach to its cuisine. While Blind Pig serves drinks upstairs, this low-lit eatery serves a game- and seafood-strong menu.
Tamarind -- the first Indian restaurant in the world to be awarded a Michelin star -- offers a first-class dining experience. The moist, well-spiced Murgh Makhani is a excellent choice for any fan of tandoori-style chicken.
You can expect the Michelin-star treatment at Kitchen W8, which opened in Kensington in 2009. The seasonal menu features traditional British game and vegetables. Don't miss the scallops!
Barrafina brings hearty, upscale Spanish cuisine to Soho. Expect a wait, but it's well worth it. Barrafina does all the traditional tapas well, and for reasonable prices (around £8 per dish).
Amaya, from the owners of well-known and much-loved Veeraswamy, brings nontraditional Indian cuisine to Belgravia. The menu, which changes frequently, offers perfectly prepared courses in a tasting-style service. And since it's incredibly popular -- you'll definitely need to book your table well in advance.
Marcus Wareing, who parted ways with Gordon Ramsing Holdings, brings two-Michelin-star cuisine to the Berkeley Hotel. The terrific menu, which includes winners like grilled rose veal rib and to-die-for pommes pureé, is served alongside an excellent wine list, comes at no small price.
Opened in 2005, The Ledbury has been awarded two Michelin Stars and it has been consistently voted one of the finest restaurants in the world. Along with his highly skilled team of chefs, Head Chef Brett Graham crafts unique and flavorful menu items that change seasonally.
This Michelin starred resto in Mayfair brings sophisticated elegance and a welcoming ambience while exhibiting a true, masterful commitment to French cuisine.
Brought to you by Heston Blumenthal and Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, this classy Knightsbridge resto opened in 2011 and is considered one of the best on Earth, serving exquisite British dishes like their signature Meat Fruit (mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread), which earned it two Michelin stars.
Located in Mayfair, this French resto is one of the best in all of London, garnering three Michelin stars for its phenomenal cuisine crafted by the one and only Chef Alain Ducasse.