Where the chefs eat: Tom Kerridge shares his 9 favourite London restaurants

The Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur reveals his must-visit foodie spots in the capital

Tom Kerridge is one of British cuisine’s best-loved personalities. The chef and restaurateur set up The Hand and Flowers of Marlow with his wife Beth in 2005, which became the first (and only) pub in the world to receive two Michelin stars. Kerridge has since opened several other pubs and restaurants, written numerous cookbooks and starred in his own TV shows, as well as founding Pub in the Park, a touring food and music festival. Here, Tom shares his favourite London restaurants.

Where The Chefs Eat

Tom Kerridge’s favourite restaurants in London


Joséphine is a new opening by Claude Bosi, a really good friend of mine. It is French bistro-style food, based on the dishes he grew up eating in his hometown of Lyon. I only get to have dinner out maybe five or six times a year, but I was lucky to go during the soft launch. I took my [eight-year-old] son Acey, who loved it – Claude is one of his godparents, so he’s known as Uncle Claude. 

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It is all very classic bistro with wooden tables and chairs; it’s buzzy, noisy and an absolutely outstanding restaurant but one that is also very affordable and accessible. Claude makes a beautiful veal sweet bread dish, and the black pudding with apple is absolutely delicious. There’s also an amazing soft boiled egg in jelly, something you might not necessarily think to order, but it’s really good. For dessert, you have to try the pink praline tart. 

315 Fulham Road, Fulham, London SW10 9HQ


My wife Beth and I have friends who we meet up with once a year to go for a posh dinner and last year we went to Ikoyi. Jeremy Chan is the chef there and it’s a two Michelin-starred restaurant in the most beautiful dining room with a very African and Asian influenced menu. It’s unique and very, very special, the sort of food that just couldn’t be replicated – it’s so personal to that chef. 

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

Jeremy makes a really interesting version of jollof rice that is great served alongside roasted fish. I don’t drink alcohol anymore, but they do an amazing tea pairing at Ikoyi, where they serve beautiful teas from around the world, and different infusions that work well with the dishes – very similar to wine pairing. Genuinely one of the best places I’ve eaten in a long, long time. 

180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA

Core by Clare Smyth

For me, Core is one of the best restaurants in the country – or the world. Clare is a phenomenal chef. Her precision and quality of cooking and the team she’s built around her means she’s recognised globally, and rightly so. It’s a very, very special place. I went there with my friend Jonny Lake, who just won two Michelin stars himself, and we ate a brilliant carrot dish with lamb and this amazing new potato side with a caviar butter sauce.

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

I think everybody assumes that three-Michelin-starred restaurants are going to be really uptight, but they work very hard at making people feel comfortable. They know that, for everybody that can afford to go and eat there, there are a lot of other people who have saved up for a year for a special occasion. Core ticks the box of everything that a three-Michelin-starred restaurant should be – it is perfect.

92 Kensington Park Road, Kensington, London W11 2PN


Just because a place has a Michelin star doesn’t always mean that it’s got to be high-end. Nieves Barragán’s place is relaxed Spanish cuisine – a two-hour meal in a three-Michelin-starred restaurant is probably a step beyond my son Acey’s capabilities, but he loves the suckling pig here. Book the upstairs restaurant or eat downstairs at the counter and order fish from the display – and you have to try the Tortilla Gallega from the tapas menu.

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

I enjoy a mocktail if they’re done well and I like bitter, herby sort of flavours – they do a Pentire Adrift and tonic here. I’m quite happy with water and coffee at the end of a meal though, I’m not overly fussed. Sabor has been established for a long time now and that’s down to the fantastic flavours and brilliant atmosphere. 

35-37 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London W1B 4BP


I’m a big fan of Hawsmoor, especially the one on Air Street with its great big upstairs Art Deco dining room. Sunday lunch here is absolutely mega – you can get roast rump of beef, Yorkshire pudding, all the trimmings and brilliant gravy with a fantastic Bloody – or, in my case, Virgin – Mary. It’s a great place with amazing energy and great service.

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

I’m fully aware that people might know who I am when I dine out in places like Hawksmoor  – I don’t shrink into a crowd very easily – but I try hard to make sure the staff are comfortable around me. I hope I’m not intimidating to serve. I try to be the best customer, I’m there to have a nice time. 

5a Air Street, Piccadilly Circus, London W1J 0AD

José Tapas Bar

I love José Pizzaros’ drop-in tapas place; it’s the first one he ever opened in London. It is this cosy little corner space on Bermondsey Street with this tiny little open kitchen – and it’s always packed. The menu changes regularly, depending on the seasonality. José makes a brilliant cod or hake dish, grilling it simply and serving it with an olive oil aioli – it’s absolutely delicious. 

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

Jose is a phenomenal chef and he’s also a brilliant human being – his energy and the person that he is comes across in the vibe of his restaurants. I think that’s really important. I like to go to the Tapas Bar at about 5 or 6pm for an early dinner.

104 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3UB

The Wolseley

I adore The Wolseley and The Delaunay, or indeed any of the restaurants from the Wolseley Hospitality Group, where you get very simple food that’s done well. Smoked salmon with brown bread and capers, Wienerschnitzel and then a crème brulée, perfect. It’s wonderful in the mornings for brunch too – their eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine are magic. 

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

Fundamentally, these are restaurants that are first and foremost built around service, with food that everybody recognises. That’s what separates them from many other great restaurants.

160 Piccadilly, St James’s, London W1J 9EB


Brat has got to be on my favourite restaurants in London list, I always go back to it. The flavours are outstanding. The grilled flatbreads with anchovies are amazing, and you must try the whole turbot roasted on the bone over coals, which is beautiful.

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

It’s a wonderful success story for Tomos Parry, a really lovely young chef who has got his heart in the right place. He also opened Mountain last summer, on Soho’s Beak Street, so he now runs two of London’s most successful restaurants. 

4 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E1 6JL


Angela Hartnett is a brilliant restaurateur and an outstanding chef, but she’s also a wonderful human and her personality comes across in her restaurants. Anything Ange touches is magic, and Murano has such warmth.

Tom Kerridge Reveals His 9 Favourite Restaurants In LondonPin

I love the nods to beautiful regional Italian cooking and I’d eat any of her pasta dishes, which are done properly with heart and soul in this beautiful Mayfair environment. Last time I was there it was right in the height of truffle season and I loved the simplicity of her wonderful egg pasta with truffles. 

20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5PP

Pub in the Park launches in Marlow in May with further dates in Chiswick (June), Reigate (July) and St Albans (September);

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