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Our picks: London

Over the years we have shared countless times with Cuca’s customers our favourite restaurants from every city we know. The truth is that people in search of the tastiest food from around the world seem to trust chefs’ picks when choosing food, and since everyone asks our humble opinion, we have decided to start a proper “Our Picks” section where we give you our recommendations on where and what to eat. Go ahead, try for yourself and share these lists as you please, but just because we may help you find a new favourite, please don’t forget about your first love, Cuca!

The London restaurant scene is very strong, very competitive and very diverse with a huge variety of food on offer from all over the planet to suit all budgets. On our list below we have tried to recommend the more casual, comfort food style eateries and stay clear of the top well known tourist sites or over glamorous Michelin star hot spots so you can truly devour the city as a savvy local without having to book months ahead.

Bentley’s Oyster Bar
Opened in 1916, Bentley’s is the perfect example of a brilliant seafood house. With a mantra of “We serve the finest fresh wild seafood” and shucking more than 1,000 oysters a day, we did not need more encouraging. Seating is divided between “the terrace”, “the grill room” and “the oyster bar”, and we highly recommend stepping back in time to the original space and sitting at the latter. A must!
Price: $$$
What to order: Royal shellfish platter

With 3 locations offering perfect rustic Italian pasta, it is easy to see why this place is so loved by London! This was probably the most delicious meal we had when visiting. We devoured everything they put in front of us as if we hadn’t eaten in days. The counter seats give a glimpse into the open kitchen to watch the magic and sneakily may help you to choose what to eat.
Price: $$
What to order: the signature ‘silk handkerchiefs’ with walnut butter and confit egg yolk

Imads Syrian kitchen
Hidden at the top corner of Kingly Court, this simple place serves deeply satisfying Middle Eastern flavours. The great value menu of generous sharing dishes is a hard find in a city where money goes fast. We loved the Mezze or appetizer section of the menu and strongly recommend crushing it before even thinking of heading to mains.
Price: $$
What to order: Meze

Brasserie Zedel
Right in the heart of Piccadilly, this grand French Brasserie takes you back in time. It offers a menu that reads like a checklist of the French classics: onion soup, terrine, souffle, choucroute, Coq au vin… you get the picture. All well executed, simple and remarkably affordable. The vibe is busy, elegant and brilliant.
Price: $$
What to order: steak tartar, lobster bisque

Rock @ Sole Plaice
Establishing itself in 1871, this place has been cranking out great fish and chips for bloody ever. Now, we’ve had many a Fish ‘n’ Chips in our life, but this indeed wins the golden prize for its great quality fresh fish in delicate crispy golden beer batter. We loved it!
Price: $
What to order: Cod, chips, mushy peas, curry gravy

A standout in the London food scene earning a Michelin star in its first 6 months open, Brat restaurant is very good indeed. With cooking inspired by Spain’s Basque region and fire used as a key component, dishes are kissed with smoke and blessed by a talented team.
Price: $$$
What to order: ‘Brat’ is actually the Old English word for turbot fish and this is the house speciality

Simply perfect well-executed rustic Italian small plates…. ohhh boy. Legare’s version of unpretentious ingredient-driven deeply delicious cooking is pure comfort. The relaxed service completes the picture and sets the tone for a very good meal. It’s the type of place you would go every week if you lived in London, both for the cooking and for its approachable pricing.
Price: $$
What to order: Pasta and Antipasti

Serving self-titled “home style Persian cuisine”, we didn’t need much more convincing. This place is inspired by the old school street food style ‘Kabab’ houses in Tehran. Specializing in small meze style sharing plates and smoky charcoal grilled kebabs, we ate way too much and loved every bite!
Price: $$
What to order: coal-cooked aubergine and the goat shoulder kebab.

Think gently modern Indian tapas packed with flavour, made for sharing and built with home-grown ingredients. With 3 branches in the city, this is a very unique Indian dining experience that ticks all the boxes. Great food, great price, dynamic open kitchen and killer counter seating. What more do you need?
Price: $$
What to order: Kerala fried chicken

Describing itself as “Modern British”, Leroy serves great tasting homestyle cooking with premium ingredients. Unfussy dishes like devilled eggs, tempura oysters and smoked eel Caesar salad give you an idea into the comfort food inspired cooking and deliciousness that lies ahead. The dining room’s laid-back vibe and friendly team are a breath of fresh air in a city where stuffy and stiff are much easier to find. This place is a gem!
Price: $$$
What to order: Devilled eggs