It’s a longstanding trope that no one in fashion eats. This isn’t quite right — yet this is a crowd that likes to eat at select and specific places, preferably ones where they can see and be seen. If Chiltern Firehouse and Scotts are the classics, well-known to readers of Daily Mail online, there are a whole host of fashion-approved restaurants in London that are less on the orthodox pap beat. Here are 16 to choose from. Just remember to dress well when you visit, won’t you?Read More
London’s Most Fashionable Restaurants
IYKYK, seen-2b-seen, trendy, cool, celeb-approved: In 2022, London’s trendiest, most fashionable restaurants are, by and large, serving excellent food
1. The designer-approved one — The River Café
In 2020, when Vogue asked London designers Erdem Moralioglu and Roksanda Ilinčic for the restaurant they wanted to go back to post-lockdown, both said The River Cafe. It’s also loved by the magazine’s editor, Edward Enninful. Well known way beyond fashion circles, of course, Ruthie Rogers’s restaurant is nevertheless adored by this crowd. Its pasta, lemon cake and at-home atmosphere ensure it remains a fashionable destination, 35 years after opening.
2. The Prada one — Marchesi
Luxury fashion groups acquire many companies — but Prada’s buying up of cake shop Marchesi in 2014 is perhaps one of the more unusual. The pasticceria has been in Milan since 1824, with one store a stone’s throw from the Prada boutique. Since 2019, Londoners have been able to enjoy fashionable sweet treats too, from the Mount Street location. There are queues out the door for the Instagram-perfect backdrops — and the panettone.
3. The supermodel-approved one — Gymkhana
As one of London’s outstanding Indian restaurants — with a Michelin star to boot — Gymkhana would probably do fine without fashion’s seal of approval. But it doesn’t hurt. Gigi Hadid has eaten at the restaurant, along with the Beckhams (regulars), and fashion-adjacent celebrities like Miley Cyrus. Whether or not they tried the famed wild muntjac biryani is unknown.
4. The old-school one — Cecconi's
Cecconi’s in Burlington Gardens in the heart of Mayfair has long been a favourite of fashion heavyweights. Going for breakfast here on a weekday remains a bit of an alpha power move — with subtle glances at meetings on other tables part of the experience. Gossip will be served alongside a portion of eggs. In the evening, pasta and negronis accompany the people watching. Everyone from Kate Moss to Emma Thompson have been spotted dining at this Soho House Group-owned institution.
5. The party one — Rita's
London W1F 9AP, UK
Rita’s might only have been in Soho for less than six months, but the restaurant — founded by Gabriel Pryce and Missy Flynn — has been popping up in London for around 10 years. This “surprise” nature has given it a reputation for fun times, something which hasn’t dissipated now its found a permanent home on Lexington Street. Located near Alex Eagle and Palace, tastemakers shopping in such stores enjoy the twist-on-Americana feel, complete with diner-style counter. Model Naomi Shimada and designers Grace Wales Bonner and Nicholas Daley are fans.
6. The sedate one — Rose Bakery London
Housed in Dover Street Market, Rose Bakery already has access to an extremely fashionable customer base. The oasis of calm in a temple of eye-wateringly expensive clothing is much appreciated by clients like Pharrell Williams. As is a menu of wholesome tasty lunches and fresh cakes. The rose, lemon and almond one, with an Earl Grey, is a mid-afternoon restorative for more shopping energy.
7. The Dua-approved one — Berenjak
Berenjak, which serves Iranian grilled meats and small plates, is officially on the radar of a young Insta-savvy demographic. This is partly thanks to it being anointed by one of their leaders, Dua Lipa. The singer was spotted with her boyfriend model Anwar Hadid and his sister Bella at the restaurant last summer. Lipa has since named it one of her favourite spots in London. Chef Kian Samyani’s Berenjak will soon open a second site in Borough Market and an offshoot brand, Shatta and Toum, at Arcade food hall in April.
8. The Hypebeast one — Food House
London W1D 5QH, UK
Now located in the heart of Chinatown on Gerrard Street, Food House has become a word-of-mouth pit stop for those on a shopping tour around nearby destinations like Dover Street Market and Supreme. Expect to see people in Balenciaga Speed shoes and limited edition hoodies, tucking into giant bowls of poached fish, swimming in chilli oil, with noodles, dumplings, and skewers.
9. The wholesome one — Spring
Chef Skye Gyngell is a known name in fashion, previously such a draw that those in the industry would leave London to eat at her Petersham Nurseries near Richmond. Now, they have Gyngell’s cooking closer to W1, at Spring in Somerset House. Salma Hayek, Rita Ora, and Vanessa Redgrave are just some of the celebrities to have sampled Gyngell’s pin-sharp hyperseasonal cooking. Those who want to try her recipes at home can also buy from the Spring shop in Notting Hill, where photogenic vegetables are available alongside the classic nettle tagliolini.
10. The cult one — Max's Sandwich Shop
A sandwich shop in N4 doesn’t, on paper, sound like a fashion destination. But Max’s Sandwich Shop is a cult concern, one so hyped that it reached the hallowed ears of designer Junya Watanabe last year. The Japanese designer produced a T-shirt with chef-owner-sandwichmeister Max Halley’s recipe for his classic sandwich — ham, egg, and chips — priced at £250. Those with a smaller budget can go for the sandwich itself, a snip a £10.45.
11. The arty one — Sessions Arts Club
People can tell a lot about a place by its Instagram followers — Sessions Arts Club’s 40,000 include Jessie Ware and Lolly Adefope. Such names are attracted to a place that combines menus created by former Polpetto chef Florence Knight — fried potato and smoked eel, calamarata and calamari with tomato — with art exhibitions, book fairs, and a clientele of other fashionably dressed diners to compare themselves to.
12. The al fresco one — Towpath
London N1 5SB, UK
Sunny days might be reasonably rare in London but there’s little doubt when they do arrive, E8’s fashion-heads head to Towpath Cafe — a venue so associated with the sun, it doesn’t open in the winter. Situated on Regents Canal just south of De Beauvoir Town, a regularly changing menu includes artichokes, squash, and other allotment favourites reimagined in deliciously seasonal ways. Fashionably dressed folk — and the odd celebrity, like Sex Education’s Asa Butterfield — flock to it the minute sunglasses become a necessity.
13. The new one — Goddard & Gibbs
Fashion loves nothing more than the new — and new restaurants are no exception. Goddard & Gibbs, inside the new 100 Shoreditch hotel, opened in March 2022. On the same site formerly occupied by the beautiful Hoi Polloi (RIP), the modern seafood brasserie, which serves the likes of roasted skate wing with XO butter and spring greens, has a glamorous clientele. The hotel is also home to another favourite of fashion — a rooftop bar.
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14. The (not-so) secret one — Rochelle Canteen
To get into Rochelle Canteen, the guest has to ring a bell. The IYKYK secrecy of this very action means fashion will be interested. Add the fact that it’s housed in the grounds of the Rochelle School — now a studio complex with tenants including gallerist Maureen Paley and architect Jamie Fobert — and its a no-brainer. The seasonal British and southern European menu by Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold only boosts its charm.
15. The connected one — Cafe Cecilia
London E8 4FX, UK
When a chef comes from a fashion design dynasty, it makes sense that their restaurant would be on the radar of fashionable Londoners. Such is the case with Max — son of John, sister of Simone —Rocha. His Cafe Cecilia opened in summer 2021 and the minimalist space has swiftly become a favourite of Hackney-ites for its tarts, pies, salads, steak and chips, signature Guinness bread, and desserts which play with hot and cold, like hot rice pudding with cold marmalade ice cream. Staff uniforms designed by his sis no doubt help too.
16. The original East one — Bistrotheque
London E2 9DR, UK
Back in 2004, restaurateurs Pablo Flack and David Waddington turned a small street in Bethnal Green into a destination of note, with designers, artists, writers and stylists becoming regulars for Sunday roasts and a mean Espresso Martini. Nearly 20 years later, and the restaurant is something of an institution for East London. It’s a reputation helped by regular drag shows from Jonny Woo and friends. The supermodel Irina Shayk was spotted here recently.