Fitzrovia Restaurants | Best Restaurants Fitzrovia

Rovi, Wells Street – for veg-centric dishes

Part of the Ottolenghi canon, Rovi’s a restaurant with vegetables, fermentation (read our guide to fermenting here) and fire at its heart. As is the trend, there are small and large plates available at lunch and dinner with veg punching way above their weight. Corn ribs have already become an Instagram star, taking inspiration from a Momofuku dish – the corn quartered, deep-fried, glazed in apricot sauce, baked then dusted with chipotle sauce. It’s as ridiculously good as it sounds – sweet, sticky, smoky and spicy. Hot tomatoes (roasted yellow and red cherry tomatoes) with cold yogurt, herbs and bags of dark urfa chilli displays a simple but masterful grasp of what feels good in the mouth. There’s plenty more that’s great on the menu – including crumpet lobster toast (think posh prawn toast) with kumquat and chilli sauce – but you won’t go far wrong sticking with the veg.

Rovi, London W1: Restaurant Review

Chishuru, Great Titchfield Street

After a summer as a pop-up in 2020, Chishuru now has a permanent home in Fitzrovia with Nigerian-born chef Adejoké Bakare at the helm. She’s recently become the first Black woman in the UK – and only second in the world – to be awarded a Michelin star. The set menu dinner includes dishes such as deep-fried quail, cured mackerel and grilled celeriac cake.

Roka, Charlotte Street – for elegant Japanese robatayaki

The original Charlotte Street branch of this elegant Japanese restaurant is centred around an open kitchen, home to a large, coal-fired robata grill. Sit at the striking wraparound counter, or on a table beneath jewel-like jars of homemade ferments, to taste a succession of contemporary robatayaki dishes. We suggest selecting something from each of the menu’s sections (with a sparkling yuzu and cherry-laced sakura cocktail in hand while choosing). Snacks, salads and tempura include chunky beef and ginger gyozas, crisp prawn and shisho leaf tempura and silky aubergine salad topped with fluttering, umami-rich katsuobushi flakes. Roka’s signature tokusen sushi comes next – yellowtail tartare laced with chilli, served in a pot over ice with a wooden spoon to scoop onto puffed rice crackers. From the robata grill, yuzu miso-coated black cod served in a dried hoba (magnolia) leaf is so delicate it melts at a slight touch, while a heartier rack of baby back pork ribs has a tingling edge courtesy of sansho pepper. To mark its 20th anniversary, the restaurant has curated a £20 set menu, signature dishes and special events to celebrate.

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Cin Cin, Foley Street — for casual Italian using the best of British ingredients

The specials board captured our attention immediately: crudo with orange, fennel rabbit cacciatore, green olive and soft polenta; bigoli with anchovy, lemon, chilli and focaccia crumb; lemon meringue pie, blood orange sorbet. Cin Cin’s menu uses the best of British ingredients such as Blythburgh pork and south coast crab, Italian style, along with twists on classics including gnocchi cacio e pepe with Trombetta courgettes, burrata with truffled prosciutto and a Marinda tomato salad with lambrusco marinade that’s a must-order. Start with a glass of Franciacorta (Italy’s answer to champagne and a step up from prosecco) or the house negroni featuring Australian Regal red vermouth and rhubarb bitters, a nod to the owner’s Sydney heritage. Decor is relaxed and there are plenty of outdoor tables in this buzzy part of Fitzrovia, not far from Oxford Street.

Bowl of pasta at Cin Cin

Lisboeta, Charlotte Street — for authentic Portuguese plates

Lisbon-born Nuno Mendes’s latest culinary venture is Lisboeta, which means ‘a person from Lisbon’. Nuno is famous for his ground-breaking restaurant Viajante, and Lisboeta is a return to his roots where an all-day snack menu is a homage to ‘salgados’ (salty, savoury snacks) and ‘petiscos’ (little plates of this or that) culture. Both are most commonly eaten in the late afternoon accompanied by a cold beer or glass of vinho verde. Other dishes are served family-style as they would be in the tascas of Portugal.

Honey and Smoke, Great Portland Street – for Middle Eastern mezze

Honey and Smoke, the younger sister to nearby Honey and Co. brings the flavours and flair of Jerusalem grill houses to Fitzrovia. There’s a cool yet casual vibe, with rough plaster walls, teal-blue tiles, pops of primary colour and shelves lined with tubs of tahini. Upstairs there’s a slick five-seater bar, while downstairs, the open kitchen is the focus.

Go with a group to make the most of the seasonal sharing menu; velvety smooth hummus with diddy triangles of fluffy pitta, feta fritters filled with a sweet pea centre and charred asparagus-adorned labneh. After a mezze feast, tuck into grilled meats, fish and veggies. Slow-cooked lamb falls effortlessly from the bone with a side of gently-roasted plums and dried rose petals. Saffron-marinated chicken thighs have a kick of heat, while scorched orange segments burst with smoky sweetness. Accompany with buttery, almond-flecked basmati rice. Honey and Co.’s signature cheesecake has made its way over to the dessert menu, the crunchy kadaif noodle base topped with a dollop of whipped feta, a drizzle of honey and fresh mint.

A regularly changing wine list matches the season, with a few bottles from the Middle East making an appearance, from a light Palestinian cremisan to herby maia red from Israel. If you want a booze-free option, the refreshing orange blossom iced tea has a gentle sweetness.

A selection of small white plates topped with meze feast including hummus and flatbreads

Pahli Hill, Mortimer Street – for regional Indian dishes

Named after one of Mumbai’s oldest neighbourhoods, Pahli Hill’s menu reflects its diverse culinary heritage, offering regional dishes from all over India. Colourful original Indian artwork and fabrics, booth-seating and a view into the open kitchen give the restaurant a contemporary feel, while its Bandra Bhai basement bar delights in its dimly lit, smuggler’s-den vibe. With a tequila-based saffron cocktail in hand, graze on papadi chat, a dip of contrasting flavours and textures, including pumpkin, spiced yogurt, wheat crackers and sev (crispy gram flour noodles), tamarind chutney and vibrant pops of pomegranate. Bangalore-born chef Avinash Shashidhara’s experience in high-end UK restaurants is clear in this menu, which utilises top-quality British ingredients. Mangalore buns – two warm, bready pockets – are served with a generous pile of spiced Scottish crab. Highlights from the tandoor include monkfish with monk’s beard (greens grown in Tuscany); chicken tikka with cucumber noodles, mint and horseradish, and Cornish lamb cutlets. The pumpkin kofta is light and fragrant, and for a veggie feast, it’s perfect served with a long ‘paper dosa’ or flaky flatbread, tomato and coconut chutneys, and sambar of radish and drumstick (seed pods from the Moringa tree, which are reminiscent in texture to okra. Ask about the trick to eating them).

A selection of curries, salad and bread dishes at Pahli Hill in Fitzrovia

Punch Room at The London EDITION – for cocktails

Hidden in the depths of the glamorous London EDITION hotel, this bar is a cocoon of wood panelling and blue-grey velvet banquettes where creatives gather for hushed conversations over iconic punch-style cocktails. An electric fire casts a cosy ambience across the lounge area and there’s a steady stream of shaking and stirring at the free-standing bar in the corner.

The menu plays with light, and drinks are split into three sections – opaque, translucent and transparent. From the latter, completely clear drinks include the silky, mezcal-based Halo of Smoke with a kick from cayenne pepper, fragrant Bergamot liqueur Italicus and a fresh, grassy lift from coriander, basil and parsley oil dropped in. Fireball Punch has a tropical edge while negroni fans should order the unique Mother of Pearl, with Campari playing its part in a bittersweet pink foam that sits atop a clear Sakura cherry vermouth infused liquid. An eclectic choice of bar food ranges from the likes of toasted brioche rolls filled with tempura prawns, marie rose and trout caviar to crisp chicken tenders lifted with jalapeño and even mini versions of Berner Tavern comfort food, such as mac and cheese with braised beef blade.

Punch Room London EDITION bar with wood panelled walls, sofas and an electric fire

Clipstone, Clipstone Street – for date night

Clipstone is on a corner of Clipstone Street in Fitzrovia and is the sister to nearby (and Michelin-starred) Portland, a modern-European dining room set up by restaurateurs Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau with chef Merlin Labron-Johnson. Both restaurants pride themselves on high-quality cooking, wine and service, but Clipstone is more casual – here, you can have freshly made sourdough flatbreads from a pizza oven, left-over from the Italian restaurant that was here before it. There are larger plates including homemade ravioli of hay-baked carrot and ricotta with brown butter and hazelnuts and a tempting array of desserts – lemon sheep’s milk ice cream, for example, and the ultimate Paris-Brest (a Parisian bistro classic). Drinks-wise, there are several wines on tap and, for something soft, homemade sodas (including yuzu-ade) and watermelon iced tea. It’s all set in a warm, elegantly designed space – expect reclaimed stone, natural linens and outdoor seating.

Paris Brest

Circolo Popolare, Rathbone Place – for a group dinner

This extravagant Italian trattoria (the second London outpost from Big Mamma group) is ideal for a fun group dinner – it’s buzzy, loud and seemingly the place to be (booking is essential, unless you want to brave the walk-in queue that snakes round the block). The interiors set the tone – lights twist into foliage hanging from the ceilings, walls are jam-packed with colourful memorabilia (photo frames, ceramic plates, candelabras) and shelves groan with every liquor imaginable – there are tens of thousands of bottles.

Kick things off with the Big Mamma cocktail, a refreshing vodka, lime and ginger ale concoction served in a mermaid-painted glass, or one of the restaurant’s takes on Italian aperitifs and spritzes – we loved the Spritz Veneziano with herbaceous Plymouth thyme gin, prosecco, blood orange bitters and a gobstopper-sized olive for good measure. There are also sharing cocktails served in giant strawberry ceramics and champagne buckets.

The food is centred around produce from Sicily – share a huge burrata with pesto or deep-fried courgette flowers to start. Mains are ideal for groups, too, with carbonara served in a pecorino wheel and silk handkerchief pasta covered in Tuscan pork ragu and aubergines, both meant for two. Tongue-in-cheek-named pizzas include I Wanna Nduja (San Marzano tomato and smoked mozzarella with subtle heat from ’nduja, spicy sausage and chilli), Elizabeth Regina topped with Sicilian herbs, prosciutto and ricotta cream, and vegetarian Emrata Burrata with creamy burrata heart, almonds, capers and olives. For dessert there’s a hefty 5.9-inch-high slice of lemon meringue pie, or creamy, boozy tiramisu spooned straight from the dish.

Interiors of Circolo Popolare Fitzrovia wooden tables in bottled-lined walls with foliage hanging from the ceiling

Kiss the Hippo – for coffee

The second branch of this sleek coffee shop (see our brunch guide for info on the original spot in Richmond) offers breakfast and brunch classics alongside top-notch coffee. Expect plenty of niche brews, from Ugandan nitro cold brew and a fresh, bright option from Yemen to their classic George Street blend with notes of blackberry, caramel and chocolate. Dishes include vegan options such as avocado on toast with toasted seeds and chilli flakes, and scrambled tofu with red pepper and herbs on toast. An indulgent eggs benedict is served in an Insta-worthy croissant bun, while mushrooms on toast is slathered in black olive tapenade and shaved Italian cheese.

Eggs royale in croissant bun on a counter at Kiss the Hippo

Al Dente, Goodge Street – for pasta

This neighbourhood glass-fronted pasta spot is a casual affair, with simple black and white walls, a reggaeton soundtrack and a fridge packed with colourful San Pellegrino cans. In front of the small open kitchen, creations from the on-site pasta lab are laid out in all shapes and sizes to take away, from twirly fusilli to ribbed tubes of maccheroni and filled tortelli. After a starter of fresh tomato cubes on toasted focaccia doused in Sicilian olive oil, tuck into an array of handmade pasta dishes. Spaghettoni coated in a silky, yolk-yellow sauce jewelled with salty guanciale (complete with melty fat) and pecorino cheese makes a top-notch carbonara, while large tubes of paccheri soak up a sweet tomato sauce of finely minced beef and vegetables. Vegetarian options include the peppery punch of cacio e pepe tossed through chewy worms of tonnarelli (thicker spaghetti), and ravioli parcels filled with pumpkin and ricotta adorned with crispy sage. Simple desserts are well executed, with ricotta-filled housemade cannoli, and thick folds of mascarpone layered with boozy sponge in a Kilner jar tiramisu. The wine list showcases producers from across Italy – floral Umbrian San Giovanni, rich Puglian primitivo, and soft, smooth chianti from Tuscany.

Plate of pasta at Al Dente Fitzrovia

Flesh & Buns, Berners Street – for Nikkei cuisine

Nikkei cuisine and on-demand pisco sours define the vibe at Flesh & Buns’s newest site. While Flesh & Buns’s trademark bao buns still make an appearance, the menu focusses on nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese fusion) cuisine – from tiger prawn toban with aji amarillo (a Peruvian chilli), ponzu butter and shiso, to fish and seafood tiraditos (a cross between Peruvian ceviche and Japanese sashimi). There’s also new dishes created using Ross’s new wood smoker – including chilli miso brisket and bath chap with butternut squash kimchi. Portions are generous. Korean-fried chicken wings come slathered in a fiery, tangy sauce while smoked pork ribs are two huge, succulent bronzed slabs glazed in aji amarillo honey. A ceviche of sea bass with cherry tomato, pickled kumquat and rocoto tiger’s milk (the citrussy curing marinade in a ceviche) is delicate and spicy all at once.

Buns filled with meat

The Ninth, Charlotte Street – for contemporary French cuisine

Located in the heart of Fitzrovia, The Ninth unsurprisingly is the ninth venue on Jun Tanaka’s illustrious C.V, and his first solo venture, delivering simple yet refined sharing dishes. Seasonal produce takes centre stage on an a la carte menu, which is split into eight sections. Built around cured, pickled and brined specialities, like the zesty razor clam ceviche, Tanaka layers flavours in an exquisite, delicate style, enabling each ingredient to shine. Start your meal off with a choice of snacks including the mouth-watering oxtail croquettes and the Monacan speciality, barbajuans; ravioli parcels filled with lightly fried Swiss chard, pine nuts and feta. The succulent salted beef cheeks arrive in a deeply flavoured oxtail consommé and are perfectly complemented by smoky, charred cabbage which lifts the rich, earthy flavours to another level.

A white plate topped with razor clams

Berner’s Tavern, Berners Street – for afternoon tea

Berner’s Tavern’s glamorous dining room boasts high ceilings, opulent chandeliers, artwork lining the walls and comfy pink seats to accompany dark wooden tables. Traditional afternoon tea is served with a selection of classic and alternative teas: darjeeling (smoky and smooth); green tea (light and delicate); and earl grey (strong yet floral). Berners Tavern afternoon tea is served without champagne at £39.50 pp, though you can opt for a glass of NV Ruinart Reims Champagne France Brut ‘R’ for £17.50. Sandwiches include soft salmon topped with crisp thin curls of cucumber, miniature baguettes filled with chicken and meaty mushrooms, and creamy goat’s cheese and apple multi-seed scones. Scones proper are warm and fluffy with lightly golden shiny tops. The sweet course delights, including rhubarb and ginger macarons, raspberry mousse with a delicate addition of pink peppercorns, and decadent dark chocolate tart with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a citrussy yuzu curd.

Cake stand at Berners Tavern afternoon tea

Mere, Charlotte Street – for and elegant dinner

Mere, in Fitzrovia, pronounced ‘Mary’, is the first restaurant from MasterChef judge Monica Galetti and her sommelier husband David. Head chef Renée Miller delivers a menu that features six options per course, all dependant on market availability – try scallop with black curry, basmati, lime, kumquat and puffed rice for starters; a main of roast squab breast with confit leg pastilla, cauliflower and rhubarb; and blood orange mousse with yogurt sorbet, lemon confit and grapefruit for dessert. An extensive wine list includes both new and old world options, as well as reserve vintages. The ground level bar area features an Indian granite-topped bar edged in zinc, while the restaurant itself is decorated primarily in blues, greys and deep yellows, with dark oak flooring and mirrored glass wall panelling. As you enter the bar area there’s a signature showpiece created by English artist Warren Kerley made from hundreds of metal champagne cork tops.

Mere restaurant, dining room

Homeslice, Wells Street – for pizza

Homeslice’s Fitzrovia residence is all about exposed brick walls, low hipster lighting and carafes of organic natural wine. Huge 20-inch pizzas, served by the slice or on wooden peels almost as big as the table, stand well apart from your standard go-to Italian comfort food. There’s no ham and pineapple in sight (although the humble Margherita does get a look in). Instead, ox tail with horseradish and sorrel cream; aubergine, harissa and cauliflower cheese; and wild venison with kale, reign supreme. Homeslice pizzas are quite floury and you won’t get any drip from the sauce or satisfying pull-apart stringy cheese action. But when it comes to the venison, you don’t need any of that. The contrast between the cured, spicy meat and sweet caramelised onions is pleasing. And the red wine base, through strong, isn’t overpoweringly tomatoey.

A selection of pizzas and pizza slices on white plates and wooden boards

Words by Ellie Edwards, Alex Crossley, Charlotte Morgan, Laura Rowe, Jordan Kelly-Linden, Hannah Guinness, Nicki Smith

Photographs by Patricia Niven and BAO

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