A stroll in Fitzrovia yields gorgeous 18th- and 19th-century buildings and quintessential ‘ye olde’ pubs. The neighbouring Marylebone has a village feel, teeming with indie boutiques, Georgian mansions, and tourists flocking to Madame Tussauds and 221b Baker Street. And where culture and architecture go, the food scene will surely follow. Marylebone and Fitzrovia are home to a multitude of award-winning eateries, whether you’re in the market for French haute cuisine or pasta served in a wheel of cheese.
Pied a Terre
Founded in 1991 and still in the care of the original owner, Pied à Terre has the honour of being the longest-standing independent Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK. It serves classic French cuisine to Fitzrovia’s discerning denizens – think smoked trout mousse with heritage beetroot, Royal Oscietra caviar and sherry vinegar, or artichoke terrine, celeriac and Australian black truffle. Executive chef Asimakis Chaniotis also makes occasional reference to his Greek roots, as with the eggs Kaiyana with Cornish pickled mackerel and breakfast radishes.
34 Charlotte St, London W1T 2NH, pied-a-terre.co.uk
Mathieu Germond was brought up in the Loire Valley, where his grandparents ran a farm in the tiny village of Noizé. Years later, he opened a French bistro of the same name to recreate the tastes he experienced growing up. Expect straightforward yet elegant seasonal dishes like rabbit lasagna, mustard sauce and crushed peas, or glazed veal cheeks with saffron risotto, artichoke barigoule, gremolata and pecorino. Explore the wine list for perfect pairings, Germond’s wine knowledge is vast and you're sure to find something to suit every palate.
39 Whitfield St, London W1T 2SF, noize-restaurant.co.uk
Hakkasan came to London 20 years ago on a mission to bring modern Chinese food to the capital. It is now wildly popular and Michelin-starred, with ten locations worldwide. In a dynamic celebration of Cantonese flavours, Hakkasan offers dishes ranging from the traditional (like the Hakka steamed dim sum platter) to the experimental (the jasmine tea-smoked short rib) and the unexpected (grilled Chilean seabass with Chinese honey). Dishes are designed for sharing so that diners can try as much as possible.
8 Hanway Pl, London W1T 1HD, hakkasan.com
Akoko’s dishes are inspired by the traditions of West Africa while incorporating the highest-quality British produce. Since opening, the restaurant has been drawing in patrons curious to see how owner Aji Akokomi brings African spices to Fitzrovia. They’re greeted with recipes passed down from generation to generation, such as Gambian oyster stew, Galician octopus with peanut and cacao, and baobab ice cream with hibiscus and lemon.
21 Berners St, London W1T 3LP, akoko.co.uk
Hot Stone specialises in the Japanese tradition of omakase, which means ‘I’ll leave it to you’. In other words, instead of poring over a menu (only to get food envy when you inevitably order the wrong thing), the chef decides what they will serve you. Executive chef Padam Raj Rai makes either 14 (for ten guests) or 17 (for six guests) punchy dishes incorporating ingredients like Japanese wagyu, tuna carpaccio and seared butterfish. Add 38-year-aged soy sauce, spicy truffle yuzu miso and grated Japanese wasabi, and you have something far greater than your average steak and sushi.
3 Windmill St, London W1T 2HY, hotstonelondon.com
Make sure to book early if you want to get in to Circolo Popolare – this Fitzrovia-based Sicilian trattoria is really having a moment. Run by 130 self-professed ‘crazy Italians’, Circolo Popolare offers its adoring public, among other things, cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper pasta) served in a pecorino wheel, Neapolitan pizzas covered in San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and scandalous desserts like a caramelised profiterole. This is surely what the word ‘indulgent’ was created for.
40-41 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1HX, bigmammagroup.com
Trishna delivers Indian coastal cuisine to the delightful Marylebone Village, with an extensive wine list to boot. The tasting menu features delicacies like nariyal scallops, shahi salmon tikka, duck chutney seekh, gongura lamb, and mango and pistachio kheer, while the à la carte yields Dorset brown crab with coconut oil, pepper, garlic and curry leaf, and tandoori mustard prawns with shrimp chutney and idiyappam. Trishna’s antique mirrors, marble tabletops and original wood panelling, plus the fantastic food, make it an all-round charming experience.
15-17 Blandford St, London W1U 3DG, trishnalondon.com
Orrery serves elegant French food from a converted stable block at the heart of W1. The dining room is flooded with natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling arched windows which frame the St Marylebone Church courtyard. The lavender panelling and handmade terracotta pots are all inspired by the south of France. But Orrery is about much more than the interior; head chef Igor Tymchyschyn flashes his Michelin-starred credentials with dishes such as beetroot tartare with goat curd and summer truffle; cured beef with artichoke purée, Madeira jelly and compressed apple; and elderflower panna cotta with passion fruit and Champagne jelly.
55 Marylebone High St, London W1U 5RB, orrery-restaurant.co.uk