London’s five best neighbourhood restaurants

James Thompson, Founder of popular food and travel Instagram account Food Feels, shares his favourite local places to eat in the capital


For my top five London restaurants right now, I’ve really focused on the neighbourhood-style restaurants which are offering excellent food and service without the central London prices.


Nest in Hackney opened in December by three friends Johnnie, Luke and Toby. Johnny is a former chef from The Harwood Arms and Anglo Restaurant. The perfect cosy neighbourhood restaurant with a seven-course tasting menu at £32 which is quite unbeatable for the quality and produce. They only use one meat at a time in the kitchen (this month is mutton) if you get the chance - try their Bread and Butter Pudding. One of my local East London favourites.

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I love Spanish food. It’s a great thing that Jose Pizzaro showed London what he can do, especially with his two restaurants on Bermondsey Street. Just up the road from his tapas bar, Jose is his restaurant Pizzaro serving bar snacks, share plates and big plates. Think padron peppers, grilled pulpo and presa Iberica.


I visited Llewelyns for the first time in January and it ticks every box as a neighbourhood restaurant. The friendliest staff, a daily changing menu using seasonal ingredients and a homely atmosphere. The general manager, Alcides (previously Rochelles Canteen) will make sure your experience is a good as it gets and with Ravneet Gill (previously St. John) looking after the pastries - you are in for a treat!

Quality Chop House

A favourite for many Londoners. The restaurant serves modern British cooking surrounded by history. From the team behind Clipstone and Portland, you will be well looked after. Make sure you try their confit potatoes as well as their Galloway Mince and dripping toast.


Smokestak is always a great option. David Carter serves the best bbq smoked meats in London. Starting originally as street food around London, Smokestak is now located in the middle of shoreditch. A seasonal menu bbq meat, seafood and salad options. Their brisket bun is a must - and if there is room, try the jacket potato with smoked rarebit.

James Thompson will be leading a walking tour around Borough Market and the London Bridge area as part of Take Residence: UK - an event series from the Residence Inn by Marriott London Bridge. More information here

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