Planning a girls’ night out in London? Once you’ve settled on a date, the next big decision is where to go. Do you revisit an old favourite? Check out a new opening? Or leave it to chance and risk a bad meal? We’re big fans of planning ahead, especially when it comes to eating, so we’ve rounded up 12 London restaurants where great food and good vibes are always on the menu. And of course, they’re not limited to girls’ night – your guy friends will love them too.
MAM, Notting Hill – Impress your foodie friends by booking a table at MAM, the new Vietnamese barbecue restaurant from the team behind Salvation in Noodles. Expect robata-grilled meat and seafood served sharing style with rice noodles, chopped veg, colourful pickles, and fresh herbs.
Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly – This grand French brasserie is great for groups and surprisingly affordable for somewhere so glam. After steak-frites or roast chicken to share, retire to the Bar Américain for coffee or a glass of Champagne.
BungaTini, Covent Garden – Keep it casual with a round of spritzes, some antipasti, and wood-fired pizza at this gem on Drury Lane. They also do fantastic pizza making classes, if you fancy getting hands on.
Tropicana Beach Club, Covent Garden – Relive your youth in a tropical paradise, complete with lagoon-style dance floor, beach cabanas, live DJs and topless lifeguards. Their sharing cocktails – served in flamingo, palm tree and boat-shaped vessels – are guaranteed to get the party started.
Smokestak, Shoreditch – Kick back and catch up over cocktails and smoked meat at this barbecue joint in Shoreditch. Their beef brisket and thick-cut pork ribs are a must, but make sure you leave room for their famous sticky toffee pud.
Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden – Vivek Singh’s newest restaurant serves zingy chaats, street snacks, and ‘bazaar plates’ like shrimp pepper fry and ox cheek vindaloo. It’s a great choice if you’re heading to the theatre.
Hakkasan Hanway Place – We’re big fans of Hakkasan for a dim sum lunch, but it’s even more glamorous after dark. Round up your girl gang and try dishes like roast cod with Champagne and honey and jasmine tea smoked beef ribs.
Breddos Tacos, Soho – Treat your besties to Baja fish tacos, pulpo asado, and a round of Margaritas at this buzzy taqueria just off Regent Street. Make a night of it with after-dinner karaoke at Lucky Voice or cocktails at Cahoots.
Senor Ceviche, Fitzrovia – This colourful Peruvian restaurant serves everything from street food snacks and fresh ceviche to barbecue dishes and superfood salads. Their slow-cooked pachamanca pork ribs will change your life.
Pizza East, Kentish Town – It’s hard to beat Pizza East for a laid-back, wallet-friendly Italian feast. Their pizzas are delicious and great for sharing if you’ve over-ordered on the small plates. (Get the lamb meatballs and thank us later). If you fancy a nightcap, subterranean cocktail bars Ladies & Gentlemen and Knowhere Special are only a stroll away.
Aviary, Moorgate – Looking for somewhere to meet up after work? City slickers can unwind with dinner and drinks at Aviary, a rooftop bar-restaurant with stunning skyline views. If your mates have got a competitive streak, stop off at sister venue Burdock for a game of shuffleboard.
Mad Hatters Tipsy Evening Tea, Soho – If you find afternoon tea a bit lacking in the booze department, you’ll love the tipsy tea served from 7-9pm at Sanderson Hotel. Expect savoury bites, alcohol-infused cakes, and a flight of four Alice in Wonderland-inspired cocktails.