13 best quirky London restaurants

Explore the most unusual places to eat in London from Michelin-starred eateries to a restaurant based in a prison.
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Book a spot at one of these fun restaurants in London. Known for its diverse dining scene, there's no shortage of quirky restaurants to choose from in the capital.

1. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Settle down for a quirky culinary experience at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a two Michelin-starred restaurant that's consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the world. The celebrity chef taps into Britain's rich culinary history with unusual results, such as the signature Meat Fruit starter, where chicken parfait is served in the guise of a clementine.

Where: Knightsbridge (66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA)

2. The Piano Works

Tuck into steaks, ribs and sliders as you listen to live music requested by you and the rest of the audience in a Victorian warehouse, at The Piano Works. Part live jukebox, part restaurant, this music-lovers’ favourite will have you singing long into the night.

Where: Farringdon (113-117 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3BX) and West End (47 Whitcomb St, WC2H 7DH)

3. Circus

A woman on stage, a fire-breather, is holding two wooden sticks with a flame at a top while fire comes out of her mouth.
Immersive dining experience at Circus in Covent Garden, Image courtesy of Red Letter Days

Nibble on pan-Asian cuisine in the futuristic dining room at Circus, created by British designer Tom Dixon. Glamorous eating and drinking is not all that occurs at this Covent Garden restaurant, as dinner is combined with various surprise cabaret and circus acts who parade across the tables.

Where: Covent Garden (27-29 Endell St, WC2H 9BA)

4. Mari Vanna

If you’ve ever pondered what it would be like to wine (or vodka) and dine at Grandma’s house in old Russia, then Mari Vanna London will answer all your desires. A remarkably authentic slice of Soviet era cuisine and comradery, spanning everything from caviar to cabbage rolls.

Where: Knightsbridge (Wellington Court, SW1X 7PD)

5. Sarastro

A London restaurant that is anything but quiet, Sarastro is "the show after the show" thanks to the musical entertainment played out live among the smiling diners. The drama continues on your plate with Turkish and Mediterranean flavours to entertain your taste buds.

Where: Covent Garden (126 Drury Ln, WC2B 5SU)

6. Sketch

The newly renovated Gallery at Sketch with glistening gold and yellow furnishings. Image courtesy of Sketch.
The Gallery at Sketch restaurant in London. Image courtesy of Sketch.

Sketch turns eating and drinking into a whole new experience, boasting several venues at its base near Regent Street that are among the best restaurants in London. The hardest part is choosing between the three Michelin-starred Lecture Room; the woodland-themed lunch venue, Glade; the brasserie-style Gallery; and The Parlour, an eccentric patisserie, restaurant and bar.

Where: Mayfair (9 Conduit St, W1S 2XG)

7. Beach Blanket Babylon

Dining at Beach Blanket Babylon is like stepping between a Georgian English manor house and a French chateau. If the vintage furnishings, imposing statues and all-round extraordinary decor don't inspire awe at this celebrity hotspot, the seasonal, modern European food will.

Where: Notting Hill (45 Ledbury Rd, W11 2AA)

8. Brunswick House

The worlds of contemporary and traditional Britain come together at this top London restaurant. Brunswick House Cafe's regularly changing menu is inspired by local produce, and the furniture and interior design is all up for sale.

Where: Vauxhall (30 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LG)

9. Bob Bob Ricard

Soak up the glamorous atmosphere at this fancy dining hotspot. The Bob Bob Ricard menu features an array of British-Russian dishes to enjoy in private booths, surrounded by glitzy art-deco decor. Each table has a “press for champagne” button, meaning you can really dine in style during your trip to London.

Where: Soho (1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF) and City of London (Level 3, 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB)

10. The Clink Restaurant

Eat within the walls of a prison at The Clink Restaurant based at HMP Brixton. Many of the ingredients are sourced from prison farms around the country, while everything is cooked and served by the prisoners as they train for careers in hospitality after their release. Not only does this unique dining experience help with rehabilitation, the food is excellent and of good value too.

Where: Brixton (HMP Brixton, SW2 5XF)

11. Inamo

A selection of sushis and asian tapas is presented on a table.
Asian tapas, sushis and fusion dishes at Inamo restaurant. Image courtesy of Buyagift.

This Asian fusion restaurant boasts a pioneering interactive ordering system projected onto the table, making it one of the coolest restaurants in London. At Inamo, you can place orders via a 3D menu, choose from a selection of virtual tablecloths, find out about the local neighbourhood and even order a taxi home, all from the comfort of your seat.

Where: Soho (134-136 Wardour St, W1F 8ZS) and Covent Garden (11-14 Hanover Pl, WC2E 9JP)

12. Dans le Noir?

At Dans le Noir? restaurant in Clerkenwell, your dining experience takes place in complete darkness. Served by blind and visually impaired waiters, the meal challenges your sense of taste and smell and the surprise menu encourages you to educate your palate.

Where: Clerkenwell (69-73 St John St, EC1M 4NJ)

13. Archipelago

The red and green interior and table setting of Archipelago restaurant
Archipelago restaurant © Archipelago. Image courtesy of Archipelago.

Golden Buddhas, dwarf palm trees and giant peacock feathers give Archipelago's interior a quirky feel, but it's the menu "staples" such as crocodile, kangaroo, and ostrich that really makes this one of the most unusual places to eat in London. This restaurant certainly reaches out to intrepid diners with options such as python carpaccio, and jerk alpaca.

Where: Fitzrovia (53 Cleveland St, W1T 4JJ)

If you're visiting London with family and have little ones to feed, head to these cool family-friendly restaurants, which cater for even the fussiest of eaters.