The 9 Best Restaurants In London Owned By Celebrity Chefs

There’s no doubt that the London restaurant scene attracts and generates some of the best chef talent around the world. Many of the most famous chefs to have graced our screens cut their teeth in London restaurants and now, they pretty much all have establishments of their own.

But when it comes to picking the truly outstanding restaurants owned by top chefs, you can’t just go by who’s the most famous. The capital pulls in fresh talent constantly, and exciting new ventures are always taking on the bigger restaurant groups.  So for our selection of the best restaurants in London run by famous chefs, we’re including rising stars and established household names.

To be clear, you won’t find a faceless chain restaurant with the Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay name tacked onto it here. Each celebrity chef in this list either works closely with their restaurant(s), or is still a head chef in action. Thanks to their passion and care, we can safely say that these aren’t just excellent eateries run by well-known chefs, but some of the best places to eat in London overall.

Vibrant Spanish tapas across five London locations. £35-£60pp

Often described as the godfather of Spanish cuisine in the UK, José Pizarro’s name is synonymous with the London tapas scene. José has founded five astoundingly successful restaurant locations across London, from the original site on Bermondsey Street (which was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide) to the café and restaurant within the Royal Academy of Arts. 

Inspired by the bustling tapas bars of Barcelona, José Pizarro restaurants celebrate great tasting, great value flavour-packed tapas in a no-frills setting. The acorn-fed Jamón Ibérico is a must, as well as the Moorish marinated pork ribs and the croquetas of the day. José is also a familiar face on food TV, appearing on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, Ch4’s Sunday Brunch, The Big Eat by Food Network and James Martin’s Saturday Morning

Looking to recreate authentic Spanish food at home? Take a look at José’s newest cookbook, The Spanish Home Kitchen.

Restaurant & food Photography © Adele Audisio

Indian tiffin boxes, full of bright, fresh flavours. £10-£25 pp

The brainchild of TV chef Nisha Katona MBE, this casual, zingy eatery is all about the freshness of real Indian cooking – celebrating how Indians cook at home and in the streets. Mowgli serves affordable, flavour-packed meals in metal tiffin boxes, with highlights including yoghurt chat bombs, gunpowder chicken and their vegan showstopper: a ‘Holy Chow’ chickpea curry served in a loaf of bread. 

Mowgli venues are known for their charming interiors and captivating restaurant settings. With swing chairs, tall trees at the heart of the restaurant, and warm fairy lights scattered throughout, Mowgli exudes a relaxed and inviting atmosphere to enjoy your food.

You might recognise Nisha Katona from her judging role on BBC’s Great British Menu, or her appearances on ITV’s This Morning. An ex-barrister, Nisha opened the first Mowgli in Liverpool in 2015; it has since expanded to 18 locations across the UK and Nisha works tirelessly across all the sites, ensuring every last detail in the business has her touch. Nisha has also written five cookbooks, with her latest – Meat Free Mowgli – offering delicious, straightforward Indian recipes that don’t include any meat.

Photography © Tara Fisher 

Cornish seafood on the banks of the Thames. £20-£60 pp

Rick Stein may be one of the most well-known celebrity chefs UK viewers can name, but that doesn’t mean he – or his family – are far removed from his eponymous restaurants. Rick Stein Barnes is an oasis amongst the bustle of the city, offering views of the River Thames and a laid-back atmosphere. Their fresh Cornish seafood is consistently excellent – if they have it, try the lemon sole veronique, Indonesian seafood curry or splash out on a grilled Cornish lobster. If you’re feeling more humble, there’s also a great value 2-course set lunch menu for just £17.50.

These days, Rick’s son Jack Stein is the Chef Director of Rick Stein Seafood Restaurants, responsible for overseeing the restaurant’s menu development as well as their branded cook-at-home meal kits, Stein’s at Home. Before he settled into the family business, Jack worked in restaurants worldwide, with long stints in Australia and East Asia. This global approach is reflected in today’s Rick Stein menu – as well as in Jack’s cookbook, Jack Stein’s World on a Plate. Jack has featured on ITV’s Cooking with the Stars as a Mentor Chef for three years running, and has filmed several TV series including Wine, Dine and Stein and Born to Cook: Jack Stein Down Under.


Photography © James Ram

Long-running institution of contemporary Indian cuisine. £20-£50 pp


Owned by celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE and his wife Pervin, Café Spice Namasté holds the title of the longest-running Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in the world. A Whitechapel landmark since the 90s, the restaurant relocated to Royal Albert Wharf during the pandemic – and you’ll find plenty willing to make the pilgrimage east. The dazzling menu offers a vibrant twist on the culinary traditions of India, particularly Goan and Parsee food.

Cover your table with dishes such as Parsee-style lamb shank, cashew sauce chicken and smoky curried aubergine mash – all of which are reasonably priced and packed with flavour. Cyrus has inspired generations of Asian chefs during his career, reshaping Britain’s perceptions of Indian food since the 90s. In 2014, he was awarded the BBC Food Personality of the Year. You can buy his latest cookbook, Simple Spice Vegetarian, here.

Restaurant Photography © Nitin Kapoor

Sophisticated, vegetable-forward barbecue food. £35-£60 pp

Live-fire restaurant Acme Fire Cult offers a new approach to barbecue, where vegetables take centre stage and sustainably-sourced meat and fish are in supporting roles. In collaboration with 40FT Brewery next door, this low-waste menu also makes use of beer byproducts to create exciting ferments and sauces – Acme ‘Marmite’, beer molasses and Ancho hot sauce, to name a few. And obviously, that also means there’s great beer on tap.

It’s a thoughtful – and stunningly delicious – antidote to macho, meat-heavy barbecue food. In fact, their most talked-about dish is a plate of soft and smoky coal-roast leeks, drenched in a vibrant green pistachio sauce. Acme Fire Cult was founded by chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, who collaborated on a series of hugely successful pop-ups before opening their permanent restaurant. A well-known face in the London food scene (partly thanks to his foot-long beard), Andrew is also a prominent mental health advocate, shaman and heavy metal guitarist.

Photography © Steve Ryan

Elegant Michelin-star fine dining using seasonal ingredients. £70-£300 pp

Hide is the latest venture of star chef Ollie Dabbous, once called ‘the most wanted chef in Britain’. It was awarded a Michelin star and GQ Restaurant of the Year within six months of its opening in 2018 – and you quickly realise why. With a menu that highlights the natural qualities of its ingredients, Hide is the culmination of Ollie’s restrained, produce-driven style. A dish of asparagus or lamb won’t be over-processed into foam or deep-fried into oblivion. Instead, the ingredient is magically transformed into the ultimate version of itself.

Ollie cooks most days at his restaurant and you will recognise his face from BBC’s Saturday Kitchen where he makes frequent appearances.  Hide is set over three floors, tied together with an undulating oak staircase. The Above dining room, which offers a five or seven-course tasting menu, is a little more high-end than Ground, below it. Either way, make sure you grab a dazzling cocktail from the basement bar before you settle down to eat. And if you leave inspired by Ollie’s utterly elegant cooking, try out his cookbook, Essential.

Photography © Joakim Blockstrom

Regional Italian dishes in an intimate setting. £30-£80 pp

The menu at Bocca di Lupo is like a miniature guidebook to Italy’s many different regions. This cosy, intimate restaurant embraces the more obscure side of Italian cuisine – dishes may seem rustic, but are made with an attention to detail that makes for astonishingly delicious results. You’ll find the same care has gone into the wine list, which starts at reasonable prices too.

Try the sea bream baked in a sarcophagus of salt, grilled aubergines with smoked ricotta and tomato, or chilled poached rabbit with broad beans. Head chef Jacob Kenedy‘s dedication to authenticity translates into a unique and refreshing Italian menu – sorely needed in central London. And if all this wasn’t delightful enough, Bocca di Lupo has its own gelato shop, Gelupo, right across the road (you can find their recipe collection here).  Jacob is also a best selling author.

Photography © Howard August

Restaurant & food Photography © Howard Sooley

Imaginative tasting menu with global influences. £100-£350 pp

Amethyst is one of the best restaurants London has to offer, helmed by Naples-born chef Carlo Scotto (who Grace Dent called ‘one of Britain’s most imaginative chefs’). Here, diners sit semi-communally around a long, zig-zag table made of real amethyst and quartz. Offering boundary-pushing tasting menus of 5, 7, 9 or 12 courses, you’ll be taken on a journey through Carlo’s experiences of cooking around the globe.

Expect Japanese, Nordic, French and Arabic influences in the menu – but you won’t know what you’re getting until it’s in front of you. Carlo’s menu is ever-changing, so no menu will be given – you’ll just have to put yourself in his capable hands. Eclectic, exquisite and completely unforgettable, Amethyst is where you go to impress someone.

Refined British comfort food by a Michelin-starred chef. £45-120 pp

Tom Kerridge may have a lot of feathers in his cap these days, but his restaurants all share his own Michelin-level attention to detail. Nestled inside the Corinthia Hotel, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill was the first London restaurant from the team behind the Hand & Flowers – a.k.a. Tom’s two Michelin-starred pub in Marlow.

Reflecting Tom’s love of British food, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill offers exquisite takes on pub classics. Think pig’s cheek pie with truffled clotted cream mash, or Cornish dover sole fish and chips served with pease pudding. Plus, there’s excellent Rebellion beers from Marlow on tap.

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