Casual Restaurants in London
In need of a breather from the 100 miles per hour nature of the capital? Find the best restaurants for casual dining in London with our hand-picked guide! Featuring laidback eateries with a touch of urban NYC, easygoing restaurants playing sweet soul music and stripped back cafes with spectacular views of the Shard, recharge those batteries at our recommended picks for casual restaurants in London.
Looking for further inspiration? Check out our complete guide to the best restaurants in London!
Last updated on 11th October 2016
Championing casual dining in London, Joe's Southern Kitchen is a smokey ol' joint of slow cooked meats that melt off the bone and are coated in some pure BBQ lovin'. Sitting in Kentish Town, head here for big feeds and meats galore as well as a session in their basement Jailbird Bar which is oozing with strong liquors.
Hankering after a casual place to eat in London? A destination that not only boasts views of The Shard and riverside views of the Thames, but a top roster of gastro plates to boot? Then you've come to the right place. Chilled, charming and perfect for the hungry, tuck into top plates and wile the night away.
Laid back and relaxed in everything it does, the newly opened Humble Grape on Fleet Street will undoubtedly become a favourite spot for the City's many workers. Beautifully crafted with sleek furniture, exposed brick walls and simple decor, the team offer over 30 different varieties of wine for the venue's guests. If that wasn't enough, guests can accompany their drinks with a selection of delicious, casual dishes, created by the venue's head chef Anna Allan.
We need to talk about The Four Thieves’ Gin Yard. A charming alfresco space with ample comfy seating and artworks lining the walls, the space is covered all winter so it’s really cosy all year round. Head out here with a drink or two before dinner and enjoy those relaxing vibes, they grow the lavender used in their gin out here, so it smells great too. Head chef Richard Allen prepares a menu of seasonal and fresh British pub classics when it's time to eat.
A firm favourite for pubbing out west, Ealing Park Tavern is a cosy place to enjoy some beer, seasonal foods and a laid back atmosphere. A pretty casual place to dine in London, you can enjoy your dinner in its rustic countryside setting where stags heads and antlers adorn the walls. Settle down over a weekend or head here for some comforting after work drinks too.
The fun-loving vibes of a movie-scene diner and the flavoursome heat of a Louisianan BBQ joint are recreated in the shadows of St Paul's Cathedral in the form of the Fat Bear. Lively in every way, the team combine heart-clogging comfort dishes with delectable, American inspired drinks in such a way that's capable of pleasing even the pickiest eater. From bourbon infused cocktails to peanut butter and bacon chilli jam burgers, celebrate the very best aspects of American culture on your next night out in London.
Set in a formerly disused car park, with stripped back furnishings, reclaimed furniture and cosy festoon lighting, the Bermondsey Yard Cafe has casual dining in London down to a tee. Come and make yourself comfortable inside this truly unique oasis, foods are honest and beautifully created and they’ve paired up with London’s Gentleman Baristas, so a great cup of coffee is assured. Make for the snug garden area to chill out with great views of the Shard.
When it comes to casual dining in London, there's nothing better than the scoffing of pizza between friends, and Venn St Records is offering out just that. Join them in their cool music themed bar for cocktails, of course, but also a fun smattering of pizza bites to boot.
For some informal dining in London that promises hearty British plates of classic food, Jamies St Mary at Hill. Tuck into sharing platters, small plates, burgers and big plates like their cracking pie of the day or ribeye steak. Boasting quite the collection of fine wines as well, Jamies is a casual restaurant with style.
An informal restaurant in London turn wine bar, Jamies Minories knows how to do casual dining with a bit of style. Tuck into their small plates, platters or dedicated lunch and evening menus for some British inspired plates with an international twist. Sipping one some glorious vino and tucking into delicious foods sounds pretty alright doesn't it.
With a rustic interior typical of Mediterranean character, Rootdown brings the colourful and seasonal flavours of Europe to its plates. Tuck into the casual London dining experience of their humble sized restaurant space and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this East London favourite.
Looking for a casual place to eat in Central London where the atmosphere is fun, frivolous and dare we say it, flirty? Then we've just the joint. Leave stuffy attitudes at the door as Scarlet's welcomes in diners for classic British plates, affordable cocktails and more.
Whether you're bound by the burger, or hankering for a plate of Thai ciurry, Jamies London Wall has a little something for everyone at their contemporary, charming and humble Moorgate eatery. Head on down for a plate and stay for their international selection of wine.
All day breakfasts, buttermilk pancakes, hotdogs, all kinds of different hamburgers; you can tuck into them all at The Diner in Soho. It’s a classic laidback spot that harks back to the classic 1950s diner scene, with hungry Londoners dropping in to get a plateful of these indulgent American favourites. Away from the feast of classic Stateside grub, there’s beers, boozy shakes and hard teas to try!
Ever wonder what happened to Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan’s Bubba Gump shrimp adventures? Turns out they’ve dropped anchor in the West End, opening a restaurant serving nothing but the best shrimp as well as burgers and Dixie-styled ribs from Forrest’s native Alabama. If there’s one guy who knew all about how to take life slow, it’s Forrest.
Dining in London can sometimes feel like a bit of a fuss, so take away the strain of choosing somewhere to go and let The Cow be your guide instead. A hearty gastro inspired eatery in the heart of Westfield Stratford, head on down for cosy dining, charming plates and a laid-back enviroment.
Based in the heart of Britain's political world, The Loose Box was created with the busy working populace in mind. Open early in the morning to cater for Westminster's many early risers, the restaurant-cum-cafe serves a number of delicious dishes throughout the day. Using only the freshest ingredients available and working had to ensure they cast the smallest possible carbon footprint, each meal and sharing platter is stunningly refreshing and will leave guests smiling from ear to ear.
If you're looking for some casual dining in London, then Slug and Lettuce is your go to gal in central London. A contemporary looking hangout, Slug and Lettuce has a menu of classically British foods so you can tuck into a selection of sharing plates or go big with one of their main dishes whilst enjoying their spread of cocktails, wine and birra.
Nestled among the lineup of star-studded places to eat on Charlotte Street is Barnyard, a quaint and super easy-going restaurant from the same guys behind Dabbous. There’s a rustic vibe to this place, with corrugated iron, lumberjack waiting staff and a playlist of country music on cue to put you right at ease. Enjoy a casual meal in London with something from the grazing plates menu; dishes are simple but have that Dabbous hallmark of quality.
Looking for a chilled out restaurant in London with something a little extra for afterwards? It’s time you met The Exhibit, a hub for eating, drinking and socialising in Balham. Check out their Dinner and a movie nights, where you can get a large plate from the main menu and a ticket to their snug independent cinema for less than £20. A great choice for a casual date night in London.
Relaxed and welcoming - yet seriously stylish - Ping Pong specialises in seasonal, bite-size dim sum, refreshing cocktails and theatrical Chinese teas. It’s a stunning place for some food and drinks in the heart of Covent Garden, with three floors each as beautifully designed and vibrant as the last.
For informal dining in London, head to this Soho beauty for a bit of English charm mixed in with some European style. Rustiko is a space of candle-lit atmospheres, cosy dining and casual socialising. With a basement bar to toot as well, you can enjoy some funky blues music whilst lapping up their delicious food and drink.
The restaurant found in the heart of one of London's most notorious clubbing destinations is one of your more unlikely places to eat but ahead of the wave when it comes to casual dining in London. Haymarket Kitchen in Tiger Tiger boasts vibrant interiors and a relaxed aesthetic where you can enjoy a curated international menu with influence from Mexico to Europe.
When it comes to trusting a name, JaguarShoes is a collective that East London believe, and so can you. Not only host to geometric shapes and unabashed 70s inspired interiors, JaguarShoes are coming on strong on the foodie front with Americana bites courtesy of Wild Dogs.
Based on the simple philosophy of using fresh ingredients to make stunning dishes, Walkers of Whitehall has established a reputation for serving exquisite dinners and brunch in a casual environment. From a traditional full English breakfast to a cumin leg of lamb and bavette steak, served with chimichirra, their talented line-up of chefs have worked hard to create a menu of flavoursome, traditional gastro dishes that explode straight off the palete.
Casual and cool, and more that ready to deal with your unrelenting burger habit, Burgershack and Bar is a laid-back restaurant in South London that provides humble diners with piled-high patties, cool craft beers and plenty more.
Ain't nothing a more casual dining restaurant in London than a brew pub in Angel where gleaming copper stills can be marvelled at behind the bar. Chug on some of their in house brewed stuff or try out the craft beers matched to each of the plates on their hearty menu of British classics. Satisfying all pub folk and craft connoisseurs, you'll find heaven here.
Boasting a lively atmosphere and a Modern American menu Smollenky's is an East London restaurant perfect for casual dining in London. With a dedicated bar downstairs as well as an expansive outdoor terrace where you can lap up views over Reuters Plaza, Smollensky's is a Canary Wharf favourite for all things food, drink and socialising.
A popular destination for people looking to wind down after work, WE ARE BAR sits right next to Liverpool Street station and boasts an expansive outdoor terrace area, perfect for alfresco dinner and drinks. Head here to peruse their extensive wine collection and enjoy their British cuisine with an international twist for an informal dining experience in London.
Echoing some rustic Spanish style and offering a menu of small plates and platters, you can nibble on tapas inspired plates at Jamie's Suffolk Lane. The epitome of casual dining in London, this wine bar turn spot for dinner is a favourite among city folk thanks to its underground spec of brickwork arches and character.
Granted, Blues can create a raucous atmosphere as the evening wears on and those bourbon cocktails take over. It’s a more laidback affair a little earlier in the day, though, as guests cosy up in booths and bond over platefuls of glorious Texan BBQ. One of our favourite chilled out restaurants in London and a popular choice if you’re heading out in Shoreditch, finish off with a sing and a dance to those soothing blues tunes.
Beautifully balancing delicious, homely food with a drinks menu capable of rivalling any, L'Affaire in Wandsworth has quickly established itself as a South London favourite. Brewing their own Bohemia lager, the crisp fine wines and delectable cocktails keep the mood light, while the homely food menu features the best seasonal ingredients and cuts of meat. If that wasn't enough, the idyllic beer garden allows revellers to soak up as much nature as they can, all year round.
Nothing says a casual meal out in London quite like a leafy, suburban boozer. Enjoy just that as Duke on the Green in Parsons Green is a charming getaway from the bustle of the capital; primed with gastro dishes, cold pints and casual spaces aplenty.
Hankering for a meal in Holborn? Sick of stuffy, stuck up restaurants? Then we think you deserve something fresh and new to try. Found in the heart of Holborn, The Last Bar is a classic dining space known for its affordable British plates, top notch drinks menu and laid-back charm. Tuck in, and enjoy.
Humble Grape is an utterly charming, industrial-inspired, casual restaurant in Battersea. Head down into this split-level hangout and you'll be greeted by an interior that's simply oozing with character - expect rugged wooden tables and pews, and cork-laced walls. This chic cavern rustles up plenty of delectable charcuterie platters for you to chow down on as you sip on a premium glass of organic wine.
Meat People is a laid back diner in North London that has been built with the people in mind. Head down to this charming, communal restaurant and tuck into a menu of delightful dishes - all made from the highest quality cuts of meat and freshest ingredients... and all locally sourced too! Whatever dish you opt for, why not accompany with a glass of vino from their impressive selection, or wash it down with a classic cocktail?
A tribute to the casual cafe-diners of Hong Kong, Cha Chaan Teng is literally a “tea restaurant” with relaxed vibes and quality fare on offer in Holborn. The menu has been devised by TV famous chef Jeremey Pang and features classic plates as well as cuisine inspired by the 1950s and 1960s, perfectly complemented by a list of specially curated Chinese tea-themed cocktails.
Foundation is an underground playground for adults, where social eating out experiences feature boxed up burgers and hand-rolled pizzas. Make your way down for happy hour and get up to 50% off platters and while you’re here you might as well grab a drink or two; cocktails are served in vintage storage jars, milk bottles and other quirky vessels.
Pizza, cocktails and chatting with chums. Is there anything else you need when it comes to a laid-back restaurant in London? We doubt it. Not only doused in cool, industrial interiors, Barsmith is a fun foray in Farringdon thanks to hand-made pizzas, stunning cocktail mixes and more.
A name to be proud of when it comes to chicken in London, Absurd Bird is one of the biggest names in casual dining in the city. Not only perfect when it comes to their poultry, their cocktails are a list to be messed with in a laid-back and cool, East London inspired setting.
Tuck into a casual meal in East London as Shane's provides a front for some of the best New Zealand inspired food in the city. Moreish with their meats, head on down for steaks, venison and wood pigeon in a relaxed and charming dining enviroment.
Looking to keep things casual when it comes to dinner in London? Sounds about right, and it sounds like Heist Bank might be up you alley. Found in Paddington with industrial interiors and art-sy nods, head on down for craft beer alongside a delicious roster of wood-fired pizzas.
Catering for whatever mood you might be in, Over Easy has quickly become one of Marylebone's most popular restaurants. Serving a delectable brunch in the late morning, the venue's main menu is inspired by diners in Melbourne and features hearty burgers. As the day progresses, the venue's craft beer and cocktail menu comes into life. With various American IPA drinks and all your favourite international spirits on offer, you'll find exactly what you're hankering for here.
Looking for a laid-back neighbourhood restaurant and bar in Exmouth Market? Coin Laundry has your name all over it; serving up proper comfort food, rejuvenated 70s cocktails and a big fat slice of nostalgia in a cosy and comfortable setting. Come for a couple of drinks or play some kerplunk in the basement; there's an 'anything goes' spirit that makes Coin Laundry an excellent option for a casual London meal.
Clerkenwell & Social are pretty casual about their bookings policies. So relaxed, in fact, that you can reserve an area or a table for drinks here with no minimum spend involved. A literary themed venue renowned for its homemade bitters and syrups, while away the hours with great cocktails and delight at an Italian-inspired menu where everything is made from scratch at this laid back London restaurant.
Casual British dining in a hearty, traditional pub? Sold. A firm favourite amongst the boozing, Liverpool Street crowd, head on down to Dirty Dicks and their plush, English dining room for an honest dose of gastro meals and British classics.
You couldn’t really ask for a more easygoing London restaurant than Far Rockaway. A chilled out space that brings the urban culture of NYC to a 400-capacity space in Shoreditch, look forward to an afternoon of lounging with 18-inch Staten Island pizzas, burgers and hot-dogs to keep you company. Pick up a homemade milkshake and chill in the lounge or at the bar; either is fine.