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 7th September 2017
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.
Once your nose leads you into Bababoom, you’ll feel more than welcomed by the attentive staff. Sit down for a relaxed meal of charcoal grilled meats, Perisan flatbreads, and punchy vegetables, all filled with delicious Middle Eastern flavours and sourced from quality British produce.
It might have a slick City venue on Finsbury Square, but Burdock is a bundle of fun. The venue whips up a seasonal storm, with sharing plates including goodies such as lobster and pork belly, as well as a selection of gorge-worthy milkshakes. Head to the bar for a selection of craft beers and shuffleboard.
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.
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.
Delivering delicious comfort food at all time of the day and accompanying each dish with an ice-cold drink, Smith of Smithfield is a vibrant, four storey restaurant in Central London. Decorated with distinctly rustic decor, the restaurant's talented team of chefs work with the best cuts of meat that Britain's farmers have to offer, butchering, seasoning and grilling each cut on site before serving it to the many guests that walk through the door. To help wash the copious amounts of comfort food down, the bar offers 60 different types of craft beer and an array of handcrafted cocktails.
The Pizza Pilgrims team are opening yet another site in London, this time setting up shop in Canary Wharf. Known for creating authentic, Neapolitan pizzas that are topped with the most flavoursome ingredients, this new East London venue also offers 16-player foosball tables, plasma screen TVs and vintage video games.
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.
Based on Bond Street in the beating heart of London, Lazeez Tapas restaurant serves authentic Lebanese dishes to the city's hungry crowds. The restaurant uses locally coursed ingredients and meats, alongside a handful of ingredients imported from Lebanon, to create authentic plates that are perfect for sharing. From seasoned lamb to fresh seafood treats, this restaurant has to be up there with the best tapas spots in the city.
Head down to Broadgate Circle for a fun night of seafood and cocktails. The bar and restaurant has a cool interior complete with high tables and wall murals. They also have an incredible selection of crab dishes, from crab burgers to seafood platters.
Hop into Ben’s Canteen and you’ll find one of the tastiest casual restaurants in Clapham. Whether it’s a trip inside for an indulgent brunch matched with some curing Bloody Marys, or to try their delicious burgers paired with wine, you’re in for a laid-back treat once you step in. Why not try Ben's Canteen Earlsfield too?
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?
While Drake and Morgan is a laid back venue perfect for a catch up with friends, they don’t skimp on quality. Head there for some delicious grilled meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, or stop by one of their two bars for fabulous cocktails and tasty wines.
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 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.
With a simple design and East London location, Taberna do Mercado is an unassuming little spot in Spitalfields. Run be renowned chef Nuno Mendes, the restaurant specialises in seafood and sharing plates.
Being modelled around Indian dive bars, it’s a given that Talli Joe is a casual, fun restaurant. Delivering on delicious dishes just a few moments from Convent Garden, they serve up wonderful plates of traditional and regional Indian food alongside Indian inspired cocktails, making an overall relaxed night out.
Head down to Covent Garden for some deliciously fun pizzas and Fire and Stone. Around the corner from the renowned London theatres, they serve up a fun menu of delicious global pizzas, coming from cities like Mumbai and Casablanca, as well as loads of refreshing cocktails.
Based in Wandsworth, Stillwater is a fun-loving cocktail bar and kitchen that serve some of the best flavours in South London. Chef Brett Milligan has worked tirelessly to produce an enticing menu of Cajun food, while cocktail masters Dan Priseman (previously of NOLA Bar in Shoreditch) and Simon Webster have produced a line-up of classic concoctions that can compete with any in London.
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.
Kicking things up a notch in South London's casual dining scene, Cartel in Battersea has won over many hearts with its fiery flavours. Inspired by the streetside food vendors found in the cities of Mexico, Cartel delivers hand-pressed tacos that have all been seasoned with fresh spices and ingredients. From pulled chicken cooked in Mezcal to slow-cooked beef brisket, each plate served at this fun restaurant in London definitely packs a punch.
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.
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.
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, Balls Brothers Shoe Lane is a classic dining space known for its affordable British plates, top notch drinks menu and laid-back charm. Tuck in, and enjoy.
The Birds in Leytonstone has been given a make over, keeping its traditional boozer charm and adding a heap of kitsch interiors inspired by Alfred Hitchcock. As well as a delicious pub menu, great craft beer selection and quaint beer garden, the venue also hosts regular events from brunch through to bingo.
Chill out and eat some of the best Rio street food at Cabana, where you can munch on skewers, burgers or the iconic Brasilian feijoada hot pot in their creatively designed interior.. Wash this down with their famous Brazilian cocktails and enjoy the cool and welcoming atmosphere.
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.
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.
The Haunt has become something of a favourite for Stoke Newington's locals; low-key and serene, there are few better places to recharge and unwind. Fittingly decorated with vintage antiques and quaint features, the venue hopes to pay homage to the cafes and restaurants of old. With a basement location that hosts Yoga classes and life drawing lessons during the day, and frivolous DJ sets at night, the venue is flexible and caters for whatever mood you might be in. To round things off nicely, the food menu is well worth a try.
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.
Pop into SAMA for a casual meal and you won’t be disappointed. The venue operates like a member’s club without the membership, meaning you can get that high quality without having to spruce yourselves up. Perfect for munching on their selection of tasty Caribbean treats.
Casual and cool, and more that ready to deal with your unrelenting burger habit, The Fire Stables is a laid-back restaurant in South London that provides humble diners with piled-high patties, cool craft beers and plenty more.
With a selection of affordable and delicious European small plates and a cracking drinks list, Effra Social is a great spot in South London to pick up a bite to eat. Join the casual venue as they bring a Georgian townhouse to life with live music, games nights and plenty of fun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
How to get good food in London without any of the fuss? Head down to Gotta Trattoria, who serve up a daily changing menu of delicious Italian food that blends in flourishes of British into the mix. Their alfresco dining area is perfect for the summer months, and their drinks range from home-made vermouth to a signature bottled negroni.
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.
Proving that not all restaurants in West London are super pricey is Rosa's, a cute little Thai spot. With a laid-back and simple setting as well as an affordable menu, this spot serves up delicious South East Asian food, from Beef Mussaman Curry through to Pad Thai.
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.
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.
Showcasing the finest flavours that Mexico has to offer, Cantina Laredo infuses traditional recipes with contemporary twists. Based in Covent Garden, the team of chefs have curated a truly intriguing menu, where each dish has been produced by mixing authentic ingredients with modern-day cooking techniques. Working with a range of meats, spices and vegetables, the kitchen reproduces the same dishes that can be found in some of Mexico's regional cities. Full of flavour and with a few spirit-heavy cocktails to boot, you'll definitely leave with a grin etched on your face.
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 The Longacre welcomes in diners for classic British plates, affordable cocktails and more.
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 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.
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.
Tank and Paddle is the City's newest spot for a quick lunch or stellar after-work pints as the venue brings you some seriously delicious pizza and beer. Located minutes from Monument, there's a huge range of delicious stone-baked pizza and craft beer comes from their Meantime brewery - ensuring it's wonderfully fresh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Struggling to find a decent casual dining spot in South London. Fear not, the team at Meat & Shake are here to help. The venue has made a name for itself by serving fine cuts of seasoned halal meat. Enjoy a belly-warming brisket, sink your chops into a seasoned steak or enjoy a cheese and sauce topped burger that's full of attitude.
Whether you are settling in for a meal or quick bite while seeing London’s sights, Aubaine is here for you. In the convenient location just outside Hyde Park, they serve up some amazing French and European food, making it the best spot for a relaxed bite whatever time of day.
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.
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.
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.