While we would always recommend booking restaurants in advance to secure the best tables and privileges for our members, there’s no way of avoiding the recent wave of restaurants that don’t accept reservations. Read on for Bon Vivant’s guide to London’s best no booking restaurants.
Spuntino – Soho
Spuntino is our favourite of Russell Norman’s Polpo empire with a menu and design reminiscent of New York with its various sliders and Mac’n’Cheese dishes.
Spuntino makes a great destination for a late night bite in Soho where you can sit at the counter with your Negroni and be thankful for the low lighting and a clientèle that won’t judge. Spuntino is one of our favourite no booking restaurants in London, for sure.
Morito – Exmouth Market
The owners of Moro, the acclaimed Spanish restaurant on Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market, have opened a small tapas bar, Morito, right next door to their main restaurant.
This is one of our favourite tapas bars in London and definitely worth a visit. Reserved for walk-ins only, this is one of the best no booking restaurants in London
Opera Tavern – Covent Garden
The most recent restaurant from the team behind Salt Yard and Dehesa, Opera Tavern in Covent Garden saves its downstairs tables and counter seats for walk-ins.
Located in a renovated pub, the Spanish restaurant and tapas bar retains some of the building’s original features, and the exposed bricks and low lighting create a relaxed, intimate feel.
Polpo – Soho, Covent Garden, Smithfield
The original Polpo was based in Soho and has now spawned a few siblings across London, including the new Polpo Smithfield, each offering Italian sharing plates based on Venetian bacaros with exposed brickwork, low lighting and cool, young waiters.
Polpo Soho was the original no bookings restaurant in London.
Burger & Lobster – Mayfair, Soho and Clerkenwell
From the people behind the Goodman steak restaurants, Burger & Lobster serves, you guessed it, burgers and lobsters, each priced at £20.
The original site in Mayfair has recently been joined by a sibling on Dean Street in Soho with a new site in Clerkenwell on St John Street due later this year, all designed by designLSM.
Brasserie Zedel – Piccadilly Circus
While the room is grand and impressive (designed by David Collins Studio), the food is more casual and very reasonably priced – just as a brasserie should be.
The dining room is vast and has over 200 covers, half of which are reserved for walk-ins. The size of the room makes it one of London’s most accessible no bookings restaurants.
Corner Room – Bethnal Green
This is the lesser-known younger cousin of Nuno Mendes’s Viajante. Corner Room delivers innovative food worthy of a Michelin star at prices that are a fraction of the prices charged at Viajante.
The two restaurants share a chef and are housed in the same building (also home to the Town Hall Hotel) in London’s trendy East End, but the similarities end there. If you head out east, Corner Room should be your one stop as it is one of the best no booking restaurants in London.
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