Flavors of London

The 10 Best Restaurants in Clerkenwell – Ranked! 

If you’re planning to be in the Clerkenwell area during your London trip, you’d do well to arrive with an appetite; other neighborhoods closer to Central and West London might get all the glory for having great restaurants, but this area does too. In fact, the top restaurants in Clerkenwell also represent some of the incredible diversity of cuisines and cultures that make London such an incredible place to visit.

From innovative British dishes to flavors from the (European) continent and even further afield (the Middle East! North Africa! Oh my!), the best restaurants in Clerkenwell are each worthy of a visit, but unless you’re staying in this area, you might have to choose just one or two.

After considering reviews and menus and the experiences of the LOMM team, here’s where to eat in Clerkenwell, ranked to help you narrow down the list.

Note: To create this ranking, our team looked at public listings, reviews, and our own experiences to come up with a numeric score for over 20 Clerkenwell-area restaurants. We’re confident that each of these is great – even those lesser-known hidden gems that made the list.

1. St. John

St John is a Michelin-star awarded restaurant located in the heart of Clerkenwell. It is housed within a converted smokehouse and they have been serving exceptional food from here since 1994; it’s much-beloved and its reputation is so high that it was a repeat spot visited by Anthony Bourdain in London.

The admirable ethos adopted by the chefs at St John is that they use every part of any animal that they cook with. With this, the chef showed the ultimate respect for animals in the food chain and in turn, gained the respect of diners and critics alike.

The dessert menu at St John is another unique selling point. Your favorite childhood puddings are reinvented and given a bold glow-up. For example, the humble rice pudding received some special treatment from talented chefs to become the very popular steamed blood orange pudding that is on the menu today. 

2. Luca

Photo courtesy of Luca

Coming in next in our best restaurants in Clerkenwell roundup is the authentic Italian delight, Luca. They proudly hold a well-deserved Michelin star for their culinary masterpieces that are created using exceptional ingredients that are sourced from all over the UK.

The chefs at Luca pride themselves on serving dishes that follow the strict rules and age-old traditions of Italian cooking, while boldly adding their own exciting twists. If you aren’t looking for a sit-down meal and are hoping for a more casual setting, then you can always take a seat at Luca’s marble bar. Here you can order your favorite freshly shaken cocktails as well as light bites such as parmesan fries, salumi, and antipasti. 

3. Morito

Photo courtesy of Morito via Instagram

Morito is a tapas bar in Clerkenwell, which is modest in size (and by modest we mean, tiny) but huge on flavor!

It is the younger sibling of the large Mediterranean/African fusion delight next door, Moro. The tapas dishes served here have a serious Moorish influence; think sizzling garlic prawn dishes and crispy patatas bravas. There is something for everyone to enjoy as there is an impressive choice of dishes for vegetarians and vegans too. Each tapas dish is very reasonably priced, but beware, you will probably be tempted to order quite a few of these little flavor wonders, which can drive your bill up!

As we mentioned earlier, Morito has very limited space inside, and it can get quite crowded and chaotic when it reaches capacity. 

4. Quality Chop House

Photo courtesy of Quality Chop House

When you are considering where to eat in Clerkenwell, Quality Chop House is an excellent option. It was first established back in 1869, so has 150 years of experience in hospitality to offer.

Here you can experience excellent food served to you in a handsome Victorian dining room. The walls are lined with dark wood panels, black and white tiles pattern the floors, and romantic candlelit tables complete the aesthetic. The dishes served here are predominantly meat-based, with vegetarian and vegan customers a little limited in choice.

It’s worth noting that the food here is at a more expensive price range, mainly due to the food being sourced from some of the very finest producers in the country. With this in mind, a meal at The Quality Chop House is a great choice if you are looking for somewhere to celebrate a  special date or occasion.  

5. Moro

Photo courtesy of Moro

Moro is a multi-award-winning authentic Moorish restaurant that has been serving outstanding dishes of Spanish and Moroccan fusion since 1997. The kitchen here features a wood-fired oven that sends out tantalizing aromas of bread and pastries while the meat dishes sizzle away on the grill.

Everything about Moro is vibrant and authentic, celebrating the very best flavors from the Moorish era. To remain current and to use the freshest possible ingredients the menu here alters continuously to reflect the changing seasons. When it comes to the best restaurants in Clerkenwell, Moro certainly deserves to be on your list!

6. Berber & Q – Shawarma Bar

Photo courtesy of Shawarma Bar via Instagram

Shawarma Bar serves Middle-eastern-inspired dishes that are packed with authentic flavors from the streets of Israel.

The popular vegetable and hummus dishes are determined by the changing seasons and the meat dishes are grilled before being served in one of three ways. You may have your dish with warm, homemade pita bread, with fluffy rice, or fashionably deconstructed on your plate. The ingredients used in the kitchens at Shawarma are responsibly sourced and always fresh. There is also an extensive cocktail list to work your way through!

7. Dans le Noir

Photo courtesy if Dans le Noir via Instagram

Rated as not only one of the best restaurants in Clerkenwell but also one of the most unusual restaurants in the world, Dans le Noir is something quite different!

Since its opening in 2006, Dans le Noir restaurant has been offering the opportunity to taste gourmet, creative, and seasonal cuisine in complete darkness, accompanied and served by various guides. Just imagine it, your lunchtime or evening meals are served in pitch darkness. 

This original experience quietens all the noise, physically and mentally, and allows our senses to take over. The unique menu is created and carefully prepared by a team of talented Chefs who are experienced in both awakening & amazing your senses.

8. Macellaio RC

Photo courtesy of Macellaio RC via Instagram

There is something strikingly unusual about Macellaio RC, which you will notice even before you get through the door.

In contrast to the shop fronts of its chic and elegant peers, Macellaio RC proudly displays enormous slabs of meat in its windows. Meat and tuna are the specialties here, and both are expertly butchered to order while you wait. In fairness, the windows aren’t just an unusual decoration – the meats are being dry-aged to allow the ultimate development of richness and tenderizing. The menu is clearly split into two with the beef dishes on one side and the tuna dishes on the other. The aesthetic here is one of rustic comfort, and the food is definitely worth the visit. 

9. Quality Wines

Photo courtesy of Quality Wines

The name is perhaps a little misleading, as this is a restaurant as well as a winery. Quality Wines is the younger sibling of The Quality Chop House which we mention above. Here you can enjoy confidently cooked classic British cuisine and an exceptional wine list, with the option to take some wine away with you too. There is a warm and romantic atmosphere here, and it is the ideal spot for a quiet romantic meal. 

10. Anglo

Photo courtesy of Anglo via Instagram

At Anglo, you can enjoy seasonal tasting menus, consisting of refined British cuisine with creative twists. The chefs here use only the best quality foraged and responsibly sourced produce, which is reflected in the superior flavors.

Customer reviews state that the food is excellent, but the atmosphere is somewhat lacking, so this should be a consideration depending on the reason that you are visiting. It is ideal for an informal meal where you can expect top quality food, but maybe a little flat in the atmosphere if celebrating a special occasion. 

Still struggling to decide where to eat in Clerkenwell after reading about these top restaurants? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to help you choose!

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