Whether you’ve just come back from holiday or you’re feeling experimental in the New Year, there’s not many of the world’s cuisines that can’t be found in London. Discover our pick of the best international restaurants in London.
London's 8 best... international restaurants
Whether you've just come back from holiday or you're feeling experimental in the New Year, there's not many of the world's cuisines that can't be found in London. Discover our pick of the best international restaurants in London.
Casita Andina, Soho
In the heart of Soho is this cute and cosy Peruvian picanteria –a traditional family-run restaurant more commonly found in the Andean cities of Cuzco and Arequipa – owned and run by award-winning Peruvian chef Martin Morales. The menus are centred around fresh Peruvian produce, inspired by the cuisine of Cuzco. You must try the tasty tuna ceviche and the succulent Maca lamb loin accompanied by a pisco cocktail: the Karay has a real kick! Morales has two other Peruvian restaurants in London – Ceviche and Andina – which are also worth a try.
Shaka Zulu, Camden
London’s best restaurant for South African cuisine is found in Camden. With carved wooden murals lining the walls, the African-themed space is beautiful. A trip to Shaka Zulu should spur on your adventurous side, with a wide variety of unusual dishes including kudu, springbok, ostrich, crocodile and zebra. The menu offers diverse dishes from South Africa and beyond, with open fire grills awaiting your order. Start with the crocodile cigars – crocodile meat with herbs in a pastry – similar in shape to a cigar, followed by a zebra fillet steak to ensure an experimental evening, end you’re evening with a Cape Town mess, drenched in creamy Amarula liqueur.
Indian street food restaurant Kricket combines the best British ingredients with all the aromas, spices and flavours of India, reminiscent of the days the owners spent in Mumbai. Having joined the London food scene in 2005 – in one of Pop Brixton’s containers – they have kept the buzz around the name, luring people in with spicy dishes and traditional masala chai, spiked with rum! Try the classic Indian street snack bhel puri – a savoury snack of puffed rice, vegetables and chutneys – which is as good as you'd find in Mumbai's markets.
Som Saa, Spitalfields
Located in a former fabric warehouse in Spitalfields is a restaurant offering a wide variety of Thai dishes. Whether you opt for something from the grill, the wok or a curry – the jungle curry is highly recommended – Som Saa’s dishes are the perfect size for sharing, allowing you to try a little bit of everything. Try one of the cocktails, created to compliment the cuisine and made with Thai ingredients, the Andaman punch will have you dreaming of their pristine beaches.
With branches in both Soho and Marylebone, the Hoppers restaurants are extremely popular. Named after the popular Sri Lankan breakfast and street-food, made of coconut batter and fermented rice, you can enjoy them in central London as though you were in Sri Lanka. Spice up your hopper basket with a punchy curry and don’t miss the smooth coconut watalappam dessert, to soothe the senses.
The Palomar, Soho
This Middle Eastern eatery in the heart of Soho has an Israeli-inspired menu. Why not start with the chef’s falafel and kubaneh – traditional Jewish brioche-type bread – served with tahini and tomato dip. Try the shakshukit – a minced meat recipe from Jerusalem with tahini, harissa, pesto and tapenade dip – which can be enjoyed alongside a selection of the vegetable dishes, such as the Persian pappardelle, made with artichokes.
Bringing a DIY ethos to the table, grill your seafood, meat and vegetables on your personal barbeque or sizzling hot lava stone just how you like it! Add the fresh wasabi sauce to the Ishiyaki stone steak for a kick and pair it with some hot sake. For desert, try the matcha cheesecake; who knew something could sound so healthy! The menu also offers the classic Japanese bento boxes, sushi and yakitori, which can be enjoyed alongside one of the 30 types of sake, Choya plum wine, cocktails made from Japanese sprits or a Japanese craft beer.
Lalibela Restaurant, Tuffnell Park
Taste one of the spicy meat dishes here with injera – a gluten-free spongey flatbread made from Ethiopian te’f. Traditionally, the bread is used as cutlery to scoop up the meat and vegetables stews, known as wot. Choose from a variety of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, cooked in the classic, spicy Ethiopian style. Alternatively, share either the beyaynetu with your dinner date, which gives you the opportunity to try three of the wot dishes accompanied with vegetables and salads. There’s no better finish to your evening than a brew of Ethiopian tea or coffee.
Where do you think we've missed? We'd love to hear your recommendations for places to eat.