Best Ten Bizarre and Quirky London Restaurants
London has been a culinary capital for years now – finally shedding the traditionally held view that all Britons eat is meat and boiled potatoes! For foodie lovers, London is a treasure trove of delicious treats, haute cuisine and cheap eats – with a few curveballs thrown into the mix. For adventurous eaters who like a bit of a thrill when they dine, read on to discover our list of bizarre and quirky London restaurants!
Be sure to check out our pay-what-you-like guided London food tours.
(53 Cleveland Road, W1T 4JJ – Nearest Underground Station: Warren Street)
For those on the hunt for exotic eats, Archipelago should be top of the list! Have you ever eaten crocodile? Bison? A candied bee or a locust salad? After a meal here, the answer to all those questions could be: yes! The venue itself requires a reservation (which comes in the form of a password that is given at the door to grant the diners access), but once inside guests are surrounded by knickknacks, flora and fauna from all across the globe. Menus come in the form of rolled up treasure maps and the dessert lists are tucked away inside antique books. Oh, and make sure you take a visit from the doctor…
2. Dans Le Noir?
(30-31 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU – Nearest Underground Station: Farringdon)
Dining in the dark is the order of the day at Dans Le Noir. Run nearly entirely by staff with varying levels of blindness, guests are led by their waitstaff into a room of complete darkness, where they will take their three-course meal. Diners are not told ahead of time what they will be eating (although they can choose a meat, fish, or vegetarian option) and are forced to use all of their senses aside from sight to enjoy the meal. At the end, after being led back out into the light, diners are finally informed what it was they had just eaten!
3. Les Trois Garçons
(1 Club Row, E1 6JX – Nearest Underground Station: Shoreditch)
A former pub now stuffed to the brim with strange and exotic paraphernalia: a right menagerie of stuffed animals, gigantic flowers, hanging handbags all fight for space along the walls and ceiling. The idea here is of a chic French boutique turned on its’ head. Not a budget-friendly restaurant but definitely a place for delicious Avante-guarde edibles.
(134-136 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZP – Nearest Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road)
An oriental fusion restaurant where diners have total control over their gastronomic experience. Instead of wait staff taking orders, guests are sat underneath projectors which beam the menu directly onto their tabletops. Built-in buttons are used for guests to browse the menu – and then order – all without having ever spoken to a single waiter. And once dinner is done, the table-top can be used to order a cab, check the status of the Underground, or even play a game!
5. Beach Blanket Babylon
(19-23 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA)
Bohemian French decadence meets trendy East London here at Beach Blanket Babylon. An opulent champagne and cocktail lounge with drinks served in luxurious surroundings. Crushed velvet, drapes and chandeliers decorate the walls and provide an uber-glam backdrop to a modern European and British menu, inspired by colonial Britain.
6. Bunga Bunga
(37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA – Nearest Rail Station: Battersea Park)
One of the most over-the-top brunches in London is served here at Bunga Bunga The restaurant is decorated with items relating to fallen Italian ex-Prime Minister Berlusconi and the wait staff wear aprons displaying pictures of Michaelangelo’s Davids’…erhh…private parts. A vast array of pizzas (both savoury and sweet) are served up along-side unlimited bellinis! After eating, guests are invited to join in with some cheesy karaoke and to dance the afternoon away.
7. La Bodega Negra
(9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF – Nearest Underground Station: Leicester Square)
Part of the fun of this restaurant is the way guests enter! On a busy street in Soho lies a sign for yet another sex shop – but this is no shop, it’s the entrance to La Bodega Negra, an underground Mexican haven serving up tequila based cocktails and Latin inspired dishes. A staircase in the back of the sex shop takes visitors downstairs to the buzzing den decorated with tequila barrels and an up-ended piano. Diners can finish their meal with delicious Mexican inspired desserts and although tables have a two-hour sitting time and reservations are mandatory – it’s worth the hassle to find your way here.
(27-29 Endell Street, WC2H 9BA – Nearest Underground Station: Brixton)
With acrobats swinging from the ceiling and fire-eating dancers slinking along the tables, Circus puts guests right at the heart of a fabulous circus performance. No clowns in cars, however, this circus amps up the sex and performers dangle from cloths suspended from the ceiling, and carry flames in their bare hands as whimsical music plays to serve as a backdrop for pan-Asian meals served up alongside cocktails.
(126 Drury Lane, WC2 5SU – Nearest Underground Station: Temple)
For guests who want to be serenaded by opera-trained waiters while they eat, Sarastro places diners right in the middle of an actual opera performance. Using the restaurant as their stage, the performers put on stunning operatic productions in the midst of guests dining on mixed Mediterranean fare.
(9 Norwich Street, EC4A 1EJ – Nearest Underground Station: Chancery Lane)
Definitely NOT family friendly (in the traditional sense) – this is an adults only operation! Pairing burlesque, cabaret and jazz with such traditional classics such as afternoon tea, Volupte’ provides an erotic, exotic dining experience for its patrons. Volupte promises to deliver pleasure “to all the senses” and most nights of the week there is live music for the ears, and de rigour burlesque shows to feast the eyes, served up along with gastronomical delights. Cocktails are hand crafted, can be served in a traditional tea pot, and guaranteed to “get your pulse racing.”