Leicester Square receives an enormous amount of pedestrian traffic, from the early morning until well after midnight. A combination of tourists, local creative and office workers, and many others make it a frenetic part of the capital, which can leave it feeling dirty and soulless sometimes.
However, spend a little time seeking out some of the best restaurants close by and you will be surprised by the variety, innovation, and quality of the food on offer. Similarly, many of the restaurants have invested heavily in their decor and furnishings to create a memorable experience for their diners.
Best Leicester Square Restaurants
Leicester Square Kitchen
- Address: 31-36 Leicester Square, WC2H 7LH
- Phone: 020 7666 0902
With an elegant frontage, Leicester Square Kitchen offers plenty of promise as you step inside to find modern furnishings and expensive lighting. It’s minimalist and fresh without being stark.
The menu combines two of the oldest cuisines, Mexican and Peruvian, but the chef’s take is very much modern-day. There’s a small lounge bar menu with tacos, ceviche, and a selection of small plates.
The à la carte menu is broken down by country featuring tacos, signature dishes and Mexican grills such as smoked paprika ribs with mezcal glaze.
In the Peruvian section, you can choose between ceviche, signature dishes and Peruvian barbecue, where beef tenderloin is served on a hot lava stone, along with lime, red and yellow anticucho, and jalapeño salt.
Desserts are limited but delicious sounding, such as piloncillo doughnut with spiced citrus, salted caramel, and cinnamon sugar.
There is also a set menu for two courses at £23.00 and three courses at £28.00, as well as a separate vegan menu. There is an extensive range of mainly Latin cocktails and the wine list has plenty of choices from South America and around the world.
- Address: 25-29 Coventry St, London W1D 7AG
- Phone: 020 3883 7874
With a garlanded entrance and a large ‘Happy’ sign over the doorway, you can be sure you’ve arrived at Happy London. Inside the seating is arranged in booths alongside a long bar giving a homely feel. The Happy chain has been operating since 1994 and now has restaurants in Barcelona and Sofia, as well as London.
The menu is eclectic, cherry-picking ideas from numerous cuisines to create a menu of enormous variety. To start, there is a selection of filling salads, followed by two pages of starters, which include truffle arancini and crispy duck slices.
There are two whole pages of burgers including a ribeye burger, followed by a selection of quesadillas, tortillas, and chicken dishes. From here there is a selection of more conventional pasta and risotto dishes, with numerous fish and seafood dishes following on.
It’s only here you meet the steaks and Grill section which is equally expensive and like the rest of the menu very reasonably priced. For example, you can order a 10 oz ribeye steak from Argentina for £20.99.
- Address: Queens House, 7-9 Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA
- Phone: 020 7060 5566
The Bosporus restaurant sits on an elegant corner of Leicester Square with covered outdoor tables, which are ideal for people-watching. While the interior of the restaurant is modern, stylish, and well-lit, with patterned upholstery on the chairs to soften the mood.
The menu is Turkish and the aim is to bring together original and authentic dishes from cities and regions around the country where they are famous. The kitchen team all have Turkish heritage, as well as experience from kitchens around the world.
The Bosporus serves a traditional style mezze breakfast before moving on to the main menu, which starts with Turkish salads, soups, and mezze, along with cold starters such as Babaganush, a gentle Turkish mezze made with chargrilled aubergines and fresh garlic. A selection of hot starters completes the entrees.
The subsequent courses are extensive ranging from topped flatbreads to saç, a rice dish, and finally a selection of kebabs, kofte and saslik. Mostly beef and chicken main courses follow on with examples such as Tavuk, small pieces of sautéed chicken cooked with iskender sauce, capsicum, tomato, and onion.
There is also a short selection of burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and a dedicated kid’s menu. The dessert menu naturally has variations of baklava among other dishes.
To drink there are cocktails and mocktails, while wine is to drink by the glass or bottle mostly from Turkey and Europe. There is an extensive menu of spirits and liqueurs, along with a shisha menu.
- Address: 38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX
- Phone: 020 7451 0167
The London Hotel was opened in 2021 and the Mediterranean French restaurant, Whitcomb’s, resides inside. The hotel touts itself as ‘boutique’ and mostly attracts businessmen and women. The interior is very modern, and the decor themed on light grey and dark grey check, with black and white abstracts lining the walls.
Breakfast is served from 6.30 AM with continental items, egg dishes and crepes.
For lunch, there is a Prix Fixe menu with two courses for £24 and three courses for £29. The à la carte menu lists traditional modern French cuisine with inspiring twists to the dishes.
A starter of carpaccio de bœuf, with beef fillet, black truffle and lemon zest vies with the French classic, Lobster Thermidor, grilled lobster with cognac, Dijon mustard, Gruyère and black truffle.
Desserts range from Mille-feuille to Tarte au citron, and they are listed with a selection of dessert wines. There is a separate à la carte vegan menu too. To drink the main wine list details cocktails and mocktails, along with a selection of mostly French bottles with a few Italian choices.
The reserve wine list is clearly a labour of love ranging from French and Italian bottles organised by region right up to world-class Bordeaux examples.
- Address: 38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX
- Phone: 020 7451 0158
Sir Joshua Reynolds was a noted resident of Leicester Square and so Joshua’s Tavern is a watering hole to celebrate the work of the 18th-century portrait artist. On entering you are immediately struck by the vibrant decor, a kind of ultramodern, industrial-chic in copper.
Large murals brighten the walls and one in particular shows Sir Joshua after a few too many, hinting at the bawdiness of central London during those times. Joshua’s Tavern is very much a gin palace offering more than 50 brands, as well as a selection of vintage gins from the 50s to the 70s.
You can also try the gintonicas, where gin is paired with carefully chosen bitters and aromatics. To stave off hunger pangs there is a snacks menu including dishes such as crispy tandoori poussin bites and Roquefort-filled biscuits.
Joshua’s Tavern also hosts live music every week on Thurs-Sat 6.30 PM to 9.30 PM.
Steak and Company
- Address: 3-5 Irving Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 0HA
- Phone: 020 7839 8100
Steak and Company has a wide terrace for outside diners, while inside the restaurant has leather seating and banquettes along one wall. Numerous open lightbulbs around ceiling fittings provide plenty of light.
There is a set lunch menu where you can choose one, two or three courses for £16.95, £23, and £29 respectively. The main menu is à la carte and you can choose from a selection of European starters.
The main courses include a 28-day aged grass-fed beef burger with tarragon relish and bacon ketchup or lamb cutlets with a miso kimchi glaze. As you would expect there is a full steak section, grouped according to cut.
In addition, there are speciality steaks with their own sides and sauces, which include a hefty Irish grass and barley-fed Angus tomahawk steak. Desserts are generally lighter with examples such as coconut panna cotta and chocolate fondant. The restaurant has a dedicated halal menu.
To drink there are cocktails and mocktails, along with draft beers and ciders. The wine list is available by the bottle or glass and is predominantly European.
Related: Things to do in Leicester Square
Burger & Lobster Leicester Square
- Address: 10 Wardour St, W1D 6QF
- Phone: 020 3205 8963
In a prominent position in Wardour Street, just off Leicester Square, Burger and Lobster has been cementing its position as one of the most popular restaurants in the area. They take two ingredients, cook them well with good accompaniments and then serve them to diners promptly. It’s a simple recipe that is reaping benefits.
The front window of the restaurant is filled with greenery to offer a little seclusion from the crowds teaming past. Inside there are small tables, banquette seating and stools at the bar. The high ceiling enables the use of numerous slim, pendant spotlights, arranged in waves.
The restaurant is part of a small international chain with a total of nine restaurants in London. On the menu to start there are small sharing plates, mostly seafood themed, followed by three combo dishes, which bring together lobster and burgers.
For main courses, you can choose between the traditional Classic Whole Lobster,
wild Canadian or British lobster, steamed or grilled and served with fries, salad, and a sauce of your choice. Or a burger, such as the Wagyu Burger made with 100% Highland Wagyu beef, lettuce, horseradish mayo, beef, and black garlic mayo, crispy shallots, and truffle fries.
There is also a selection of sides and a shorter lunch menu with lighter options.
The Burger and Lobster has bottled beers and ciders along with their own signature cocktails and mocktails. The wine list has options for sparkling wines and Champagne, with the wines representing many of the wine-growing regions of the world.
Vespa Italian Restaurant
- Address: 9a Irving St, WC2H 7AH
- Phone: 020 7839 6678
Antonio, the owner of Vespa Italian Restaurant was brought up in Sicily and he recounts how the scooters are still in use today on the island. Outside the restaurant beyond the tables, a Vespa stands proudly showing off its heritage.
Vespa Italian is proud of its independent status as a restaurant, where the recipes are in the style of home-cooked Italian and Sicilian favourites, which have been handed down through the generations from the owner’s mother.
The menu is lengthy with starters such as Gamberoni Piccanti in Gazpacho, giant prawns in a tomato and red pepper sauce. Followed by pasta, stuffed pasta, seafood or mushroom risotto and a selection of pizzas all homemade. Main courses include Tagliata Di Manzo, sliced sirloin steak with rocket, Parmesan flakes and salad or sauté potatoes.
Desserts are typically Italian and for the most part light. The menu includes options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diners. Vespa Italian serves draft beer and a selection of house wines available by the bottle and glass.
Read More: Best Restaurants Near the London Eye
Map of Best Leicester Square Restaurants
Many of these Leicester Square restaurants want to boost their lunchtime trade so you will often find special lunchtime deals that offer a real bargain. They are constantly changing so check the relevant websites to keep abreast of what’s on offer.