Goodness knows how, but Michelin has announced its 2021 guide.
While there can only have been very few inspections – many restaurants have been, more or less, shut for 10 months – the tyre company has still managed to fill the red book here in the UK.
While it’s easy to be sceptical, given restaurants have been unable to operate at their best for so long, the guide claims this year’s announcement came from a desire to support the industry. Certainly, for those places named in this year’s guide, as well as those who were awarded Bib Gourmands, the news will be one of the few bright moments after so long struggling.
London, as ever, has fared well. This year’s list has changed somewhat from last year, though some of this can be attributed to Covid; a number of spots, including the two-star Greenhouse, couldn’t survive prolonged closure, while Umu dropped from two stars to one and Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and Aquavit went from one to none. Elsewhere was the heartening news that despite a rough year, the city’s food scene is in good shape, with Core by Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze at the Connaught both winning three stars, up from two previously.
Below are all the restaurants in London with a Michelin star; happy eating.
Restaurants in London with three Michelin stars
NEW! Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair. Big news as the French fine dining establishment, which closed for refurbishment for two months last year, goes up from two stars to three. It first won its two stars back in 2011.
NEW! Core by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill. Clare Smyth's first solo venture improves on the two stars its held since 2019, taking the top award and winning its three in remarkable time; Core first opened in late 2017.
Sketch Lecture Room & Library, Mayfair. The quirky 18th century townhouse, serving sophisticated French food, achieves a coveted third star at the upstairs restaurant run by Pierre Gagnaire. Read our write up here.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea. Ramsay's French fine dining restaurant has held three stars since 2001 and keeps them all in this year's guide. Read our write up here.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair. The restaurants serving contemporary French cuisine, using seasonal French and British ingredients, maintains all three of its stars. Read our write up here.
Restaurants in London with two Michelin stars
NEW! A Wong, Pimlico. The restaurant celebrating flavours from across China’s different regions moves up from one star to two. The news, significantly, means Andrew Wong’s place becomes the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to hold two stars.
NEW! Da Terra, Hackney. Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali’s east London partnership proves to be a winning one. Food here is incredibly detailed, perhaps as both once worked at The Fat Duck.
NEW! Restaurant Story, London Bridge. Tom Sellers' restaurant, with a British tasting menu of seasonal dishes, moves up to two. Sellers calls the achievement the result of “a lifetime’s work”.
La Dame de Pic, The City. Anne-Sophie Pic's inventive, high-end French restaurant in the Four Seasons’ hotel is awarded a second star. Read our write up here.
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, Bloomsbury. While Bubbledogs has sadly closed, a victim of Covid, the intimate 19-seater restaurant which changes its menu daily, retains the extra Michelin star it was awarded two years ago.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea. The high-end French restaurant maintains its two Michelin stars. Read our write up here.
Dinner by Heston, Knightsbridge. Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, serving modern dishes inspired by historic British gastronomy, keeps both its stars.
Le Gavroche, Mayfair. The iconic London restaurant holds both of its Michelin stars in 2021. Read our write up here.
Restaurants in London with one Michelin star
NEW! Sola, Soho. Victor Garvey’s sort-of Californian, sort-of Japanese, very definitely fine dining gets its first star. Garvey, at the awards, is notably thrilled.
NEW! Cornerstone, Hackney. Tom Brown’s east London seafood spot finally claims a star, years after it was first predicted.
NEW! Davies and Brook, Mayfair. One of the most impressive openings of 2019, Daniel Humm’s quest to “make it nice” seems to have worked as he claims a star for Claridge’s.
NEW! Benares, Mayfair. Those. Lamb. Chops. The Berkeley Square Indian is a worthy winner.
NEW! Casa Fofó, Hackney. A big win for the popular neighbourhood spot, which specialises in seasonal eating.
NEW! Muse by Tom Aikens, Belgravia. No stranger to Michelin, little surprise Tom Aikens’ latest venture fares well. The menu is all but a secret, and all inspired by the chef’s life.
NEW! Behind, London Fields. A cracking win for chef-owner Andy Benyon, who somehow managed to open up in 2020 with a long menu that’s kept a surprise until the night.
Umu, Mayfair. London's first Kyoto influenced restaurant, which was awarded its first star within five months of opening in 2004, drops from two stars to one. While the restaurant did go into administration last year as Marlon Abela’s restaurant empire collapsed, permanently closing the Square and the Greenhouse, Umu appears to still be trading in some capacity.
The Dysart Petersham, Richmond. The family-owned Richmond restaurant earned its first Michelin star last year, with former Roux Scholar Kenneth Culhane at the helm in the kitchen, and Barney Taylor managing the restaurant.
Endo at the Rotunda, White City. Sushi master Endo Kazutoshi's 16-seat restaurant in the former BBC Television Centre gets itself a star.
Mãos, Shoreditch. Executive chef Edoardo Pellicano maintains the star at this experimental London restaurant.
Brat, Hackney. Tomos Parry's Shoreditch Basque restaurant retains the star it picked up in 2019. Read our write up here.
âIkoyi, St James’s. The restaurant offering a contemporary take on West African flavours keeps its Michelin star. Interestingly, it’s changed rather a lot over 2020, ditching its signature tasting menu. Read our write up here.
Sabor, Mayfair. Nieves Barragan Mohacho's high-end tapas restaurant keeps the star it was awarded in 2019. Read our write up here.
Hide, Mayfair. Ollie Dabbous's acclaimed Mayfair residence retains its 2019 star. Hide has been one of the few high-end spots to keep itself busy throughout all three lockdowns. Read our write up here.
Leroy, Shoreditch. The east London restaurant, famous for offering the cheapest Michelin meal in the city, retains the star it first earned just months after opening. Read our write up here.
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Fitzrovia. The modern Cantonese restaurant, serving dim sum and signature cocktails, maintains its Michelin star. Read our write up here.
The Ninth, Fitzrovia. Jun Tanaka's Charlotte Street venue serving French and Mediterranean-style sharing dishes maintains its one star.
Pied à Terre, Fitzrovia. One of London's longest standing Michelin restaurants keeps its star. Read our write up here.
City Social, The City. The sky-high modern British restaurant maintains its one star. Read our write up here.
Club Gascon, The City. The French restaurant with an award-winning wine list keeps its star. Read our write up here.
The Clove Club, Shoreditch. The restaurant with an innovative British menu, using often-overlooked ingredients and founded by former supper club hosts, stays with one star. Read our write up here.
Lyle’s, Shoreditch. The seasonal British restaurant with set tasting menus in a stripped back dining room keeps its star. Read our write up here.
The Harwood Arms, Fulham. The laid-back gastropub with an upscale, modern British menu keeps its star. Read our write up here.
The River Cafe, Hammersmith. The restaurant offering seasonal Italian cuisine for well-heeled types stays in the guide with one star. Read our write up here.
La Trompette, Chiswick. The high-end modern French restaurant stays in the guide after holding onto its star.
St John, Clerkenwell. The traditional British restaurant, which specialises in 'nose to tail' eating and celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Angler, The City. The modern seasonal British restaurant at the South Place Hotel, with mirrored ceilings and 7th-floor City views, keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Elystan Street, Chelsea. The Chelsea kitchen serving contemporary, seasonal European cuisine stays in the guide with one star, despite head chef Toby Burrowes wrapping up his career with the restaurant back in February of last year. Read our write up here.
The Five Fields, Chelsea. The modern British restaurant which won big at the Harden's awards last year, holds its star. Read our write up here.
Kitchen W8, Kensington. The relaxed and friendly modern European restaurant is in the guide after holding its star.
Trinity, Clapham. The neighbourhood restaurant with modern, seasonal menus is in the 2020 guide after maintaining its star.
The Glasshouse, Richmond. The modern European neighbourhood restaurant remains in the guide with one star.
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields. The restaurant serving polished French cuisine with a contemporary twist in a Grade II listed building stays in the guide with one star. Read our write up here.
Chez Bruce, Balham. The high-end Modern French restaurant keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Amaya, Belgravia. The restaurant serving tapas-style Indian dishes with an open kitchen keeps its star.
Celeste, Belgravia. One of London's most Instagrammable restaurants, where British heritage meets modern European creativity, keeps its star.
Petrus, Belgravia. This Gordon Ramsay group restaurant, specialising in modern French fine dining, keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Gymkhana, Mayfair. The Indian restaurant with tandoori oven roasts and seasonal curries makes the guide again in 2021, reopening last year after surviving a massive fire at the end of 2019. Read our write up here.
Hakkasan Mayfair, Mayfair. The modern Cantonese restaurant spanning two floors for up to 220 guests keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Kai, Mayfair. The South Audley Street restaurant specialising in “Liberated Chinese Cooking” stays in the guide with one star.
Murano, Mayfair. Angel Hartnett's modern European restaurant with a strong Italian influence keeps its star. Read our write up here.
Pollen Street Social, Mayfair. Jason Atherton's longstanding flagship restaurant stays in the guide with one star. Read our write up here.
Veeraswamy, Mayfair. The restaurant serving high-end Indian cuisine with Maharajah-inspired decor keeps its one star. Read our write up here.
Locanda Locatelli, Marylebone. The Italian favourite with an emphasis on quality, freshness and creativity stays in the guide with one star. Read our write up here.
Portland, Marylebone. The seasonal modern European, with a wine list that focuses on lesser known regions and varieties, holds on to its star. Read our write up here.
Trishna, Marylebone. The upscale Indian from the southwest coast using fish and coconut keeps its star. Read our write up here.
The Ritz Restaurant, Piccadilly. The London institution, serving seasonal British cuisine in one of London’s most lavish dining rooms, maintains its star. Read our write up here.
Barrafina, Soho. The modern Spanish tapas bar with an open kitchen maintains its Michelin star status. Read our write up here.
Seven Park Place by William Drabble, St James’s. The restaurant specialising in classic French cuisine using seasonal British ingredients, keeps its star.
The Dining Room at The Goring, Westminster. The restaurant, popular with the Royal family and often praised for its consistency, makes this another year with a star. The hotel’s other restaurant, Siren, closed last year. Read our write up here.
Quilon, Westminster. The restaurant, specialising in South-west coastal Indian cuisine, keeps its star.