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With official estimates placing the number of restaurants in London at between 16,000 to 18,000, we’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in the capital. But this also means that picking where to go, whether it’s a casual Friday night or special occasion, can be a particularly difficult task.
Personally, I love a restaurant that offers something a little different, and luckily we’re not running short on unique and quirky restaurants in London.
From unusual locations and fun interiors to exotic menus and singing and dancing waiting staff, here are some of the best restaurants with a difference in London…
Quirky and unusual places to eat in London
Dinner on the tube at Underground Supper Club
One of the coolest restaurants in London for both tourists and locals alike, Basement Galley’s Underground Supper Club gives you the unique opportunity to eat on the London tube without getting the side-eye from fellow passengers for stinking out the carriage with your dinner.
Underground Supper Club is located in a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage (sorry, it doesn’t move!) at Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, with the original interior remaining almost untouched other than the addition of dining tables.
The Supper Club is run by Nick Atkins and Head Chef Beatriz Maldonado (Bea) who originally hails from Bogotá in Colombia and has created a menu of delicious dishes featuring local favours from her home in South America.
Make sure to book in advance as the venue only seats 35 diners each evening.
Enter through a sex shop at La Bodega Negra
This unusual London restaurant made waves in the Capital’s dining scene when first opening due to its secret entrance at the back of a sex shop in Soho. A fun way to surprise your friends or an unwitting date.
Once you’ve managed to find your way inside, the mysterious underground, candle-lit restaurant has a Mexican-themed menu consisting of quesadillas, tostadas, tacos, ceviche and plenty more, as well as an extensive drinks menu of tequila and mezcal straight up or in a cocktail.
Eat lunch in the loo at The Attendant
Another of the most unusual places to eat in London is in a former Victorian public toilet.
The Attendant in Fitzrovia is a 19th-century men’s toilet which was abandoned in the 1960s and transformed into an underground cafe, still intact with the original Doulton & Co porcelain urinals which have been transformed into elegant single-seater booths, where you can enjoy your morning coffee or grab a sandwich for lunch.
Don’t worry, it has undergone a thorough cleaning since its day as a men’s bathroom!
Dine in the dark at Dans Le Noir?
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The experience, in which diners don’t know exactly what they’re eating until after leaving the dining room, ‘allows us to re-evaluate our perception of taste while reclaiming our senses, to reinvigorate our relationship with the world and others and to experience a surprising encounter with something different’.
While simple tasks such as navigating the room and picking up your cutlery are a struggle at first, Dans le Noir? is certainly one of the most interesting restaurants in London for everything from a unique first date idea to a birthday surprise for a friend.
Naughty Italian-inspired entertainment at Bunga Bunga
Out of all of the cool places to eat in London, Bunga Bunga has always held a special place in my heart, ever since my first visit when the waiters broke out into a rendition of ‘Be Our Guest’ from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (yes, Disney fangirl right here!) mid-service.
Bunga Bunga Covent Garden is an underground restaurant and bar hidden through a secret entrance in the ground floor family pizzeria BungaTini. After navigating your way through a meat locker and past the ‘Butcher’ you descend down a Sistine Chapel style staircase to find a world of Italian-themed food and entertainment.
Bunga Bunga has elaborate table settings, delicious Italian sharing dishes and metre-long pizzas, creative cocktails and, most importantly, themed musical dinner shows including ‘Big Phat Roman Wedding’ and ‘Burlesquoni’ which feature renditions of well known musical numbers and other popular songs with fun (and usually naughty) twists.
Bunga Bunga will always be one of my favourite restaurants with entertainment in London.
Dinner in The Clink at Brixton Prison
The Clink is certainly one of the most unique restaurants in London, being located inside of the old governor’s house at HMP Brixton – a Category-C prison.
Not only is the restaurant located within the prison, but all of the food at The Clink is also cooked and served by prisoners who are training for NVQs in Food & Beverage Service, Professional Cookery and Food Hygiene. Therefore by eating at the restaurant, you are helping people take their first steps towards a new life.
To enter the restaurant, a complete security check is performed on you 72 hours in advance (no last-minute bookings here!), there is airport-style security on arrival and items such as mobile phones and cigarettes must be left in lockers outside of the main dining area. Plus no alcohol is served alongside the food.
But don’t let these things put you off visiting. Not only is The Clink one of the most unique dining experiences London has to offer, but all of the meals are delicious and high-quality, with the restaurant consistently placed in the Top 10 in London on TripAdvisor.
Try exotic dishes at Archipelago
Describing itself as the capital’s ‘culinary portal to world cuisine’, Archipelago in Fitzrovia is one of the most interesting and unusual restaurants in London for those who aren’t afraid to try new foods.
Their unconventional menu features exotic dishes from around the world such as seared zebra, kangaroo fillet, sweet-chili smoked python carpaccio, pan-fried crickets and African crocodile. And don’t worry – all of these ingredients are ethically sourced!
Plus, it’s not just the food that makes Archipelago one of the most unique places to eat in London. Their extravagant yet cosy interior will transport you far away from the UK, with giant peacock feathers, dwarf palm trees and exotic artifacts such as golden buddhas and colourful tapestries adorning each table. This exciting spot is definitely one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London.
Get climbing at The Jam
Often referred to as the ‘treehouse restaurant’ or ‘bunkbed restaurant’, The Jam’s multilevel booth seating arrangement makes it one of the most fun restaurants in London for kids and kids at heart.
Sat on Chelsea’s prestigious Kings’s Road, the Jam’s unusual seating, some of which requires climbing a wooden ladder to access, isn’t exactly what you’d expect from this high-end area of the city, but once you taste the food you’ll see why it has become a local favourite.
The Jam’s Italian menu features a range of delicious sourdough pizzas, as well as an offering of other small and large plates including bruschetta, calamari, gnocchi, risotto, steak and plenty more. Plus a great wine and cocktail menu.
Breakfast on a bridge at Cafe Laville
While there are countless picturesque canalside restaurants in London, Little Venice’s Cafe Laville really sets itself apart from the crowd with its unique location sitting on a bridge above the Regents Canal.
The friendly, authentic Italian restaurant has a large terrace overlooking the canal and serves a delicious selection of coffee, breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners. All with accompanying Italian wines and beers. Certainly a hidden gem and one of the prettiest and most romantic spots for breakfast in all of London.
Play games on your interactive table at Inamo
Inamo is a small chain of contemporary pan-Asian restaurants in Soho, Covent Garden and Camden, serving Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean cuisine.
But what makes Inamo really stand out from the crowd is that it’s home to the world’s first interactive table ordering and entertainment system, with the menu projected onto your table where you can order your food, watch the chefs at work in the kitchen and play retro games with your table mates.
Don’t miss this great deal for unlimited Asian tapas and sushi at Inamo for £27.50 per person, or unlimited food plus unlimited wine or beer for £42 per person.
Enjoy afternoon tea on a bus with BBakery
When it comes to funky places to eat in London, restaurants on public transport are always a big hit.
After Underground Supper Club, another of my favourite unique London restaurants on public transport is BBakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus – a classic Routemaster red bus which takes you on a tour of central London’s main attractions while serving up high tea, featuring sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones.
BBakery also runs fun themed afternoon teas, from a Paddington tea to celebrate the release of the new film, to spooky Halloween teas and festive Christmas teas.
Or maybe a luxury 6-course dinner on a bus instead
If afternoon tea isn’t enough, hop on board Bustronome’s special London dinner bus where you can enjoy a special gourmet 6-course meal with wine pairings whilst touring the capital’s top attractions.
The ultimate luxury dining experience with a unique London twist!
Dine in the sky with London in the Sky
London in the Sky is a unique restaurant suspended in the sky next to the O2 Area in North Greenwich.
With every guest strapped safely into their seat, the 22-seat Sky Table gets raised 100 ft off the ground. You’ll then get to enjoy amazing views over London while enjoying fantastic food and drink. The unusual dining venue runs various sessions throughout the day, so you can pick from breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
London in the Sky is a summer dining experience so only runs from July to September each year.
Feast like a king at Medieval Banquet
Medieval Banquet unfortunately closed its doors for good in late 2020 – I’m currently on the lookout for something similar to fill the void of one of my favourite quirky restaurants in London.
There are plenty of immersive themed London restaurants, from murder mysteries to prohibition jazz clubs, but one of my favourites involves heading back in time to the Medieval period at the Medieval Banquet in St Katharine Docks. Join King Henry VIII at his royal banquet, set in a themed underground venue with a whole host of knights, jesters, contortionists, singers and musicians to entertain you throughout the evening. And if you really want to get fully immersed, you can hire your own themed costume on-site and join in with the action. The food is also fit for a king, with platters of meat, pate, cheese and pickled vegetables for the table, followed by roast chicken in traditional medieval sauce with roasted potatoes and vegetables, and finally, slabs of fruit-filled pie with cream for dessert. Plus plenty of ale and wine to fuel your night!
Dine in year-round igloos at Coppa Club
While the famous Coppa Club igloos originally graced London with their appearance as a special Christmas pop-up a few years back, the unique London dining experience was such a big hit that they now have a year-round presence.
Sat on the bank of the River Thames overlooking majestic Tower Bridge, the igloos can be booked for private dining or drinks for groups of up to 8 people.
Eat on London’s canals at Barge East
And finally, eat on the water at Barge East, a unique floating bar and restaurant on a 114-year-old Dutch barge, with charming rustic decor and an outdoor deck overlooking the East London skyline where you can enjoy their luxury British menu designed by head chef Stefano Campione.
Check out these other London foodie posts you might enjoy:
- Unique, unusual and quirky bars in London
- 8 Amazing Immersive Dining Experiences in London
- Dinner Time Story: Le Petit Chef – London’s most unique immersive dining experience
- 8 of the prettiest pink cafes in London
- Where to find the best chicken and waffles in London
- The best London steakhouses you probably didn’t know about
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