The best small plate dining in London

A little goes a long way

OK, so perhaps this isn't a list that will go over so well with our American cousins: where more will ever remain, unequivocally, more.

Sometimes just tantalising your tastebuds with beautiful flavours, leaving you wanting more, is the route to a great eating experience. Plus, you won't hate yourself when you jump on the bathroom scales, next morning.

From Argentinian gastronomy to tapas, fine dining, Italian sharing and more, let us guide you through London's best small plate dining...

10 Seymour Place W1H 5DB
Region: Marylebone

AIL Says: Since opening in 2012 Donostia has established itself as one of London’s favourite tapas restaurants. A fantastic showcase of Basque cuisine, for the best experience grab a table at the bar and watch the chefs prepare dish after mouthwatering dish. Acorn-fed Iberico ham, cod cheeks and pintxos are all on the menu.

  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
Roti Chai
3 Portman Mews W1H 6HS
Region: Marylebone

AIL Says: This colourful eatery serves up contemporary Indian street food as well as traditional regional dishes. Sit upstairs for Punjabi mini burgers and steamed chickpea cakes, or head downstairs to the slightly less casual dining room for curries and butter chicken.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
  • USERS 3/10
The Shed Bar & Restaurant
122 Palace Gardens Terrace W8 4RT
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Notting Hill Gate (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Serving British food in small sharing plates is a relatively recent development. The Shed is a great place to sample this trend; the Gladwin brothers have fun with classic ingredients like pairing Marmite with egg confit and transforming shredded lamb into crispy chips.

  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 9/10
Yalla Yalla
Region: King's Cross
Nearest Station: King's Cross St. Pancras (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Offering Lebanese street food in a teensy, no-bookings eatery proved to be a winning formula for Yalla Yalla, as they now have a larger branch near Oxford Street, a take away counter at King’s Cross station and a semi-permanent pop-up on Brick Lane. Their menu goes beyond falafels and hummus with things like lamb tartar and chicken livers with pomegranate.

17 Frith Street W1D 4RG
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Peruvian cuisine has taken the capital by storm in no small part thanks to this former pop-up, which now has a second branch called Andina in Shoreditch. There’s a lot more on offer than just the dish of raw fish that gives the restaurant its name; share plates of beef heart skewers and corn cakes with feta and avocado, washed down with pisco sours of course.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 9/10
32 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE
Region: Clerkenwell
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.4 miles)

AIL Says: The Moors ruled Spain for almost 800 years, transforming the region’s cuisine with ingredients from the Middle East and North Africa.The owners of Morito, little sister to the veteran Moro, spent months travelling through the area in a camper van studying the local cooking, and it shows in accomplished dishes like venison haunch with barberries and ‘chicharrones’ – think a more upmarket version of pork scratchings.

  • 53/100
Bocca Di Lupo
12 Archer Street W1D 7BB
Region: London Haymarket
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Bocca di Lupo is one of the capital’s best-loved Italians, thanks to a clever menu of regional dishes from all over Italy. Highlights include grilled seafood, game and fritti, which are salty, deep fried appetisers.

  • 84/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
Region: City
Nearest Station: Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: At Duck & Waffle there’s exquisite dining in a very fun restaurant: it’s open 24 hours, boasts amazing views from the 40th floor of a City tower and has a menu of smart, innovative food like foie gras crème brulee and the signature dish of duck leg confit, egg, waffle and maple syrup.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
  • USERS 10/10
Cellar Gascon
59 West Smithfield EC1A 9DS
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Barbican (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Cellar Gascon is the casual companion to Club Gascon, the Michelin-starred restaurant acclaimed for showcasing food from the south west of France. Here inventive small plates like Marmite Royale & Soldiers sit alongside more traditional fondues and confits, along with fantastic French wines.

9 Duke Street W1U 3EG
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Bond Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Argentinian gastronomy may be best known in Europe for its steaks, but Zoilo’s menu exemplifies the variety food on offer in this vast Latin country. The best seats are at the basement bar facing the chefs, so you can watch them preparing ceviche, chimichurri burgers and mackerel escabeche.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 3/10

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