Dreading the dry turkey and never ending soup and sandwiches already? Forget all about it with these 13 restaurants offering something a little more exotic and exciting…
Originally opened in Smithfield in 2004, Kipferl’s Camden Passage site brings Viennese food culture to Angel. From spicy Hungarian gulyas soup to the famous Wiener Schnitzel, this is a coffeehouse experience like no other.
20 Camden Passage N1 8ED; 020 7704 1555; kipferl.co.uk
2 Café La Divina
There are not many other places in Angel that boasts such a wonderful atmosphere that you’ll find in La Divina. Not experienced it yet? They are open on Christmas Day, so the perfect opportunity for an Italian feast.
134 Upper Street N1 1QP; 020 8616 4149; ladivina.co.uk
3 Le Sacre Coeur
Here’s another that’s open on Christmas Day, offering a special menu at £29.50 per person. Expect such delights as venison and cranberry pate, grilled seabass fillet, chargrilled rib-eye steak and, yes, roast turkey.
18 Theberton Street N1 0QX; 020 7354 2618; lesacrecoeurbistro.co.uk
Head Chef at Ognisko Jan Woroniecki is determined to show Londoners the untapped gourmet potential of Polish food. This Christmas he’ll be serving a Polish-leaning menu, starting with an Ognisko vodka.
55 Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2PN; 020 7589 0101; ogniskorestaurant.co.uk
Karam Sethi opened Gymkhana in Mayfair back in 2013, and he’s won just about every food award going since, including a Michelin star. His innovative take on luxury Indian food is worth the hefty price tag that comes with it.
42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4JH, 020 3011 5900; gymkhanalondon.com
A visit to Kurobuta is about as far away from dry turkey and sprouts as you can get. Scott Hallsworth’s experimental Japanese restaurant has given the food scene on the King’s Road a new lease of life.
312 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UH; 020 7920 64429; kurobuta-london.com
7 Maramia Cafe
Another Golborne Road café worth travelling for is Maramia, which serves fresh, hard-to-find Palestinian dishes like kibbeh, a deep-fried lamb and maftoul, a handmade couscous.
48 Golborne Road, Notting Hill W10 5PR; 020 3181 0030; maramia.com
8 Snaps + Rye
Founded by Danish-English husband and wife team Kell and Jacqueline Skött, SNAPS + RYE is a contemporary Danish restaurant serving Nordic cuisine, with a focus on produce and provenance.
93 Golborne Road, Notting Hill W10 5NL; 020 8964 3004; snapsandrye.com
Popular Chiswick haunt Hedone specialises in modern European cuisine. Swedish chef-proprietor Mikael Jonsson takes great care in sourcing ingredients and creating top-quality dishes. It’s a resident favourite.
301-303 Chiswick High Road W4 4HH; 020 8747 0377; hedonerestaurant.com
Tom has included a mention in his copy above and we couldn’t agree more. Riva in Barnes serves top Italian food. Chef/proprietor Andrea Riva specialises in the Northern Italian dishes of the Lombardy region.
169 Church Road, Barnes SW13 9HR; 020 8748 0434
Babur celebrates 30 years in 2015, and rightly so – its contemporary representations of India’s many cuisines have drawn praise from Zagat and Hardens. The restaurant has launched a special anniversary menu, String of Pearls, celebrating the cuisines of East Africa, Indian Ocean Islands and the Andaman Sea.
119 Brockley Rise, Forest Hill SE23 1JP; 020 8291 2400; babur.info
12 The French House
Audrey Michel opened The French House in East Dulwich to celebrate classic Alsacian-style food in an environment inspired by the Yé-yé musical era (think Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin). Try the tarte flambée, made from extra thin bread dough topped with crème fraiche and smoked lardon, or the classic escargots à la bourguignonne.
52 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22 8HJ; 020 3441 2090; thefrenchhouse.co
13 Buenos Aires Café
Buenos Aires Café serves up flavoursome, succulent Argentinian beef from free-roaming cattle fed on Pampas grass, in a relaxed environment typical of Argentinian restaurants. Try tackling the Parrillada Mixta Special with rump, sirloin, chorizo, black pudding, chicken, ribs, sweetbread and pork belly!
17 Royal Parade, Blackheath SE3 0TL & 15 Nelson Road, Greenwich SE10 9JB; buenosairescafe.co.uk