If you're wondering when's a good time to get a table at London's hard-to-book restaurants, the midweek lunch spot is your best bet. Not only are you likely to be in with more of a chance of snapping up a table, but you'll also get the opportunity to eat in some of London's top restaurants often for less than the price you'd spend on a meal out in your local gastropub. Here are our picks for some of the best lunchtime deals in town. It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start - how about trying one a month and working your way through? 

A few things to note:

  • Always make sure that the set lunch deal is running for the day of your booking
  • Although the set lunches are pretty rigid in themselves, if there's something you've always wanted to try from a restaurant and don't mind paying full price for that one dish - add it on to what you're ordering.
  • And if you want to stick to the budget, be very wary of the wine list in these places, that way penury lies.

 

 

Alain Ducasse at the DorchesterAlain Ducasse at the Dorchester

The only three Michelin-starred restaurant on our list is hidden inside the Dorchester and normally costs an arm and a leg. The set price lunch is an excellent way to test the place out without hurting your bank balance too much and changes every Wednesday.

The choice: Three to four options per course.
The offer:
Three courses (amuse-bouche and mignardises too), two glasses of wine, half a bottle of mineral water and coffee or tea for £60.
Available: Tuesday to Friday

Find out more about Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester


 

 

alynwilliamsAlyn Williams at The Westbury

For 2014, this Michelin-starred restaurant is offering its set lunch on a Saturday too.

The choice: Two options per course during the week and five options on Saturday.
The offer:
Tuesday - Friday: three courses for £30, Saturday: three courses for £40
Available: Tuesday to Saturday

Find out more about Alyn Williams at The Westbury


 

 

aquaAqua Shard

Dinner in any of the Shard's restaurants can be hard on the wallet, but head up there for lunch and you can take advantage of Aqua Shard's set price lunch. 

The choice: Three to four options per course.
The offer:
Two courses £31 or three for £34
Available: Monday to Friday

Find out more about Aqua Shard


 

 

Bar Boulud London Bar Boulud London

Daniel Boulud's launch of Bar Boulud London was a huge success and this is the second restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental to offer a great lunch deal. They're offering a daily changing Bouchon Menu so you can get something new every day. 

The choice: Two choices for main course, but daily changing menu.
The offer: 2 courses for £18 or 3 courses for £21 including a glass of house wine & coffee
Available: Monday to Saturday from 12 to 6.30pm (with a £39 brunch menu on Sunday)

Find out more about Bar Boulud London


 

 

BernardiBernardi's

This Italian restaurant in Marylebone is from Cubitt House alumni and serves up warming Italian fair and a great option for dodging the shopping crowds. 

The choice: Two choices for per course.
The offer: Two courses for £18 and three for £22
Available: Monday to Saturday from 12 to 3pm, 5.30 - 6.45 and 9.30pm onwards.

Find out more about Bernardi's


 

 

Corrigan's Corrigan's Mayfair

Richard Corrigan is appearing more and more on TV here in the UK (he's already a huge name in Ireland) and his Mayfair restaurant (around the back of the Grosvenor) is the higher end of his two London restaurants (he also owns Bentley's) and serves up a market menu

The choice: Three options per course. Cheese requires supplement.
The offer: Two courses for £25 and three for £29
Available: Monday to Friday 12-3pm

Find out more about Corrigan's Mayfair


 

 

Craft londonCraft London

Stevie Parle's east London restaurant is about as seasonal and locally sourced as you can get in the capital. It's easily the best thing by the O2, but it's really worth travelling up there for excellent cooking (and make sure to pop into the deli downstairs too).

The choice: Tasting menu.
The offer: Four courses for £35
Available: All day, every day.

Find out more about Craft London


 

 

DabbousDabbous

Generally known as one of the hardest restaurants to get into in town, Ollie Dabbous restaurant is also one of the most loved. If you do manage to score a lunch reservation, you'll get a slightly cut-down version of the regular tasting menu.

The choice: About 6 options 
The offer:
Three courses for £28, Four courses for £35 (£5 cheese supplement)

Find out more about Dabbous


 

 

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Dinner by Heston

Heston and Ashley Palmer Watts' Mandarin Oriental restaurant is currentlyone of the most popular restaurants in London thanks to Heston's name on the door. You won't get the Tipsy Cake or Meat Fruit for this price but it's a good way to experience one of the hottest tickets in town.

The choice: 2 options per courses 
The offer:
£40 for 3 courses
Available: Monday to Friday from 12-2.30pm

Find out more about Dinner by Heston


 

 

feraFera

The much-anticipated Simon Rogan restaurant at Claridges now has a Michelin star to boot, making it a very popular choice. Get in ahead of the crowds by opting for lunch there.

The choice: Two - three options per course 
The offer: Three courses for £39 (plus £14 for cheese)
Available: Monday to Sunday

Find out more about Fera


 

 

feraFrenchie

This new Parisian import has quicky got a lot of positive buzz, showing that it is possible to make a very successful move from Paris to London. The set menu at lunch is an ideal chance to try it out.

The offer: Two courses for £22 and three for 28
Available: Tuesday to Friday

Find out more about Frenchie


 

 

Galvin at WindowsGalvin at Windows

Managed by the masterful Fred Sirieix, here's where you can experience fantastic food with that 'magic touch', enjoying one of the best views in London on top of the Park Lane Hilton Hotel overlooking Hyde Park.

The choice: Three options per course (£8 supplement for cheese or £12 as an extra course)
The offer: Two courses for £28, three courses for £33 or go for 3 courses, half a bottle of wine, water and a coffee for £55

Find out more about Galvin at Windows


 

 

The GreenhouseThe Greenhouse

Another of London's few two Michelin starred restaurants, this upmarket French restaurant from chef Arnaud Bignon has been a perennial favourite.

The choice: Three per course.
The offer: Two courses for £29 or three for £36.

Find out more about The Greenhouse


 

 

gymkhana2Gymkhana

One of the best Indian restaurants to open in London for years, Gymkhana has a great entry-level set lunch menu making this Mayfair spot even more of an attractive proposition.

The choice: Four options for starters and main and three for desser - with mains served with Dal Maharani, Saag Paneer. The meal also kicks off with cassava, lentil and rice papads with shrimp chutney and mango chutney.
The offer: Two courses for £25 or three for £30 (add a carafe of wine or house punch for £9)

Find out more about Gymkhana


 

 

HawksmoorHawksmoor

Famed for serving some of the best steaks in town, Hawksmoor also offer a very good deal on their Express Menu at lunch times across almost all of their restaurants (and early evening too).

The choice: Three - four choices per course, with a 240g rib eye available for the main.
The offer:
Two courses for £25 or three for £28.
Available: Monday to Saturday lunch to 6.30pm at all London Hawksmoors.

Find out more about Hawksmoor Air Street

Find out more about Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

Find out more about Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Find out more about Hawksmoor Spitalfields


 

 

Helene Darroze at the ConnaughtHelene Darroze at the Connaught

Her two Michelin-star cooking is exquisite and who wouldn't want to try the food of chef Helene Darroze?

The choice: The lunch formula lets you choose between two and four products such as crab, pork, lobster or greengage and is specifically targeted at those wanting a speedy, but gourmet one hour lunch.
The offer:
Two "products" are £30, three (including one sweet) £38 and four (including one sweet) are £45.

Find out more about Helene Darroze at the Connaught


 

 

Hereford ArmsHereford Road

The chef here, Tom Pemerton, was previously Head Chef at St John Bread & Wine so that should give you an idea of the gutsy kind of cooking you'll see here. The set lunch changes daily and there's also an express lunch as well..

The choice: Three starters, three mains and three dessert choices - or a single main course plus glass of wine and coffee for the Express lunch. 
The offer:
Two courses for £13.50 or three for £15.50. The express lunch is just £9.50 - a real bargain.
Available: Monday to Friday

Find out more about Hereford Road


 

 

HibiscusHibiscus

Situated just off Regent Street, Claude Bosi's Hibiscus is another two Michelin-starred restaurant offering some sublime French cooking. Lunch here is a total steal.

The choice: Three options per course, pork belly and cheese require a supplement.
The offer: Three courses with half bottle of wine, coffee and petit fours for £49.50.

Find out more about Hibiscus


 

 

Hix SohoHix Soho

Mark Hix's Soho restaurant is a popular media hangout and great for lunch with a lovely airy dining room. If your lunch here inspires you to take the afternoon off, we recommend heading downstairs to the cocktail bar afterwards.

The choice: Three options per course
The offer:
Two courses for £19.50, three for £22.50.
Available: 12 - 6.30pm every day

Find out more about Hix Soho


 

 

HKKHKK

This is essentially the City version of Hakkasan - with much more of an emphasis on large tasting menus. However, lunchtime offers cut-down versions of these at a cheap (for the City) price too with their "Taste of HKK" menu.

The choice: Three options per course
The offer:
Three courses for £29.

Find out more about HKK


 

 

The IvyThe Ivy

One of London's longest running restaurants and one that just had a major refurb, making it more popular than ever. It's a much later "lunch" on offer here, mind.

The choice: Three options per course
The offer:
Three courses for £22.50, Three courses for £27.50
Available: Monday - Thursday 2.30 - 6pm and after 10pm.

Find out more about The Ivy


 

 

Koffmann'sKoffmann's

Pierre Koffmann's eponymous restaurant shares the Berkeley hotel with Marcus Wareing. Here's where you're likely to spot royalty enjoying the chef's Gascon fare. It may be lunch, but it's not necessarily light with calf's tongue remoulade and sole with lobster sauce on offer.

The choice: Three to four options per course.
The offer:
Three courses for £26
Available: Monday - Sunday 12-2.30pm

Find out more about Koffmann's


 

 

The Ledbury The Ledbury

Brett Graham is currently number 10 in the World's 50 Best restaurants and The Ledbury just won Restaurant of the Year at the 2014 Observer Food Monthly Awards. So if you want to try out this Australian chef's cuisine and the £110 tasting menu is out of your budget, lunch is your best bet.

The choice: Tasting menu.
The offer:
Four course menu for £50. 
Available: Wednesday to Sunday 

Find out more about The Ledbury


 

 

Le GavrocheLe Gavroche

One of London's classiest restaurants this can also end up being one of London's most expensive. Go to Le Gavroche if you want to experience some of the most exquisite service and classic food in London and their legendary Business Lunch deal will help you avoid a phone call with your bank manager. 

The choice: Three options per course
The offer:
Set lunch for £56 includes three courses, half a bottle of wine, half-bottle of mineral water, petit fours and coffee
Available: Monday - Friday

Find out more about Le Gavroche


 

 

Lima FloralLima Floral

This follow-up to the original restaurant brought Peruvian food to Covent Garden, along with some of the best pisco sours in town.. 

The choice: Two options per course
The offer:
Two courses for £17.50; Three courses for £19.50
Available: Monday - Friday 12 - 2.30pm

Find out more about Lima Floral


 

 

MarcusMarcus

Marcus Wareing's flagship restaurant (and the only one where you'll find him in the kitchen) is one of London's few two Michelin starred restaurants - which he retained after a major refurb in 2014.

The choice: Tasting menu
The offer:
Five courses for £49 (£12 supplement for cheese).
Available: Monday - Saturday

Find out more about Marcus


 

 

muranoMurano

Angela Hartnett's flagship restaurant serves up exquisite Italian food but at a price. Happily, the set menu brings it down to most people's budgets. Expect such delights as Sardines, caponata, roast garlic and fennel toast or Hazelnut fettuccini with baby artichoke á la Grecque

The choice: Three options per course
The offer:
Two courses for £28 and three for £33 with cheese for an £8 supplement.

Find out more about Murano


 

 

OldroydOldroyd

Tom Oldroyd's first restaurant on his own has proven to be a huge hit (also winning our best newcomer award). If you need a set lunch in Islington, look no further.

The choice: Three options per course.
The offer:
Two courses for £15, three courses for £18
Available: Monday - Saturday 12 - 3pm, 5.30 - 6.45pm

Find out more about Oldroyd


 

 

Pollen Street SocialPiquet

Allan Pickett's does French cuisine but with a big focus on English ingredients at this popular new restaurant in Fitzrovia.

The choice: Two options per course.
The offer:
Two courses for £16.50, three courses for £19.50
Available: Monday - Saturday 12 - 3pm, 5.30 - 6.45pm

Find out more about Piquet


 

 

Pollen Street SocialPollen Street Social

Jason Atherton's restaurant is booked up weeks in advance, but lunchtimes could be the best way to get a reservation.

The choice: Three options per course, cheese requires a £5 supplement.
The offer:
Two courses for £32, three courses for 37
Available: Monday - Saturday 12 - 2.30pm

Find out more about Pollen Street Social


 

 

Quaglino'sQuaglino's

The revamped Quaglino's has been a huge hit since it opened, offering one of the blingest dining rooms in town.

The choice: Four options per course.
The offer:
Two courses and a glass of wine for £20 or three courses for £30 inc a glass of "bubbles"

Find out more about Quaglino's


 

 

gordon-ramsayRestaurant Gordon Ramsay

Gordon's flagship restaurant on Royal Hospital Road is still damned hard to get into. Head Chef Clare Smyth runs a tight ship and was recently rewarded with a perfect 10 by the Good Food Guide.  

The choice: Three options per course with £10 supplement for cheese. 
The offer:
Three courses for £65
Available: Monday to Friday.

Find out more about Restaurant Gordon Ramsay


 

 

SartoriaSartoria

This Mayfair Italian restaurant now has Francesco Mazzei in charge of the kitchen and it's become a hot "new" restaurant in the process.

The choice: Three choices per course
The offer: Two courses for £26.50, three courses for £32.50

Find out more about Sartoria


 

 

Savoy GrillSavoy Grill

Now one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, the Savoy Grill is still one of London's dining institutions.

The choice: Four choices per course, sides extra
The offer: Two courses for £26, three courses for £30

Find out more about Savoy Grill


 

 

SketchSketch

Pierre Gagnaire’s Library Room restaurant is famed for being one of the most expensive in London. However, if you head there at lunch for the gourmet rapide lunch you can avoid an unfortunate discussion with the bank manager.

The choice: Two to three choices per course, £10 supplement for cheese
The offer: Two courses for £35 (with petit fours), three courses for £40 (with petit fours) or three courses for £40 (with petit fours, 1/2 bottle of Hildon and 1/2 bottle of wine).

Find out more about Sketch


 

 

SpringSocal Wine and Tapas

Jason Atherton's wine bar is only just around the corner from Selfridges - ideal if you need to snack on tapas and wine for lunch.

The choice: Your choice of five tapas, changes daily.
The offer: Five tapas per person for £19.50
Available: Every day

Find out more about Social Wine and Tapas


 

 

SpringSpring

Skye Gyngell opened this restaurant in Somerset House to great acclaim, as much for the food as for the spectacular dining room

The choice: One choice per course only, changes daily.
The offer: Two courses for £27.50, three courses for £31.50
Available: Every day

Find out more about Spring


 

 

storyStory

Having won a Michelin star a scant five months after opening, Tom Sellers' Bermondsey restaurant is a must-visit, if you can get a table. Your best bet is to try at lunchtime.

The offer: Three courses for £39 featuring dishes from the tasting menu (including the beef dripping candle) sized up
Available: Tuesday to Thursday.

Find out more about Story


 

 

The Square The Square

It's no longer "Philip Howard's Square" but this Mayfair restaurant has two Michelin stars, and AA Gill said of his meal 'the lunch we had there deserved three.'

The choice: Two options per course.
The offer:
Two courses for £35, Three courses for £40, six course tasting menu for £65
Available: Monday to Saturday.

Find out more about The Square


 

 

Typing RoomTyping Room

Lee Westcott's restaurant in the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green is one of the most highly rated in East London, with a big emphasis on foraged food.

The choice: Two options per course.
The offer:
Two courses for £24, Three courses for £29
Available: Monday to Saturday.

Find out more about Typing Room


 

 

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