One thing is certain – London is old. The history of this famous global city goes back thousands of years ago, with London being populated by Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans and other civilizations, who were both destroying old things and building new things. And when you come to a city with such a rich history, you simply have some really old landmarks, like the Tower of London, which is almost 1000 years old. And this doesn’t go only for the famous buildings – but also for all sorts of pubs and eateries, with the old eateries being the topic of this article. Top 10 Old Restaurants In London brings you the best among the old restaurants of the England’s capital, these places being great not only for eating but also for soaking up the history, as their interior certainly shows that they’re not from this or even (in the most cases) from the previous century. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to believe how did these restaurants endure through hundreds of years, with so much change going on around them – London is certainly a much more different place than it was in, let’s say, 1790. These would be the Top 10 Old Restaurants In London:
We start off the list with the oldest Indian restaurant in the city – the Veeraswamy. This fine eatery was opened in 1926, its opening being a grand event of the time, as it was attended (and opened) by an Indian princess and the son of one of the British generals. Even though London is now filled with all sorts of Indian restaurants, the Veeraswamy still holds the status of the oldest and most elegant of them. Be sure to try the Raj Kachori.
Visit Address: Regent Street 99, W1B 4EZ London
The Sweetings restaurant was opened at the end of the Victorian Times – in 1889. It was always a busy place during its long history, as it is today – the Sweetings serves grilled, poached, and fried fish, as well as some tasty desserts and all sorts of vegetables. There are also some old-school puddings. You will know that you’re in an old restaurant when you receive your bill which is – handwritten, and when you see that the walls of the Sweetings are covered with old photos.
Visit Address: Queen Victoria Street 39, EC4N 4SF London
As you can already suggest, the Gordon’s Wine Bar is the oldest wine bar in all of London (maybe even in the world, who knows). It was established in 1890, and it is one of the most atmospheric places in the city, as it features some exposed brickwork and the flickering candlelight. The guest can, of course, not only drink but eat here, as the Gordon’s Wine bar serves all kinds of cheeses, pies, meat buffets, and salads. We don’t have to say that the wine list is amazing.
Visit Address: Villiers Street 47, WC2N 6NE London
This particular restaurant (and a champagne bar) was opened in 1867, and it carries this name as it was founded by one Auguste Kettner, who was once the chef to French King Napoleon III. When it opened, the French cuisine was still relatively unknown in the city, and it was pretty easy for the restaurant to become famous very quickly. The interior combines large windows and some white woodwork, with the menu consisting of all sorts of steaks, cheese, crèmes, eggs, and vegetables.
Visit Address: Romilly Street 29, W1D 5HP London
One of the Top 10 London’s Oldest Restaurants, the Criterion features some pretty interesting decorations – the come in the so-called Neo-Byzantine style. It was opened in 1873 and it has a pretty rich history – it was frequently visited by the famous Arthur Conan Doyle, and the whole place was to be demolished after the Second World War, only to be saved by directors and actors who were involved with the theater of the same name that is attached to this fine restaurant.
Visit Address: Piccadilly 224, W1J 9HP London
Opened all the way back in 1863, the Newman Arms is actually a pub, but it still serves some fine food, like their famous signature pies, that are served in the dining room that can be found upstairs. At Newman Arms, the visitors can try dishes that are packed with some ingredients coming from Cornwall, as well as to drinks some fine beers that are served by friendly staff. One of the most famous guests of this place was George Orwell, a famous English novelist.
Visit Address: Rathbone Street 23, W1T 1NG London
The Rules restaurant, situated in the district of Covent Garden, was opened in 1798 and it claims to be the oldest restaurant in London, which is pretty disputable since it’s pretty hard to define where the pub ends and where the restaurant begins. The Rules strengthened its fame during the Second World War when it was among few places that served some very exclusive meals. Some of the most famous customers of the Rules restaurant were Charlie Chaplin and Charles Dickens.
Visit Address: Maiden Lane 34, WC2E 7LB London
The Simpson’s in The Strand was opened in 1828, and it has nothing to do with Simpson’s Tavern, another restaurant from our Top 10 Oldest Restaurants in London list. When it was opened, the Simpson’s in The Strand was serving just coffee and cigars, and only 20 years later it started serving some fine meals of the British cuisine. The signature meal here is the roasted beef, and you should certainly try it while enjoying the feeling of being in a really old place.
Visit Address: Strand 100, WC2R 0EW London
The Simpson’s Tavern, located in Cornhill, was opened all the way back in 1757, in the year King George II fired his minister William Pitt and the Austrian army occupied Berlin, the capital of Prussia. The place still retains some of its old charm, especially in its British menu that brings meals like shrimps in butter, kidney pie, or the oxtail stew. The restaurant is not far from the famous Tower Bridge. One interesting fact – the ladies weren’t allowed to come in all the way until 1916, but now certainly are.
Visit Address: Ball Court Alley, EC3V 9DR London
Even though it was moved around the city for a few times to properly achieve the title, we still consider the Wiltons to be the oldest restaurant in the city – it was opened in 1742! The interior of this place will show you the meaning of the word “the bastion of Britishness”, as the place looks truly elegant, featuring white tablecloths, a dress code, and a carving trolly. You should try the lamb here – it is cooked to near perfection.
Visit Address: Jermyn Street 55, SW1Y 6LX London