No Reservation

Photo courtesy of BAO

We know that reservations can be hard to come by at some of London’s top restaurants, with bookings months in advance and intimidatingly long waiting lists. Enter the no-reservations restaurant: a new breed of dining destination cropping up across London. All you can do to secure your table: turn up.

Flat Iron

Photo courtesy of Flat Iron

Started as a pop-up, the Flat Iron now boasts three permanent restaurants centrally between Soho and Covent Garden. Great steaks and cheerful atmosphere are the ingredients of this growing success – but watch out for queues which can be up to 2 hours on weekends! The Flat Iron is firmly in the category of the ‘no-reservation-accepted’ restaurants; but queuing for a perfectly cooked signature steak is more than worth it.



Photo courtesy of BAO

The Taiwanese BAO originally opened in Netil Market (only on Saturdays) as a small six-seater bar serving mouth-watering Classic Pork BAO, Daikon BAO and Taiwanese Fried Chicken. With the second branch opening in Soho, the menu extended (as well as the seating plan) however the no-reservation policy remains the house rule. The last and biggest location in Fitzrovia started to break the rules a bit: offering to book tables downstairs but always keeping the main restaurant for walk-ins.



Photo courtesy of Hoppers

From the JKS family, sister restaurant to Gymkhana and Trishna, Hoppers serves dishes inspired by Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. This small and stylish venue does not accept reservations but is definitely one to visit. On a side note, Hoppers also organises deliveries and take away…which makes it a lot easier to get your hands on these delicious dishes!



Photo courtesy of Dishoom

These eclectic Indian restaurants across the capital, located in Shoreditch, Covent Garden, King’s Cross and Carnaby, continue to draw crowds for the casual atmosphere and vibrant cuisine. The ever popular Dishoom is walk-in only at most of its establishments unless your group is over 6 guests. These lively venues offer a taste of India and continue to be a great dining destination.



Photo courtesy of Barrafina

From its original site in Frith Street, Barrafina now has three restaurants across Central London, each serving up its characteristic authentic Spanish tapas. The elegant and contemporary interiors of each venue, combined with the signature Spanish cuisine, makes Barrafina a continually popular destination in the Capital.


The Barbary

Photo courtesy of The Barbary

Little sister to The Palomar, The Barbary loses none of its characteristic flair, identity or flavour. Although a lack of reservations may seem daunting, the menu – inspired by the trade and travel along the Barbary Coast – offers a blend of cuisines from the Atlantic Coast, the Mediterranean and Israel, making it truly worth the visit.

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