It used to be dreadful to try to find decent restaurants around Victoria. And then came the long-term building project around Victoria which seemed to last for years! The good news is now there are some fantastic Victoria Station restaurants! The Nova complex houses somewhere around 25 bars and new restaurants Victoria London – many from some of London’s best-known restauranteurs. Here are the ones I have visited so far:
- If you’re a food lover don’t miss my post on the Best London Food Tours!
1. Victoria Station Restaurants – Hai Cenato – Jason Atherton
I do love anything Jason Atherton does – Social Eating House, Social Wine and Tapas (i think my favourite), Little Social – I think I have visited nearly all of his great restaurants in London at least once and I have had a fantastic meal EVERY time.
Hai Cenato means “Have you had dinner” – a typical greeting from Italian hosts apparently. The ground floor is New York-Italian cuisine and then upstairs is a bar with seating for 70 which is very cute and cool AND it has a fantastic name – the Drunken Oyster.
We started our evening with a drink up there – it is worth popping in there for a drink whether you are eating downstairs or not. There aren’t many good bars near Victoria Station. They have obviously spent a lot on the fit-out of the Drunken Oyster as quality cues are everywhere with fantastic farrow and ball-esque styling in dark colours.
Hai Cenato is a bit more relaxed than the average Jason Atherton restaurant – the food and style are more about casual vs full-on dining. The menu is more casual as is the service but no less delicious and interesting – it was difficult in a good way to decide what to have.
We started with the ravioli with walnut and mint at Hai Cenato. This was a taste sensation – absolutely outstanding. We then went on to the octopus and squid with lentils which were an unexpected but delicious combination.
Next up were the pizzas – wow wow wow!!! The base was perfection – light but fluffy but firm but perfect! We had one of each – a Rossa meat extravaganza and then a Bianca with Taleggio and Chanterelles which was the other highlight of the meal. We washed this down with a bottle of delicious Vermentino. And all at a very reasonable price. I think Hai Cenato is my favourite of the new restaurants near Victoria Station – and one of the best restaurants near Victoria Station London in general.
- Check out my post on the Top 10 Restaurants near Clapham Junction – it’s only 5 minutes by train from Victoria.
2. Great Restaurants near Victoria Station – Rail House Cafe
From the creators of the fabulous Riding House Cafe in Soho comes the Rail House Cafe. Rail House Cafe is much bigger than the Riding House and has a large upstairs bar area which is where I went. They also have a large outdoor area as well as a private dining room.
There was a nice big wine list to choose from. I didn’t eat but I did check out the Rail House Cafe menus – the brunch in particular looks like one not to be missed.
- For another area close to Victoria station with some great eating check out my post on the Top 10 Earlsfield Restaurants.
3. Great Restaurants near Victoria Station – Timmy Green
This was my first experience of going to a restaurant that proclaimed its cuisine as being Australian! Timmy Green is from the team behind Daisy Green and Beany Green. Unsurprisingly Timmy Green is big on brunch but I went along for dinner. It is quite a large lovely glass restaurant. There is a bar area on the left when you walk in that is a nice size.
The staff at Timmy Green were super friendly. We asked for recommendations and were directed to the very delicious halloumi fries – halloumi served in a fry format – no potatoes in sight. And we decided to continue the deep-fried theme with the rather delicious popcorn shrimp.
We then cleverly offset this with the chicken salad that came with a delectable chimichurri dressing. It would be remiss of me not to mention for all my Australian readers that Timmy Green has something rather unique for London on its menu – Chicken Parmigiana! It is a giant version that serves 2. For the British and European readers of this post, a chicken parmy is an Australian classic – breaded chicken with a tomato sauce and cheese on the top. It’s not for me but it is for many and it is quite tasty!
And then there was dessert. So we had been pretty happy with our meal to date but we could not ignore the delicious-sounding dessert menu at Timmy Greens. And oh my goodness the desserts were AMAZING and the highlight of the meal!
We ordered two desserts and shared. The desserts are good sizes – we did not manage to finish despite a pretty good effort. We went with the Melbourne Mars Bar Cheesecake with double cream and the salted caramel brownie sandwich with salted caramel ice cream and dulce de leche. These were as good as they sounded and we rolled out of Timmy Green.
- For another delicious London Food Experience, check out my post on the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Party at The Sanderson
4. Victoria Station Food – Sourced Market
I first visited Sourced in Marylebone only a couple of months ago and was an instant fan. Sourced Market is a mix of a deli, upmarket supermarket, lunch spot, wine bar and just filled with delicious looking well-packaged foods! Sourced work with small artisan producers and are open all day.
I visited Sourced Victoria for lunch and had a delicious salad and quiche. They have several communal tables and it is a great buzzy atmosphere.
Nova is also home to a brand of Vagabond. I love Vagabond wine bars! They have those fantastic machines so you are able to try small amounts of lots of lovely wines. And the food is also good.
Sticks n Sushi is a great concept – the name is the giveaway! – and there are several around London including this branch at Nova.
Bone Daddies is well known for fantastic Ramen. Ahi Poke is a great casual Hawaiian restaurant. I quite like the pub/bar Greenwood. It is a great place to meet for a drink as there is loads of seating inside, outside and upstairs.
Nova regularly features interesting little pop-ups that often have a decadent bakery theme! Fantastic Danish bakery Ole & Steen is a permanent fixture.
Nova Victoria also has a Shake Shack, Bills, Pret, Franca Manca, Benugo and many others of your favourite high street food chains. It is fantastic that you can now meet friends in this area due to these new restaurants near Victoria Station!
For some other interesting and different food and drink places to visit in London check out my posts:
- The WW 2 Themed Bletchley Bar
- Breaking Bad Night ABQ Cocktail Bar Review
- The Distillery Gin Bar Review
Boutique Hotels in London
Artist Residence is located in Pimlico which is fabulously central and very near Victoria. IT is in a gorgeous 5 store regency building and has a cute bar. Prices start at £150 a night.
The Portobello Hotel is located in one of London’s best known and cutest neighbourhoods, Notting Hill. This is also the hotel where Kate Moss and Johnny Depp filled up the bath with champagne! The hotel is located on a quiet street but is a great location.
Don’t miss Portobello Road not just for the traditional Saturday market but for loads of great restaurants and bars like The Distillery – and one of my favourite London experiences The Electric Cinema. Prices start at £150 a night.
The Great Northern Hotel is ridiculously close to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations which is incredibly convenient. This area has also nearly finished its amazing rejuvenation project and there are loads of fabulous restaurants and bars and interesting things to do on your doorstep. The hotel dates back to 1854 but has had a major refurb so it feels fresh and modern. Prices start at £229 a night.
The Hoxton hotel is in the heart of East London in Shoreditch and a perfect base for exploration. The rooms aren’t huge but the location makes up for it – as does the great value for London with rooms starting at £99 a night.
Getting to London and Getting Around:Click here for Cheap Flights to London
Best Ways to get from the airport into London
London has several airports. It can be confusing and expensive to get from each of the airports into central London. And the last thing you need after a flight! It is much easier to organize tickets before you fly.
Heathrow is the most common airport for international flights. The fastest way to get from Heathrow into Central London is the Heathrow Express. This train only takes 15 minutes to get from Heathrow to Paddington Station and runs 4 times an hour. The Heathrow Express is much faster than a cab or any other option. Save £5 per standard ticket when you book here.Save £5 per standard ticket on the Heathrow Express Here
The lowest cost way to get from Heathrow to central London is the tube. The tube is actually one of the fastest options as well – and will get you the closest to your final destination.Avoid the Queue - Book your Tube Ticket Now
There is also a bus or coach option which drops passengers at Victoria Station. This is a cheap option but you will have to deal with London traffic! If you are taking this option during peak hour it could take up to 2 hours each way. Book your national express heathrow airport coach transfer here.
Gatwick is south of London and can be quite the distance in a car. The Gatwick Express is the fastest option into London and runs directly from Gatwick to Victoria Station.Book Here and save £5 per standard ticket on the Gatwick Express
If you don’t need the express option there is a slightly slower moving train that has several more options in terms of stops including Clapham Junction, Kings Cross St Pancras and London Bridge. Book the Gatwick Airport to Central London Commuter Train here.
The third option is the national express gatwick airport coach transfer. This is the least expensive option but it can take some time with London traffic. There is one departure an hour and the average journey time is 90 minutes.
When in London the tube and buses are absolutely the best way to get around town quickly and cheaply. The best way to pay for this is to get a
london visitor oyster card– which you can order before you leave home. However, once you leave London trains are a great option – Train prices and availabilities – or the roads are less scary outside London so hiring a car can work well – for great deals on car hire click here.
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Also published on Medium.