London is a foodie’s paradise and can also be the perfect dinner date destination, if you know where to go. From a cosy hole in the wall joint to a stunning rooftop 360-degree view of the city, whatever your budget, London has a smorgasbord of romance to offer. Blogging and vlogging wives, Whitney and Megan from What Wegan Did Next, bring you a range of choices for the perfect date night that won’t disappoint your date or your palette. 

Interior of one of the bars at Sketch, Mayfair, London. The bar is decorated to look like an enchanted forest, with green walls, lots of plants and bottles nestled in amongst them.
If you're the kind of couple who like keeping up appearances, Sketch is a must © Megan & Whitney Bacon-Evans / Lonely Planet

1. Sketch, Mayfair

Sketch is one of London's most instagrammable and unusual restaurants, with each room offering a completely different unique aesthetic. If creating a memorable experience for your date is a priority (or keeping your followers entertained), then this is the place for you. Dine in their super pink gallery room or opt to be in a mystical, earthy forest. Perhaps the most exciting part of the quirkiness to Sketch is their space pod toilets, where you’ll also find champagne bar underneath them. So, if your date’s taking an unusually long time in the bathroom, don’t think the worst!

An illuminated orange tree is surrounded by a bar on Sushi Samba's terrace. It's night time and there are lots of people on the terrace drinking and chatting.
Get cosy around a fire pit on Sushi Samba's atmospheric terrace © Megan & Whitney Bacon-Evans / Lonely Planet

2. Sushi Samba, London Heron Tower

Located at on the 38th and 39th floor of London Heron Tower, Sushi Samba brings together a fusion of the best flavours from Peru, Brazil and Japan. This is another very impressive option, where you can take in the sights of London, in between whispering sweet nothings. Head out to the boujee terrace for a nightcap sitting around a fire pit, you won’t want to miss the 360-degree views of London and their stunning structural orange tree in the bar. 

Whitney and Megan sitting on a couch looking at each other in front of a white-clothed table in Sketch, Mayfair.
Megan and Whitney have put the work in sourcing London's best date night restaurants © Megan & Whitney Bacon-Evans / Lonely Planet

3. Padella, Borough Market

If you love Italian, but can’t pop over to Italy for date night, then Padella is your next best choice. Think hand-rolled pasta and fresh fish with great prices. Their starters are under £5 and most mains are under £10, and the quality is outstanding. Which is why it’s unsurprisingly so busy. You can’t make a reservation here, but you can queue ‘online’ and wander around Borough Market while you wait – a great chance to get to know your date’s favourite kinds of food for future romancing.  

An indulgent Slovenian chocolate pot, featuring the Hakkasan logo in gold. The hard chocolate surface is being drizzled with a hot chocolate sauce to melt the top and reveal the insides.
Indulge at Hakkasan for a special occasion with your other half © Hakkasan

4. Hakkasan, Mayfair

For an upscale evening, head to this Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant. Upon entering Hakkasan, you feel as if you have been transported to another world. The moodily-lit, decadent interior creates a super-sexy atmosphere for a date night. The roasted silver cod with champagne and honey is a delicious choice and even meat-eaters will love their vegetarian ‘chicken’ dish – stir-fried black pepper yellow bean with sugar snap peas. 

5. Fez Mangal, Ladbroke Grove

Picture the scene; a cosy date night complemented by seriously delicious Turkish food plus your favourite wine or beer; you’re at Fez Mangal! A BYO with no corkage fee (a rarity in London), why not surprise your sweetheart with their favourite tipple for added brownie points? Be sure to save room for dessert as the baklava is delicious. You’ll spot famous faces on the wall of fame, such as Ed Sheeran and Orlando Bloom – an easy talking point if you’re a new couple still getting to know each other. 

Guacamole served in a stone bowl at Santo Remedio, London Bridge
Okay, guacamole with grasshoppers might not sound romantic, but it's a good way to keep things spicy....right? © Megan & Whitney Bacon-Evans / Lonely Planet

6. Santo Remedio, London Bridge

Colourful and vibrant decor, margaritas and guac’ makes the perfect setting for a fun dinner date at Santo Remedio. The guacamole, has a healthy kick of spice, as well as grasshoppers, naturally… The margaritas are dangerously authentic; refreshing, boozy and pair perfectly with the filling food. An excellent vegetarian option is their hibiscus flower enchiladas. 

London cityscape at dusk, viewed from The Shard
Impress bae with views like this while you make love-heart eyes at them © Alex Chu / 500px

7. The Shard, London Bridge

For a super special date and premium cityscape views, head to the 31st floor of The Shard for a glass of champagne in the three-storey atrium bar. When the sun sets, London’s skyline comes alive with twinkling city views. You can even appreciate the views from the loos, as one wall is a floor-to-ceiling window – always try bag the end cubicle! The Shard has a few dining options, all pretty exquisite with the price tags to match. Choose between New York-inspired dishes at Oblix, Northern Chinese cuisine at Hutong and modern British cooking from Aqua Shard (the bar doesn’t take bookings, but the restaurant does).

Three large slices of pizza on a wooden table at Homeslice restaurant
Want a pizza this? Get one for you, one for me and one to share at Homeslice © Megan & Whitney Bacon-Evans / Lonely Planet

8. Homeslice, Fitzrovia

For a more casual dinner date, enjoying a slice (or several) of pizza at Homeslice is a failsafe option. Catering to vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters, there is something on the menu for everyone. Opt for a classic margherita or for the more unusual mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seed and chilli. The menu changes seasonally, to focus on serving fresh and innovative flavours in a relaxed atmosphere. There are a few locations spread through London, so if you’re star-crossed lovers from opposite ends of zone 3, compromise and meet in the middle.

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Catie visited coffee shops around the city, from Abraço (second from right, top row) to Café Leon Dore (second from left, bottom row). Photographs: Catie Kelly.

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