Top ten restaurants 2002

We asked 200 City lawyers about their favourite eateries and venues. Here’s what they said…


The Lawyer’s survey of London’s finest eateries came up with an amazing array of choices. Some of the top 10 were perhaps a little predictable, having as much to do with convenience as quality, but still a fine hitlist.

There were some interesting choices just outside the top 10, including Pizza Express. Wiltons was a less renowned but still popular choice. “It’s an awfully nice restaurant on Jermyn Street staffed by elderly ladies,” commented one.

Other leading selections included Le Pont De La Tour (“fantastic views, despite the overpriced wine”), Le Caprice, Moro, Prism, the Savoy Grill (“the kidneys are wonderful – good for my gout”) and Vic Naylors, because it is “within stumbling distance”.

If it is dining with clients, then Mirabelle should be on the list (“the décor absorbs the screams when you need to lean on a client about their bills”), as should Claridges (“a caring, considerate venue for clients who need to dash off to shop afterwards”).

The Lawyer’s journalists were also asked to select their favourite eateries. The top five were: Claridges, The Bleeding Heart, Les Trois Garcons, The Ivy and the Newman Arms (London’s best ‘pie pub’).

1. Smiths of Smithfield
“It’s central and the food is top notch. It’s big and has different styles of dining: brasserie, posh and rough and ready”
2. Coq D’Argent
“Predictably good food, good service”
3. Café du Marche
“Good atmosphere. Good staple for clients and it’s personal, with predictable high quality”
4. City Rhodes
“‘Cos it’s available and it’s a laugh”
5. Club Gascon
“Fantastic foie gras and it’s intimate”
6. Bleeding Heart
“Because of the history and fantastic food”
7. The Square
“It’s probably the best food in London”
=8. 1 Lombard Street
“Very friendly”
=8. The Ivy
“Consistently good food, interesting people, good wine list”
=8. Nobu
“The food and atmosphere are great and good value at lunchtime”