As with pubs there are a ridiculous number of restaurants in the immediate surrounding area, particularly on Drummond Street (for Indian) and Charlotte Street (for everything else). There are hundreds of restaurants in Soho and Covent Garden, about one mile away. Every taste / nationality can be accommodated if you venture further afield. Below we just give a few choice selections sorted by genre which are particularly close to UCL. For the (rich) connoisseur we've included a gourmet section. Vegetarian options are available at almost all restaurants and a number in the Indian section are exclusively vegetarian. Prices vary from £5-£100. (Collated by UCL, HEP group for Boost2014)
North Sea Fish Restaurant
7-8 Leigh Street
Traditional fish and chips. Has both a sit down restaurant and a separate take away.
Gigs Fish & Chips
12 Tottenham St.
Has some of the best fish and chips in London. Has both a sit down restaurant and a separate take away.
46 Lexington Street
Small and intimate serving mixed English/European menu that changes daily. Booking is advised.
The Newman Arms
23 Rathbone Street
A pub with food upstairs which arguably serves the best British Pies in London. Pies are the often ignored pinnacle of British food (in my opinion).
The Bree Louise
69 Cobourg Street
Pub popular for its frequently changing real ale and cider selection, and celebrated homemade pies.
28 Leigh Street
A simple gastro-pub. Technically there are many of these around. Try any you see, they are usually quite similar. Some of best ones tend to be further out of the centre though, for example try the Junction Tavern just north of Kentish town.
Burgers (gourmet or otherwise)
Wild Game Co.
65 Charlotte Street
Top notch wild venison burgers and beef dripping fries.
74 Welbeck St
Trendy burger joint, no reservations, just queue for dead hippie burgers and strong cocktails. Interior décor is somewhat like a post apocalyptic graffiti artists dream. See also MEATmarket to the south.
1-3 Long Acre
International chain, but far above McDonalds. Burgers come with a ridiculous amount of toppings. Cajun fries and infinite refill sodas from a machine with 100's of options.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Marchmont St & 15 Frith St.
UK chain, but again far above McDonalds. More of a sit down restaurant than above, but good.
251-255 Pentonville Rd
London chain, lovely burgers and craft beer
Gerrard St./Wardour St./Lisle St./Newport Pl. :
Not technically a restaurant, but an entire area of restaurants, nestled behind Leicester Sq. it takes up a few streets. Full range on offer here from quick takeaway/ streetfood style to full banquet dining to cover all price ranges. Plenty of bars in the local area with Soho being next door. This area also includes many other Asian cuisine restaurants, see the following sections for examples. Also recommended are the Chinese bakeries which can provide either an alternative location for dessert or a savoury snack.
30 Charlotte Street
Simple French food in nd old-fashioned dining room with pictures of its thespian patrons. Also next to Pied a Terre, if you want something pricier.
50 Earlham St.
Not technically French, but close enough in style to avoid writing a Belgian section. All the moules frites you can handle and a range of lovely Belgian beers, Rocheforte, Mort Subite, La Chouffe (see it's French language at least).
8 Charlotte Street
Run by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, a simple brasserie offering hearty French cuisine rather than haute cuisine.
There are at least 10 Indian restaurants on Drummond Street but there's also a healthy supply elsewhere.
135-137 Whitfield Street
By virtue of being the closest to the Jeremy Bentham pub and physicists being creatures of habit this is the default Indian of choice for your HEP aficionado.
Diwana Bel Poori
121 Drummond Street
Inexpensive South Indian Vegetarian. Don't let the vegetarian menu put you off, everything here is delicious even if you don't always know what you have ordered.
17 Percy Street
Modern Indian Vegetarian close to UCL.
57 Cleveland Street
Don't be put off by the décor/frontage : this is premier league South Indian cuisine/Dosai. Impervious to the march of the high-street tandoori and the trend for posh Indians serving meat miscellaneous in all-purpose curry sauce. Unchanged in 30 years with 1970s prices to match: a bargain.
Palms of Goa
12 Charlotte Street
South Goanese dishes.
12 Upper St Martin's Ln
Vintage Bombay-style cafe with marble tables and ceiling fans, serving all-day Indian street menu.
Tottenham Court Road
Specializes in soughdour based pizzas. Fairly cheap and very delicious.
7 Charlotte Street & 10 Dean Street
A chain but very good pizzas - especially the new Pinglestone. The Dean Street restaurant doubles as a Jazz Bar.
48 Grafton Way
Very close to UCL : standard Pizza/Pasta chain but reasonably priced for central London and also a good lunch choice.
45 Grafton Way
A warm informal, family-run Sardinian restaurant with a strong seafood representation. The house specialities are spaghetti alla bottarga, salsiccia sarda & grilled steak topped with Sardinian blue cheese.
84 Wardour Street
Fine Pizza and pasta in the heart of Soho.
36 Brewer Street
Aldo Zilli made his reputation with cookbooks and for going out on drinking benders with Paul-Gazza-Gasgoigne and Chris Evans in the late 1990s.
Pescatori Fish & Seafood Restaurant
57 Charlotte Street
Plenty of room for bigger parties.
162 Tottenham Court Rd
Simple, stripped back Japanese take-away/restaurant. Does excellent chicken katsu curry and K.F.C. (Korean Fried Chicken). Also conveniently close to the JB (see pubs).
2 Newport Pl.
Simple Japanese cuisine, excellent (and large portioned) katsu curries are recommended.
56 Wardour Street
Fine tangerine décor sponsored by Blackpool FC. Sushi and Noodles in the heart of Soho. Handy stop off when on the Soho pub trail.
14 Hanway Street
Sushi. Unpretentious and authentic.
47, Rupert Street
Excellent Japanese tapas. Not suitable for large groups (it's tiny).
16 Hanway Street
One of the finest Korean restaurants in London.
11 Rathbone Place
More modern, upmarket and thus expensive than Han Kang.
71 High Holborn
Smart contemporary Korean restaurant with shared tables, open kitchen and charcoal barbecue.
227 High Holborn
Traditional Korean basement restaurant with carvings, varnished partitions and table-top barbecues.
56 Maple Street
A family-run Cypriot paradise : blink and you'd think you were in Nicosia.
80-82 Great Titchfield Street
Turkish : a favourite place for kebabs and also has belly dancers,
11 Charlotte Street
Tapas, tacos & quesadillas are all present & correct in a lively and entertaining atmosphere as well as copious amounts of Mexican beers and tequilas. Has a separate bar downstairs.
19-23 Charlotte St
Mexican street food from a Masterchef winner.
10 Upper St Martins Lane
Traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist, with signature guacamole prepared at your table.
Spanish / Tapas
54 Goodge Street
A wine and Tapas bar.
60 Berwick Street
Sister restaurant of the Salt Yard.
26 D'Arblay St
Informal tapas bar with stools at wooden counters, wines, sherries and leche y leche coffee.
67 Charlotte Street
The antithesis of the modern styled Salt Yard : no contemporary design or chrome finishes here. Booking advised.
36 Charlotte Street
Also good for lunch.
14 Charlotte Street
Good food opposite the Fitzroy Tavern.
22 Store Street and 100 Wardour Street (Soho)
Another Alan Yau classic - The Thai calamari is a gem. Best if there are not so many of you since seating is done ad-hoc on large shared square tables holding 16.
Gourmet / Get a New Mortgage
London has many Michelin starred restaurants. As you might expect a full tasting menu experience can set you back well over £100 per person. Many however offer lunchtime menus or discounted 2-3 course deals. If you want to experience this end of the market you will need to book in advance and look for deals if you do not want your wallet/purse to haemorrhage money.
8 Hanway Place
Michelin starred for over a decade and the first of Alan Yau's London ventures. Gourmet Chinese at least an order of magnitude more expensive than a Chinese takeaway. Much beloved of footballers wives. Approach road is narrow so amble idly to ensure maximum frustration to the Bentley and Ferrari owners.
21 Romilly Street
Feels more like a private home than a restaurant: you have to ring the doorbell to gain admittance & are ushered into one of two small dining rooms with fireplaces. Excellent 1* dining, from Alexis Gauthier who used to run another 1* restaurant Roussillon.
48 Greek Street
Fine French dining in a 18th century Georgian town house. Under new ownership in early 2014, hopefully the renovations are complete.
Pied A Terre
34 Charlotte Street
Michelin starred French restaurant. When it isn't open (Sat lunch/Sunday) you can try its amusingly named sister restaurant l'Autre Pied.
3 South Place Hotel
If you want excellent seafood then this hotel restaurant is an excellent Michelin level choice.