London is a hive of interconnected food villages, each with its own distinct aesthetic, clientele and values.
In the first part of this series, our London restaurant agents explored some of the best leisure and hospitality properties in Zone One areas like Soho, Shoreditch and Mayfair. In our next piece, we extended our analysis to the trendy new independent operators and fashionable, fast-casual chains taking advantage of Zone 2 locations like Dalston, Brixton and Stoke Newington.
Here, our London leisure property agents reveal the food frontier: the destinations that are rising up as the market expands from Central London in search of less costly, less competitive climbs. Here are the best restaurant and leisure destinations in Zone 3.
Sitting on the south bank of the Thames in South West London, the borough of Wandsworth is currently the center of much attention thanks to the redevelopment of Battersea (Battersea Power Station and the surrounding housing redevelopments, for example).
With London’s wealthy young professionals moving into the location to settle, the area has become home to a number of sophisticated, high-end restaurants like Michelin-star-holder Chez Bruce.
Miles away from the boutique, arty interior of East and South London’s top restaurants, and the extravagant decadence of Central London’s Mayfair and Soho, Chez Bruce offers a sophisticated, fine-dining experience with neither gimmick or thrill. It succeeds through its menu’s narrow focus. A lesson budding restaurateurs could draw from.
The borough is also home to a variety of internationally themed concepts, such as Doukan, which delivers a rustic, elegant Moroccan experience to its customers. Renowned Chinese operator Good Earth also has a premises in Wandsworth, demonstrating the area as a potential destination for chains looking to expand into new territory.
North West London’s Finchley sits near to a number of already popular food destinations like Camden. With quick access to Central London via the air-conditioned Metropolitan Line, and one stop before Wembley Park, Finchley is a well connected Zone 3 destination with a number of restaurant premises ready for a hungry market.
Offering a straightforward yet sumptuous menu, Ambiente offers a modern take on Spanish and Italian cuisine, demonstrating the power of casual dining in the area, and the appetite of the market for informal, premium food from around the world.
At first glance, it might appear that Finchley is an area not interested in keeping up with current London food trends. However, Yijo, a Korean BBQ restaurant suggests that local diners are open to new, on-trend experiences, offering a perfect storm of BBQ, Korean and restaurant theatre, with each table possessing its own BBQ that allows diners to cook their own foods at the table.
This could be a sign that Finchley is on the verge of becoming a trendy food hotspot, and therefore a place operators should be taking seriously.
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