From solo dining to first dates, countertop dining is becoming increasingly more popular for every dining occasion. Many of London’s go-to restaurants have worked counter and bar style seating areas into the interior design to offer something a little different for their diners.
So pull up a stool and read why you should choose counter seating…
Although counter seat dining is certainly becoming more in vogue, it’s still not seen as the “done thing”. Being in the know (thanks to us), will mean you’re more likely to get a seat in the busiest restaurants if you’re happy to pitch up at the bar.
The counter propounds dining with a little less eye contact for those nerve-wracking first dates! Plus, you can impress your companion with not only the food but some free kitchen entertainment from the chefs too.
Forget people watching, it’s all about chef watching. Choose a kitchen side seat and get up close and personal with the chefs that hand prepare your food. A spot here means you’ll have a front seat view of the chefs at work and If you’re lucky, they may even serve you directly in some places.
Not all, but most restaurants reserve their counter seating for walk-ins so you can conveniently swing by if you’re in the area. And if you’re after just a quick snack and accompanying drink, the counter area will be much more accommodating for those in-between moments.
Eat out alone and embrace some quality time with yourself. Counter seating grants a more relaxed way of dining and opens up opportunity to chat to fellow neighbouring diners. Or, if you’re not in the socialising mood, lap up the restaurant’s atmosphere and concentrate on the food without the distraction of a fellow diner.
If you’re a Londoner or visiting for the day, here’s our insider secrets of some hidden (and not so hidden) counter seat spots around the city to take advantage of:
“Ingredients focused cooking with a fiery island accent” – Contemporary Sri Lankan food inspired by owner Dominic Fernando’s family home in Sri Lanka. You’ll find this spot featured in all the top London restaurants to visit this year
You’ll be in for an experience here as you enjoy the incredible modern Jerusalem cuisine and the chefs turn up the music to sing-a-long to their favourite songs, using pots and pans for their instrumental! Just make sure
A current foodie favourite, Kiln has a counter stretching the length of the restaurant – so forget the tables at the back, the counter is really where it’s at.
It’s all in the name. Bancone, literally translates to ‘bar’ or ‘counter’ and we have three dining bars where you can relax and eat while watching the chefs at work in our fully open kitchen.
Temper, now found dotted across the capital, has impressively designed countertops featured in all 3 of their restaurants. Reserve a spot here and find yourself immersed in the smoking action.
Founded by Nieves Barragan and José Etura, Sabor (awarded a Michelin star in 2018) takes you on a journey from the tapas bars of Andalucía through to the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia. It features three distinct areas – The Counter and bar on the ground floor and the El Asador on the first floor, each offering a different taste and experience of Spanish cuisine and hospitality .
This is one of our favourite and most famous Michelin star restaurants in the world so it’s pretty challenging to get a table here. Fancy a last minute booking? Try your luck and ask for a counter seat at their often unnoticed bar top…
We’ll see you at the counter.