skip to main content

Explore the city,

January 17 2024

London’s unusual restaurants

Fine dining in a secret kebab shop? Hot food on the tube? Eating food you can’t see? It’s enough to make you want to complain to the manager. Just not in Karen’s Diner, please! These are London’s unusual dining experiences that require an open mind and a good sense of humour. But the food and fun make it thoroughly worthwhile. Here’s the lowdown on London’s quirky dining. 


Dans Le Noir, Clerkenwell 

Dans Le Noir means “in the dark” and the concept of this restaurant is simple: dine in complete darkness, so you focus on the taste not the appearance of your food. London’s blind dining featured in the Richard Curtis rom-com About Time. You get a choice of four menus – meat, fish vegetarian and chef’s special – but you won’t know the exact food you’re getting, so you need to trust your sense of taste, smell, touch and sound. Only at the end will you find out what you were eating, and there’s a good chance your conversation over dinner will be a little different too. Your servers are blind or partially sighted, so they can help you navigate the space and get the most out of this quirky London restaurant. 


London Angel Karen, Islington

Your idea of a hellish restaurant just got very real. Popularised online, the “Karen” memes and videos showing examples of privileged bad behaviour have now bizarrely become a global dining concept called Karen’s Diner! London Angel Karen is a 50s-style diner populated by actors pretending to be the worst possible servers to give you a miserable meal out. It would be a nightmare if you hoped for better, but being insulted just for turning up and wanting food is both familiar and done for laughs here. Expect glares, swearing and public embarrassment, and that’s just while you wait extra-long to be seated. This might be the only time you happily tip staff for terrible service. 


Kebab Queen, Mason Bab, Covent Garden

At Kebab Queen, you eat Turkish food with your hands at the counter. But this is not a late-night kebab shop you visit after a big night out when you’re too drunk to care about the quality of your food. Instead, this is exquisite fine-dining at a restaurant-within-a-restaurant. Hidden in the basement of Mason Bab is a white countertop and just eight seats. Here, talented chefs serve you delicious Turkish and Mediterranean flavours on a heated pristine white countertop (cleaned between courses), putting a new twist on the concept of eating a kebab. It’s not just an immersive experience, but one with delicious food that has got the critics heaping praise on the concept, delivery and taste. 


Supperclub Tube

Forget grabbing a tuna sandwich on the Victoria Line as the person opposite glares at you. Instead, sit back and take your time over six courses of Latin-inspired food inside a disused 1960s tube carriage. Supperclub Tube is a truly unique London dining experience set up by Bea Maldonado Carreño, who brings flavours from her home country of Columbia to this unusual venue, three nights a week. The harsh lighting on a normal tube train has been replaced with a warm glow, gentle jazz tunes and white linen tablecloths, and the food will have you talking about it on the tube ride back to your hotel. 

If you’re looking for a hotel close to these unusual London restaurants, then we have you covered. Thistle Hotels are dotted across the city, ensuring you get the best night’s sleep in the coolest London spots.