29. St John

Clerkenwell, London

Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s pioneering nose-to-tail restaurant is still the best in its class


In today’s fickle restaurant world, where fads come and go, few can lay claim to being truly iconic – but Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s St John is one that can.

For almost three decades Henderson’s nose-to-tail approach to cooking has helped raise the profile of British food across the world, as well as teach a legion of chefs about how to respect the whole animal and reduce food waste – themes that are even more pressing today than they were when St John opened in 1994. And he’s done it with a rather simple but focused outlook that doesn’t preach but merely leads by example.

To eat at St John – to tuck into a middle white chop with trotter and prune and suck the roasted bone marrow that accompanies the parsley salad – is a rite of passage (for meat eaters at least), as it is to end with a plate of its Eccles cake and Lancashire cheese. Few restaurants in this country have a menu so inviting, where you can feel the heart and soul of the place in every dish.

Like its cooking, the stark, stripped-back dining room doesn’t seem to have aged – the whitewashed bricks were a feature long before exposed brickwork was de rigueur – and the room continues to ooze a conviviality most restaurateurs would give their right arm for.

Thanks to St John, the nose-to-tail revolution is happening in dining rooms across the world, but at its spiritual home you’ll still find it done the best.

26 St John St, Barbican, London, City of London, EC1M 4AY

020 7251 0848


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