The Best Chain Restaurants In London

seen done london

While I often recommend places to eat and things to do, the downside is that you actually might not be anywhere near these places, or you might be fed up with too many shout outs to one-off ‘hip’ attractions (not my intention!)…so this time I am focusing on chains and franchises that you will find all around the city and that have the Tea stamp of approval. Chains have a bad name and ‘travellers’ often avoid them, but it’s a shame if you would skip these.

* updated March 2022


seen done londonI’ll take any excuse to visit Wahaca and have a selection of their delicious tapas-like Mexican dishes, with the sweet potato taquitos, steak and cheese taco and X being a favourite. Absolutely one of the places I keep re-visiting in London.

Every self respecting street has a Pret A Manger and it’s perfect for a quick lunch that is actually tasty: there is selection of sandwiches, there are soups and salads.

The Diner they have locations in the main tourist hubs so there is probably a location near you. They have all day breakfasts, a selection of burgers and other diner-like food for a reasonable price, plus you can almost pretend you’re in a scene from Pulp Fiction, or countless other films. There is also Breakfast Club, but their queues are crazy!

seen done london
When it comesfor a place to sit down, charge my phone, steal a bit of the wi-fi and have an overpriced hot chocolate I like to go to Caffe Nero. Especially for the Milano with Belgian chocolate. Costa and Starbucks hot chocolate does not live up to my expectations.

Franco Manca is the OG sourdough pizza in London that was one of the first residents of Brixton Market and now has several branches throughout the city so chances are you’ll find one wherever you’re staying in London.

Pizza Pilgrims is another great pizza place and I will forever return there for their 8 Cheese Pizza. They also do vegan as well as halal salami pizza which is delicious, though nothing can compare it to the real deal.

seen done london

Honest Burger does Burgers (yes, with a capital B that is) and delicious rosemary salt chips. You won’t see them everywhere like Gourmet Kitchen and Byron but there are enough locations through the city so you don’t have to travel all over the place to find one. There’s also the off-menu choice for if you’re ridiculously hungry.

Mildred’s is a good chain if you’re looking for something plant-based, they have a rotating menu so even if you’ve been before you’ll want to go back.

Dishoom is a great spot if you want curry in central London, but their breakfast menu is the real reason to go there, especially the egg or (vegan) sausage naan roll. The Dishoom locations will probably have some queues here and there so be aware if you’re heading down.

As I’m not a fan of sushi I can’t say much about that but my co-workers love Itsu so I guess you can get your raw fish intake there. With this weather I am fan of their noodle soups and rice potsus which keep me from freezing.

seen done londonI mentioned Ben’s Cookies in this Covent Garden article, but their amazing cookies deserve another shout out – if you spot one make sure to get yourself some of those.

Artisan bakery Gail’s is the place you to be for a tea/coffee with cake (The carrot cake is to die for). With locations all over London it’s an easy one to stumble across.

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Comment & Leave A Reply


  1. We definitely try to avoid chains when we travel but there is some great convenience that comes with them…and Wahaca is so good! Great post.

  2. I’m sat here nodding because I’ve been to and mostly approve of the places you’ve listed haha. I’ve never heard of Gail’s though and I absolutely love the Hummingbird Bakery – so I’ll deffo need to look for it!

  3. Good to know 🙂 I would loveeee to go back to London! I don’t habe a spirit animal, but London is definitely my spirit city!

  4. Jaa Wahaca is leuk! En haha grappig de Tea approved stamp! IK ben wel benieuwd naar Joy, maar lijkt me ook niet heel goed voor me haha!

  5. I love good burgers with juicy meat patties, the ones in Byron burgers I love! i’ve never tried honest burger guess its time for me to try a new burger chain store 🙂

    X, Carina
    Running White Horses

  6. From your new suggestions I only know and have visited Pret A Manger & Caffe Nero…
    The Dinner & Ben’s cookies are already in my list… I added 4 more for my next trip to London…
    Muji….honest burger…joy & Gail’s bakery!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My list is geting bigger…and bigger………I’m gonna need -at least- a month if I want to rename my list from “to do….” to “Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  7. I love Muji but things are expensive! Pret is pretty good for a quick eat, and EAT isn’t too bad either. I think the quality of both of those places beat out the fast food stores in Canada!

  8. It is nice to do things off the beaten track and experience something new in a country. Much prefer Pod over Pret but they do a mean parma ham and cheese baguette. Those cookies are the best Lucy x

  9. Je hebt zo’n leuke manier van net even wat andere lijstjes maken! Ketens zijn soms ook niet voor niks ketens. Super tof 🙂

  10. Yes, yes. I love The Diner! Also Breakfast Club, but you’re right.. the queues will have me die of hunger! 😉