Making sure you start a new year as you mean to go on? These dining rooms might not be decked out with banners and balloons, but you can be assured plenty of sizable tables and a lively, energetic vibe: perfectly fitting for a birthday-gathering meal.
Mele e Pere Book Mele e Pere
Head to the sultry basement dining room of this lively Italian spot: enjoy traditional Italian drinks from the copper-topped bar and dine on artisan dishes at laidback, banquet-style tables.
M Threadneedle Street Book M Threadneedle Street
One of the City’s glitziest grill spots, M Threadneedle is permanently abuzz with Square Mile bods and the lively activity of its exposed kitchen. Expect a glamorous, high-octane vibe here to complement a luxurious grill menu and impressive wine cellar.
COYA Book COYA
Home to one of London’s most exhilarating ‘party brunches’, enjoy a hearty Peruvian menu alongside unlimited pisco sours or bubbles at this weekly Saturday shindig. Expect dancing on chairs and bongo beats at this pulsating basement party spot.
Joe Allen Book Joe Allen
The original Theatreland restaurant, Joe Allen has been a failsafe spot for thespians seeking a late-night bite since 1977, and is perfect for intimate gatherings. Fast forward several decades and this bistro, at its new Burleigh St address, is as popular as ever: ask for their renowned ‘off-menu burger’ for the ultimate Joe Allen experience.
Zebrano Book Zebrano
There’s a distinct party vibe at Soho Zebrano: find it right in the heart of the London postcode that never sleeps. Plenty of fizz, burgers and pizza – enjoyed while lounging in one of the leather booths – make this the perfect spot for a laidback birthday bite.
Sticky Fingers Book Sticky Fingers
Bringing rock ‘n’ roll to Kensington since 1989, Sticky Fingers pays homage to the Rolling Stones, with American comfort food served against a backdrop of original and rare Stones memorabilia. Chicken, ribs and burgers are the mainstays of the indulgent menu (’cause if you can’t eat like that on your birthday, when can you??)
Mac & Wild Book Mac & Wild
A souped-up version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey some might say: Scottish spot Mac & Wild has its own virtual shooting range for pre or post-dinner target practice. Sink your teeth into rare-breed meats and sip on the impressive whisky stock upstairs, before heading to the basement bar to don tweed (yes really) and wield your replica shotgun.
Hixter Book Hixter
An achingly cool spot for seeing in any birthday, Hixter offers modern British dishes and cocktails from much-loved chef, Mark Hix. Set in a former metal box factory, there’s plenty of industrial-style brickwork and metal on show, as well as modern artwork, and an open kitchen helps create a lively vibe.
Passo Book Passo
Based on the sleek, interior design-focused eateries of Los Angeles, Passo is a haven for the style obsessed. Swathes of polished stone, marble, oak and hesss ian make for the most tasteful of colour palettes, and you can head to banquet tables for larger gatherings, or perch at the counter that runs the full length of the kitchen for a more intimate affair.
Café de Paris Book Café de Paris
For a birthday with added pomp and performance, Café de Paris is a rip-roaring cabaret joint, found in the heart of the West End. Enjoy modern European dishes with a side of acrobatics and burlesque, with the famed ‘Disco54’ session emulating the world-famous Studio54 in New York City.