I love London. I love going to quirky events and gigs. I love going to winter pop-ups and hidden bars. I love everything about the busy hustle bustle of our capital – and I especially love always finding somewhere great to grab to bite to eat when I head into the city.
Luckily, over the years, I’ve come across a good few staple favourites that I’ve visited time and time again (although I do love to try new places too of course, sometimes an old favourite is just better for convenience). Here are some of my all-time favourite restaurants – and a couple I am desperate to try (but know I’ll love).
My sister took me here for my birthday once and I was fascinated by the idea; posh and glamorous champagne meets messy hotdogs in casual red food baskets. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but it really bloody does. Not only does Bubbledogs do THE best hot dogs but the sides are to die for as well – I challenge anyone to try their Tater Tots and try and tell me they’re not the best in the world. I’m not a massive champagne drinker so I can’t comment on that, but the cocktails are super tasty too. Plus, though the restaurant is small, it’s got a really welcoming vibe.
Best dish: the Sloppy Joe with Tater Tots and Sweet potato fries.
SARASTRO, COVENT GARDEN
Often dubbed as the show after the show, many theatre lovers flock to this eccentric restaurant after hours (or before!) to continue the show. The extravagantly themed Turkish restaurant boasts Arabian Nights-inspired interior and often in-house entertainment. It’s said to be an unforgettable dining experience – so definitely one for celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries. It has been on my bucket list for years – and since I’m turning 30 next year, maybe I’ll finally get around to going.
Best dish: the mezze’s look amazing – think finger food perfect for sharing.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB, ALL OVER
If I’m in London during the day or just need a quick lunch, The Breakfast Club is always my first choice. For those who like a bit of old school deco charm with their food, this one is for you. The Breakfast Club is the place to be for brunch or a hungover breakfast the morning after the night before, but there’s also burgers and sandwiches on the menu. I say TBC is best for lunch (or a late lunch, however), as one or two of them also double up with secret hidden bars. If you’re looking to impress, grab a delicious lunch at the Shoreditch branch then approach a member of staff and ask ‘to see the Mayor’. You’ll be led (discreetly) through a fridge door to a speakeasy basement bar. Not so secret anymore, but still super exciting: it’s always my go-to date idea when I’m trying to impress.
Best dish: simply just the pancakes, bacon and syrup. As someone who first tried this American favourite during my first visit to The Breakfast Club, the charm has yet to wear off.
THE LAST TUESDAY SOCIETY, MARE ST
Part museum part bar, this curious venue is worth visiting for many cocktails and hearty bar snacks (the nibbles are limited but given the morbid decor you probably wouldn’t want anything too heavy anything!). The dark and taxidermy decor is well worth a visit; there’s even a table that boasts a coffin with a skeleton inside in the centre. The bar only opened in 2016 and has been a hit ever since; oozing quirkiness and curious Instagram opportunities. If you’re after something light but totally different before a night on the town: this should be your first choice. Oh, and following your drinks and nibbles for dutch courage, you can then visit the museum to hear all about the curiosities on display.
Best dish: the artisanal cheese board looks lush, but those of you brave enough can try a mini platter of mixed insects…
It may be vegan but unless you know this beforehand, most people wouldn’t even be able to tell. This entirely vegan pizza place is not only a better choice for the environment and animals but it also satisfies any junk food cravings. Seriously. Healthy pizza and cheese dough balls? You can’t go wrong. Purezza opened in 2018 following the success of it’s Brighton branch and what better place to set up shop than Camden. Also, though it took me a while to get it, the name is kind of witty too = and Purezza is the UK’s first fully vegan pizzeria.
Best dish: it’s hard to choose – it’s all so delicious with so much choice – but make sure you get the dough balls.
I’ve definitely added The Last Tuesday Society and Sarastro to my must-visit list in 2019 – will you be adding any of these to yours? Let me know!
*Please note, this is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.