Make City lunchtimes less vanilla. 9 top indie food venues
Eating out in the City is so much more interesting than the offering from generic big-name High Street restaurants.
Food-loving City workers could be tucking into meals prepared by award-winning and innovative independents; from Indian street food and authentic jerk chicken to Haggis sandwiches.
We’ve been asking those in the know and eating our way around town to bring you our top City Indies. Lunchtime just got a lot more interesting!
SOOD FAMILY, The Kitchens in Old Spitalfields Market.
This Italian restaurant has progressed from a pop-up in Broadway Market and thriving supper clubs to their first permanent site. Chef Michele Pompili, formerly of the Chiltern Firehouse, prepares wonderful handmade pasta, traditional slow-cooked sauces with a modern twist and delicious cured meats and cheeses. “Perfect pasta” as described by BBC Good Food magazine. Their octopus ragu is exceptional. (Local Buyers Club members save 20%. Click for info)
ROLA WALA, Brushfield St, Spitalfields.
This epic combination of spicy, savoury, sweet and sour has to be tasted to be believed. It’s listed among Timeout's top 20 street foods. The menu includes sour dough naan rolls packed with your choice of Rolas charred chicken, Bengali spiced beef or Nagaland lamb and laden with fresh salads, sharp pickles, herbs and fresh chutneys. They also serve delicious lunch bowls and great vegan options. The business has teamed up with charity OneFeedsTwo and provided more than 350,000 meals for children in poverty since its launch. (Local Buyers Club members save 20% on food. Click for info)
KEU – Shoreditch.
Sample Saigon street food at this Vietnamese deli. You can-eat in or take away and choose from a fabulous selection of Bahn Mi (Vietnamese baguettes), noodle and rice bowls. The food here is fragrant, tasty and beautifully presented. (Local Buyers Club members save 10%. Click for info)
LAHPET - The Kitchens in Old Spitalfields Market.
Fancy trying something completely different? Lahpet in Spitalfields offers a very aromatic take on lunch. Specialising in Burmese cuisine the menu includes delicious fritters and dumplings and a tea leaf salad with mains featuring fish, prawns, lamb, tofu and aubergine, cooked with flavours such as ginger, lemongrass and chilli. They are also about to open their first permanent restaurant in Shoreditch.
Burmese food takes influences from Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisine. Owner Dan and Head Chef Zaw both have Burmese heritage – with Lahpet they’re serving some of London’s most exciting food.
(Local Buyers Club members save 25% on food. Click for info)
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DEENEY'S, Spitalfields every Friday.
Their signature ‘Macbeth’ haggis toastie has a cult following. Haggis, cheddar, caramelised onion toasted on granary bread and the vegetarian option, The Lady Macbeth, for the non-meat lover. (Local Buyers Club members save 10%. Click for info)
MAMMA'S GOODIES, Spitalfields.
Possibly the best panini in the city – thanks to fresh ingredients and amazing flavour combinations. Try the "TUCCIA" - Ciabatta with spicy ‘nduja, smoked scamorza cheese, marinated pepper & lettuce, or perhaps the "MARIA" - Focaccia with mortadella, parmigiano shaving, fresh tomato, pistachio crumble, rocket salad & aged balsamic vinegar. All served from a super cool Piaggio Ape right next to Spitalfields market on Lamb Street. (Local Buyers Club members save 20%. Click for info)
CAY TRE – Hoxton.
The flavours at this award-winning restaurant will transport you to the streets of Hanoi – the ingredients are fresh and their handmade noodles are truly authentic.
Sample their grilled Cornish scallops cooked in spring onion oil with roasted peanuts and nuoc cham, the barbecued Somerset ribs and braised ox cheek pho.This place won a well-deserved Time Out Love London Award. (Local Buyers Club members save 15%. Click for info)
SUB CULT, nr. Broadgate Circle.
These award-winning Sandwich fanatics are famous for their gourmet U.S deli-style sub rolls and cheeky banter. You can find them Monday to Friday 8 'til 4 at their "container of dreams" in Finsbury Ave Sq. According to Timeout they are "The sandwich kings of the street food scene.” (Local Buyers Club members save 10% at breakfast. Click for info)
RUDIE'S, Boxpark Shoreditch.
This hip Jamaican restaurant is famous for its signature Real Jerk and deliciously boozy Rum Cocktails. Outside might be cold and wet but why make lunchtime dreary when you could spice it up with a taste of the Caribbean. (Local Buyers Club members save 10% Mon-Thurs. Click for info)
Lead picture credit: @ks_ate_here Thanks very much!
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