My ‘Must Eats of The Year’ blog post is always my favourite to write because I can sit and reminisce about the wonderful things I’ve eaten in the last 12 months. This year I’ve eaten in some of the best restaurants in London so believe me, this wasn’t an easy one to put together.
So here they are. In particular order, 20 places in London you MUST eat in 2019!
Flour & Grape are a classy but affordable Italian restaurant and wine bar in South London. They do handmade, luxury pasta dishes and a selection of small sharing plates which some will give you change out of £5! They sit just behind the famous Shard building and along the uber-trendy Bermondsey Street. A great one if you want to go somewhere really nice without breaking the bank.
214 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ, https://www.flourandgrape.com
Every weekend you can find Clare Connor, the queen of sugar, at Victoria Park food market in East London. Clare produces THE most epic handmade pies including s’mores, biscoff & PBJ. Plus, these INSANE Nutella cookies.
Victoria Park Market – 56-57 Gore Rd, South Hackney, London E9 7HN
Half Cup is an independent coffee house serving up one banging brunch. I would call it a hidden gem , however, over the last year it’s grown so much in popularity this once unknown cafe has become one of the destinations in London for brunch. Not only does everything taste great but the presentation is really important to them so if you want somewhere ‘instagrammable’ this is for you. Small, modest but mighty.
100-102 Judd St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9NT, http://www.halfcup.co.uk
Bao is a trendy, Taiwanese restaurant with bar seating and high spec wooden design. Their famous for their signature fluffy bao buns which are steamed and filled with things like beef short rib, black cod or slow-cooked pork belly. Plus, they do a load of unique Taiwanese inspired side dishes. An unusual but must-visit foodie destination.
31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN, https://baolondon.com
5. MUGHEAD COFFEE, New Cross
This year I wrote a blog post about London’s Best Cinnamon Rolls . It turns out you guys loved the post too BUT I was inundated with messages and emails about why Mughead Coffee’s buns weren’t on there! Just like the professional I am I had to go try them and can confirm they are awesome and were quickly added to the list. Mughead makes their fresh cinnamon buns every day and slathers them in generous amounts of cream cheese icing. Absolutely worth the trip to New Cross.
359 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AT
Danish-inspired brunch at SNAPS + RYE is so much more than your usual avocado on toast. Expect things like the full Viking (a take on the full English), smoked haddock kedgeree and their signature ‘rye rarebit’ which is a slice of traditional Danish rye bread covered in a cheesy, mustard sauce. A lovely spot for a weekend breakfast with a difference. Then go for a stroll in Notting Hill.
93 Golborne Rd, London W10 5NL, http://snapsandrye.com
You go to Yashin Ocean House for the ‘theatre’ as well as the food. They’re a SUPER high-end Japanese sushi house that prides themselves in their “without soy sauce – but if you want to” experience, emphasising the true taste of the fish. Food is prepared with immense detail and precision by the resident chefs and is some of THE most interesting and unique food I’ve ever had. I mean, not many dishes come out swimming in dry ice, do they? Go for the quality, not quantity. Style with serious amounts of
117 – 119 Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3RN, http://yashinocean.com
Every Saturday morning you’ll find a long queue of eager people waiting for the Little Bread Pedlar bakery to open its doors. Once the shutters are unfolded from what was once a railway arch, you’re greeted with piles of fresh croissants, pain au chocolate and freshly baked bread. Little Bread Pedlar sits in Spa Terminus, a small group of working food production outlets that open themselves up to the public on weekends.
Arch Spa Business Park 4, 6 Dockley Rd, London SE16 3FJ, http://lbpedlar.com
26 Grains were labelled London’s first ‘porridge’ cafe but rest assured they are so much more than bowls of boring oats. This little brunch house is set in the vibrant Neals Yard just off Covent Garden amongst a whole host of other cafes and restaurants. Their menu is full of fancy bowls of sweet & savoury porridges topped with nutritious nut butter and fresh fruits. If posh porridge isn’t your thing they do decadent toasts, eggs and pastries. A unique and cosy breakfast spot.
1 Neal’s Yard, London, WC2H 9DP, https://www.26grains.com
When I started jotting down my ideas for my 2018 favourites, dinner at Linden Stores was at the forefront of my mind. They are a small, friendly neighbourhood wine bar and restaurant in North London that do a selection of seasonal ‘British style tapas’ plates and have a well-stocked wine cabinet if ever you saw one! The food is fantastic and it’s the perfect spot for a glass of wine and a few snacks with a friend.
220 St Paul’s Rd, Mildmay Ward, London N1 2LL, https://www.lindenstores.co.uk
Smokehouse in leafy North London is everything you want in a good gastropub. It’s cosy, it looks good and most importantly serves fantastic food & beer. This high-end pub pride itself on sourcing high-quality meat and they don’t get to showcase that better than on a Sunday lunchtime with their epic roast dinner with all the trimmings. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT leave without the sticky toffee pudding. I’ve mentioned how awesome Hawksmoor’s is many times on this blog but Smokehouse might have given it a run for its money. A great spot for Sunday lunch and high-end pub food.
63-69 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2DG, https://smokehouseislington.co.uk
I was blown away by The Waterhouse Project when I visited earlier this year. It’s run by Gabriel Waterhouse, formerly of 1 Michelin starred Galvin La Chapelle who offers THE most beautiful 8-course menu set inside a working tile shop in East London (Trendy, much?) The food is simply exquisite and the whole experience is phenomenal. It’s an experience, not just a meal. If you only eat out once in 2019 make sure this is the place.
67 Vyner St, London E2 9DQ, https://www.thewaterhouseproject.com
If I could describe SMOKESTAK in 3 words it would be SERIOUS MEAT COMA. They’re an edgy smokehouse in East London that’s rustic wooden tables and open fire pit screams look how cool I am. Fortunately for us, they’re not just ‘style over substance’ and Smokestak brings substance by the shed load. In terms of the menu, they’re not your average BBQ Joint and dishes are so much more than just a plate of ribs. Vegetarians, you’re not totally left out in the dark and some would argue the welsh rarebit baked potato piled high in cheese and the kale salad (which is so much more interesting than it sounds) are just as good as the meat dishes.
35 Sclater St, Shoreditch, London E1 6LB, http://www.smokestak.co.uk
Lahpet has put Burmese food at the forefront of the London food scene. If, like me, you haven’t been lucky enough to try the cuisine before, think of it as a delicious blend of Indian meets Thai food – big bowls of punchy coconut noodles and fragrant fish dishes. The restaurant is situated in the uber-trendy Shoreditch area and the interior is equally as cool with its bar open kitchen and sleek, wooden design. I’m sad I never knew of Burmese food sooner because If you can judge it by what Lahpet is putting out there I need it in my life forevermore.
58 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6JW, https://lahpet.co.uk
SAID feature on my Best Hot Chocolates in London list because quite simply they do the best hot chocolate in London. Why is it so good you might ask? Well, not only is the cup filled with thick molten chocolate but the cup is also COVERED in thick molten chocolate too … but it doesn’t stop there! SAID do brownies, cakes and profiteroles all covered in an extra layer of three types of molten chocolate. SAID feature on my Late Night Dessert’s in London list if you get a late-night craving for chocolate!
41 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 9QL, https://said.it/en/london-soho/
Farang is a former street food stall that took up permanent residency in North London in 2017. They do fantastic hearty, comforting Thai food packed with flavour, spice and a great balance of sweet and savoury. Expect curries that will make you sweat, soft, flaky roti’s to dunk and thick, juicy noodles to slurp. A great one to get a load of mates together and share as much as possible. A brilliant one for vegans and vegetarians too who get their own dedicated menus with some great choices.
72 Highbury Park, Highbury East, London N5 2XE, https://faranglondon.co.uk
Lina Stores Deli has been an icon in London since 1944. They are a family-run institution that has sold fresh pasta and artisan meats over the counter for you to take home to enjoy. For those of us not wanting to take it home to cook , they have now opened up a sister restaurant a short walk away. Inside this pop of pastel heaven, they do half portions of their fresh, handmade pasta all designed to share, as well as refined starters and indulgent puddings (You need to try the GIANT cannoli). You can either sit at the counter and eat while watching the chefs do their thing or there’s a more intimate dining room on the lower ground. A great addition to Soho.
51 Greek St Soho, London W1D 4EH, https://www.linastores.co.uk/restaurant/
Blacklock is of one of those London restaurants where everything about them is quality. It’s hard to explain what I mean but if you’ve ever been to the likes of Hawksmoor it’s the same effortless excellence as those guys have – Silent but attentive service and outstanding but uncomplicated food. Blacklock is meat-heavy and the ‘all in’ gets you the best value and the best experience. It includes pre-chop bites to start, a stack of mouthwatering chops and a side dish each for just £20. Don’t forget to order the only dessert they have there too. A white chocolate cheesecake that’s brought out still in its baking tray and spooned out generously at the table. A must-visit for any meat lover.
24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG, http://theblacklock.com
Big V makes PROPER DELICIOUS burgers and the amazing thing is they are 100% vegan! This brilliant street food stall has been uber creative trying to create the ultimate bun while harming no animals in the process. Their burgers are super indulgent and stacked high with plant-based cheese, their own version of bacon and plenty of homemade sauces. Even if you’re a meat-eater I’d challenge you to say this isn’t a great burger!
56-57 Gore Rd, South Hackney, London E9 7HN, https://www.bigvlondon.co.uk
Pophams Bakery might be small in size but it has made a huge dent in the London food scene this year. Their pastries have become legendary for their quality and creativity, not to mention the buttery, flaky mess you make when you eat them. They are sat on a quiet residential corner of Islington, North London but don’t be fooled by the modest shop as people will travel far just to try them and they get super busy. If I’d recommend anything it’s their bacon & maple swirl. It’s an absolute game-changer.
19 Prebend St, London N1 8PF, https://www.pophamsbakery.com