1. Ottolenghi. Islington.
Although I really hate the crowds in this place at times, I love the food. In February 2009, I ate at Ottolenghi four times in one week, so hooked was I on their aubergine salad. Remember lunch is cheaper than dinner, and despite it seeming like a cafe, they are always fully booked for dinner so you should call ahead!
2. Fernandez & Wells. Soho.
If only there were a branch by my office. I would seriously eat their chorizo sandwiches every day. I would probably drink a lot of rioja too. That’s a bad idea. But I’d still do it.
3. Bob Bob Ricard, Soho.
Russian pleasure palace. Press the champagne button. Have the Veal Holstein. Wash it down with vodka.
4. L’Anima, Shoreditch.
Borage tortelli with “Famiglia Gottardi’ balsamic vinegar.
5. Vinoteca. St. John Street in Clerkenwell.
Every meal I’ve had here has been better than the last. My father insists on visiting every time he’s in town. The service is friendly, tap water is provided without a fuss and instantly refilled, the vibe is congenial. In short, they tick all the right boxes for me. I like the proletarianism of their no-bookings policy, but it means you must get there early.
6. The Providores. Marylebone High Street.
I love sitting in the window of The Providores, reading The Economist, enjoying a glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir, and watching the world go by. (Do I sound like a snob or what?) This is my break from Oxford Street. They have a no bookings policy downstairs, so you may have to wait a bit. I love the food here as well…you’ll do well to steer clear of bar snacks and go for the more sophisticated nibbles. This is the restaurant that inspired me to start my London restaurant blog; it was my very first London restaurant review ever.
7. Tayyabs. Whitechapel.
Part of me doesn’t want to tell you about the deliciousness of the seekh kebabs here. Stay away. I also like the lentils and aubergine and I don’t want you to have any of that either. A friend of mine took me here almost immediately after I moved to London in 2004…I had no idea!
8. Crazy Homies. Westbourne Grove.
For my Tex-Mex fix in London. I love the kitschy decor and I can’t live without the chips and salsa and guac. They do a mean margarita, with nice big chunky chunks of ice. They seem to go back and forth on their no-bookings policy, so call ahead.
9. St. John. Clerkenwell.
Of course. I’ve never eaten in the restaurant. I’ve only eaten in the bar. Welsh rarebit for me, please. Go here if you want to eat pig’s ears and bone marrow salad. I think it’s fair to say that most London bloggers love this place.
10. Pham. City Borders.
Dig the crunchy tuna roll big time. Short on atmosphere. Low on prices. Probably not really Japanese. (I think they’re Vietnamese.) But they’re doing something right. Another one of those places in London that I just randomly popped into one day and have been going back to repeatedly ever since.
This is a reprint/repost from passportdelicious – thanks for the tips and recommendations.