Growing up in London, I have had the privilege of having access to many different food styles. In fact, this has sometimes been a problem. With so much variety and quality, where to go for food? So over the past 21 years, I have compiled a list of hidden gems which are mostly nestled in residential or slightly out of the way areas, but are definitely worth the trek.
Japanese Canteen: Bethnal Green
This is one of my personal favourites. It’s a small, unassuming place for lunch located just around the corner from the tube station. At lunchtime they open up the whole canteen and let it spill out onto the street. But don’t let the unobtrusive front fool you – the food is phenomenal and comes at a reasonable price. It also has a range of options, catering to meat lovers and vegans alike.
Added bonus: it is around the corner from a couple of decent thrift shops, including the famed East End Thrift Shop.
Osteria Basilico: Notting Hill
This was a family favourite growing up. The owners and staff are all Italian, very charming, and create a great atmosphere. The only thing better than the staff is the traditional food they serve, comprised of a variety of simple and good dishes. You could even be fooled into thinking that you are eating at your grandmother’s—that is if your grandmother had a cosy, family-friendly restaurant in Nothing Hill.
Anglesea Arms: Hammersmith/Shepherd’s Bush
Nestled in a quiet residential area only minutes away from Ravenscourt Park, The Anglesea Arms is a gastro pub with a Michelin Plate recommendation. The young and exciting chefs put new spins on old dishes, making it a local favourite and rare find.
Added bonus: their T-bone Mondays, which serve a whole 28-day-aged T-bone steak. For a small corkage fee of £5, you can bring your own wine to go with it.
Clean and bright interiors mirror the fresh food served here; the traditional street-style food is consistently of a high standard and very reasonably priced. Potli is great for families, dates or even dining alone. This place has a friendly and welcoming feel and is always full, so make sure to make a reservation beforehand!
My personal recommendation: the Railway Mutton Curry; it is always so tender and melts in the mouth, making it the perfect dish if you’re looking for something a little different.
This is a great place to head for after-work drinks or for a fun date. They offer amazing dim sum alongside yummy cocktails. The bartenders create tailor-made drinks to suit your taste as you wait for your dim sum to arrive.
Added bonus: the vegan dumplings are green in colour for added fun.
TomTom Coffee: Belgravia
This is a quaint place serving breakfast, toasties, sandwiches, and cakes. The main seating area is a large round table, creating a communal and friendly feel. Similar to the TomTom Mess around the corner and just across from the insta-famous Peggy Porschen Cakes, this café is the perfect place for scrambled eggs, coffee, and the morning crossword.
Added bonus: most sandwiches and toasties are served on beautiful sourdough bread.