Lunchtime reverie: What are the best places for lunch in London?

London is a culinary playground that could make any gastronome’s heart skip a beat. Whether your palate yearns for the elegance of a Michelin-starred tasting extravaganza or craves the cosy familiarity of a family-style meal, our city’s got your back.

So, if you’re on the quest for the perfect spot to savour a midday reprieve, look no further. Join us as we unveil the crème de la crème of lunchtime locales in London!

Franco Manca

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Location: 15 Winchester Walk, London SE1 9AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3026 8102

Website

In a city known for its high living costs, Franco Manca offers a refreshing change. You can enjoy a gourmet pizza at an incredibly reasonable price. The affordability doesn’t compromise quality, making it a favourite among students, locals, and tourists alike.

Now, let’s talk about one of their bestsellers – the Number 4 pizza. This crowd-pleaser boasts a mouthwatering combination of Gloucester old spot ham, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, and wild mushrooms. 

Morito

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Location: 195 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7613 0754

Website

One cannot step into Morito without diving headfirst into their mezze selection. From crispy, golden aubergine with date molasses to sumptuous lamb chops with cumin and paprika, each dish tells a flavorful story that’s as rich as it is diverse.

And now, let’s talk about their showstopper: the Spinach and Chickpea Stew. This vegetarian delight is a mix of tender spinach, hearty chickpeas, and a symphony of spices. It’s the kind of dish that makes you momentarily forget about meat as you savour every spoonful. 

Honest Burgers

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Location: 84 Brewer St, London W1F 9UB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3819 3530

Website

The name says it all: Honest Burgers. These guys are all about transparency when it comes to their ingredients. Their commitment to quality starts with the beef itself. They source the finest British beef from small, independent farmers who raise their cattle humanely and sustainably. 

And here comes the star of the show: the one and only, “The Honest Burger”. It’s a towering masterpiece of succulent beef patty, perfectly melted cheddar, smoked bacon, and their secret Honest sauce, all hugged by a brioche bun that’s soft as a cloud. 

Angler

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Location: South Place Hotel, 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3215 1260

Website

Angler is a seafood lover’s dream come true. It’s where the ocean’s finest treasures are elevated to a level of culinary artistry that’s nothing short of breathtaking. 

Now, let’s talk about their pièce de résistance: the Grilled Dover Sole. This dish is a revelation. A delicate, flaky Dover sole, expertly grilled to perfection, adorned with a lemon and caper butter that will make your taste buds sing.

Homeslice

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Location: 13 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3151 7488

Website

Homeslice isn’t kidding when they say “big”. These guys serve their pizza by the gigantic 20-inch pie or by the slice, and let me tell you, these slices are not for the faint of heart. It’s the ultimate pizza party for your taste buds.

Their best seller is a masterpiece of simplicity and flavour. The classic combination of tomato, mozzarella, basil, and a generous dose of perfectly spiced salami is a symphony of tastes that’ll have you craving more. 

Club Gascon

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Location: 57 W Smithfield, London EC1A 9DS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7600 6144

Website

Club Gascon specialises in what can only be described as French cuisine on steroids. They’ve taken the rich, decadent flavours of France and elevated them to a level of sophistication that’s nothing short of breathtaking.

Club Gascon has a love affair with Duck, and it shows. From succulent duck breasts to heavenly foie gras, their duck creations are legendary. The “Duck Pie” is a revelation, a dish that combines tender duck confit with flaky pastry, elevating comfort food to a gourmet level.

Mother Mash

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Location: 26 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 7QZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7494 9644

Website

Mother Mash takes mashed potatoes seriously – and rightfully so. Their mashed potatoes are a creamy, fluffy revelation that embodies the essence of comfort food. 

One dish that consistently steals the spotlight is the classic Bangers and Mash. It’s a hearty favourite that never goes out of style. Picture succulent sausages paired with a generous heap of velvety mashed potatoes, all smothered in rich onion gravy. 

Padella

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Location: 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 800 282930

Website

If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you’re in for a treat. The restaurant is renowned for its fresh, handmade pasta that’s prepared with the utmost care and precision. 

One of Padella’s bestsellers, and a dish that has become somewhat legendary, is the Pici Cacio e Pepe. It’s a simple yet sublime creation – hand-rolled fat spaghetti coated in creamy pecorino cheese and black pepper sauce. 

The flavours are bold and comforting, and it’s easy to see why it’s a crowd favourite. 

Herman ze German

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Location: 26-27 Dean St, London W1D 3LL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7440 1456

Website

Herman ze German specialises in one thing, and one thing only: sausages. But don’t let that simplicity fool you. 

These are carefully crafted, premium German sausages bursting with flavour and authenticity. The secret? Herman ze German sources their meats from small, traditional German farms, ensuring that every bite is a taste of Deutschland. 

Frenchie

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Location: 16 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8QH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7836 4422

Website

Frenchie is all about that Parisian charm. It’s as if a little piece of France has been magically transported to London. The ambience is chic yet welcoming, and you’ll find yourself instantly smitten by the warm and friendly staff.

Frenchie is the brainchild of Chef Greg Marchand, whose culinary journey took him from Brittany to New York and back to Paris before landing in London. This man knows his way around a kitchen, and it shows in every dish.   

The Delaunay

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Location: 55 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7499 8558

Website

The Delaunay is a bona fide homage to the grand European cafes of yesteryears. The moment you step inside, you’re enveloped in an atmosphere of timeless elegance. 

Marble-clad pillars, plush leather banquettes, and Art Deco touches transport you to an era when dining was not just a meal but an event. 

Here, you’ll find a menu that pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of Austria and Europe. From schnitzels that would make any Austrian proud to hearty goulash and delicate strudels, each dish is a symphony of flavours that’ll take your taste buds on a whirlwind tour of Europe.

Caravan

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Location: 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7101 7661

Website

Caravan’s menu is a testament to the diverse and multicultural spirit of London. Whether you’re a fan of Middle Eastern, Asian, or European cuisine, you’ll find something here that’ll tickle your taste buds in the most delightful way.

One of their bestsellers, the “Caravan Fry”, is a prime example of this fusion mastery. It combines chorizo, halloumi, avocado, and eggs, creating a harmonious marriage of flavours that will make your palate sing with joy.

Moro

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Location: 34-36 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7833 8336

Website

Moro is a restaurant that seamlessly fuses the rich, diverse flavours of Moorish and Spanish cuisines. With a blend of North African and Mediterranean influences, Moro creates a dining experience that’s nothing short of extraordinary. 

While this resto has a rotating selection of seasonal dishes, one of their bestsellers that has stood the test of time is the “Cordero a la Brasa” or Grilled Lamb. 

This succulent lamb dish, marinated with Moorish spices, is cooked to perfection over an open flame, resulting in a tender and flavorful masterpiece.

Polpo

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Location: 41 Beak St, Carnaby, London W1F 9SB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 4537 4341

Website

Polpo, founded by Russell Norman and Richard Beatty, takes its inspiration from the traditional Venetian bacaro – a cosy, no-frills tavern known for serving delicious Cicchetti (small bites) and wine. 

The heart and soul of Polpo’s menu are its cicchetti. These delectable small plates are designed for sharing, making lunch a communal and convivial affair. 

You’ll find an array of mouthwatering options, from classic Arancini and Crispy Calamari to innovative creations like Truffled Egg Toast. 

Brother Marcus 

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Location: 37-39 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7226 3535

Website

Brother Marcus was founded by three friends who, you guessed it, share the name Marcus. Their shared passion for great food, quality coffee, and a welcoming atmosphere led them to create a truly special dining experience. 

This place is a celebration of fresh, locally sourced ingredients combined with the sun-kissed goodness of Mediterranean cuisine. Expect to find dishes inspired by Greece, Cyprus, and beyond, all harmoniously coming together on your plate.

The Breakfast Club 

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Location: 33 D’Arblay St, London W1F 8EU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7434 2571

Website

Walking into The Breakfast Club feels like stepping back in time to the 80s, complete with funky décor, neon signs, and vintage knick-knacks. The playful and nostalgic ambience adds an extra layer of charm to your dining experience. 

While everything on the menu is a treat, one of their bestsellers that deserves a special mention is the “Pancakes and Bacon”. These are thick, fluffy, and served with crispy, smoky bacon. 

Noble Rot 

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Location: 51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7242 8963

Website

The name itself pays homage to the beneficial fungus Botrytis cinerea, responsible for the magical transformation of grapes into luscious dessert wines like Sauternes. 

Here, you’ll find an exquisite selection of wines from around the world, with a particular focus on the Old World classics like Burgundy and Bordeaux. 

Their menu is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to seasonal, locally sourced ingredients prepared with flair. Dishes like the Dorset Crab on Toast with Pink Fir Apple Potatoes and Winter Greens exemplify the delicate balance of flavours and tastes.

Dinings SW3 

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Location: Walton House, Lennox Gardens Mews, Walton St, London SW3 2JH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3597 9706

Website

This culinary alchemy is a result of the restaurant’s unique history – it started as a small, unassuming sushi counter in Marylebone before blossoming into the Michelin-starred sensation it is today.

For the uninitiated, ‘Omakase’ means “I trust you” in Japanese. And at Dinings SW3, this trust is rewarded with an unforgettable dining experience. The Omakase tasting menu is a must-try, where the talented chefs curate a selection of their finest creations just for you.

Never For Ever 

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Location: 79 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1TL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7267 7007

Website

Before we dive into the culinary symphony at Never For Ever, let’s talk about its name. “Never For Ever” pays homage to the iconic album by none other than Kate Bush. Just as Kate’s music is a blend of innovation and timeless beauty, so too is the food at this restaurant.

Now, let’s talk about a bestseller that’s garnered a legion of fans – the “Wild Mushroom Risotto”. This dish is a symphony of earthy flavours, with plump grains of Arborio rice cocooning a medley of wild mushrooms, Parmesan, and fragrant herbs.

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