5 great places to eat in London that you’ve probably never heard of
Blink and you’ll miss them- London is full of amazing restaurants and it’s easy if you don’t know the area (and even if you do) to overlook some gems because they don’t look as cool as their neighbours or the hype has missed them or is waning.
After eating my way around London for the last six years I’ve got a tried and test list of great places to eat that are overlooked for one reason or another. If you’re planning to a trip to London, put a couple on your list and let me know what you think.
- Lobos Meat and Tapas, Borough Market
There are lots of great places to eat in Borough Market, but this one is really special. A tiny place crammed into some railway arches with a regularly changing menu, it has never disappointed me. It fairs well on Tripadvisor, but due to its location tucked away under a bridge, it can be hard to find and is easily overlooked in the bustle of Borough Market.
Their secreto iberico and iberico fillet are winners, although everything I’ve ever eaten here has been amazing. Despite not being a fan of desserts and chocolate ones in general, I command that you try their double chocolate and pistachio cake, which is both rich and light. Lobos have also opened a branch in Soho but I’m yet to try it. Three course meal and wine c. £50 pp.
- Dhaka Biryani, Whitechapel
This is the kind of place that survives on word of mouth, because there’s almost no chance you’d walk in here without a pretty strong endorsement. But if you want delicious biryani, chana masala and shami kebab, look no further. The food is made in big batches and then heated for you when you buy it, or you can take it home and heat it yourself. It is unbelievably cheap for anywhere in the country, but for London it’s mind blowing. £4 biryani? Yes please. They also cater for events.
- Beast Restaurant, Marylebone
Hidden underground down the side of Debenhams off Oxford Street is, in my opinion, the best steak in London. Most people have never heard of it and those that have are sometimes put off thinking it will have a howdy hedge fund manager Mayfair vibe. It’s clearly popular as an after work hang out, but don’t let that put you off, it’s not ‘that’ kind of place. Beast specialises in Norwegian King Crab and the best steaks from around the world- Australia, America, Spain, Scotland and others all on offer.
The crab is expensive but well worth it, this is like lobster on speed. From the starters menu I especially like the crab and foie gras gyoza and shrimp tempura and don’t forget to add truffle chips to your order. The pros eat four courses: starter, crab, steak, dessert. Finish with the wonderfully light deconstructed cheese cake. The wine list is outstanding but be prepared to remortgage your house. Four courses and wine c. £160 pp.
- Great Real Hellenic Taste, Shoreditch
Deli-come-kebab shop on a busy corner of Commercial Street and Shoreditch High Street, this place is constantly busy with people coming in for giros. It looks like any old kebab shop from the outside, but this is proper food, make no mistake. I love the pork souvlaki which comes in a lovely soft pita with tzatziki, chips and salad. Eat it while walking around Shoreditch enjoying the varied architecture and street art. I haven’t tried the deli items, but I will, I’m betting it’s good. Grab yourself dessert while you’re there in the form of some Ion Greek chocolate. You’ve probably never seen it before but it’s delicious and comes in cute packaging as well – bonus.
- Ten Ten Tei, Soho
So small and unassuming it doesn’t even have its own website, Ten Ten Tei delivers great value sushi in a tiny café style restaurant on Brewer Street. It’s a great central location for tourists wandering around London, but you’d never know how good it is from the outside. The menu is absolutely huge, but it’s all such good value you can treat yourself to trying a bit too much. Tempura prawns are excellent as is the sashimi. If you’re looking for great service then go elsewhere, but if you want some very solid food and a few beers without breaking the bank then you’ll struggle to do better.