Gloria is a gaudy welcome change to the restaurants we’re inundated with today, an antithesis to the stripped back industrial décor that fills every crevice of Shoreditch. Yes, the food is good but I say it’s more about the occasion, the atmosphere. Gloria is a big night out. It is somewhere to get dressed up, sip cocktails and savour the food, without worrying that your allotted time slot is up.
Click & collect
54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
A welcoming yet seriously cool space to enjoy sushi and cocktails. With Eduardo Aguilar at the helm, the former head chef of Bone Daddies, Shakafuyu and Kiri, you can trust you’re in good hands. His style here is a contemporary Japanese, Izakaya-style menu (which means sharing) The fish is, as you’d hope, super-fresh and well-prepared – but even the ‘standard’ rolls are extra-special, like they’ve had a sprinkle of culinary genius upon them. Added to that was the attentive and friendly service. There’s no denying we have some outstanding sushi restaurants in London, and competition is high, but few boast excellent ingredients and creative dishes, served in a warm and friendly atmosphere – and at a reasonable price too.
185 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6AB
This family-run restaurant has been wooing both the foodie crowd and locals with its innovative Japanese-Italian fusion. The vibe is cool west village New York meets modern neighbourhood trattoria. The space is shallow and small, framed by vast windows and decorated simply with large fig trees and mellow, lanterned lighting.
56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH
The Thai food served here is beyond authentic, making no apologies whatsoever to the wimpy Western palate. An easily navigable menu with the suggestion you choose across the different sections.
home boxes are available to enjoy through Farmdrop (London only) and now through Dishpatch (nationwide)
43A Commercial Street, E1 6BD
A gem located just beyond Canary Wharf overlooking the water, Chai Ki is a stylish explosion of modern and experimental Indian food. The interior is edgy yet sophisticated with an industrial aesthetic made inviting with the use of low-level lighting. Its good, honest, earthy food is styled to perfection and accompanied by impeccable staff and elegant cocktails.
Currently offering both take out and delivery, from Monday to Sunday.
Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5AR
The chefs at Gunpowder really know what they’re doing – high-quality ingredients are cooked with bright, vibrant flavours and a knowing combination of spices. Its dishes read like culinary poetry: karwari soft shell crab and rasam ke bomb. The problem, of course, with such an enticing small platters menu like Gunpowder’s is that it’s easy to come over with a case of ‘kid-in-a-sweetshop’ syndrome and order the whole thing.
11 White’s Row, E1 7NF
One of the only Burmese restaurants in London, its name means fermented tealeaves, and you’ll spot more than a few dishes embracing them on this exciting menu. From the deliciously bitter Lahpet Sour infused with gin, Campari and fermented tea leaves to the restaurant’s signature tea leaf salad – with a fried mix of broad beans, butter beans and split peas – you’ll soon find a new way to get your caffeine buzz. Also on offer to start are Lahpet’s homemade shan tofu fritters, made onsite from split peas, which are crisp on the outside but melt in the middle. Elsewhere, you’ll find steamed balachaung buns with fried onions, shrimp and garlic, served with a sweet chilli juice. With ingredients imported from Myanmar, intricate details and plenty of flavour – Lahpet offers the perfect insight to Burmese cuisine and purse-friendly prices.
Pantry selection here.
58 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6JW
A remarkably welcoming restaurant where The staff are highly attentive serving simple cuisine that stays true to the traditional style of Greek cooking. Set in a pleasant spot on Wentworth Street, offering an extensive menu with high-quality, fresh ingredients and a wide selection of excellent Greek wines.
56 Wentworth Street, Aldgate, E1 7AL
An airy, whitewashed space oftened by large palm leaves stencilled on the walls, rustic style wooden tables and the large rum-filled bar at the far end, just to remind you that you could be in a Caribbean beach bar after all! The menu offers a good mix of dishes without overwhelming diners.
257 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9PT
This edgy restaurant brings the flavours of south-east Asia and the Pacific Rim to the streets of East London. Comic-book in style, they bring together influences from Manga, Asian fashion, and pop culture – all adding to the place’s unique, slightly risqué feel. The meat dishes are devilishly moreish, but the vegetable dishes are equally as exciting and delicious. Personal favourites include the grilled broccoli with an apple and onion dressing and fried shallots, as well as some grilled cauliflower with sweet corn, jalepeño dressing, shallots, garlic chips and chives.
Restaurant boxes delivered nationwide here.
29 Commercial Street, E1 6NE
A well-established feature and much-loved institution of the East London scene, Dishoom upholds a fine reputation and certain air of exclusivity. Serving delicious Iranian-influenced Indian food with fragrant, delicate flavours and sumptuous combinations of spices.
7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
Modern and funky with a middle eastern vibe flowing through its four different seating areas – the restaurant, The Souk, The Sun Room and the Parisian Terrace. The restaurant is furnished with cosy teal booths and benches, with carefully chosen lighting and music providing a bright and lively feel. The food at Liban is fresh, well presented and tasty, and the service is friendly and efficient.
190 George Lane, E18 1AY
Pleasant Lady have brought the breakfasts of Beijing to the streets of Spitalfields. With a vendor in the centre of the market, you’ll spot it by the crowds. There’s something so therapeutic about watching the experts freshly make up your Jian Bing. The batter pours onto the hot plate and is swirled around, then topped with a cracked egg, tangy sauce, the herbs and spring onions and crispy wonton. And if you fancy adorning the original with a meaty morsel, they also offer Iberico Char Siu Pork, Cumin Spiced Lamb, or Grilled Miso Chicken. What better way to spend a sunny summer’s day than people-watching while you’re gorging on the champion of all street food?
Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW
Whether you’re a fan of a simple Margarita or a controversial Hawaiian, there’s always comfort in knowing what to expect from the humble pizza. But, it’s safe to say, Homeslice Shoreditch is shattering the expectations of pizza conventions, one 20″ pizza at a time. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, this trendy spot rolls out the finest flavour combinations for East Londoners to feast on all year round. Having caught sight of a 20” pizza in real life we opt to go for half and half (kudos to you if you’re feeling ambitious to have one to yourself!). We toss up between the Cauliflower Shawarma, Tahini, Pomegranate and Chickpeas, the Spiced Lamb, Savoy Cabbage and Sumac Yoghurt and the Provisions’ 4 Cheese, Jalapeno Salsa and Rye Crumb with Garlic Oil, and both go for the latter – though it’s a tough call. If you’re looking for pizzas
with pizazz, then this is the place to go – just be prepared to roll yourself home!
Take & Bake
374-378 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
Small but perfectly formed, and framed with linen curtains and rows of wine bottles, Little Duck the Picklery invites you in to their fermented wonderland. An open kitchen, combined with a cosy corners by the window, create a scene that is both intimate and inspiring. The menu is listed on a chalkboard, but everything looks so tempting.
68 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH
When we were invited to The Fugitive Motel in Bethnal Green we thought we might be getting a good night’s sleep, instead we got craft beer and pizza. In a cool laid-back west coast-style bar, no less. The owners David and Liam are two former musicians who first came up with the concept after travelling along the west coast of America. There are 14 taps in the bar offering a medley of beers from around the world. They are also the first bar we have seen to have espresso martinis on tap so they are ahead of the game in that respect. The seating is made up of comfy, cosy booths with vacancy signs and you can turn them on and off. It isn’t just a bar, however, it’s a restaurant too, and the main feature of the menu is the sourdough pizza. There’s a large variety of pimped-up pizzas including an incredibly indulgent White Pizza which is topped with bechamel, mushroom tapenade, charred broccoli, truffle oil and ricotta, which was our favourite by far. It wouldn’t be East London without a few inventive vegan options though, including in this case the eponymous Fugitive, topped with red onion, harissa, cauliflower, gherkins, tahini and chimichurri, and the Vegan Marg topped with vegan cheese. For those not wanting to devour an entire pizza, there are also have a couple of grazing plates like the Antipasti Sharer and Triple-cooked Chips with Truffle Mayo), which are both perfect for sharing.
199 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 0EL
With a modern Mexican menu inspired by the owner’s grandmother and funky, industrial-style decor, this restaurant is an artsy mix of old meets new. Interesting posters adorn the walls, and art pieces catch the eye. Naturally we kicked off with a margarita – mixed up terrifically by the super-friendly bartenders – we went with a clean, fresh classic to start – followed by their avocado margarita, made with tequila reposado, homemade avocado sauce, agave and lime. And we couldn’t leave without trying Sandy the Showgirl, made with mezcal, tequila reposado, agave and lavender – all beautifully presented and dutifully drunk. Along with their kick-ass margarita menu there’s the food – we started with totopos guacamole served with nachos, along with romanesco broccoli served with aioli and onion dressing, as it looked so good. We happened to be there on Taco Tuesday when their homemade tacos are £3 all day, so we dived straight in, and boy they are delicious. We tried chicken tinga with pico de gallo; grilled prawn with guacamole, and wild mushroom with okra, fennel and mole amarillo – each one a juicy tongue masterpiece. If you have the time and the appetite, go for the whole baby chicken al pastor served with habanero and jackfruit sauce, it certainly packs a punch. If you can somehow find room for dessert then the churros with dulce de leche are a perfect ending… along with another margarita, of course. Before lockdown, Caldera had live music on Wednesday nights and a DJ playing Latin feel music on Friday nights. Right now, they have a collection and delivery service to Hackney and nearby areas via Uber Eats and Deliveroo, with a reduced menu that includes their juicy tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos and nibbles.
143 Mare Street, E8 3FW
Start with the creamy and luscious burrata, generously drizzled with olive oil. Then share a platter of cured meats and cheeses. The cheeses are superb and go perfectly with the earthy-tasting charcoal focaccia – this is where Zia Lucia stands out from the pizzeria crowd. Their USP is their experimental dough options – from the traditional flour dough to an unusual vegetable charcoal black base which gives a unique flavour, as well as aiding your digestion. So it’s ciao to post-pizza bloat! Friendly service, excellent pizzas and a fabulous list of toppings. The locals must be delighted to have it on their doorstep.
Unit 1a, 12 Piazza Walk, Aldgate East, E1 8ZH
Emilia’s Crafted Pasta is fully re-opening for dine in and takeaway from Saturday 4th July at both restaurants in Aldgate and St. Katharine Docks. Their full menu will be available with signature dishes such as their hearty pappardelle Béchamel Bolognese and creamy Genovese pesto sauce with casarecce pasta. Additionally, Emilia’s has added more flavours of natural gelato to their dessert’s menu including chocolate & hazelnut, creamy mascarpone, Sicilian pistachio and raspberry sorbet, perfect for cooling down during the summer months.
C3, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 1AT, London E1W 1AT
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