If you know me, you know how much I love eating out.
Whether it's a quick bite to eat or a fancy meal with friends, nothing excites me more than good food and an enjoyable dining experience. With this in mind, it's not surprising that I've spent most of my time in lockdown talking about the food I crave and fantasising about where I'm going to eat once all of this is over. Before all of the coronavirus craziness, I was working part time as a waitress and it's been very alarming to see how this pandemic has affected the hospitality industry. Supporting local businesses and restaurants is so important, particularly through this challenging time, so below (in no particular order) are some of my favourite eateries in London that I recommend you visit as soon as you can leave the house again!
This restaurant is a meat lovers dream and, still to this day, does one of the nicest roast dinners I've ever eaten. Located in a former brothel in the middle of Soho, Blacklock is a small, intimate restaurant with an amazing atmosphere and such a cool vibe. When I went, I had the beef roast with all the trimmings and sides of cauliflower cheese and 'swede & lardo.' After your meal, the waitresses visit each table and offer white chocolate cheesecake, which is dished up in front of you. All of this food and a
cocktail cost me £37 and remains one of the nicest meals I've ever had in London.
If you're looking for an authentic Italian restaurant with incredible food and scenic views, look no further. I've eaten here twice now and I'm dreaming of the day I can return. Located on the marina's waterfront, the restaurant is small, with an even smaller menu, but the quality of the food is unreal. Their pasta is made fresh and ranges from £8-£14 per dish. I recommend their pappardelle bolognese, burrata and tomato salad and sliced bresaola on sourdough bread *chefs kiss*
Part of the MEATliquor restaurant chain, MEATmission is the best place to go for a quick but impressive meal with friends. The restaurant is located in an old renovated church in Hoxton Market, so the mixture of stained glass windows, neon signs and unique decor makes this one of the coolest burger bars you'll eat in. I went with 8 of my friends, a mixture of meat eaters and veggies, and we all loved it! This is the best place to grab a quick bite to eat before a night out in Shoreditch. I recommend trying the cheeseburger, fries and the 'space gin smash' cocktail. For this insane food and 2 cocktails I spent £30. Sooo worth it!
You've probably already seen pictures of this restaurant on twitter and instagram feeds because O M G the decor is so gorgeous and instantly transports you from the busy streets of London into a cute Italian village. The walls are lined with hundreds of alcohol bottles and from the ceiling hangs amazing plants intertwined with fairy lights. It's magical! The one thing dreamier than the interior of this place is the food served there. To start I tried their take on a scotch egg, followed by 'Mafaldine al Tartufo' truffle pasta, and chocolate coated churros for dessert. For a 3 course meal and their super tasty 'Anti Brexspritz' gin based cocktail, I spent about £40.
Next up is another Italian restaurant (guess my favourite type of food) with a twist! Cicchetti serves Italian style tapas and they recommend ordering 4-5 dishes to share between two people. Picking 4-5 dishes off of their huge menu is hard for me because everything they serve is so delicious, but my firm favourites include their short rib of beef, spaghetti carbonara, arancini filled with beef ragu and ravioli lobster. Located a small walk away from London's west end theatres, Cicchetti is the perfect pre-show dining spot, or a great place for a catch up with friends.
Ever wish you could just press a button and have a tray of drinks appear instantly in front of you? Look no further! Yes, Bob Bob Ricard is the chic Russian inspired restaurant most known for the 'press for champagne' button. When I first visited Bob Bob Ricard for lunch, I thought this button would be a gimmick, but it really works! You press and a waiter appears at your table ready to assist you and take your drinks order... it's amazing and there's one on every table! However, the button isn't the only reason to visit because the food is incredible. I ordered truffled potato & mushroom vareniki to start, followed by chicken, mushroom and champagne pie with truffled mash potato and crushed mint peas on the side. If your mouth isn't already watering, for dessert I ordered the 'BBR Chocolate Glory' - a golden ball of chocolate which, when melted by hot chocolate sauce, reveals a chocolate brownie and berries inside. Heaven!
The epitome of 'instagrammable,' the Elan Cafe is easily my favourite brunch spot in the city. One of the main things that draws in the customers here is the floral, pink and aesthetically pleasing interior, but the food served here (and the presentation of it) makes it a must visit location. I went for brunch and ordered the prettiest smashed avo on toast I've ever eaten. The cafe also displays it's fresh cakes and pastries in the centre of the restaurant and the Oreo chocolate cake was too tempting not to try... it definitely didn't disappoint!