Once the going out equivalent of a ball of tumbleweed, Monday meals are now a thing. Not just for those who worked over the weekend, but also for those who spent Sunday night with a severe bout of ‘The Fear’. Working from home is good, isn’t it? The good news is that there are plenty of lunch and dinner options across London, from Ethiopian platters to steaming bowls of hand-pulled udon.
This Ethiopian restaurant in Camberwell is a constant buzz of families and friends sharing giant vegetarian platters generous with misir wot (spicy lentils) and shuro wot (roasted spicy chickpeas) all to be piled onto injera and into your mouth. Open from 4pm.
Master Wei is the second restaurant from the folks who run Xi’an Impression. Need we say more? Probably not, but we will anyway. It’s got the same specialities that we know and love - cold liangpi noodles, rou ji mo buns, biang biang noodles - only in a bigger space in Bloomsbury.
At Tanakatsu, you can get a solid pork katsu curry for £12.50, at lunch or dinner, any weeknight you fancy. If that’s not reason enough to head there after another day at home, then we don’t know what is. But, just in case, we’ll give you some more: sushi, a selection of teriyaki dishes, and chicken karaage.
Namaaste serves a stupidly moreish yogurt and pomegranate tokri chaat, and a lamb and apricot kofta zardaloo we’d pay double its £13.50 price-tag for. Between the exposed brick walls and cream leather banquette seating, it has a bit of a 90s upmarket feel, but with food this good, it’ll work just as well for date night as for dinner with family.
Whether you’re munching black pudding toasties and sinking pints in the bar area, or digging into the changing Mediterranean menu in the dining room, this boozer in Stockwell is a safe bet for a good meal. FYI, it’s only open for dinner on Mondays.
Out of all of the Kingsland Road’s many Vietnamese options, Song Que is the one we constantly come back to. This is the kind of place where even a little bit of cash is gonna buy you a lot of flavour. Order a pho or bun cha, split a couple of starters with some friends, and you’ll even get to squeeze a beer in for under £20. This is the expert’s lunch or dinner move on a Monday
Aside from being our go-to London location for all sorts of occasions, Noble Rot also happens to do the best set lunch menu in the city. Hands. Down. It’s under £20 for two courses, which leaves you lots of flex to choose from the best wine list in London, some of which is available in half-size (and half-price) glasses. Whatever you do, don’t skip the bread.
If we were going to describe Notting Hill’s Saporitalia in one word, we’d say old school. Okay, technically that’s two words, but the point is that this family-run spot is serving some very decent pizza. You’ll find all of the classics on their long menu, as well as wine, pasta dishes, and of course, a tiramisu. There’s also a very reasonably priced set lunch menu as well.
The menu is always switching around at Morito, but it’s very hard to go wrong. Roast quail, seafood rice, any croquette, and cheese fritters are favourites. Oh, and roast cauliflower salad. But you’ll be happy whatever. Room-wise, sitting at the counter is perfect for a couple, or bring anyone you want to modestly impress.
The food at this Colombian spot on a corner of Brixton Market is delicious. Their £8 lunch deal consisting of a changing soup, choice of meat with rice and plantain, drink, and a banana is undoubtedly the tastiest deal in London. In every sense of the word. The atmosphere is welcoming and humming and makes you want to be friends with everyone in there.
The City outpost of Koya Bar is a killer spot for a meal that involves a bowl of steaming curry atsu-atsu and your face. Other people are of course welcome, but the beauty of a meal at Koya is that a bowl of udon and broth is meant for you and just you. Of course we’d recommend sharing the evening-only tonkatsu as well, but if you’re looking for a solo Monday meal with a bowl of goodness, then this is the place.
01 Adana is a massive Turkish spot on the Newington Green end of Green Lanes that after one visit will soon become a regular. Everything from their shish kebabs to their lahmacun is fresh and delicious, while the mercimek corbasi (lentil soup) is a winter essential. The room is big and bright and open from early morning till midnight, making it a no brainer either when with friends or on your own.
Head to Fischer’s for an old-fashioned Austrian-style meal of schnitzel, or a bratwurst with potato salad and sauerkraut. Come with someone else and you can even split a hefty strudel too. Like its siblings (The Wolseley, Brasserie Zedel, Colbert), Fischer’s is consistently solid and the room will make you smile.
Forza Wine on Peckham’s Rye Lane leans more restaurant than bar. Once you see a couple happily sharing an oil-drenched panzanella in the sun, you’ll understand why. It’s all sharing plates: cauliflower fritti with aioli, a cheesestring-like Fontina toastie with hot sauce. As the name suggests, there’s a solid and natural-filled wine list too, and you can sit inside or out at lunch or dinner.
Lemonia is a classic north London establishment that’s been feeding friends and family homely Greek food for what’s coming up to half a century. It’s always busy, it’s always bustling, and you should always make sure the tyrokafteri, calamari, and baklava are on your order. There’s a good value lunch deal too.
Kiln isn’t just one of the best Thai-influenced restaurants in London. It’s one of the best restaurants in London full-stop. The bar is where you want to be at this Soho restaurant, where the clay pots are sizzling in front of your eyes, and a bead of sweat is forming on your head as you take another bite of ox heart laab. Come for a solo Monday lunch at the counter, or head downstairs with friends.
It’s no coincidence that one of our favourite restaurants in London is also one that’s open everyday of the week. Theo’s is the move for when you want a proper pizza in a proper restaurant with a proper drink. A margherita and a negroni will set you back around £15 at this Camberwell stalwart, meaning that you and your friend, date, dog, whatever, can find room for some tiramisu as well. Note: Mondays are evening-only.