12 Warming Dishes Perfect For Big Coat Season

Massive pies, comforting noodle soups, gooey raclette, and other things to remind you why winter isn’t so bad after all.
12 Warming Dishes Perfect For Big Coat Season image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

There you are, minding your own business, when you step out of your house and realise—dramatic shoulder rub—it’s really bloody cold. Yes, it’s that time of year that every denim jacket fears and every soup aficionado loves. The official big coat season. And that means it’s also time to be eating those things that will make you feel all warm inside. You know what we mean—piping hot broths, steaming bowls of udon, and huge pies. Read on for 12 reasons why there are some serious positives to the cold weather after all. 


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch


Kensal Rise

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesLunchHalal
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Birria ramen

When it gets to thermals-under-pyjamas levels of cold, the hearty birria ramen from Birria Taco in Kensal Rise, is the answer. The tacos from the Mexican spot are excellent, but the rich broth, soft ramen noodles, and tender, stringy, slow-cooked beef and lamb birria is the kind of comforting dish that will warm you from the inside out. It’s also notorious for leaving its mark on whatever you’re wearing, so we’d recommend making a makeshift bib with tissues before getting started. Head here the next time you feel a sore throat coming on.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



OpenTable logo

Sambal tumis udang petai 

Some dishes are comforting because they’re saucy. Others because they’ve got a welcome hit of spice. And some, like Satay House’s sambal tumis udang petai, have both. A bowl of this irresistible, sweat-inducing, Malaysian prawn stir-fry is all anyone needs on a wintry day. The shrimp is meaty, the petai have bite, and the sauce will truly knock your socks off. A portion of coconut rice and a tear or two of roti from the Malaysian restaurant in Paddington is very much recommended.

Sade paca

Unlike other no-menu venues, you’re best off getting up and using your own two eyes at Haringey Corbacisi. This Turkish spot on Green Lanes is something of a soup and stew specialist (though grilled meats are now on the hypothetical menu) and, come winter, is a sure-fire must for solo soup lovers and shivering friends alike. The sade paca (a lamb and yoghurt soup made up of tender meat, a paddling pool of butter, and enough minced garlic to slay a vampire via soliloquy) is a favourite.

Sampler platter

The no-nonsense ordering system at this vegan Ethiopian spot in Dalston means that everyone gets a six dish mixture of yesimir wot, tikil gomen, ater kik, and more alongside piles of freshly made injera—and everyone is very happy. Unlimited blankets of sour flatbread, ripped and used to grab hunks of tingly berbere-laced lentil stew is exactly what everyone needs when the days darken and the S.A.D. lamps come out. The fact that a portion is £20 for two is also warming, in its own way.

Pepper pot

Pepper pot isn’t always on the menu at Kaieteur Kitchen. The laid-back Elephant and Castle restaurant takes an enticing, bingo-ish approach to its weekly changing specials, but the excellent Guyanese national dish is on every weekend. There are all manner of cuts (beef, oxtail, lamb) and it all falls apart in the deepest of brown sauces that’s full of cassava, cinnamon, and cloves. Get it with spinach rice—it’s the perfect nutty and slightly bitter foil to this layered, warming, treat of a dish—and plenty of roti. None of that sauce should be spared.

Chicken schnitzel

We consulted with a group of scientists and it turns out that just saying the word ‘schnitzel’ increases your body heat by two degrees. OK, just kidding. The only scientist we’ve spoken to was a Hinge match who ghosted us when we didn’t understand their ‘The name’s Bond. Ionic Bond.’ joke. But either way, the important thing here is that one of the best places for schnitzel in London is Marylebone Viennese brasserie, Fischer’s. Expect a truly humongous slab of moist, buttery breaded chicken that should definitely be followed up with the topfenstrudel for peak cosy feelings.

Curry atsu-atsu

“It’s like the bloody Arctic out here,” you say, as the weather hits 12 degrees. Don’t despair fellow cold-weather dramatists because Koya’s curry atsu-atsu will heat you up in no time. We’re talking about a piping hot bowl of mild but moreish curry with fresh, hand-pulled udon. Plus, if you hang your head over the steam for long enough it’s basically a facial too. You should know that this little udon bar in Soho is pretty popular, so you might have to do a little scheming or if a potential queue is a big no-no, you can book ahead at the Koya City location. 


Don’t be deceived, Big Coat Energy is real. Common symptoms include excessive use of coat pockets, dramatic twirling, and strutting down main roads like you’re Steve Buscemi in Fargo. And you know what, Big Cheese Energy is real too. La Petite Ferme in Farringdon is the kind of restaurant that will make you wonder if it’s normal to be a bit turned on by some Morbier. Well, according to us, it is. This place does a huge all-you-can-eat raclette situation for £32 per person and the gloriously naff decor will remind you of those family-run French spots you’ve loved on holiday. Let the hot melted cheese commence. 

Sticky toffee pudding and custard

The trench coat is the real star of the film Casablanca, discuss. Sorry Humphrey Bogart, but we think so. And honestly, there isn’t a better setting for a classic trench coat moment than old-school City spot, Sweetings. This place is technically all about seafood, including lobster mash and fish pies, but it’s the sticky toffee pudding that we really crave when the bad weather sets in. There’s nothing fancy going on here, just a warming dessert that will give you serious school dinner flashbacks. FYI it’s only open at lunchtime. 

Bone marrow pie

Whether it’s steak and kidney or pheasant and trotter, you’re guaranteed a rich and saucy pie at St. John, made crunchy thanks to the suet pastry edges, and complete with a prehistoric aesthetic thanks to the bone marrow in the middle. The menu at this British Clerkenwell classic says that they’re for two people, and that’s perfect if you’re looking to be horizontal for the foreseeable. Otherwise share between more and double down on the madeleines and things with custard after.

Spaghetti al cartoccio

Ciao Bella’s seafood spaghetti is for all intents and purposes, an IKEA bag of pasta. The spaghetti is mixed in a white wine sauce with squid, mussels, and a singular token prawn. The whole lot bathes together in a greaseproof bag before the steaming mountain is emptied, direct from the bag onto your plate, like a magician revealing your dinner. That, plus the electric energy at this Italian spot on Lamb’s Conduit Street will make you forget how chilly it is outside. 

Rare steak phở

Whether you are cold, you’re suffering from a cold, or just opened the fridge and thought ‘brrr’, the phở from Sông Quê will sort you out. A little corner seat at the Vietnamese spot in Shoreditch and a massive bowl of steaming hot broth and noodles is our go-to move for the majority of the year in London. The rare beef is essential and the tripe and tendon versions, combined with tofu, are also excellent. The broth is rich without being heavy or overly meaty, and the effect it has (whether placebo or not) feels always-restorative.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading


16 London Restaurants For When You Want To Get *Cosy*

Candlelight, open fires, and deeply comforting food that will help you survive the winter.

A woman's hand reaching for a chip with one hand and holding a pint of Guinness in the other.

24 pubs for when you want to eat as well as you drink.

16 Of London’s Best Curries image

Where to eat the best curries from Thailand, Japan, India, Guyana, and more, in London.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store