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Where To Eat In London When You Just Can’t

PHOTO: Karolina Wiercigroch

On any given day, we Londoners are as tough as nails. We survive ‘the wrong type of sunshine’ disrupting our commutes, slow-moving tourists, and our mates’ latest trendy food intolerances. But sometimes, life’s little microaggressions can tip you over the edge, and you just need a minute to yourself to work out whether it’s worth sending a really passive aggressive email to someone about it.

Here are some of our favourite suggestions on where to go when you need to unsubscribe from the day and eat your feelings.

The Spots


You smiled at a baby on the bus and it projectile vomited on you. Time to get off the bus and make your way to St. John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields for a bit of high-end comfort food. Grab a seat at the counter, eat some bone marrow on toast, grab a pudding, and mull over the thought ‘are babies born arseholes or are they just nurtured into them?’

E. Pellicci

Bethnal Green
332 Bethnal Green Rd

Someone at work stole your probiotic yogurt out of the fridge for the third time this week. E Pellicci, our favourite proper Cockney cafe on the Bethnal Green Road, is where you should come to plot revenge on your key suspect, Godfather style. They know how to serve you, the guv’nor, a proper Full English (including a piece of fried bread) and a proper cup of tea that will sort you out at 2.35 in the afternoon. And speaking of sorting people out, they might know someone, who might know someone who can have a little chat with that Hampton Wick who’s been causing you all that Barney Rubble.


Notting Hill
222 Portobello Rd

That friend who you’ve been counseling through a horrible on-again/off-again relationship for the last nine months just announced on the internet that their pet frog Hugo just died. It’s time to set the ‘do not disturb’ on your phone and seek refuge at Saporitalia. The pizzas make for the perfect carbloading meal before the cry-a-thon you’re no doubt in for when you leave this place. Maybe never leave this place?


The spiralizer you ordered just arrived in the post and you can’t wait to get your healthy on, but when you get to the supermarket, you’re informed that there’s a worldwide shortage of courgettes. Again. Just calmly drop that basket and head to the fresh handmade pasta mecca that is Burro e Salvia in Shoreditch. Because when life denies you courgetti, you’re entitled to eat a heap ton of delicious pasta as compensation.

Café TPT

21 Wardour St.

You just got back from your third wedding in as many weeks to find yet another bloody save the date in your email, which roughly translates to ‘save your pennies’ and ‘save your joy’ for the next six months. Only a big plate of Cantonese-style roast meat and rice from Cafe TPT in Chinatown is going to make feel you better. As you wolf down your final meal out for the next six months, you realise that your friend may have found ‘the One’, but you’re also slowly finding that you give zero f*cks.


Your colleague called in sick today. As a result, you have to do some actual work and someone called Carl keeps asking for ‘the numbers’. At some point (11.23am, to be exact) you just can’t think thoughts anymore. But you are thinking about lunch. At Le Relais de Venise de l’Entrecôte, they do the thinking for you. And the thought is always steak and chips smothered with their famous sauce, because that’s the only thing they serve. Oh, and dessert too, which is always a necessary bonus to yourself for trying to work so hard.


You’re in the middle of a meeting when the the internet informs you that your ‘hideous on the inside’ ex just got engaged to a person who is a philanthropist and possibly also a supermodel. You need to excuse yourself and get down to Dominique Ansel. There, you’ll order a DKA, a frozen s’more, and a chocolate chip cookie shot. And then you’re going to share on social media the relationship that you’re having with these desserts right now. They’re beautiful on the inside.


254 Hackney Rd

You got zero matches on all five dating apps you’ve been using for like the past 20 minutes, and you’re rapidly losing confidence in humanity. It’s definitely time for pie, and the Marksman, the gastropub with a swish little restaurant upstairs on Hackney Road, is where to get it. Yes it’s made ‘for two’, but it’s not your fault that you don’t have anyone to share it with. You’re a bloody catch.


Out of nowhere, your parents have informed you that they’re doing a week-long staycation in London, and that you’re the the lucky child who gets to host them, even though they live in Beckenham. It’s time to make some fake memories at Monty’s, the Jewish-style deli serving the kind of comfort food you wish you had when you were little. Rewriting your family food memories here is so easy to do here - like, remember that time when mum made me that amazing chicken noodle soup, and didn’t nag me once about the state of my flat? Or when dad made me an amazing pastrami sandwich, and we talked for hours about the social impact and ecodynamics surrounding Made in Chelsea? Good times.

Bleecker Burger

205 Victoria St

Recently, you’ve discovered that your university nemesis who used to plagiarise your coursework just sold their digital marketing business/scam for 20 squillion quid. Time for a burger. An epic burger. The Bleecker double cheeseburger is our favourite burger in London, and you don’t need to have sold any corporations to afford it. Live a little and go for a side of Angry Fries as well. Your old acquaintance may have loads of money and a boat now, but at least you have the moral high ground. And this burger.


A mean troll replied to your polite statement in the Guardian comments section, and you can feel your heart freeze up like a block of ice. Thaw it out with a few gyoza and a lovely bowl of ramen from Tonkotsu. As you slurp away and feel the warmth return, you can formulate a devastating comeback. “How are YOU even a thing?“ Yeah. That’ll learn them.

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