Did you ‘check in’ with an ex in 2021? Or did you rewatch The OC and The Sopranos for the third time, because it’s nice to feel like Jeff Buckley is in the room whilst you eat a tray of melanzane? If the answer is neither, then you probably just moved home instead. Because familiarity has become everyone’s best friend for a couple of years now. And that goes for restaurants and takeaway too. Thankfully, we’ve got a guide to mix things up a bit. To break the ten hot wings and fries tyranny. From legit Mexican taco specialists, to all manner of hand-pulled noodles, these spots will help prevent that feeling of delivery déjà vu.
Delivery around Hackney.
You know what happens when you order a whole Peking duck to your house? You unlock a level of adulthood that says ‘I make excellent decisions’. And when you order the roast duck from this Shoreditch spot, just know you’re making a certified great choice. These cantonese roast meat specialists aren’t messing about, they’re delivering everything from crispy pork and aromatic duck, to Singapore fried noodles, and pumpkin pancakes. Order here.
Party Store Pizza
Delivery around London Bridge.
The Detroit-style pizzas at this London Bridge spot will not only make you want to ghost Dominos, they’ll make you ghost your flatmates if they try to take so much as a cheesy crust. The pizzas have a bread-like bottom, a crispy cheese-covered crust, and rivers of tomato sauce running on a base of melted cheese. You’ll find more than just your basic margherita here, with options like ‘Top Boy’ (vodka sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, nduja, pepperoni, and spicy honey) and ‘Smacks of Mac’ which is essentially a cheeseburger pizza. Basically, if you’re into excellent deep-pan pizzas, this is for you.
Delivery from Willesden.
Don’t make the mistake of putting the chicken at this Syrian spot in Willesden Green in the same category as any fried chicken shop. Because this is the place to order from when you want a seriously upgraded version of fried chicken. The made-to-order broasted chicken is excellent, from the crunchy, sweet breading that clings to every succulent piece of meat, to the selection of pickles, pot of creamy toum, and crispy chipped potatoes that come with it. The spices in this chicken make it taste even better the next day, so make sure to order the whole chicken to avoid serious regret. Order here.
Delivery around Spitalfields and E1.
Despite its name, you want to a lot eat more than just the Chongqing noodles from this spot in Spitalfields. And once you look at the menu, you will end up ordering a lot more. Virtually every small plate is delicious, from chewy tian-shui-mian noodle (a thick cut udon in a sweet peanut and soy sauce), to the lang-ta tu dou (hand cut and stir fried chips). The noodle soups are of course lovely - with the pink and tender braised beef in the niu-rou mian particularly good - and there’s also a very good (and vinegar-heavy) gong bao chicken.
Delivering locally from Camberwell.
There aren’t enough fingers on our hands to count the many benefits of ordering a giant shared platter from Zeret in Camberwell. The Ethiopian favourite, as you might expect, has excellent options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. Warming shuro wot (roasted and blended chickpeas in a hot berbere sauce, awaze tibs (lamb chunks marinated in peppers and berbere sauce), and more are featured on the menu. You’ll want to order a combination served on spongy injera to tear and scoop.
Delivery from Wembley, Bermondsey, and Shoreditch.
How many cheeseburgers do you need to order before you realise you’re going to need more than a classic beef patty and cheese situation to fill that hole in your life? Oof that got a bit deep. What we’re trying to say is it just won’t do. You need to up your game with something exciting, like Nanny Bill’s Dalston Dip. This tasty burger comes with a pot of their thick signature gravy for you to smother it in. It’s a fun, messy, breath of gravy-scented fresh air. Order from their Wembley, Bermondsey, or Shoreditch locations, or get one of their meal kits.
Delivery from King’s Cross, Marylebone & Soho and across London.
If you sit on the floor of your shower, shut your eyes, and hum, it’s kind of like being in a spa. And whilst we’re on the subject of ‘things we learnt this week’, it turns out that some bone marrow varuval can seriously improve your lockdown mood. Sri Lankan restaurant Hoppers is home to excellent roti, burianis, and karis.
Delivery from Marylebone, Highbury, and Bloomsbury.
The real problem for most people this year is that they’re not eating enough melted cheese. Okay, fine, the real problem is the pandemic, missing your loved ones, and not being able to say the word ‘gig’ without wailing. But the melted cheese will help. Rather than reaching for yet another pizza, mix things up with a cheese and wine night. La Fromagerie has got you covered with everything from prepped raclette, to fondue sets, to proper cheese platters. Add some homemade chutney to your order too.
Local delivery around W12.
This spot in Shepherd’s Bush might just sound like another chicken shop, but the food options on offer at this Caribbean restaurant are far from your local Chicken Cottage. They’ve got choices between jerk chicken, fried chicken, and bbq chicken, but if you’re ordering from here, you’re going to want to focus on the dumpling burgers. Choose your type of chicken and extras like avocado or plantain, or go for the simple jerk chicken dumpling burger. Either way, it’s exciting and delicious. By the way, we’d go for some extra plantain on the side, and some fried dumplings - because you’re going to want some for later. Order here.
Delivery around SE London.
We’re not in the business of overstating things because we’re, like, pragmatic and relatable and all those things. But La Chingada is a gastronomic revelation for London and an epiphany in the shape of a taco. The little Mexican spot with a kaleidoscopic chicken shop aesthetic makes food that will have you dancing on the pavements of Surrey Quays. You want to order the el pastor - chunks of marinated pork, with onion and punches of green and red salsa - and the carnitas and the chorizo too, and also the fried chicken (complete with a deliciously molten chilli and butter sauce) and, well, pretty much everything else. Before you ask, here’s the link.
Local delivery around SW9 available.
An undeniable Brixton institution, the Caribbean corner spot has been serving curried goat, jerk, and freshly baked patties since 2003. An enormous plate with rice and peas, coleslaw, plantain, and extra jerk sauce is our go-to. It’s an unforgivingly flavour-packed plate full of spice and comfort that will make you feel different about delivery. Find the link to order here.
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Free delivery within a 2-mile radius of East Acton. Otherwise call.
If you’re in the mood for a brunch that doesn’t involve smashed avocado or sourdough, order the excellent manakeesh from this Lebanese bakery in Acton. You can order for collection from 9am, and delivery from 12pm, and the spinach and cheese and lahm bi ajeen make a great brunch any day of the week. They’re £2.50 a pop, so order a few, eat some for breakfast, and snack on the rest throughout the day. A slice at 2pm, another dipped in hummus at 4pm, and that’s lunch sorted too.
Local delivery around Walthamstow available.
Etles is one of a handful of London restaurants specialising in Uyghur cuisine from around Xinjiang in the northwest of China. It’s a comforting and comfortable family-run affair in Walthamstow serving big plate chicken with a sauce full of soy and star anise, mixed with potatoes and hand pulled noodles. The leghmen noodles are also delicious. There’s an English menu and a more extensive Chinese menu, and you can give them a call or order online.
Delivering to surrounding areas from Hackney.
Dom’s Subs are coming out of Lanark Coffee on the Hackney Road and they’re the best thing to happen to east London since people non-ironically wore Playstation controllers around their necks. Expect generous fillings - from mortadella, bresaola, and more cold cuts, to brisket with cheese whiz, or tenderstem broccoli with confit garlic, and other marinated vegetables. Whatever you go for, all of it is in a soft-but-crisp sub. We love Dom, and so will you. Order from their website.
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Delivering around N5 and surrounding areas.
The food at Au Lac is reliably delicious and that’s why it’s such a local favourite. Sit indoors at this Vietnamese spot in Highbury and you might just see Nigel Slater tucking into thịt kho, a silky smooth dish of caramel pork. That’s something you’ll want to order, along with the fragrant mince pork, dry fish and aubergine hotpot. It’s a must.
Delivering citywide from Soho.
If getting what is probably London’s best gelato straight to your door doesn’t sound like an excellent idea, then we don’t know what is. Gelupo are delivering all over - you just need to reserve a weekend delivery spot - and the minimum order is two half-litre tubs. Which, frankly, will be the least of your problems once you look at that ricotta sour cherry, and the rest of the menu.
Collection only from E11
With the greatest respect to Leyton Orient football club, Singburi is this part of east London’s #1 destination, whether you live close or far. The Thai restaurant is best known for its changing specials blackboard, which has featured things like razor clams pad cha (stir fried in chilli paste), salt fish fried rice, and moo krob (crispy pork belly). There’s a standard à la carte menu as well, but you want to check their Instagram to see the specials board and make an order for collection.
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Delivering locally around E1, and, on Fridays only, nationwide.
Maybe you think you’ve made enough aubergine pastas in your time to know a thing or two about how good vegetarian food can be. But until you’ve tried Bubala’s entire menu, we’re going to tell you that you don’t. Confit potato latkes, shitake and oyster mushroom skewers, and fried aubergine with zhoug and date syrup are just some of the excellent Middle Eastern inspired dishes being made at this Spitalfields restaurant. And you can get it delivered right to your door. From the labneh to the laffa bread, order it all for an excellent vegetarian feast. n.b. they’re also delivering meal kits
Delivering locally around Notting Hill.
The first time we ate Jay Dees, we sat alone, on a bench, with a tub of jerk and rice and peas, that could quite easily feed two people. Needless to say the table (bench and knee) was laid, everything was wolfed with a slightly concerning speed and passion, and nothing has changed how we feel about it since. The Caribbean takeaway-only spot in Notting Hill is worth going out of your way for. For jerk, for patties, for oxtail, for yourself.
Local delivery from Hackney.
When you’re looking to stuff that hole in your heart where your social life and physical contact used to be, do what we do, and fill it with noodles. More specifically, some of London’s best noodles from beloved udon bar, Koya. They’re delivering their huge, comforting bowls of atsu-atsu and donburis.
Delivery and collection from Hackney and White City.
Sidechick is an offshoot of the Patty & Bun brand and we can safely say it’s one of the best takeaways you can get in London. Their thing is, quite simply, roast chicken. And when roast chicken is juicy and crispy and bone-suckingly good, like it is here, it’s simply one of the best things in the world. You can choose from three marinades - za’atar with garlic honey and lemon is our favourite - and pair with crispy potatoes, salads, or smoky aubergine with labneh. It’s available for delivery and takeaway in Hackney, or from P&B in White City.
Local delivery around Hackney.
Please sing the following to the tune of Craig David’s iconic hit ‘7 Days’: Ordered a pizza on Tuesday. Ordered another pizza on Wednesday. And on Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday. Ate crust on Sunday. Yes, welcome to our new weekly routine, but it’s time to ditch old faithful for a big, old khachapuri instead. A huge, traditional cheese bread stuffed with yet more cheese, you can order one from Hackney’s Little Georgia. You can’t go wrong with their stews and salads either.
Local delivery around Finsbury Park, Clapham, and Shepherd’s Bush.
From channa packed baras to, newborn-sized rotis, to wedges of macaroni pie with sweet tamarind sauce on top, the range of enormously delicious and incredible value Trinidadian options from Roti Joupa isn’t quite limitless, but it will keep you going for some time. With locations in both north (Finsbury Park) and south (Clapham) of the river, and in Shepherd’s Bush, you should be eating hot doubles, stat.
Delivery from London Bridge and Hackney with a wide delivery range.
There are so many reasons you should get involved in Bao’s delivery operation, Rice Error. The 40-day aged beef rice box. The Taiwanese fried chicken. The achingly cool branding that will make you feel like maybe, just maybe, you could get a tattoo of a beer label after all. But whether you go for a DIY fried chicken bao meal or the yellow chilli chicken rice, be sure to order the peanut ice cream for dessert. We repeat, order the peanut ice cream.
Delivery from Holloway.
Sambal Shiok’s laksa is an absolute whopper of a feel good dish. The special - featuring king prawns, poached chicken, soft tofu puffs, noodles, and a shrimp-based broth that makes you sweat in excitement - is what you need this winter. The fried chicken with peanut sauce is an essential side. Just bear in mind it’s only open for delivery and collection Wednesday to Saturday.
Delivery to surrounding areas from Hackney.
Tomi’s Kitchen makes hearty West African food to eat in or takeaway five minutes from Hackney Central. Stopping in or ordering a plate of stewed beef with jollof rice, beans, and plantain is always a good idea. The suya is decent and there are staples like efo-riro and ayamase stew too. If you’re going rice-heavy, just make sure you get a generous ladle of fried tomato and also chilli sauce. Order via their website,
My Neighbours The Dumplings
Delivery to surrounding areas from Clapton and Victoria Park.
Your search history is filled with tutorials on ‘how to fold a dumpling’, and montages of floating bamboo steamers. But you can actually see some dim sum IRL by ordering from this Chinese spot in Hackney. They’re delivering sui gok, potstickers, and rice boxes from both their Victoria Park and Clapton locations, or you can click and collect if you’re passing by.