Whether you’ve just been broken up with, your house plants all died within the span of three days, or you got a generic email saying they’re going “in another direction” after three rounds of interviews, some weeks life feels like an absolute shit-show. And for those particularly terrible weeks, you need comfort. While we can’t make your ex get back with you, or go back in time and remind you to water your plants, we can tell you which restaurants to go to when you just want to cry. From Detroit-style pizza, to a whole roast chicken, these are the restaurants to head to after a bad week.
Sometimes you just need to sit down and eat a pie in the privacy of a church pew. Chances are you’ve never seen that as an inspirational quote on the ’Gram, but that doesn’t make it any less true, and that’s why you should make your way to Maggie Jones’s. A proper old school British restaurant in Kensington, you’ll be too busy leaning over a candle and shovelling the world’s most comforting fish pie into your mouth to even consider the outside world. Did we mention that they also do a cinnamon-loaded apple crumble too? Well they do.
You arrive home to find your flat in a tip. No, you haven’t been burgled, your flatmate just thought it would be a good idea to totally rearrange the living room, and throw away all of your belongings in the name of Marie Kondo. Take a deep breath, walk right back out, and head to this laid-back udon bar in the City. The crispy aged-pork loin donburi is tasty enough to diffuse any feelings of resentment you most definitely have towards your flatmate, and the curry atsu-atsu will provide the kind of calming energy you need before heading back to face them again.
Well well well, if it isn’t the universe being an asshole again. Whether it was a stubbed toe, a redundancy, or the devastating news that Pete Davidson has yet another partner - who tragically is still not you - that has led you to this opinion, we would like to remind you that roast chicken exists. Yes, crispy, juicy, marinated roast chicken exists. And so does pecorino, lovely little glasses of natural wine, lip-smacking aioli, crispy potato skins, and herby yoghurt. You’ll find all of the above at Sidechick, a Marylebone restaurant that is entirely dedicated to the fine art of Eating Chicken And Having A Really Nice Time. Oh, and there are Campari cocktails too.
Monday was a mess. Tuesday was even worse. And don’t let anyone get us started on Wednesday. Basically it’s been a shit show, and the only way to save it is to forget. Enter Passyunk Avenue. This Philadelphia-inspired dive bar in Fitzrovia is serving some seriously cheesy, seriously meaty cheesesteaks that have a 100% success rate when it comes to improving the trajectory of our day. Head here for cheesesteaks, tater tots, and Philly cocktails.
If a bad day can be cured by a Kit Kat chunky, then a slice of cookies and cream cheesecake from this weekend-only takeaway Covent Garden spot can cure your week from hell. That’s just simple maths. And according to our calculations, the incredible cheesecakes here can cure just about anything. You’ll understand what we mean when you spot the blueberry cheesecake after already asking for a slice of the peanut butter pecan pie and dulce de leche biscoff. This is a place of indulgence, so don’t hold back. Get that chocolate cheesecake, and a couple more for the road. After all, they freeze well, and a bad day is always better when you’re prepared for it.
Legend has it that one slurp of pho can increase your life expectancy, help you lose tummy fat, and is guaranteed to improve your mood. Those might not all be true, but what you should know is that the Vietnamese pho at this intimate little spot in Shoreditch is a proper hug of a dish. It’s hot and comforting, and good from the first sip to the last. And that ordering a bowl of this steaming hot pho, and savouring it while watching a true crime documentary is our go-to move when we’re feeling low.
You just caught your cat walking out of your neighbours house for the third time this week and honestly, he didn’t even look sorry. Betrayal hurts, but pizza makes it all better. Especially the Detroit-style pizza at this takeaway spot in Clapham. Here you’ll find some of the best deep-dish pizza you can get in London. Think a focaccia-like texture, and a crispy cheese-covered crust. But it’s not just the thick, bread-like bottom that makes this pizza so excellent, it’s the cheese that’s spread all over it, and the rivers of tomato sauce on top of it. And the fact that you can order it right to your door. There’s also a sit-down Bermondsey location, for if you’re avoiding your cat.
Like weighted blankets and videos of dogs being reunited with their owners, ice cream was invented for people who are having a certified crappy week. So before you send your mum / Hinge match / therapist something rogue like, ‘feel like pure shit, come and stroke my hair pls x’ get yourself to Gelupo instead. This place serves the best ice cream in London. Like, the best. The ricotta and sour cherry number is the kind that makes you enter some form of sweet sub-zero stupor where you mindlessly lick and think about nice stuff like whether dolphins flirt and if Dumbledore ever wanted to wear denim. We love it and you’ll love it. Consider the crunch of your cone to be the bell that sounds the end of your bad week.
Noodle and Beer is a very straightforward Sichuan restaurant, which is important right now, isn’t it? After all, this morning you cried because you put both socks on the same foot and then added a Radiohead song to your Instagram Story in the hopes that someone would ask you if you were okay. All been there, that’s why we can attest to the medicinal feelgood factor of this Spitalfields spot’s chewy handmade noodles, big bowls of steaming broth, and a pork loin situation that will remind you that the world can be a nasty place, but importantly it’s still home to deep fat fryers. On that note, their deep-fried and wok-fried lang-ya tu dou will also have you saying ‘I got 99 problems but good chips ain’t one’.
Okay, if you’re in the kind of mental headscape where you are only capable of monosyllabic cries of help such as ‘bed’, ‘cheese’, ‘Friends’, then maybe leaving the house is a bit of a stretch. After all, that would require two-syllable words like ‘station’, ‘walking’, and worst of all ‘talking’. Grim, no thank you. No, what you need to do is eat a truffle-topped pizza and 5-inch tall lemon meringue in bed with your laptop a pleasant millimeter in front of your face, Disney + providing the smiles. That’s exactly what Napoli Gang offers the good people of London. A delivery service from the people behind feelgood trattorias Gloria and Circolo Popolare, expect quality Italian ingredients, hefty trays of fresh pasta, and XXL desserts, all with their unique brand of cheeky fun. FYI, they deliver from Wood Green, Wandsworth, Kentish Town, and Bethnal Green.