Ah, Pride month. It’s that time of year when we reflect on Stonewall, celebrate 50 years since the first UK Pride parade, and inevitably end up at Heaven trying to work out if that equally inebriated person is winking at you or just has glitter in their eyes. You’re going to dance, you’re going to sing something in a pitch Mariah Carey simply would not approve of, but inevitably, you’re also going to need to eat. From sweet treat specials that’ll cool you down to the best grab-and-go stomach-liners along the parade route, here’s all the food intel you need to have the best Pride possible.
The Best Grab-And-Go Options Along (And Around) The Pride Parade Route
Mount Street, Mayfair
Brenda Howard a.k.a. The Mother of Pride probably didn’t envision you kicking off your Pride route with a hefty lobster roll. Would she approve? We hope so. Hideaway is a particularly boujie cafe and much like its glorious fine dining big sister, Hide, this place can be pricey. But if you’re looking for a celebratory takeaway to start your day in style, hit it up for the £18 lobster roll and one of the specialist iced coffees. FYI, it’s a 10-minute stroll from the parade starting point at Hyde Park Corner.
Greek Street, Soho
Right, so you’ve merrily followed the parade along Piccadilly but you also appear to have misplaced three friends and your sunglasses. It’s time to go rogue, refuel, and see if you can squeeze your way into the Archer Street pavement party. Head to old faithful, Greek Street, to this charming hole-in-the-wall hatch where you can get involved in a hefty crêpe creation filled with your choice of vegetables, chilli oil, wontons, or if you fancy it, a meaty number. For seven quid, you can’t go wrong.
Archer Street, Soho
The best gelato in London, conveniently located opposite Archer Street’s quintessential Pride pavement party. No further comment required.
BakWardour Street, Chinatown
You need to top up your sugar levels before unleashing your best self on Trafalgar Square. Bake has matcha soft serve and a wide range of pastries. Can you see where we’re going with this? The sheer quantity of sweet treats behind the till might be a little overwhelming, but know that you’re primarily here for the taiyaki—a fish-shaped Japanese cone—that comes packed with anything from custard to that creamy soft serve. Be warned that they only accept cash for orders under £10.
Lexington Street, Soho
The pandemic robbed us of two Pride parades. But, it also gave us Bao’s delivery and pick-up service, Rice Error. Small mercies etc. Thanks to this deeply exciting development in Londoners’ ability to access quickfire rounds of confit pork bao, you can place an order on your phone and then rock up to collect Taiwanese fried chicken and, if the weather’s nice, one of the signature Horlicks ice cream bao. It’s also a great shout if you’ve got tickets for the grandstand later in the day and want to take some stellar snacks along.
Dean Street, Soho
Another Soho click-and-collect option, only this time you can give yourself the most profound and acid reflux of your life by taking a pizza for a celebratory walk to Trafalgar Square. Dean Street is the original location of this Neapolitan pizza mini-chain and it’s still a go-to for chewy, thick-crusted pizzas with a thin and saucy centre. The margherita is under a tenner and it’s an absolute no-brainer if it’s 1pm, your whole group forgot to eat breakfast, and are no longer sure if G&T tinnies count as lunch.
Where To Eat After The Parade (If That’s Your Thing)
William IV Street, Covent Garden
The likelihood of you actually going for dinner after the parade is quite minimal. We know that. You know that. The bouncer at Heaven knows that. But if you’re taking a more chill approach to the parade this year, rounding off a day of fun with silk handkerchief fun is a great idea. Trust us, it’s not as horny as it sounds. Bancone’s signature silk handkerchief dish is basically deconstructed lasagne sheets, complete with walnut butter and confit egg yolk. All of the pasta here will hit the mark though and you can easily keep your bill below £30. If the Covent Garden location is fully booked, try to get a table at the other location in Soho.
Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
Do you need a little rest? If the answer is no, move along. Run wild into the night, we salute you. But if you’re scrolling this guide while performing the classic monologue ‘my back hurts’ then Toklas is a great place to sit back, relax, and eat simple seductive things like the crab and hazelnut salad. A Mediterranean restaurant on the Strand, the pleasantly buzzing atmosphere is still lively enough that you won’t feel like your day is coming to an abrupt end and it’ll also offer you the opportunity to drink enough Italian sparkling wine to make you feel like you could meet up with your mates on Dean Street after all.
Wardour Street, Chinatown
Oh look, it’s 2am and that loaf of Soreen you bought from the Tesco on Waterloo Place has seemingly not done the trick. Hungry post-parade reveller meet Old Town 97. Old Town 97 meet hungry post-parade reveller. We have a feeling you’re going to get along. The classic Chinatown establishment has a 4am closing time, so you can rock up here and eat stir-fried duck in black bean sauce or the wonton noodles prior to facing the journey home. Plus, there are plenty of big group tables so go ahead and declare this your roasted meats afterparty.