Leafy, academic Bloomsbury is known for its cafes and bookshops, and it can be hard to know where to look for a proper sit-down meal. Here are some of the best, from cosy comfort to high-class dining.
Chez Mamie Courtesy of Mariella Hudson
Honey & Co.
Restaurant, Cafe, Middle Eastern, $$$
Honey & Co.
This intimate Middle Eastern bakery has taken off since it was founded by husband-and-wife team Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. It now offers delectable full meals well into the night. Don’t forget, however, to leave room for the cardamom black coffee. Then there’s the dessert. Among them are the marzipan cake with roasted plums, knafeh with rose syrup and pistachios, gluten-free chocolate and pecan slices. Maybe just try some of everything. To top it all off, you can even buy the award-winning Honey & Co. recipe book. So, go home and bake yourself some more.
Hidden on a quiet street parallel to Tottenham Court Road is the red-roofed Sardo Restaurant, or Sardinian Restaurant. Few places in London offer Sardinian cuisine, which seems at first glance similar to Italian. However, it is composed of its own Sardinian ingredients and flavours. Why try your regular pasta, spaghetti and linguine when you could try malloreddus pasta, spaghetti bottariga, and linguine al granchio? In addition, there is an extensive selection of Sardinian wines. There’s also an equally homely and decently priced pizzeria, Sardo Cucina, right next door.
Newcomer to town Boopshi’s offers an unusual mix of delights in an unfamiliar setting: schnitzel and prosecco, anyone? Viennese cuisine is here given the high-dining experience with a modern, minimalist twist. Vases of bright pink roses greet you at the table, and while you tuck into your Bratwurst or Kaiserschmarrn, you can gaze out at the world rushing by in this cooler-than-cool central location. The bar beckons, both upstairs and downstairs, with a huge collection of quality cocktails from around the world alongside the classic Germanic spritz. Friendly, fun and classy.
Although technically a cafe, the independent Chez Mamie is open until nine and offers just what the doctor ordered to escape the madness of the city for a quiet meal. Warming home-style French food, coffee and smoothies are served on wooden tables. The tables topped with vases of daffodils and carnations, and artsy photographs and hanging lightbulbs lend a special cosiness to the place. The staff is friendly and gives a familial vibe to the place. The breakfasts are fast becoming legendary. Ideal for a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, just a stone’s throw from one of London’s busiest areas.
The beautiful Store Street has a lot to offer, from artisan coffee to Wiccan books and a bike shop. Taking pride of place is Ristorante Olivelli, hailed for its authentic Sicilian and Italian cuisine. Back in the 1930s, Rita and Enrico Olivelli’s restaurant was a favoured haunt of RADA students. Today, it has evolved into four London restaurants and two Caffè Paradisos, one also on Store Street. If you fancy quality cuisine at an affordable price, this is the place to be. You can walk all that good food off gazing at the lighted parade of shops outside.