Shoreditch’s quirky aesthetic and the sleek, modern skyline of London collide in the area around Liverpool Street. As well as providing first-rate people-watching opportunities (busy execs and edgy, arty hipster types politely making way for each other on public transport is an oddly wholesome sight), this is great news for your range of dining options. We’ve asked our local insiders for their top restaurant picks around Liverpool Street to start you off. Enjoy!
For seaside-style fish and chips right in the heart of the city, Poppie’s is legendary. Pat ‘Pop’ Newland began cutting up copies of the Daily Mail to wrap chips in back in 1952 and has never looked back. Poppie’s is tucked just behind Spitalfields Market and serves fish caught each morning by a third-generation Billingsgate fishmonger. Diners can choose to eat off real plates inside the 1950s-inspired restaurant, or sit outside and eat from newsprint boxes.
Fantastic fusion cuisine is the raison d’être for Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian restaurant SUSHISAMBA. Nestled high up on the 38th and 39th floors of 110 Bishopsgate, making it the second-highest restaurant in London, this exceptional restaurant seduces guests with its unique range of food options and the 360-degree views of the city you can get from the terrace. Walls of glass make up three of the restaurant’s sides, allowing guests an unobstructed view across the city. We recommend the moqueca mista, which consists of jumbo shrimp, squid, sea bass and mussels with coconut milk, dende (palm) oil and chimichurri rice.
In addition to his places in Bermondsey, José Pizarro also serves his acclaimed Spanish food to city dwellers at this restaurant in the Broadgate Circle development. The menu features a mix of classics – croquetas, boquerones (anchovies), tortillas and the like – as well as more contemporary dishes like Iberico pork burgers. Make it extra authentic by pairing your meal with one of the restaurant’s own gin and tonics.
The Galvin brothers opened their third restaurant in 2010, in this former Victorian school and chapel, rescued from demolition when a group of residents chained themselves to the front door. Now that the space has been restored to exquisite grandeur, you can enjoy fantastic modern French cuisine below an imposing vaulted ceiling. Head here on a Sunday afternoon and The Ray Rich Band will provide a swinging jazz soundtrack.
Michelin-star restaurant Angler is the place to go for seafood in Central London. Perched on the top floor of the Conran-designed South Place Hotel, it showcases the best that British waters have to offer, with produce from Orkney, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset all well represented. Dine beneath a mirrored ceiling, created by sculptors Grace & Webb, which gives the impression of a shoal of shimmering fish. If you’d rather enjoy the view over the city, Angler has a heated outdoor roof terrace. The five- and eight-course tasting menus are great for a celebratory occasion, though the restaurant’s location at the top of the South Place Hotel already makes it feel special.
Meat-free folks will find plenty to enjoy at London’s largest vegan-only restaurant and mocktail bar, and there’s enough to convert even the most ardent carnivore too. Expect mouthwatering vegan versions of your favourite burgers and hot dogs, served in a dog friendly and entirely alcohol-free environment (don’t worry, their innovative mocktail menu and extensive selection of 0% beers and wines means you won’t miss it). It’s also entirely plastic free and donates all profits to Surge – an animal rights organisation that supports UK rescue sanctuaries. Recommended by local insider Alyson Parkes
Fitted with a homely-yet-hip interior of green tiles and wooden furniture, Bubala is perfect for a casual but super tasty Israeli-and-Middle-Eastern-inspired meal out. This is particularly handy if you find yourself needing a pick-me-up the wrong side of payday. You won’t pay more than £12 for anything on the menu and the quality you get is out of this world. Be sure to check out its range of small plates and treat yourself to a cocktail or two – the house specials are a must. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele
Housed in an old fabric warehouse and full of noise, clatter and long communal tables, Spitalfields Thai restaurant Som Saa is a lively choice for a meal out. The menu leans towards sharing plates, which only adds to the convivial, friendly atmosphere so many enjoy here. Expect Thai-inspired dishes made with local British ingredients (think grilled partridge with herbs and shrimp paste) with a fantastic selection of cocktails to wash it down, from the standard to the slightly more out there. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
Simple food done well and a wine list that reaches “from the classics to the crazy” (their words, not ours) are what Leroy is all about. It’s a formula that clearly works – the restaurant gained its Michelin star just a year after opening – and is perhaps why Leroy maintains a vibrance that so many equivalent options lack. This, of course, is helped along by friendly service, a busy open kitchen and a lunch set menu that starts at a wallet-friendly £19 per head. Fine dining has never been so welcoming. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele
Oklava’s up-and-coming head chef Selin Kiazim has been making quite the name for herself recently. Tasting her contemporary takes on Turkish-Cypriot cuisine, it’s easy to see why. Regular menu changes keep everything fresh, though there is a consistent focus on sharing options and sizzling charcoal grill options – think marinated octopus and ricotta pide, seftali kebabs, grilled aged mutton shish and a range of small plates that twist familiar Mediterranean favourites into something fresh and exciting. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele