Food Guides

Late-Night Food in London

As much as London likes to think of itself as a 24-hour city, it just doesn’t have the same depth of late-night activity as some other metropolises like Hong Kong or New York, especially when it comes to food. Many restaurants stop taking orders after 10pm and lots of pubs close by 11pm (during the week at least), so if hunger strikes and it’s approaching midnight, your options become very limited.

However, there are places doing late-night food in London, you just have to know about them rather than wandering the streets hoping you’ll happen upon one – unless you’re looking for McDonald’s. If you do want a burger post-midnight, the Margaret Street branch of MEATliquor is the place to head for as it’s flipping Dead Hippies until 3am. Prefer noodles for your midnight munchies? Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar is hand-pulling them and stir-frying them until really late in Covent Garden.

If you don’t want to be restricted by closing hours (even ones at 4am), make a beeline for one of London’s 24-hour restaurants. Beigel Bake, a true London institution, is famous for slinging salt beef bagels all hours of the day and night but if you want a seat and plate for your late night meal, head just down the road to Liverpool Street’s Polo Bar, which is serving up classic British grub, including fry-ups, around the clock – perfect if you need somewhere to hole up until the trains start running again. And if you want something even fancier, Duck & Waffle is just a few doors down and several floors up, serving late night grub with a side of spectacular views over the city.


22 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4RF

Bar Italia is a Soho institution and not much has changed since it opened in 1949. Serving up a damn fine cuppa joe, this Italian cafe is an old favourite and open until 4am every day it will keep you going all night long.


159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB

Beigel Bake is an East London institution and their beigels aren’t all about the tourist hype. Salt beef, mustard and gherkins, what’s not to like? And being open 24hrs it’s the perfect place for those late night munchies.


Duck & Waffle takes all-day dining to the max, serving up their modern European menu round-the-clock, 40 floors up. Yep, you can get seriously good food, including their signature duck & waffle dish, ox cheek doughnuts with apricot jam, lobster cocktail, and torrejas with cinnamon ice cream, and seriously good views whatever time of day or night.


For some seriously traditional grub head to Polo Bar, the twenty-four hour cafe serving up great British classics all day and night long. So whether you’re peckish first thing in the morning or need to satisfy those midnight munchies, these guys will sort you right out. The menu has everything from pancakes to bangers & mash to late-night hot dogs but it’s the all-day brekkies that really hit the spot. They do a whole range of fry-ups, including an American one (with sweet potato fries & pancakes) and a Mighty one with two types of bacon, two types of potato, sausages, mushrooms black pudding, tomatoes, beans and toast.


Part of the Maroush group of restaurants (all of which are open pretty late), the Edgware Road branch of Ranoush Juice is open until from 9am to 3am, so it’s got you covered when you crave Lebanese food any time of the day or night. Those cravings do strike for a lot of people as there’s often a queue but the falafel, shawarma, baklava, meghli and fruit cocktail juices are worth waiting for.


95 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB

Voodoo Ray’s creates thin and crispy NY-style pizza, which comes by the slice or as a whole 22-inch whopper – you can’t go wrong with The Meat Is On or the Giorgio Moroder – and they do an after-midnight spesh at the Dalston branch, which is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, for when the munchies strike. Wash down one of the massive slices with a signature frozen marg.


Ellen Chew has built quite the restaurant portfolio (including Chinatown’s Rasa Sayang) and she’s added to her Chew On This collection with Chinese spot 7th Cat inside the Empire Casino in Leicester Square. 7th Cat is all about serving up authentic Asian comfort food right on the gaming floor, meaning you can indulge in Cantonese roast duck, chargilled chicken satay, wonton noodle soup and salted egg golden lava bao buns without having to stray too far from the buzz of the blackjack and roulette tables. And because 7th Cat is inside a casino, you can get food from midday right through to 4am every single day of the week.



If you’re after burgers and boozy shakes well into the wee hours MEATliquor will welcome you with open arms, especially the Margaret Street restaurant, which is open until 3am. The Dead Hippie is the group’s signature creation and what a thing it is – mustard fried patties, Dead Hippie sauce, American cheese, lettuce, pickled and onion. And if you think you can handle your spice? Order the green chilli cheeseburger, which is not for the faint-hearted. Epic burgers all round.


Open until 1.30am during the week and 4.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, this noodle bar is the place to go when you find yourself in need of sustenance (and sanctuary) in Leicester Square. The noodles come la mian (hand-pulled) or dao xiao mian (knife-cut) and you can get them with a variety of toppings like fried pork chop, cold sliced beef, tomato & egg and dan dan sesame & shredded chicken. And if you really need nourishing, you can get them in warming soups too. Don’t get that in Burger King do ya?


Head into this Farringdon caff during the day and you’ll see people tucking into huge portions of fry-ups, pastas and sandwiches. Swing by in the middle of the night and you’ll likely see the same, though the clientele may be made up of market traders and ravers because the 24-hour La Forchetta is right by Smithfield Market and fabric. Perfect if you need some grub to sober you up or coffee and a bacon roll to keep you going through a night shift.


With a name that pays tribute to the year that Hong Kong was handed back to China from the UK, Old Town 97 is a small restaurant serving up Cantonese classics alongside a range of South East Asian dishes. Apparently, there’s a secret menu item here called ‘LSE fried rice’ which, as urban legend has it, was created by LSE students as the ideal sobering-up meal. Incidentally, this spot is open until 3.30 am – if you’re a late-night Chinese food fan, this one’s for you.