In its most basic form a flatbread only requires three ingredients – flour, water and salt – and once rolled, they can be cooked in a variety of ways so it’s not surprising that humans have been making and eating them for thousands of years. Virtually every food culture in the world features some form of flatbread, from pita to gözleme, bing to chapati, injera to roti, so the possibilities really are endless when it comes to recipes. That’s something that the chefs of today are embracing with open arms, experimenting with the dough – to leaven or not to leaven, that is the question – testing out topping combinations and generally giving the humble flatbread a tasty glow-up.
And who knew bread could be so photogenic? A few artfully draped anchovies and a slick of olive oil over a puffed-up bit of bread and you’ve got something more beautiful than the sum of its parts, and with minimal effort too. No wonder London is feeling the flatbread love right now.
They may go by pizzetta rather than flatbread at Jolene Hornsey, which is fine by us when they’re this good. The menu changes regularly so you’ll spot lots of different ones but nduja, ricotta & honey certainly gets the thumbs up from us.
The new Shoreditch spot from the Crispin team is all about the classic bistro vibes, and you don’t get much more classic bistro than snails and garlic & parsley butter – here they’re smothered on a flatbread with a bit of beef fat for good measure.
This central London outpost of Spitalfields favourite Crispin is all about small sharing plates (and natural wine, of course), so it only makes sense for them to have a flatbread on the menu – it’s perfect tear-and-share food. This one is made with crab and Red Leicester; we can’t think of anything we’d rather pair with a glass of something orange.
The Papi chefs’ creativity knows no bounds and they’re doing a fine trade in tasty things on top of fermented potato bread – the soft cream cheese and wild garlic one was an immediate fave and there’s also been a barbecued potato bun crowned with nduja made from tuna belly, so if you see one on the menu, order it asap.
With three on the lunch menu and five on the dinner menu, flatbread fans are extremely well catered for at Queen’s Park spot Carmel. Mixed mushrooms? Check. Za’atar & fermented chilli? Yep. Butternut squash & prawn? Yum. The only problem you’ll have is choosing which ones to get.
Elliot’s does a fine line in pizza at both its Borough Market and Hackney restaurants but if you fancy exploring the rest of the menu, it’s still well worth getting the potato flatbread, which comes with trout roe, chive butter & creme fraiche – because potato on bread is the exactly the type of double carb situ you want in your life.
Once you’ve got the comté fries on order (basically mandatory otherwise have you even eaten at Levan?), you can turn your attention to the rest of the Levan menu, which includes a flatbread with whipped cod’s roe and watercress. The kitchen has also been known to branch out with the bread, with crispy ox tripe and chilli being one popular topping, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
It’s all about the best seasonal produce at this Battersea spot, like gorgonzola and figs, burrata and mortadella, brown crab and leeks, and said produce often finds its way to the top of a luscious fluffy flatbread.
Not to be out-breaded by big sister Kudu’s signature Kudu bread served with melted seafood butter, Kudu Grill has the gloriously green wild garlic and lardo-topped grilled potato flatbread on its menu. Whether you’re in for dinner or for the excellent South African-inspired Sunday roast, you can’t start a meal here without it.