The fact that Farringdon and Clerkenwell – technically two separate areas but we like ’em as a pair – is famous for Smithfield Market, Fabric nightclub and Clerkenwell Design Week just proves how diverse a neighbourhood it is. Where there’s a transport hub, like Farringdon station, there’s often a lot of places to have a drink and that’s certainly true here with many pubs like the Jerusalem Tavern and the Exmouth Arms calling the area home.
Farringdon and Clerkenwell has also evolved into one of the best foodie hotspots in the whole of London. There’s a regular street food market on Leather Lane and Exmouth Market is a strip of excellent cafes and restaurants, boasting the likes of Caravan, Pizza Pilgrims, Grind, Berber & Q, Moro and Morito within yards of each other. Some of the city’s most iconic restaurants, like Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s St. JOHN and the Quality Chop House, which has been around for over 150 years, are also residents alongside cult spots like Luca and Sushi Tetsu, which has the dual honour of being the best place to get sushi and also the hardest restaurant to get into in London. Yep you certainly won’t be going hungry in this part of town.
You’ll have to fight for space (or just get very lucky) at this Farringdon pub because it is on the small side. It’s a beauty though, with rooms dating back to the 18th century, so it’s worth squeezing in, and it’s the only place to get beers from St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk. Despite the interiors, the Jerusalem Tavern has only been a pub since 1990 but they’ve nailed that old pub charm.
Caravan really knows what it’s doing when it comes to all-day dining. The globally-inspired small plates menu features a mash-up of Asian, European and Middle Eastern flavours. That means you can tuck into everything from stilton & peanut wontons to broken lamb meatballs to sourdough pizzas, and that’s before you get onto their bangin’ brunches – hello baked eggs, hello jalapeno cornbread, hello pork belly on kimchi pancakes. Caravan also takes their coffee very seriously, so not only can you buy it freshly poured but you can order a whole range of blends and kit to improve your own coffee game.
34 Royal Exchange Threadneedle Street London, EC3V 3LP
10 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 8DX
Grind will have you hitting up the coffee-come-cocktail bar for more than just drinks thanks to their modern British dinner menu, with small plates like salt cod brandade with garlic crostini, smashed sweet potato, spiced nuts and yoghurt, and hot apple crumble sundae. As usual, Grind has all your coffee and cocktail needs taken care of, the signature Grind Espresso Martini is a real winner…it’d be rude not to have at least one.
Quality Wines, the offshoot wine bar from Quality Chop House, has a rotating selection of wines by the glass and bottles on the shelves available for drinking in. There’s also a full small plates menu, devised by former sous chef Nick Bramham so you can make a proper evening of it. The dishes will be changing regularly but you can expect the likes of violet artichoke with tropea onion, burrata and mint; torched sardines with pine nuts, raisins and fennel; pig fat cannoli with whipped ricotta and pistachios; and seasonal sorbet with frozen vodka. Even if you’re only popping in for a quick glass of vino, it’d be rude not to have at least one little plate…
Any new project from Michael Sager is bound to be a success and with his latest opening, Fare Bar + Canteen, he’s got another hit on his hands. Offering more than your straight up wine bar, there’s also a takeaway coffee area, strong cocktail list and seperate restaurant as well as the 250-strong Sager + Wilde curated wine list sourced directly from boutique winemakers across the world. In the kitchen is Thomas Raymond, who used to work at Ellory, cooking a menu of small plates, grilled skewers and larger sharing dishes. We loved the Cylindra Beetroot; Fried Globe Artichoke; and Fare’s Wet Burger – Red devon beef patty, sweet paprika and sour cucumber. All in all, Fare Bar + Canteen is a great addition to London’s wine bar scene.
161 Whitecross St, London EC1Y 8JL, United Kingdom
Monday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Get your fix without the fuss at FIX. Serving up their own blends of Climpson & Sons, and lots of pastries and treats, it’s the perfect place for an afternoon pick me up, and they also have a pretty bangin’ playlist.
136 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE, United Kingdom
40-42 PARKWAY, CAMDEN TOWN, NW1 7AH
32-34 BUCKINGHAM PALACE ROAD, LONDON, SW1W 0QP
THE BALCONY, WESTFIELD, LONDON, W12 7GF
TOWER 42, 22 OLD BROAD ST, LONDON, EC2N 1HQ
UNIT SU48, BERMONDSEY ST, LONDON, SE1 9SP
11 DEAN ST, W1D 3RP
11 KINGLY ST, W1B 5PW
15 EXMOUTH MARKET, EC1R 4QD
23 GARRICK ST, WC2E 9BN
12 HERTSMERE RD, LONDON, E14 4AE
We’ll take a slice of Pizza Pilgrims N’Djua pizza any day, you can’t really go wrong. It’s basically heaven. Once just a pizza van and now a little cult, Pizza Pilgrims has got some loyal followers and their quick expansion has been impressive, damn good reason for that too. Their Neopolitan pizzas are pure satisfaction with simple generous toppings and soft doughy crusts. And anywhere that does a Nutella dough ring for dessert is alright by us.
88-94 Farringdon Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 3EA, UK
Clerkenwell’s Quality Chop House turned 150 in 2019. Despite some brief closures, there’s been a restaurant on the same site since 1869; back then it was a ‘progressive working-class caterer’ and now it’s one of the most beloved restaurants in town. Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau have been running it since 2012 (they’re also behind Portland, Clipstone and Emilia), with Shaun Searley heading up the kitchen. Aside from the amazing interiors, complete with rickety old church pews, the food here always hits the mark. It’s classic British cooking with dishes like duck liver parfait with truffle and beef fat brioche; peas and jellied eel with a herb salad; Highland beef with ramson sauce; those famous confit potatoes; and broccoli with dripping breadcrumbs. And for dessert, don’t forget THAT treacle tart. A true London classic.
Breddos slings some of the best tacos in London – tuck into classics like masa fried chicken, baja fish and braised beef shin & short rib, with plenty of Breddos’ salsas on the side. If you’re feeling hungry, there are mains like carne asada served with tortillas, Mexican green rice and black beans, and plenty of tequila and mezcal to wash it all down with.
Located on St Cross Street, a quiet road in Farringdon and like many great restaurants, Anglo looks fairly unassuming but lets the food do the talking. Likely to blow your mind dishes to include red mullet tartare with dashi, a burnt leek tartlet, cod with smoked potato & sea fennel, Swaledale lamb with lettuce & spruce and lemon curd with fennel. We’re pretty big fans of Anglo.
Finding somewhere to exercise your body is easy is in this town, but somewhere for your mind, well that’s a little harder. Enter Nimaya MindStation, London’s first dedicated gym for the mind. The studio in Farringdon offers a range of therapies, from acupuncture and reiki to PandoraStar light therapy, Shamanic healing and floatation tanks, all designed to help you relax and re-balance. You can also book consultations with experts in nutrition, mindfulness and clinical psychology. Whether you suffer from stress, anxiety and insomnia or you just want to avoid burning out, there’s something for you here.
There are two things Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings is best known for; the beaut garden-themed interiors and the bottomless brunch, which features classic dishes like pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, eggs bennies and fry-ups with unlimited bellinis and Bloody Marys. The space also hosts seasonal suppers with farm-to-table menus using ingredients from the best independent producers.
Yes it might sound like a local boozer but The Lion & The Fox is a creative hair salon that’s a cut above the rest. Founded by hair stylist Tim Pateman and photographer Leo Cackett, this industrial space features a cut and colouring floor, alongside an art and photography gallery. And whilst treating yourself to a new do, you can sip on Square Mile Coffee or even a glass of vino selected by Ruth Spivey. Trust us, you’ll want to make the most of every minute of your cut and colour appointment here.
Sushi Tetsu is a seven seat sushi bar and it’s the hardest restaurant to get into in London. With only two sittings a night, plus the fact that you have to ring at certain times on particular days to book, it’s very difficult to actually bag a reservation. Run by husband and wife Toru and Harumi Takahashi, it’s known for serving the best sushi in town though so it’s worth the hassle. Go for the omakase menu and just sit back and enjoy as Toru prepares and serves whatever is best that day.
Chef Yuma Hashemi, who’s worked everywhere from Berlin to San Francisco, settled in Clerkenwell with his restaurant The Drunken Butler. It’s a beautiful cosy room with big tables and an open kitchen that make you feel as if you’re in someone’s house. In the evenings, The Drunken Butler has an international flavour, with a mix of French, Persian and Vietnamese flavours across the menu as well as lots of fermenting, smoking and preserving. It’s a tasting menu set-up and the dishes change seasonally but you can expect plates like textured foie gras with hazelnut & mandarin parfait and oysters with pistachio alongside mussels & tamarind. On Sundays, The Drunken Butler serves its classic Persian menu and if you fancy switching things up (aka not having a roast) then this is well worth a go.
This listed 19th century pub is just over the road from Exmouth Market, making it the perfect spot for some post-food bevs. You can always eat here though as the place is open for brunch, lunch and dinner with a menu offering pimped up pub grub, like cider battered sole fillet with triple-cooked dripping chips, pease pudding & gherkin ketchup and short rib & flank burger topped with burnt onions and bone marrow crumb.
Looking for a new craft beer boozer to crack into? Introducing London legend The Exmouth Arms. This Victorian pub with its green-tiled exterior and stained-glass windows always pulls in the Clerkenwell crowds. It’s got an impressive selection of around 100 bottled craft beers and ciders (we won’t mention them all but do yourself a favour and order the Garage Soup IPA), as well as signature draughts including Camden Town Ink Stout and Kona Big Wave Golden Ale. It meets the needs of mainstream beer lovers and newbies to the scene alike. They also offer a small but does-the-job menu to line your stomach for a serious sesh.
When a 13-bedroom Georgian townhouse hotel meets an award-winning cocktail lounge, magic happens. And that magic is known as The Zetter Townhouse. It’s luxurious, quirky and very, very British (think red, white and blue everything) with big comfy beds, Egyptian cotton linen and REN products in each room. Their cocktail lounge is pretty spesh too, paying homage to the neighbourhood’s distilling heritage with old cocktail classics as well as homemade cordials and infusions.
The Modern Pantry is a neighbourhood restaurant serving up a menu that draws inspo from all over the world, meaning you can find the likes of salmon sashimi with a green chilli, ginger & Iranian lime dressing alongside British braised lamb shoulder with spiced parsnip & carrot mash. The Modern Pantry also does a mean weekend brunch, taking classic dishes up a notch – we’re talking raspberry & ricotta pancakes with vanilla yoghurt cream, poached eggs with yuzu hollandaise & ginger braised pulled lamb shoulder, and sugar-cured prawn omelette with smoked chilli sambal.
You only need to travel a couple of minutes from Farringdon tube station to get a real taste of Spain at Iberica, where you’re greeted by a 15-metre long bar and a dining room decked out with Spanish tiles, dark wood and oversized hanging lamps. When it comes to the menu it’s Spanish classics all the way. The cured meats are a favourite – wafer thin slices of air cured Cecina beef, wild boar chorizo and the trio of jamones – as are the croquetas (made following chef Nacho’s family recipe), and you’ll want to leave room for the Spanish sweet stuff at the end. With wines from all over the country alongside sherries and vermouths you can drink your way around Spain here too.
Sister to the main Berber & Q Grill House in Haggerston, this sexy Shawarma Bar serves up mezze and cocktails inspired by the streets of Tel Aviv. The open fire grill is the star of the show sitting slap bang in the middle of the restaurant and that’s where dishes like cauliflower shawarma, rotisserie chicken with dukkah and lamb shawarma with tahini & harissa come from. Don’t skip the freid potatoes with whipped feta and the Turkish coffee ice-cream, chocolate sauce & tahini crumb either.
The Coach, in one guise or another, has been in Clerkenwell since 1790 and it still has that traditional pub feel. In the pub half there are classic bar snacks on offer alongside ales and lagers from breweries like Portobello Brewery, Thornbridge and Stiegl. There’s a dining space overlooking the garden at the back as well as a dining room on the first floor, both of which serve British-French inspired dishes like smoked salmon with horseradish & soda bread, onglet & chips, sea bream a la provencale, and spiced apple crumble. The Coach has classy pub dining pretty much nailed and in the summer when that garden door is open right into the garden, there’s be not many better places to be in Clerkenwell.
Moro, run by couple Sam and Sam Clark who set it up after a stint travelling around Spain, Morocco and the Sahara, opened on Exmouth Market in 1997 and has remained popular ever since – practically a lifetime in London restaurant terms. Drawing influence from the pair’s love of Moorish food, the menu (which changes seasonally) features dishes like lamb tagine with preserved lemon, charcoal grilled seabass with ajo blanco and yoghurt cake with pistachios. They’ve also got tapas bar Morito right next door, which is a more casual offering than the main restaurant.
Luca, from the team behind The Clove Club, serves modern Italian food using British ingredients, so there are traditional-with-a-twist pasta dishes like agnolotti cacio e pepe with short rib and spaghettini with Morecambe Bay shrimps & mace butter alongside plates like Orkney scallops with jerusalem artichoke & nduja, Cornish halibut with porcini & pancetta, and salt-baked celeriac with chanterelles. Whether you for a plate of pasta or the whole antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci route, don’t under any circumstances skip the parmesan fries. The bar at Luca is a separate and distinct space and people are encouraged to drop in and have a drink and snack, so you can still get a flavour of the place if you’re short on time.
Palatino is an Italian restaurant from Stevie Parle inspired by the food of Rome, with dishes like sprouting broccoli & chilli fritura with honey vinegar; chicken, pancetta & pistachio meatballs with polenta; tonnarelli cacio e pepe; and a range of gelato. Naturally the wine list is all Italian and every single one on their is available by the glass as well as the bottle.
Founded by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver in 1994, St. JOHN is a London restaurant institution. Pioneers of the nose-to-tail eating movement and simple but gutsy British food, the restaurant has influenced countless chefs and restaurants for over two decades and itself has expanded into a mini empire with a second restaurant, bakery and winery. The Smithfield restaurant, housed in a former smokehouse, has held a Michelin star since 2009, serves up a daily changing menu of dishes like roast bone marrow & parsley salad, devilled kidneys on toast, brill with sea purslane & capers, Eccles cake & Lancashire cheese, and fresh madeleines hot from the oven and a French wine list, including bottles from their own winery.
34-35 Great Sutton St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 0DX, UK
This light and airy pub has a decent amount of tables and TV’s scattered around (great for watching the footy), with a strong range of craft beer behind the bar. What sets it apart from other watering holes in the area is the intimate venue downstairs, which regularly hosts comedy and live music, and the sound is bloody good down there too.
32 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QE, UK
Morito is the little sister to Moro, the Exmouth Market restaurant run by Sam and Sam Clark. The original is a tiny place that’s right next door to Moro, with a second and bigger site opening on Hackney Road in 2016. Although not solely Spanish (the menu draws influence from the Eastern Med and North Africa as well as Spain), the menus feature tapas classics like tortilla & aioli, jamon iberico, padron peppers and grilled chorizo alongside dishes like arroz negro with cuttlefish, roast pork belly with quince, and Malaga raisin ice cream, plus a strong Spainish wine list with sherries and vermouths.