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FEEDING THE CURIOUS SINCE 2010

RESTAURANT CHAINS

The best restaurant chains in London. We can’t always eat in the latest impossible-to-get-into seven-seater restaurants, so it’s the lovable chains in this city that keep us well fed time and time again.

Restaurant Chains in London Highlights

The original Hawksmoor in Spitalfields has been around for 10 years now and they’ve since expanded to have six sites in the UK and an upcoming opening in New York. They’re all about the steak of course and if you’re looking to splash out on beef, there’s really no better place to do it. Alongside the steaks are all sorts of other goodies including beef dripping fries, lobster mac & cheese and THOSE ‘Rolos’ for dessert.

You’re never more than 100 metres from a Pret in London so it’s no wonder that we all have a (secret) love affair with the place. Whether you’re stuffing in a hangover-busting ham and cheese croissant on the way to work or having the BLT for lunch AGAIN, it’s quick, fresh, and reliable every time. Plus you’ve got to love the fact they give away leftover food to the homeless, give you a 50p discount on coffee for bringing your own cup, and encourage us to eat our greens with their veggie only stores.

Dishoom sure knows how to do it. All their sites have regular huge queues out the door and it’s not hard to see why. They do Indian food like no other and their bacon and egg naan rolls for breakfast are the stuff of legend. Absolute joy every time.

Tonkotsu is the best of the ramen wave that swept London back in 2013 and testament to that, they’re still going strong and opening new sites all the time. The signature Tonkotsu ramen, with its thick creamy broth, fresh noodles (made in house), and slices of pork is a thing of beauty and has got us through many a day and night. One to come back to time and time again.

HAWKSMOOR

££££
157a Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, United Kingdom

They’re all about the steak of course and if you’re looking to splash out on beef, there’s really no better place to do it. Alongside the steaks are all sorts of other goodies including beef dripping fries, lobster mac & cheese and THOSE ‘Rolos’ for dessert. Breakfast is naturally a meaty one, with a smoked bacon chop, sausages, black pudding, short-rib bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and HP gravy. It’s meant to be for two but everyone likes a challenge, right? As you’d expect from somewhere that dishes up some of the best steaks in the city, Hawksmoor knows a thing or two about knocking up a bangin’ roast beef dinner… and yes it’s beef and only beef here on Sundays. Rumps of beef are started over charcoal before going in the oven to re-create that traditional spit-roasted flavour and you get a nice, fat slice along with duck fat roasties, carrots, greens, roasted shallots and garlic, a big ol’ Yorkshire pudding and plenty of bone marrow and onion gravy to drown it in, and you will want to drown it because that sauce is something else.

TONKOTSU

382 Mare St, London E8 1HR, UK

Tonkotsu is the best of the ramen wave that swept London back in 2013 and testament to that, they’re still going strong and opening new sites all the time. The signature Tonkotsu ramen, with its thick creamy broth, fresh noodles (made in house), and slices of pork is a thing of beauty and has got us through many a day and night. One to come back to time and time again.

DISHOOM

Dishoom, 12 Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9FB, UK

Inspired by the old Irani cafes of Bombay, Dishoom became an instant hit thanks to its bangin’ sharing plates and beaut decor, and all their sites have regular huge queues out the door. The lamb samosas, masala prawns, house black daal and chicken ruby are spot on every single time, and we’ll never say to no to THAT bacon and egg naan with a chai for brekkie.

PATTY & BUN

14 Pembridge Rd, London W11 3HL, UK

Our entry for posh burger goes to Patty & Bun who’ve taken London by storm since launching a few years ago. It’s the Ari Gold what won it, a thick meaty patty covered in oozy cheese, topped with pink pickled onions and sandwiched in a toasted brioche bun. There’s all sorts of regular specials and an epic breakfast menu at some locations too. A winner every time.

NANDO'S

34-244 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9SP, UK

Where else can you go for office leaving lunches that keeps everyone as happy as Nando’s? Well, maybe Pizza Express but most people got bored of that back in the 90s. Sure, chicken is never the most exciting thing you can eat but when it’s doused in all those spicy sauces, who can really argue? And when there’s peri peri chips dunked in perinaise and arguably the best coleslaw in town, it means everyone always leaves at least a little bit happy.

WAGAMAMA

180-182 Earls Court Road, London SW5 9QG, UK

When Alan Yau founded Wagamama back in 1992 it was a bit of a game changer, with its cool minimal design and strange exotic dishes. Now we all know our soba from our udon and even though you can find it all over the place, from shopping centres to airports, it still dishes up reliably tasty Japanese grub in super quick time. From chicken katsu curry to firecracker prawns, Wagamama should have a place in every Londoner’s heart.

FIVE GUYS

1-3 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH, UK

They may not have the most refined burger in town but when it comes to that all-satisfying middle ground between Maccy Ds and ‘posh’ burgers, Five Guys reigns supreme (sorry Shake Shack, it’s true). The burgers are big and filthy, you can choose as many toppings as you want, and they have those swishy Coke machines with endless soft drink choices. Plus, who doesn’t love their kitsch bit of retro American diner style? Definition of a guilty pleasure and one we indulge in maybe a little too often.

PRET A MANGER

1 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD, UK

You’re never more than 100 metres from a Pret in London so it’s no wonder that we all have a (secret) love affair with the place. Whether you’re stuffing in a hangover-busting ham and cheese croissant on the way to work or having the BLT for lunch AGAIN, it’s quick, fresh, and reliable every time. Plus you’ve got to love the fact they give away leftover food to the homeless, give you a 50p discount on coffee for bringing your own cup, and encourage us to eat our greens with their veggie only stores.

PHO

50-52 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EG, UK

Pho went from one to many in just a couple of years and now they’re all over. We’re a big fan of the Vietnamese chain for their fast, healthy menu and interesting specials that they don’t change too often – because let’s face it when you’re going to a chain you know what you want to order. On the Pho menu we’re fans of the Bun Cha with nem nuong pork balls and spicy sauce and no matter how many times we go and think we’ll try a new dish, we never do. The good news it never disappoints.

BUSABA

Busaba Covent Garden, Floral Street, London, UK

For the times you want casual but quality Thai food, you just can’t beat Busaba. Their menu includes everything from avocado and Asian hot mint salad to guinea fowl stir-fry to red mullet, pineapple and betel leaf curry to snake bean som tam. PLUS they’ve not forgotten about vegans either, with the likes of sriracha ho fun noodle, superfood yam pak and pumpkin green curry.

PIZZA PILGRIMS

£
136 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE, United Kingdom

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.

STICKS N SUSHI

40 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9RQ

Sticks n Sushi was born in Denmark over 25 years ago and has expanded across London and the UK in recent years, offering fresh sushi and yakitori to the masses. The latest Sticks n Sushi sits on Beak St, Soho in the same building as artist Damien Hirst has his flagship studio and art complex. The menu is a beautifully curated photographic journal of their food, with all those amazing colours and presentation of the maki, nigiri, sashimi and sushi. For the sticks, there is a decent amount of choice; Black cod and miso is butter soft; the salmon, teriyaki and spring onion is sweet and warm; and the chicken, squid sausage and miso aïoli is knockout good. Hiramasa collar with sea salt and lemon served with miso soup and a bowl of rice is a simple yet satisfying dish. Desserts all look amazing, but the winner for us is the white chocolate mousse topped with liquorice and raspberry foam. Sticks n Sushi is easy to love. It’s great Japanese food with a Nordic twist that hits the spot.

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