Here are some of my favourite restaurants & cafes in East London, mostly independently owned and run (you can find the franchises without my help). Some get busy – and even good people have bad nights, after all – but you’re in with a fighting chance at all of these. I’ll update this with new discoveries as I make them. Feel free to make suggestions…!
St John Restaurant OK, I don’t get the roasted bones, but this restaurant pioneered the revival of unapologetically British cooking
Cafe du Marche Like going to a French village for the night, candle-lit, barn-like room & lovely service (with 15% service charge) – order the cote du boeuf to share
Moro This Moorish/Spanish restaurant is always booked out. The lemon yogurt cake is delectable & the tattooed maitre’d has more than one fan
Dose Good coffee & Vegemite toast
Le Trois Garcon French food served in a baroque forest of diamond-draped taxidermied animals.
Tayyabs Simply beyond compare. Huge queues. Plummeting blood sugars. Legendary lamb chops. Scarlett Johannson eats here. End of story.
Tina We Salute You Sydney-style coffee & cupcakes at a neighbourly street in Dalston
LMNT Popular pub/restaurant on grotty Queensbridge Road with Egyptian mummies, egg-shaped treehouses to eat in and opera on Sundays. Good food and honest prices.
Il Bacio Family -run neighbourly Sardinian restaurant with good pizza and pasta. An easy win.
Royal Inn on the Park. Better than your average Sunday roast and a beautiful London park to walk it off in. Read my review.