Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you

survey result

For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Summary

“It looks basic, but that’s because every single dish speaks for itself, or should that be SHOUTS!” – the accepted view on this engaging, if slightly “bleak” Spitalfields canteen – “younger sibling to the Smithfield veteran”, whose “lip smacking” menu of offal-centric British “delights” has long made it “a real favourite”. Several meals this year however “didn’t live up to its reputation”, and ratings have dipped as a result.

£62
Good
Good
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

This “stark (very St John)” white-walled canteen near Spitalfields is arguably “reminiscent of a public convenience”, but it’s “always a treat to go there”. The often “wacky” and offal-centric British dishes are “exceptional”“mouth-wateringly good” – and “they always seem to have a wine that you’ve never tried before, and it’s always first class”. Top Tip – breakfast comprises “bacon sandwich heaven”.

£56
Exceptional
Good
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“The finest bacon butties in the universe” are but one highlight of the “otherworldly” small plates (majoring in “offal-y wonders”) served at this marvellously “vibrant” (if “noisy”) Shoreditch canteen; “service can be prickly, but hey ho”.

£56
Exceptional
Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“A new and fantastic experience every time”; with its menu of “quirky” small-plate dishes (usually meaty) and “cheapish and unusual wines”, this “noisy” Shoreditch canteen is “always a joy”; indeed, the survey rates it more highly than its fabled Smithfield parent.

£55
Exceptional
Good
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Have you eaten at St John Bread & Wine?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
10.30 pm, Mon 8 pm
60

St John Bread & Wine Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of St John Bread & Wine Restaurant in E1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of St John Bread & Wine restaurant.
A M
The food is very good but sometimes the men...
Reviewed 3 months, 23 days ago

"The food is very good but sometimes the menu can be overly "querky""

Report this comment
Have you eaten at St John Bread & Wine?
Post your own review of St John Bread & Wine and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Harden's says...

St John Bread & Wine E1

One of the London's odder facets is the dearth of restaurants specialising in traditional British scoff. You're more likely to get risotto in your classic central London pub nowadays than steak & oyster pie.


Two years ago, St John - one of the few places serving exciting and genuine British food - launched this spin-off establishment, east of ever-more chichi Spitalfields Market. Five minutes' walk from Liverpool Street, it offers some of the best food easily accessible from the Square Mile.


As at the Spartan Farringdon original, the room couldn't be more functional: a white-walled square, with bare tables and a kitchen at the back. Staff wear white. It all seems reassuringly no-nonsense and professional.


"Challenging" is how St John's food is often described: a reflection on how alien dishes using offal seem to some people nowadays. "Chitterlings & Mustard", for example - seared pigs intestines snaking around the plate, brought 'The Quatermass Experiment' to mind. Delicious, though. And the enjoyably blunt menu (descriptions seldom exceed four words) offers numerous vegetarian and fish choices, so you really don't have to 'do that to yourself' if you don't want to.


The 'Bread & Wine' of the restaurant's name are available to take-away. Given the difficulty of finding 'artisan' bread in London, the former is particularly worth knowing (and for no more that a nice loaf from Waitrose). There is an interesting and eclectic choice of wine - I drank a good dry, fruity white from Irouleguy in the Basque Country.


There's something about the timeless, refectory-style of the room, the honest food and the professional, no-nonsense service that feel set to endure. Perhaps in 100 years' time, when the proverbial tourist wants to visit a quaint, traditionally British institution, this will be just the place.


See the Review
94-96 Commercial St, London, E1 6LZ
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by OpenTable
Opening hours
Monday12 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-10 pm
Tuesday12 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-11 pm
Wednesday12 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-11 pm
Thursday12 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-11 pm
Friday12 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-11 pm
Saturday1 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-11 pm
Sunday1 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-10 pm

Best British, Traditional restaurants nearby

Canteen
British, Traditional restaurant in Shoreditch
£42
Average
Average
Poor
Boisdale of Bishopsgate
Scottish restaurant in City
£66
Average
Average
Average
Albion
British, Traditional restaurant in Shoreditch
£50
Poor
Average
Average

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Wright Brothers
Fish & seafood restaurant in Spitalfields
£58
Very Good
Very Good
Good
Cinnamon Kitchen
Indian restaurant in City
£58
Very Good
Average
Average
New Street Grill
Steaks & grills restaurant in City
£59
Average
Good
Good

The 2018 Harden's Guide

2018 Hardens Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times

What social media is saying