British, Traditional Restaurants in City
1. Sweetings Fish & seafood restaurant in City 39 Queen Victoria St - EC4
“A unique institution for fish, not to be missed” – this timewarped Victorian curio has been part of life in the Square Mile for as long as anyone can remember (it was founded on a different site in the 1830s and has been here since the 1920s). Seating is fairly crammed and higgledy-piggledy – be it at the counter or in the rear dining room – but that’s all part of its appeal for a besuited clientele who don’t begrudge the daunting prices for simple seafood dishes and proper puds, washed down by the most ardent traditionalists with Black Velvet in pewter tankards.
2. The Bow Wine Vaults British, Traditional restaurant in 10 Bow Church Yd - EC4
“A stalwart for lunches in the City”, this “unpretentious” venue in “lovely Bow Lane by the famous church” has “kept its standards up” for 35 years. The outdoor seating was a major attraction during the pandemic restrictions, and prices are “very reasonable” for the area, while “the boisterous tables make it easy to have confidential chats without being overheard”.
3. Simpson’s Tavern British, Traditional restaurant in City 38 1/2 Ball Ct, Cornhill - EC3
This “brilliant old-style chophouse” in a City courtyard is “absolutely unique” – and has served classic roasts, grills and a signature “stewed cheese” pudding to a besuited clientele for more than 250 years (although its claim that Samuel Pepys was a customer is stretching it: the diarist had been dead for half a century by the time Thomas Simpson opened for business in 1757!). It is only open for lunch and breakfast – so it’s naturally the “best location for a full English”.
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