Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Whitechapel
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Whitechapel restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 43 restaurants in Whitechapel and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Whitechapel restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Whitechapel Restaurants
. The Buxton
British, Modern restaurant in Tower Hamlets
42 Osborn Street - E1
From the team behind the nearby Culpeper, this new (June 2019) gastroboozer occupies a cleverly rebuilt seven-storey site near the foot of Brick Lane, whose redevelopment has allowed the addition of 15 bedrooms. It opened too late for survey feedback: The Standard’s David Sexton found the ground floor bar a little “cramped” and “not for lingering”, but a good value, if “lonely pioneer of bourgeois taste” in this grungy ’hood.
. Emilia’s Crafted Pasta
Italian restaurant in Tower Hamlets
77 Alie Street - E1
This three-year-old in the picturesque surroundings of St Katharine Docks is “still serving great, home-made pasta”. It’s had a spin-off nearby in Aldgate since February 2019: “a welcome addition to the original (where you can’t always get a table), with the same fab food”.
. The Culpeper
British, Modern restaurant in Aldgate
40 Commercial St - E1
“The lovely first-floor dining room is a particular favourite” at this thoughtfully converted Spitalfields gastropub with its own rooftop garden (complete with summer BBQ). “Friendly” and “unpretentious”, its cooking pleases all reporters (but misses the raves it once attracted).
. Chez Elles
French restaurant in
45 Brick Ln - E1
“Top-quality French food in a totally unpretentious environment is served up with knowledge” at this really charming Brick Lane bistro, with an inviting selection of croques monsieurs at lunch.
. Som Saa
Thai restaurant in Shoreditch
43a Commercial St - E1
“Possibly the most authentic Thai cooking in town” (“fresh”, “fragrant” and focused on fiery, north-eastern-Thai cuisine), plus some “delicious cocktails” have carved a major culinary reputation for this trendy four-year-old, in a converted factory south of Spitalfields Market. Its ratings were dragged down this year though by a few less rapturous reports: “perfectly good, but not the outstanding blow-out we expected from some reviews”.
. Xi'an Biang Biang
Chinese restaurant in Tower Hamlets
62 Wentworth Street - E1
“Oodles of noodles… and fun, too”: this “bustling, happy-making eatery” – year-old sibling to Highbury’s Xi’an Impression – occupies a canteen-style space in Spitalfields and “specialises in spicy, hand-pulled noodles”; “yum!”.
. Andina Spitalfields
Peruvian restaurant in Spitalfields
60-62 Commercial Street - E1
“Quite stunning food at a consistently high level”, led by “fresher-than-fresh ceviche” and other “flavoursome dishes”, earns improving ratings for Martin Morales’s small Peruvian group, inspired by the cooking of the Andes. “Fabulous to visit” – “the room is permanently sunny – or is that just the pisco sours?”. The Notting Hill venue includes a bakery.
Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel
83 Fieldgate St - E1
“Queues are mad!” at this “always crazy” and “fantastically good-value” 500-seater, Punjabi BYO in the East End, which is “busy even into the late hours”, and a serious rival to the older Lahore five minutes’ walk away. Everything is “simply delicious”, with “the real highlights being the sizzling and smoking tandoori plates”: lamb chops in particular “always hit the mark”, but “everything is so fresh”.
Middle Eastern restaurant in Tower Hamlets
65 Commercial Street - E1
Following a number of sell-out events across London, this Middle Eastern venture’s first permanent site opened near Spitalfields as we went to press. The team’s CVs incorporate Berber & Q and also The Palomar family; a boldy-flavoured, fully vegetarian menu of sharing plates is promised, inspired by Tel Aviv’s modern cafés.
. Flat Iron
Steaks & grills restaurant in Tower Hamlets
88-90 Commercial Street - E1
“They put the price up from £10 to £11, but it still can’t be faulted!” – for a “a great steak, without any frills” this “always busy, lively and buzzy” chain remains “a winning formula”: “it’s so nice to have a simple menu choice, and what they do, they do very well”; this includes the very impressively “friendly and professional service-with-a-smile”. One catch: “you have to put up with no bookings”, so “be prepared to queue”. But “if you want a great meal on a budget: go visit!”
Pakistani restaurant in Shadwell
87 New Rd - E1
Whitechapel Punjabi BYO that’s a real match for its better-known Pakistani competitors in the East End due to its “grilled meats at bargain prices” and other “fantastic, freshly made dishes” from the sub-continent.
Indian restaurant in City
11 Whites Row - E1
“BOOM! Excellent, sometimes-fiery fare” (“they don’t hold back on the spicing”) “hits the spot” with “great creative flavours” at this duo of Indian tapas-style haunts. The “tiny”, “so-noisy, full-on and not-so-relaxing” original sits near Spitalfields, while the “bigger” (but also “buzzing and noisy”) second branch near Tower Bridge is the better-known nowadays, similarly well-rated and “handy for the Bridge Theatre”. Top Menu Tips – “superb lamb chops and sublime venison doughnuts”.
. Lahore Kebab House
Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel
2-10 Umberston St - E1
“OMG!! Do not judge a book by its cover!” “The grand-daddy of cheap ’n’ cheerful Pakistani kebab joints” in Whitechapel has been “an East End staple” since it opened in 1972. A “huge, echoey, tiled room, with big screens showing cricket”, it’s “such amazing value” and “so damn consistent, it just keeps getting bigger, busier and better”. Top Tip – “step in at the off-licence next door for your booze”. Top Menu Tips – “the chops are special”, and it serves “the best chicken tikka ever”.
British, Modern restaurant in City
9 Aldgate High St - EC3N
“Handy… especially when other places are shut!” – these “round-the-clock” diners have grown from their SW10 base (which has been around for yonks) to bring their late-night formula of “decent food, a good vibe, friendly service and dependable value” to ever-more ’hoods: recent additions include sites in Euston and Clapham. Only Chelsea, Bloomsbury and Aldgate are actually 24/7.
. Sichuan Folk
Chinese restaurant in Whitechapel
32 Hanbury St - E1
The “strongly authentic Sichuan food” at this “fairly basic” Brick Lane venue “may not be the best in London, but nonetheless offers a properly ‘ma la’ (numbingly spicy) experience”. It’s particularly “good value for lunch”.
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