Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Spitalfields
Hardens guides have spent 31 years compiling reviews of the best Spitalfields restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 66 restaurants in Spitalfields and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Spitalfields restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Spitalfields Restaurants
. Sichuan Folk
Chinese restaurant in Whitechapel
32 Hanbury St - E1
2021 Review: 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”.
Thai restaurant in Shoreditch
12 Hanbury St - E1
2021 Review: The “lovely Thai food” at these reliable cafés is “impressively authentic given that they are a chain” – “excellent value” and “fast”, if occasionally let down by “iffy service”. Founded in 2008 by Saiphin and Alex Moore, who inherited the name of their first East End site, the group has 18 branches in London and expanded to Liverpool, Manchester, Reading (delivery only) and Leeds following the sale of a majority stake to US investors. The couple also have two spin-offs, Lao Café in Covent Garden and the new Chinese noodle bar Hoh Sek in St Katharine Docks.
. The Rib Man
Burgers, etc restaurant in Shoreditch
Brick Lane, Brick Lane Market - E1
2021 Review: “Unbelievably good ribs and pulled pork” continue to win top marks for street-food legend Mark Gevaux – even though he “concentrates more on his outrageously hot Holy F**k chilli sauce these days”. “The meat is melt-in-the-mouth, superbly cooked and exceptional value” – it’s “a pain that you have to wake up early-ish on a Sunday” to scoff a portion on Brick Lane, but the only other option is outside the Boleyn Tavern before West Ham home games.
Fish & chips restaurant in Spitalfields
6-8 Hanbury St - E1
2021 Review: Fish trade veteran Pat ‘Pops’ Newland started out cutting up newspapers to wrap portions at the age of 11, and has kitted out his three tourist-friendly chippies (in Soho, Spitalfields and Camden Town) in 1950s memorabilia to commemorate the era. The “no-frills” fish he serves is “excellent” and “consistently fresh” – but even fans can find it “overpriced by a long way”.
. Flat Iron
Steaks & grills restaurant in Tower Hamlets
88-90 Commercial Street - E1
2021 Review: “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!”
. St John Bread & Wine
British, Traditional restaurant in Shoreditch
94-96 Commercial St - E1
2021 Review: Home of “possibly the best bacon sandwich in London amongst all the faddishness and superficiality of modern Spitalfields” – this “carnivore heaven” is “more accessible and less full-on than the original (and still best) St John”, but still serves “excellent nose-to-tail food” from breakfast to dinner. Its white-walled, canteen-like quarters are echoey and not especially comfortable, but somehow avoid seeming as grimly utilitarian as they otherwise might. Top Tip – the baking is gorgeous: “an Eccles cake here will offer all the benefits of a warm hug”.
. Chez Elles
French restaurant in
45 Brick Ln - E1
2021 Review: “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.
. Andina Spitalfields
Peruvian restaurant in Spitalfields
60-62 Commercial Street - E1
2021 Review: “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.
Indian restaurant in City
11 Whites Row - E1
2021 Review: “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”.
Steaks & grills restaurant in Shoreditch
157 Commercial St - E1
2021 Review: Huw Gott and Will Beckett “do the ‘casual excellence’ thing very well indeed” and their still über-fashionable steakhouse chain (founded in 2006) occupies a niche in the hearts of London’s fooderati like no other, with its “distinctly clubby” (“big, loud and busy”) style, its “to-die-for cocktails” and its “top steaks”: British-bred and “char-grilled to perfection over wood fires, with deliciously indulgent sides”. Ratings for such a phenomenon have sometimes seemed middling in comparison to its renown – a reflection of the very full pricing that’s always been their policy. That said, despite some accusations that “it’s all gone downhill in recent times”, its grades actually bounced back significantly in the last survey, and remain in line with its past best. The City branch in particular shines. “Dark dens and out-of-this-world quality beef are the cornerstones of dealmaking. What deal would not reach a happy ending fuelled by a perfectly cooked rib-eye, grilled bone marrow, and beef dripping fries?”
Middle Eastern restaurant in Tower Hamlets
65 Commercial Street - E1
2021 Review: 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.
. Bleecker Burger
Burgers, etc restaurant in Spitalfields
Unit B Pavilion Building, Spitalfields Mkt - E1
2021 Review: “There is no finer burger in town: end of!” – Zan Kaufman’s tiny group “keeps things simple… and they smash it!”. “If you want mega-stacked, crazy combos, with layers and layers of toppings falling out of the side, there are numerous other (excellent) options in London. But if you want the best patties, made with the best aged beef, un-mucked-about-with and served by a bunch of nice people, then Bleecker is just the best there is”.
. Delamina East
Middle Eastern restaurant in Shoreditch
151 Commercial Street - E1
2021 Review: “Part of the new craze for ‘modern-Israeli-style’ cuisine” – self-taught chef, Limor Chen (with the help of partner Amir) provides “a different take on the ubiquitous Ottolenghi or Palomar approach” at this low-key restaurant near the Wigmore Hall – a kind of “British Middle Eastern food”, which “features lots of vegetables, like the spicy okra tempura and charred cauliflower, which are delicious (and I don’t normally go for veg’!)”. “Nice people run the place” too, which is decked out with the “on-trend, stripped-back, filament-lightbulb look”. Its “buzzing and fun” E1 spin-off inspires less feedback, but gets an equally good rep.
. The Buxton
British, Modern restaurant in Tower Hamlets
42 Osborn Street - E1
2021 Review: 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.
. Som Saa
Thai restaurant in Shoreditch
43a Commercial St - E1
2021 Review: “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”.
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