Late night eats for the 24-hour tube era

duckandwaffleinteriorNew York is ‘the city that never sleeps’, and Parisians have long been used to the idea of the all-night brasserie. Meanwhile here in London, plans for the 24-hour tube have finally, finally come to fruition with the central and Victoria lines the first to go all night from 19 August. Despite the delays to the Night Tube (it was first supposed to launch in September 2015!0 the American predilection for all-night dining has been steadily creeping onto the capital’s restaurant scene. If you find yourself out and about in the wee hours here is our list of London’s best late night eats…


Open around the clock

DuckWaffle-0852Duck & Waffle EC2

“Go mainly for the extraordinary views” to this 24/7, 40th-floor hang out; “the signature dish (confit duck with a fried egg, waffle and syrup) is better than it sounds”, but opinions are mixed on the “mainly meaty, high cholesterol” fare and you pay “City boys’ drinks prices”. Maybe try breakfast or coffee.


CJYZJi0WwAAHQ6xVQ (group)

“Just the place for breakfast after a 5am release from hospital… a nightclub… the cells” – these dependable diners (the age-old SW10 original, and newer WC1 spin-off) serve “classic”“simple”fodder, 24/7. A third VQ is coming soon in Notting Hill, but will ‘only’ trade from 7am (8pm weekends) to 3am (1am Mon-Wed, and Midnight Sunday).


CMcLAb8WIAA4-Pj-1Bar Italia W1

“Bringing a little bit of Italia to our streets since time immemorial” – a tiny Soho legend serving up “the best coffee in London and great people-watching”, 24/7.


R165-Brick-Lane-Beig-p-extBrick Lane Beigel Bake E1

“Unbeatable for fending off the munchies 24/7!”; a treasured “defiantly no frills” East Ender, serving “the best take-away salt beef beigel in London” – “how long can it hold out against gentrification?”


polobar_026Polo Bar EC2

It has been a Liverpool Street Station fixture since 1953. Now, with its 24-hour licence, Polo Bar serves up classic British food and drinks around the clock. We have yet to garner much feedback on this late night haunt in our survey, so please tell us your thoughts.


Open ’til late

mayflowerNew Mayflower W1

“You don’t go for the average service or ambience”, but for the “reliably good Cantonese/Peking cuisine” offered by this “reliable” Chinatown stalwart, which serves well into the wee hours of early morning. Enjoy its grub anytime up to 4 am.


tinseltownTinseltown (group)

More Americana in London. This group of diners, with its late-night burgers, waffles and milkshakes, closes its 10 branches at various times. The Clerkenwell original, however, is open until 4 am and is still a favourite with the nightclub crowd. Have you been to Tinseltown? Tell us about your visit in your user diary.

Soho-DinerSoho Diner W1

The former Soho Diner, rebranded but under unchanged ownership, now boasts a clubby new interior and more extensive French-American menu; it remains a very handy drop-in, and its long hours makes it “a rare find in the early hours”. Open ’til 3 am. 


R182-CafeBoheme-p-intCafé Bohème W1

“Perennially jam-packed”, all-hours French-style bar/café/restaurant in the heart of Soho, where everyone loves the “lively” vibe; it “can deliver some very good dishes” too, but some non-drinkers find it “so crowded you don’t really want to eat”. Open all day until 2.45 am


meatliquor1MEATliquor W1

“Dingy” and deafening, this dive off Oxford Street has quite a name for its “dirty, luscious burgers”; ratings are slipping though – “the rock ’n’ roll grunge act doesn’t seem quite as new any more”. Open ’til 1 am Friday and Saturday. 


Sushisamba-terrace_2012@featureSushisamba EC2

“You can’t argue with the view from the 39th floor!”; this dazzling City eyrie combines “amazing vistas and outside spaces” with “heavenly”Japanese/South American fusion fare – “incredibly fresh, zingy flavours, blended with panache”. And yet… for some reporters “everything is slick, it looks brilliant, but it lacks heart and soul”, not helped by the merciless prices. Last orders at 1am.


maroushMaroush (group)

“Consistent quality over numerous years” has won a big following for this well-known Lebanese chain, some of whose branches (I & II) have bustling café/take-aways alongside more serious restaurants; especially at the latter however, “the décor could be fresher”. Top Menu Tip – in the cafés, if you’re on a budget, ask for the menu of wraps. Stops serving at 12.30am.


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