Everyone loves a good bagel so look out for the Beigel Bake, a small place with a fantastic sense of tradition and in the perfect place on iconic Brick Lane. This place is great for your quick bagel fix after a late night out, a quick lunch or just a snack on a student budget. It is open 24/7, and for a smoked salmon cream cheese bagel, it is just £1.60. There aren’t many choices available, but they cover most of the classic fillings, like herring, cheese and egg. The bagel itself was chewy and fluffy at the same time just as a great bagel should be. To be honest, I thought it was better that way, more traditional. The bread choices are also basic, but the bagel is great quality, especially for the price. All in all, visit this place, it is well worth it.
£3.20 (2 people)
159 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB
Beigel Bake: Menu
Panini House on Exhibition Road has an unusual vibe, but lovely food! The Chicken Panini was a little too mayonnaise-y, but the flavors completely made up for it. The bread also was not great, so I cannot really explain why the sandwich worked so well. I was also served three salads, cole slaw, spinach & cucumber, and cuscus. I did not expect to like any of them, but I tried them all for the sake of this review and was thrilled! May have been the best coleslaw I have ever had. The other two were tasty as well and the whole plate was an unusual combination, but worked together flawlessly! I was planning on just eating most of the sandwich and getting to class early, but I took my time and ate it all. The Panini House also has very fast and quality service, which can be a deal breaker, even at the best restaurants. The interior confused me a little bit, everything looked very modern, but it was crowded and stiff.
£8.50 (2 people)
58 Uxbridge Road London W12 8LP
Liz Café on Shepherd’s Bush Green has a great interior and inviting display case. The presentation is perfect for their style of bakery and manages the space well. I bought their Millionaire’s Shortbread (£2.30) to takeaway. (Keep in mind that it was damaged slightly on the way home, so the pictures are a little misleading.) The short bread and caramel were divine; I couldn’t get enough of those. The dark chocolate ganache was stale though. I really did not want to find fault with this cute bakery and yummy shortbread, but the truth is that their product was old. I haven’t been back, but I am curious to see if this was just a fluke, wishful thinking I suppose.
£10 (2 people)
7 Goldhawk Road, London, W12 8QQ
Liz Cafe: Facebook / Menu
We are all familiar with the Lebanese restaurants peppered across Edgware Road, but exploring the streets off the main road reveals how this hyper-diverse part of London has created mini communities. Naturally, this in turn creates a demand for their home food. Kurdistan has no menu, no food pictures on the walls or counters, but you’ll find it packed with locals. English is rarely heard inside and every person who walks in is greeted like an old friend.
It’s a wonderful and intimidating place to walk into. I walk up to a waiter to ask what a Kurdish breakfast is (as it was 10am) and he told me lentil soup, or ‘Nisk’, which I saw two ladies eating. So I asked for some and it came with a quarter of a raw onion, a slice of lemon and a huge naan-like bread (£3). The salty lentil soup was warming, the onion an obscure addition, and the bread freshly made.
Perhaps next time I’ll try a flatbread with za’atar and cheese, or some liver and onions which was being prepared for lunch, who knows. But don’t you love London for having places like these?
£14 (2 people)
59 Church Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EP
Open Monday to Friday: 10AM-9PM
Open Sunday: 10AM-6PM
Fancy a cake and coffee whilst shopping? Aida has some beautiful clothes, expensive, but lovely to look at while you pretend you can afford it. After the pain has sunken in that you can’t actually afford the clothes, they have some tasty cakes to console you. I ordered a vanilla Chai Latte which was deliciously sweet and creamy, accompanied with a dark chocolate, pecan and caramel tart. The chocolate on the tart was much to hard, I could barely put my fork through, but once I did the taste was lovely. The dark, unsweetened chocolate compliments the very sweet caramel pecan base, which is crunchy but much softer than the chocolate. I wouldn’t recommend getting both the Chai Latte and the Tart however because they are both so heavy, felt as though I’d eaten a full meal!
£10 (2 people)
133 Shoreditch High Street E1 6JE
020 7739 2811
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
Independent coffee shop, named after a spice with aphrodisiac powers, is a real hidden gem in West London. Situated on Englands Lane close to Belsize park, this place is highly loved by locals thanks to a high quality food and friendly service. Cinnamon offers its visitors a great variety of healthy and delicious options for breakfast, weekend brunch or a quick coffee fix.
Family owned café serves Monmouth coffee and desserts prepared with organic ingredients (treat yourself for a gluten-free brownie or toasted banana loaf!). Besides traditional poached eggs on a sourdough toast and porridge, you can find very unique Persian-inspired dishes such as Persian frittata Kuku Sabzi or Grilled Aubergine with lamb and yogurt sauce. Freshly squeezed juices are made by demand, and with a little imagination you can also create an original juice mix by yourself.
Whether you are going for a business meeting, romantic breakfast, or a casual cup of flat white with a friend, Cinnamon with its minimalist design, wooden floors and tables, as well as cute ceramic dinnerware and vintage bottle-glasses, will satisfy your needs (Needless to say that this place is instagram-friendly).
£15 (2 people)
2a England’s Lane, Belsize Park NW3 4TG
020 7483 2622
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Only by looking at the entrance of the small café at Baker Street it feels like this place is somewhat unreal: seems like it was drawn in the city landscape canvas or carefully cut out from an old-fashioned sepia photography and glued to the NAME street. When you turn out to be inside the place, the magic continues: as Lewis Caroll’s Alice, who went after the White Rabbit into the hole, you are invited to follow the stairs to the downstairs level. There, the cosy interior with vintage lamps, beautiful photographs on walls, and a cosy fireplace create the atmosphere of a warm countryside house.
The menu, which is happily affordable, represents a trendy combination of organic salads, hot dishes, and desserts, including soft and moist cardamon-buns. Having its sister restaurant in Japan, Monocle also offers a variety of fusion Asian cuisine: try grilled-sandwich with deep-fried shrimps and chips on the side and a delicate green-tea cheesecake with white chocolate flakes, – and you will be left craving for more.
£15 (2 people)
18 Chiltern Street London W1U 7QA
0207 725 4388
The Monocle Café: Website / Menu / Twitter