David-Michel Davies (@dmdlikes), CEO, Webby Media Group
Beigel Bake, 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB: You’ve spent the past few hours slinking around Shoreditch, maybe there was a stop at the Owl and the Pussycat even. You’re with friends, and hungry. Between the cheap chicken joints, late night brick lane spots and kebab stalls, there are a million places to go. But, you’d be wrong, because there is only one place to go: Brick Lane Beigel Bake. Bagel connoisseurs (please note the spelling difference) will swear the bread is inferior to H & H, the pastrami lovers will swear by Katz’s. But once you’ve been to the Beigel Bake at 2am with friends and taken a hit off of the spicy mustard beef bread concoction, you’ll be in one of the universe’s special clubs of people who know the rumors were true, pure joy does exist in the universe after all.
Emily Warren (@emilyhonora), Managing Director, The Lovie Awards
The Barbary, 16 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP: Showing up jet lagged in London means there is only one thing to do: eat and drink. The Barbary—a tiny, sit-at-the-bar joint serving incredible Mediterranean food (more Israeli than Greek), delivers the comfort and flavour to help you settle into London’s coolness (as in, bring a warm jacket because it’s dank and cold in London at every turn). The absolute, most thirst-quenching beer I’ve ever had on draft was at this bar; do NOT skip it when you order their falafel (I cried tears of joy it was so good), followed by their incredible plate of grilled octopus (it will blow your mind). And do yourself the favour of ordering dessert here, too. These are not run-of-the-mill sweets, with things like homemade, lavender ice cream. The bartenders are friendly if you’re up for a chat, and you can watch the chefs cook before your eyes, perhaps find yourself mesmerized by the precision of the sous-chefs plating in front of you with huge tweezers. This place is a gem. But make a reservation, The Barbary gets packed, and for good reason.
Steve Marchese (@stevemarchese), Producer, The Lovie Awards
Dishoom, 7 Boundary Street, London E2 7JE: Lifelong Londoners surely have their Indian spots, but for this out-of-towner, there is nothing quite like Dishoom. Sure, there are spots all over London, but don’t let the fact that it’s a “chain” dissuade you. Paying homage to the Irani cafes that were once part of the fabric of Bombay, Dishoom has become a staple of my annual London experience. Pro tip: Don’t miss the Pau Bhaji and Murgh Malai.
The Orange Buffalo, 61-63 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL /Rough Trade, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL: Many brave Londoners have tried and failed to do regional American cuisine justice. But not the guys behind The Orange Buffalo. They NAIL the Buffalo chicken wing better than many American spots I’ve tried outside of New York state with a truly authentic sauce and a perfect fry. Go grab some wings at their Brick Lane location and then hit one of London’s most important record stores, Rough Trade. Perhaps not in that order. Don’t want to get sauce all over your new Jamie XX vinyl.
Nick Farnhill (), Co-Chair, The Lovie Awards
The Quality Chop House, 88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3EA / Clipstone, 5 Clipstone St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6BB: Don’t miss this recently refurbed restaurant serving brilliant British dishes. You’ll also want to head over to Clipstone —from the same team as the Chop House. Tapas like modern European food. Good for lunch.
Ana Livia Jardine (@analiviajardine), European Marketing Director, The Lovie Awards
Smokehouse, 63–69 Canonbury Rd, Islington, London, N1 2DG: If you happen to be in London until Sunday, please go to Smokehouse for a classic British Sunday roast. I’m yet to find a better Sunday roast in town. The yorkshire puddings are massive and perfect, and the meat specials never fail to impress. Make sure to leave room for dessert, as the Sticky Toffee Pudding is to die for. The beer and wine selections are top-notch as well.
Leroy, 18 Phipp Street EC2A 4NU: Tucked in a back street in Shoreditch, Leroy is laid-back and understated restaurant, but an excellent spot to get dinner with a group. The dishes are small and meant to be shared, and the drinks selection is great as well.
Yauatcha, 15-17 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DL: Don’t let its shiny exterior and tacky decor fool you – Yauatcha looks fancy, but the Chinese food there is simply delicious. The menu is massive, so I recommend you go there with a group and order a lot of different dishes to share – just make sure the crispy duck is in the order. There are limited gluten-free options there, so beware if you are allergic.