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Bib Gourmand Restaurants in East London

 
 
 
 
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Blixen

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Blixen
Gunpowder
Gunpowder
Cafe Spice Namaste
Smokestak
Smokestak
Popolo
Popolo
Petit Pois Bistro
Petit Pois Bistro
 

 

Foodies flock to east London to sample the exciting culinary talent on offer so it comes as no surprise that many restaurants awarded with a Bib Gourmand can be found in the area.

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Blixen

A beautiful all-day brasserie in the heart of Spitalfields.

65A Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6AA

Tube: Liverpool Street Station , Aldgate East Station, Aldgate East Underground Station

 
 

An all-day brasserie found next to Old Spitalfields Market, Blixen is the fourth restaurant from Clive Watson - the man behind popular eateries The Garrison, Village East and The Riding House Café. The first of Watson's sites away from the Village London group, Blixen sees him partner up with Justin Gilbert. An informal yet stylish affair, the brasserie has an open kitchen, terrazzo-tiled flooring, mid-century furniture and enticing baby blue banquettes. Featuring options such as banana bread with whipped butter, almond milk porridge and American-style blueberry pancakes, the breakfast spread is just as appealing as Watson's other all-day brasserie, The Riding House Café - providing a great alternative to those dedicated individuals queueing for hours at the nearby Breakfast Club. Further menu options include crumbed ox tongue salad, monkfish tail with cauliflower and salsify, and rhubarb meringue roulade with pistachio ice cream. The former bank vault downstairs has also been transformed into an intimate underground cocktail bar, serving old hotel classics with an up-to-date twist, while the outside terrace has been filled with plants, cacti and flowers to create the perfect spot for some al fresco summer eating.

 
 
 

Brawn

A bistro and wine bar serving full-blooded dishes.

49 Columbia Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E2 7RG

Tube: Bethnal Green Underground Station

 
 

After the success of Terroirs Wine Bar in Covent Garden, the owners behind it have tried their luck with a second venture, this time in the heart of the East End. Brawn, a unique restaurant named after a peasant dish of potted pig's head or 'fromage de tete', as it's known in France, is a bistro and wine bar serving full-blooded dishes alongside a formidable wine list.  The British, French and Mediterranean influences are clear to see in the menu - think artisan cheeses, plates of meat, salads, terrines and classic European desserts. Located on the legendary Columbia Road, famous for its flower market, this promises to be a great addition to the fashionable location, adding both brains and, er, brawn.

 
 
 

Cafe Spice Namaste

A celebrated landmark Indian restaurant.

16 Prescot Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 8AZ

Tube: Aldgate East Underground Station , Aldgate East Station, Tower Hill Station, Aldgate Station

 
 

Café Spice Namaste is Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala's celebrated landmark Indian restaurant, a short hop away from the Tower of London. Arguably thought of more as a culinary institution rather than just a restaurant, guests have been flocking to Café Spice Namaste for over fifteen years, all coming to sample Chef Cyrus' original cooking and the warm, personable service. The menus are extensive and feature a contemporary twist on traditional dishes from Goa, North India, Hyderabad and Kashmir. With colourful and comfortable settings, including a vibrant outdoor Ginger Garden, this promises to be a dining experience you won't be in a hurry to forget. 

 
 
 

Gunpowder

This family run restaurant serves Indian dishes inspired by the flavours of home cooking.

11 White's Row, Spitalfields, London, E1 7NF

Tube: Aldgate East Underground Station , Aldgate East Station, Aldgate Station, Liverpool Street Station

 
 

Family run, home-style restaurant Gunpowder sees head chef Nirmal Save - formerly of Mayfair's Tamarind - serve quality Indian dishes that are a far cry from the 'bucket curries' (so called by the owner) served on nearby Brick Lane. With a menu that takes inspiration from family recipes and the vibrant, confident flavours of home cooking, dishes include crispy pork ribs with tamarind kachumber, pulled duck with homemade oothappam, and organic baby chicken chargrilled in tandoori spices. Intriguing desserts include old monk rum pudding, passion fruit and mint granita, and molten spice chocolate cake with masala chai custard.

 
 
 

Petit Pois Bistro

Classic French dishes in rustic, intimate surroundings.

9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Inspired by classic French bistros, Petit Pois Bistro brings a taste of the continental to London. Sitting quietly in Hoxton Square, the understated restaurant puts the focus on good food with a philosophy of serving excellent cooking every day. Head chef Gino Tighe, formerly of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Fera at Claridges, has transformed the venue into one of London's top restaurants, leading it to win a prestigious Bib Gourmand in the 2019 Michelin Guide. Diners can choose whether to tuck into a traditional three-course meal or Parisian-style sharing plates; either way, they can rest assured that the dishes will be seasonal, classic and created using the freshest ingredients possible. The menu is regularly changing but example dishes include wild mussels with Breton cider and charred cabbage, girolles and duck hearts as well as a decadent chocolate mousse, served straight from the bowl at your table. There is a small, carefully curated wine list that draws from all regions of France and a selection of tempting cocktails, invented by the teams at renowned cocktail establishments Happiness Forgets and Original Sin.

 
 
 
 

Popolo

A taste of Italy and beyond with influences from Spain, Mexico and the Middle East.

26 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DU

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Not to be confused with the similarly named Polpo, which seem to be popping up all over the place, Popolo in Shoreditch is an independent from Jon Lawson, former chef at Theo Randall, and Munur Shah. Despite jumping on the exposed brickwork and industrial decor bandwagon, the food sets this restaurant apart. Offering 'a taste of Italy and beyond', the menu also takes influences from Spain, Mexico and the Middle East and consists of tapas style sharing plates such as pappardelle hare ragu ; risotto marinara with tiger prawns, clams and mussels; ravioli with sheep ricotta and sage butter; and chicken liver bruschetta . With Popolo meaning 'people' in Italian, it's the perfect spot to stop by and enjoy some sharing plates, which are perfectly timed and reasonably priced, with friends.

 
 
 

Smokestak

The street food favourite now has a permanent home.

35 Sclater Street, London, E1 6LB

Tube: Aldgate East Station

 
 

Having built a loyal Smokestak following on the UK festival circuit and at London's Street Feast sites, David Carter has now opened his first permanent restaurant. Found on Sclater Street in Shoreditch, just off Brick Lane, Smokestak stays local and loyal to the Hackney massive. Spread over two floors, it's designed to feel like the inside of a smoker with black carbon stained concrete walls and mild steel panelling and boasts a large open kitchen, an outdoor terrace and a cellar bar. The menu pays homage to what put Smokestak on the London street food map, giving a nod to the classics with a more rounded approach. Playing with wood, fire and smoke, David presents dishes such as smoked girolles and beef dripping toast; cured and hot smoked salmon with horseradish; USDA brisket bun and pickled red chilli; and thick-cut pork ribs and carrots with thyme and honey. Desserts, meanwhile, are the ultimate comfort food, with options such as plum crumble with malt ice cream and sticky toffee pudding with burnt butter ice cream.

 
 
 

St John Bread and Wine

A sister restaurant to the original nose-to-tail St John restaurant.

94-96 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6LZ

Tube: Aldgate East Station

 
 

St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields is the sister restaurant to Fergus Henderson's original (Michelin starred) 'nose-to-tail' restaurant, the celebrated St John next to Smithfield Market. The second restaurant, with the biblical sounding name of St John Bread and Wine, expanded from humble beginnings as a bakery into a fully fledged restaurant in 2003. The Bread and Wine restaurant is less formal and a little cheaper than the original St John, but still focuses on offal, foraged vegetables, and wonderful dishes to share including whole roasts which need to be ordered in advance. As the title suggests, baked goods and fermented grapes are specialities with fresh from the oven dough-based goodies sold on the premises. The wine list is all French covering the full spectrum from everyday drinking like Vin de Pays Cotes de Gascogne to a truly great biodynamic bottle of 1996 Ermitage from Northern Rhone. What started as a wine cellar for the restaurant has now become a supplier to fellow restaurants, private clients and members of the public with the exclusive bottles they sell perfectly complementing their food philosophy.

 
 
 

Two Lights

A neighbourhood restaurant from former Clove Club chef Chase Lovecky.

28 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DA

Tube: Old Street Station

 
 

Having honed his skills at the Michelin-starred Clove Club and Jean-Georges as well as David Chang's Momofuku Ko in New York, Chase Lovecky opened Two Lights, a neighbourhood restaurant in Shoreditch serving modern American-inspired cuisine - defined by Lovecky as a blend of Wolfgang Puck's tuna sashimi pizza, Roy Choi's Korean tacos and David Chang's Momofuku Ko. Taking inspiration from David Chang and the Clove Club along with classic French cooking, the restaurant treats diners to a creative menu featuring dishes such as Hereford beef tartare with cheddar popover and horseradish; roasted wood pigeon with pickled shallots, grilled corn and blackberries; and chilled courgette soup with ricotta, black olives and pickled fennel. For dessert there's molten chocolate cake and Guinness ice cream and blueberry lemon tart with créme fraiche. Minimalist interiors featuring exposed brickwork and industrial elements fit well with the restaurant's Shoreditch home while also allowing the food to do the talking.

 
 
 
 
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