During their lunch break, businesspeople in pleated pants and skirts quietly turn onto Ironmonger Ln. for one of the only nonchain restaurants in the area. The goods? Bánh mi and perfectly cooked rice noodle dishes. As opposed to the Vietnamese food stalls you’ll find in Brick Ln. or Camden, this small, modern joint reflects its yuppie clientele in presentation (even though the prices don’t require a Centurion Card).
*Tube: Bank. Head down Poultry away from the stop, then turn right onto Ironmonger Ln. Bánh mì £4. Other dishes £4-6. ~ Open M-F 11:30am-3pm. www.citycaphe.com
*Tube: Hammersmith. Take the south exit from the Hammersmith shopping center toward the London Apollo and follow Queen Caroline St. Reservations recommended 3 days in advance. Mezze 1 fo £4, 3 for £10, 5 for £15. Entrees £11-14. Open M-F noon-2:30pm and 6-10pm, Sa 6-11pm. www.thegate.tv
*Tube: Barbican. Turn left onto Goswell Rd., left onto Great Sutton St., and left onto Sutton Ln. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast, sandwiches, and lunch dishes £4-8.50. ~ Open M-F 8am-6pm, Sa-Su 9am-5pm
Coach and Horses
*Tube: Farringdon. Walk north on Farringdon Rd. and turn left onto Ray St. Appetizers £4.75-7.25. Main courses £11-15. ~ Open M-F noon-11pm. Kitchen open noon-3pm and 5-10pm. www.thecoachandhorses.com
The Clerkenwell Kitchen
*Tube: Farringdon. Turn right onto Cowcross St., right onto Farringdon Rd., right onto Pear Tree Ct., and right onto Clerkenwell Close. Walk straight as if still on Pear Tree Ct. If you see the church, you’ve gone too far. Main courses £7.80-12. ~ Open M-F 8am-5pm. www.theclerkenwellkitchen.co.uk
*Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Go down Glasshouse St., keep right onto Sherwood St., and turn left onto Brewer St. Dishes £2 (4-5 dishes make a good meal). Sushi combos from £6. ~ Open M-Sa noon-10pm. www.kulukulu.co.uk
Monmouth Coffee Company
*Tube: Leicester Sq. Turn right and then left onto Upper St. Martin’s Ln., which becomes Monmouth St. Coffee £2.50. Baked goods £1.50-2. ~ Open M-Sa 8am-6:30pm. www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk
*Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Turn left down Piccadilly. Afternoon tea £40-50 per person. ~ Open M-Sa noon-9pm, Su noon-8pm. www.fortnumandmason.com
*Tube: Victoria. Turn left onto Buckingham Palace Rd., then right onto Elizabeth St. Loaves generally from £4-10. Walnut bread £4.50. ~ Open M-F 7:30am-7pm, Sa 7:30am-3pm. www.poilane.com
*Tube: Victoria. Wilton Rd. runs behind the station, toward Pimlico, away from Buckingham Palace. Takeout available. Main dishes £5-7.50. Coffee from £2. ~ Open M-F 7:30am-7:30pm, Sa-Su 9am-6pm.
*Tube: Waterloo. Walk toward the main roundabout and onto Waterloo Rd., then turn right onto Upper Ground. Pies £4.25; with gravy, mashed potatoes, and mushy peas £5.95. ~ Open daily 10am-6pm. www.pieminister.co.uk
*Tube: Southwark. Walk down Blackfriars Rd. toward the river, then turn right onto Southwark Rd. and left onto Canvey St. Sushi boxes £4-6. Katsu £6. ~ Open M-F 11am-9pm, Sa noon-9pm. www.tsuru-sushi.co.uk
Buona Sera Jam
*Tube: Sloane Sq. Exit the Tube and head straight down Sloane Sq. Turn onto King’s Rd., which slants gently off to the left. Alternatively, take bus #11, 19, 22, 211, or 319. Salads £5. Pasta and risotto £9. Meat and fish entrees £14. ~ Open M-F noon-11pm, Sa-Su noon-10:30pm.
*Tube: South Kensington. Exit down Old Brompton Rd. The restaurant is on the right. Appetizers £5.50-10. Main courses £11-22. ~ Open daily 11am-11pm. www.bumpkinuk.com
My Old Dutch Pancake House
*Tube: Sloane Sq. Exit the Tube and go straight down Sloane Sq. The street slanting gently left is King’s Rd. Pancakes £5-9. ~ Open M-F 10am-9:30pm, Sa-Su 9am-9:45pm. www.myolddutch.com
*Tube: Notting Hill Gate. Make a right down Pembridge Rd., which will turn into Pembridge Villas, and then a left onto Chepstow Rd. Takeaway available. Gluten-free and vegetarian options always available. Slices £3.85-4.95; half pizza £10; whole pizza (serves 2-3) £18. ~ Open M-F noon-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm, Sa noon-11pm, Su noon-10pm. www.ottopizza.co.uk
*Tube: Bayswater. Turn left onto Queensway, left onto Moscow Rd., and right onto Hereford toward Westbourne Grove. Starters £2-5. Main courses £6-9. Lunch special £4.50. ~ Open M-Th noon-2:30pm and 5:30-11:30pm, F 5:30-11:30pm, Sa-Su noon-2:30pm and 5:30-11:30pm. www.durbartandoori.co.uk
*Tube: Bayswater. Turn left out of the station onto Queensway, then turn left again onto Westbourne Grove. The gelateria is on the left. 1 scoop £3, 2 scoops £4, 3 scoops £5. ~ Open M-Th 10:30am-11:30pm, F-Sa 10:30am-12:30am, Su 10:30am-midnight. www.snowflakegelato.co.uk
*Tube: Baker St. Turn left onto Marylebone Rd., right onto Marylebone High St., and right again onto Moxon St. Cheese prices vary wildly. Small cheese plate £8.75; large £13.50. Wine pairings by the glass £5-10. Open M-F 8am-7:30pm, Sa 9am-7pm, Su 10am-6pm. www.lafromagerie.co.uk
*Tube: Euston Square. Take the Euston Rd. exit, turn right onto Euston Rd., then right onto North Gower St. Speedy’s is on the left. Entrees £6-8. ~ Open M-F early-3:30pm, Sa early-1:30pm. www.speedyscafe.co.uk
*Tube: Goodge St. Turn left onto Tottenham Court Rd., left onto Tottenham St., left onto Charlotte St., and right onto Rathbone St. Enter through the corridor next to the entrance to the pub. Pies £10-12.50. Desserts £4.50. Pints from £3.50. ~ Open M-F noon-3pm and 6-10pm. www.newmanarms.co.uk
*Tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras. Make a left leaving the station, stay on Euston as it turns into Pentonville Rd., then make a right onto King’s Cross Rd. The restaurant is on the corner with Acton St. Sushi from £3.80. Sushi combos from £15. Entrees £9.50-£10. ~ Lunch M-F noon-3pm. Dinner daily 6pm-10:30pm. www.shibuyalondon.co.uk
La Creperie de Hampstead
*Tube: Hampstead. Turn left onto Hampstead High St. No seating. Most crepes from £3.90-4.50. ~ Open M-Th 11:45am-11pm, F-Su 11:45am-11:30pm.
*Tube: Angel. Exit and turn right onto Upper St. Starters £4. Main courses £9. Desserts £3. ~ Open M-Sa noon-1am, Su noon-11:30pm. www.lemercury.co.uk
*Tube: Camden High St. Turn left onto Camden High St., left onto Camden Rd., and left onto Kentish Town Rd. Lunch entrees £7.50-9. Dinner entrees £11-15. ~ Open daily noon-11pm. www.mangoroom.co.uk
*Tube: Aldgate East. Turn left onto Whitechapel Rd., left onto Osborn St., then continue onto Brick Ln. Free Wi-Fi. Live bands on Tu (rock) and W (folk and jazz). Swing dancing classes Th 11am-5pm. Club night F-Su 7pm-midnight. Cover £3-5 after midnight. Burger and chips £5. Coffee £1.20-2. ~ Open daily 7am-midnight, often stays open all night F-Su. www.cafe1001.co.uk
*Tube: Hoxton. Make a left after leaving the station, then a right onto Cremer St., and a left onto Kingsland Rd. Starters £2-5. Main courses £5-9. ~ Open M-Sa noon-11pm, Su noon-10pm. www.mientay.co.uk
*Tube: Brixton. Make a left leaving the Tube, a quick left onto Electric Ave., then a right onto Electric Ln., and a left onto Market Row. Pizza £4.50-7. Open M noon-5pm, Tu-Sa noon-11pm, Su noon-10:30pm. www.francomanca.co.uk
*Tube: Brixton. Make a left leaving the Tube and continue as the road becomes Brixton Hill. Delivery and takeaway available. No alcohol served, but you can BYOB for a £2.50 corkage charge per person. Entrees £7-12. Open M-F 5-10pm, Sa-Su 10am-10pm.
*Tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market. Make a right down Uxbridge Rd. when leaving the station, then walk about 15min. and make a left down Askew Rd. You can also take Bus #207 to the beginning of Askew Rd. Starters £2-4. Entrees £7-13. ~ Open daily noon-11pm. www.sufirestaurant.com