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Four volumes of SUITCASE Magazine, with a new issue delivered to your door each quarter
Love it or loathe it, London is fast becoming a no reservation zone with restaurants embracing the British tradition of a good old queue.
MEATliquor We’re all familiar with the sight of a hungry after-work rabble queuing around the block outside of MEAT Liquor by now. We know the deal already, they don’t do reservations but they certainly do serve very large portions of American fare and killer cocktails, which keeps the crowds coming back. You’ll be lucky not to join the end of a winding line if you come here for dinner but we still recommend it if you need to take the edge off a hangover, or are just really hungry. ADDRESS: 74 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 0BA Nearest Tube: Bond Street
KEU This light and bright Vietnamese deli just opened up its second location on Poland street (directly across from the SUITCASE Magazine HQ), and is famous for its bánh mì sandwiches – an exceptionally crusty baguette filled with marinated meat, lightly pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. Perched on a counter that runs around the windows of the restaurant, lunch-goers can be seen every day, huddling over a sandwich or pulling noodles out of a big bowl of soup, steaming up the windows. ADDRESS: 332 Old Street, London EC1V 9DR and 9 Poland Street, London W1F 8PY Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
BONE DADDIES Ross Shonhan – formerly of both Nobu and Zuma – has fashioned his own little slice of Japan in Soho with the ramen run powerhouse that is Bone Daddies. Take a seat on a stool and feast on indulgent dishes of tonkotsu, a ramen which is made with pork bones that have been simmered for 20 hours or nibble on their cock scratchings (we’ll let you work out what they are). This is a strictly no reservation zone so take your chances and turn up at the door. ADDRESS: 31 Peter Street, London, W1F 0AR Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
KOYA Koya’s minimalist interior hints at the stripped-back nature of the menu, which concentrates on the Japanese udon wheat noodle. Blonde wood tables and chalkboard menus straddle the restaurant in a way that is semi-reminiscent of a classroom. Neither Koya nor its sister establishment, Koya Bar, which sits next door take reservations so arrive early to avoid a noodle-less night. Best for a sophisticated lunch with friends. ADDRESS: 49 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SG Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road
PITT CUE & CO Nestled behind the always-busy Carnaby Street, the 30-seat Pitt Cue & Co thrives off business from hungry shoppers and locals alike. This former food-van-cum-restaurant serves up messy but finger lickin’ good barbecued meats as well as a bar offering bourbon cocktails. With limited space, Pitt Cue & Co operates on a first come, first serve basis. ADDRESS: 1 Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RB Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
DUCK SOUP An eclectic and seasonal menu that changes daily makes every experience at Duck Soup different. This small and cosy restaurant in the heart of Soho is our kind of quirky. While you’re there make sure to play DJ and browse their vinyl collection for your own soundtrack. Best for a relaxing night out with friends or family. NOTE: you can book for groups larger than eight. ADDRESS: 41 Dean Street, London, W1D 4PY Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
SPUNTINO With no telephone, your only options it to turn up at the door at Russell Norman’s Spuntino. Taking a culinary cue from East Coast cuisine, try Spuntino’s Mac N’ Cheese and Prawn Po’ Boy for a taste of the USA in Soho. Best for a post-pub meal with friends. ADDRESS: 61 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 7PW Nearest tube: Leicester Square
10 GREEK STREET Chalkboard menus, neutral coloured walls and wooden chairs adorn 10 Greek Street, a Soho eatery which specialises in simple dishes done well. 10 Greek Street’s ever-changing menu undulates between big gamey flavours and delicate fish. If you can’t fathom waiting for your dinner, they do take reservations for lunch. ADDRESS: 10 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DH Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road
FLAT IRON Feeling like a spontaneous steak night but don’t have a booking anywhere? Then Flat Iron is your place. No reservations, remarkable steak cooked to a ‘T’ and specials such as Wagyu beef make Flat Iron a triple threat in our minds. Make sure you order a side of the aubergine bake. Not recommended for veggies. ADDRESS: 17 Beak Street, London, W1F 9RW and 9 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8LS Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
PIZZA PILGRIMS Pizza Pilgrims was the brainchild of two brothers who decided to quit their jobs and open a restaurant. After travelling around Italy they opened a mobile pizza van which has since expanded to two restaurants – one on Dean Street and another on Kingly Street. The pizza here is so good that it could easily justify a pilgrimage across the country for a slice. ADDRESS: 11 Dean Street, London W1D 3RP and 11 Kingly St, London, W1B 5PW Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
THE ANCHOR & HOPE Dreaming of a weekend in the country but can’t get out of the city? Then head to the Anchor & Hope pub which serves up hearty pub grub just south of the river. While they take reservations for their Sunday dinner, any other day has a no reservation policy. ADDRESS: 36 The Cut, London, SE1 8LP Nearest Tube: Southwark
TOMMI’S BURGER JOINT Hailed as serving one of London’s best burgers, Tommi’s no fuss approach to dining has made it popular with those looking to unwind with a burger in hand. Their Kings Road location takes same day bookings for groups of 5 or more, but otherwise, its up to you. ADDRESS: 342 Kings Road, London, SW3 5UR and 30 Thayer Street, London, W1U 2QP Nearest tube: South Kensington
OPERA TAVERN From the team behind Salt Yard and Dehesa comes Opera Tavern, a decadent tapas restaurant. While reservations are taken, the Opera Tavern saves its downstairs tables and counter seats for walk-ins, making it the perfect place for a pre-theatre snack or two. ADDRESS: 23 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JS Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
MORITO Morito’s unceasing popularity is both a blessing and a curse. While a queue stretching outside the venue might not be the most appealing feature, you can be assured that this is only a sign of the restaurants consistent reputation of supplying top class meze and tapas dishes. Bookings are taken for lunch but dinner is a first come, first serve affair, though staff are more than willing to let you decamp and will ring when space is available. Best for an animated dinner with old friends or family. ADDRESS: 32 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE Nearest Tube: Barbican
POLPO Polpo’s heritage as a Venetian bacaro guarantees that you’ll sample simple but tasty fare designed for sharing alongside young wines. Originating in Soho, Polpo has stretched across London demonstrating that its continued popularity has proven profitable. Try the restaurant’s namesake braised octopus for the ultimate experience. While there are no reservations taken for evening sittings, you can book for lunch. Hooray! Best for a catch up. LOCATIONS: Soho, Covent Garden, Notting Hill, Smithfield
BARRAFINA Wearing its new Michelin star like a shiny badge, Barrafina’s Frith Street address is now joined by a sister site in Covent Garden which is surely hoping to join in the success. Run and owned by restaurateurs Sam and Eddie Hart, Barrafina was one of the first upscale eateries to embrace the good old British tradition of a queue. Dishes which are certainly worth the wait include the milk-fed lamb, jamón and spinach tortilla and tuna tartar. Best to impress. LOCATIONS: 54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SL and 10 Adelaide Street, London, WC2N 4HZ Nearest tubes: Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square
Patty & Bun Another street food success story, Patty & Bun now has two prime position locations ready to serve juicy burgers to the demanding public. While their burgers are the main event, make sure to order a side of their BBQ chicken wings which are unbelievably good. While Patty & Bun don’t take reservations, we can confirm that the wait is definitely worth it. Trust us. Best for a shopping pit stop. LOCATIONS: 54 James Street (behind Selfridges), London, W1U 1HE and 22/23 Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7PD Nearest tubes: Bond Street and Liverpool Street
DIRTY BURGER You know when something is so wrong but it just feels so right? Well, that’s the sinful sensation that Dirty Burger specialises in. If you’re looking to get messy, then just head over to one of their shacks without calling ahead for a meaty miracle. LOCATIONS: Vauxhall, Kentish Town, Shoreditch, Whitechapel
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