Four classic London neighbourhood eateries


Sure, we like to talk about the food scene in King’s Cross. But where else do we rate a mile or two beyond?



HACKNEY: Pidgin

Hard to get a table - but worth it. Photo: Pidgin
Hard to get a table – but worth it. Photo: Pidgin
This tiny sought-after Wilton Way restaurant won its first Michelin star this autumn – and rightly so. It’s the perfect London destination: tucked away, minimal, run by a small but passionate team, and at the vanguard of cooking. The menu changes weekly: we enjoyed attractive plates including scallops with crispy pig’s ear and rosy lamb. The only downside can be slowish service. £40 for four courses. Info. 52 Wilton Way E8

KENTISH TOWN: Anima e Cuore

Tuna tartare with cucmber sorbet. Photo: SE
Tuna tartare with cucmber sorbet. Photo: Stephen Emms
It’s north London not-so best kept secret. Book way ahead at this gelateria-cum-dining room for superior tuna tartare with cucumber sorbet, salt cod three ways, or the best home-made ragu in town. The black truffle pasta – a seasonal special – is both generous and decadent. Plus it’s BYO so you can bring your preferred vino to wash it down with. 129 Kentish Town Rd NW1

COVENT GARDEN: Condesa

A laidback joint with a local fee. Photo: Condesa
A laidback joint with a local fee. Photo: Condesa
Yes, we know very few people now live in WC2, but everything about this new Mexican-Spanish discovery on Maiden Lane hints at neighbourhood tapas bar rather than tourist dive. Take a stool at the dimly lit counter and try something from the blackboard (solomillo sliders with Iberian tenderloin manchego and wasabi mustard, say), or small plates prepared by the hard-working solo chef behind the counter. Salmon and avocado tartar, octopus ceviche and the pan con tomate were all exemplary. Info. 15 Maiden Lane WC2

BETHNAL GREEN: Marksman

Mackerel with gooseberry. Photo: SE
Mackerel with gooseberry. Photo: Stephen Emms
The real deal: an east end pub with a mixed crowd of local boozers, visitors and hipsterish types. Recommended is the pillowy sourdough and butter, while the cured mackerel, kohlrabi and gooseberry was a thing of beauty. Other highlights include smoked haddock fritters with saffron, which just pipped the puffball mushroom with Tamworth ham to the post. And you must try the fried potatoes with burnt onion mayo. Info. 254 Hackney Rd E2


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