Are you fed up with the charmless restaurants in the centre of London with their boring food and crappy service? If so, then head east to the area around Exmouth Market and Clerkenwell - a clean, traffic-free, relaxed neighbourhood brimming with top-class restaurants. I've given examples of the food and an average price for a starter and main course, as well as the price of house wine at each venue.
Nearest tube Angel or jump aboard the 19 or 38 bus and you will be there in 10 minutes.
Dollar Swanky American-style restaurant (The Editor of Iceland Review recently had a number of cocktails in here and from the look on her face, they were good!).
Starter £5, Half a dozen French de Claire oysters served over ice with shallot vinegar - £7.50
Main £8.50-£15, Monkfish with Spinach, Mustard Mash, Shrimp & Lemon Butter
Cocktails £4.80 til 8pm!!
Moro Highly acclaimed modern Moroccan/Spanish - need to book for restaurant, otherwise they also do good-value tapas at bar.
Starter £5-7, Cecina-oak smoked beef with beetroot, broad beans & almond sauce
Main £15 av. Wood roasted Middle white pork with patatas alinadas – warm potato, mantilla vinegar & new season onion salad
Puds £5, Rosewater & Cardamon Ice cream
The Ambassador Light & airy brasserie with eccentric British food - foodie friends have given it good reviews
Starter £4.50-8.50, Nettle Soup, Squid & Pig’s Cheek Casserole
Main £9.50-17.50, Grilled onglet steak, Swiss chard & bone marrow gremolata
Cottons Caribbean Restaurant - well why not?
Starter £5, Salt fish fritters, Ackee & Saltfsh wrappers in a banana leaf and served with dumplings.
Main £12, Roast Pork Belly, Curried Goat, Jerk Meat
Little Bay Kitsch, quirky and cheap little French restaurant – you will not find better value for money in London!! See www.littlebay.co.uk for their other restaurants around London.
Starter £3, Duck, Fig & Dry Cranberry Terrine
Main £8, Roast Shoulder of Pork
Medcalf Excellent and interesting British food - no complaints, which is unusual for me. www.medcalfbar.co.uk
Starter £5.50, Prawn, Coconut and Lemongrass Soup, Salt & Pepper Squid
Main £12, Pork Belly, Crackling, Mash & Mustard Greens, Fishy Pie & Mushy Peas
The Quality Chop House Re-invented British cuisine, compartment tables.
Starter £4-8, Jellied Eels, Potted Shrimps, Snails
Main £7-19, London’s Noted Salmon Fishcake / Sausages, Bubble & Squeak & Onion Gravy
The Fish Shop on St John's Street Fine British fish & seafood restaurant. Useful if you're going to Sadler's Wells Theatre.
Starters £6 av. Fish Chowder, Grilled squid, chorizo, endives, sweet chilli sauce
Main £10-24, Fish of the Day -£11, Roasted cod, braised celery, broad beans, peas, lardons, thyme sauce
Wine £14 (all white or fizz)
The following 3 sections encompass an area just south of Exmouth Market and are accessible via Farringdon Tube station or by the number 55 bus.
St John’s Street & Clerkenwell
The Peasant Gastropub, restaurant upstairs
Starters £6 av. Organic salmon tempura with avocado, fermented barley dressing and crispy red onion rings.
Main £10-15, Pan-fried free range chicken breast with chorizo and sweet potato mash and Gai Lan
The Real Greek Simple Greek food, Brasserie style - it was surprisingly good. See www.therealgreek.co.uk for their other locations.
Meze for 6 £32, Humus, dolmades, tzatziki etc
Souvlaki £5 av. Greek Salad £3.75, 18 meat skewers £29
Wine £12, Retsina £14.50
Pho Low-priced modern Thai Café
Pho Rice Noodle Soup £7, also curries and noodles
“Without fail, delicious food at sensible prices” Metro
St. John Eccentric Traditional British
Starter £6, Crispy Pig’s Ear & Dandelion, Braised Squid & Aioli
Main £15 av. Snail, Sausage & Chickpea, Guinea Fowl & Fennel
Pud £6, Nectarine Upside Down Cake & Jersey Cream
Private Dining Room available and Roast Suckling Pig if ordered in advance
Comptoir Gascon Bordeaux & South West French cuisine - different, not your usual French fayre.
Starters £5 av. Piggy Treats, Potted Duck Rillettes
Main £6-13, Warm Pumpkin Salad with fromage frais, Pan-fried Bream, asparagus and black olives, 7 hrs lamb shank and barigoule, Beef onglet sauce Bordelaise
Wine £7.50 for 46cl or from £14
Beduin Moroccan Bar/Restaurant
Meze - £18 for four or Spanish Tapas at £4-5 per tapa
Main £7-10 – Tagines, Lamb or Chicken
Shisha Pipe £11.25
L’Abbaye Moules & Beer Brasserie
£10 Mussels with frites and mayonnaise
Flaneur Food Hall “This food-hall restaurant is charming, with its Wonderland atmosphere and enthusiastic staff. The food is impeccably fresh, but the menu, though simple, is more than an assemble of provisions. It’s Mod-Med food, and someone in that kitchen can cook.” TimeOut
Starter £5-9, Warm salad of lambs' sweetbreads with green beans, hazelnuts, apple & dandelion leaves, Deep-fried sprats with aioli
Main £12-15, Fillet of Duke of Berkshire pork with peas, broad beans, parsley & summer truffle, Roast breast of organic chicken with black pudding, potatoes, spinach & parsley with truffle oil
Tas Turkish - healthy, inventive, cheap and quite delicious. See www.tas.co.uk for their other locations, especially the one in near the British Museum.
2 course menus from £8.75, Humus/Tabule/Salad/Soup followed by Kofte, Shish, etc
Wine £12 (they also do drinkable fizz at £15 a bottle)