Ottolenghi is the place that made London fall in love with salad, firing dozens of fresh flavours onto each plate in a way that wasn’t just healthy but also exciting. Salads are the main draw here as at the other Ottolenghi venues, and a selection of three makes a satisfying lunch. But the first thing you see is the beautiful spread of cakes and pastries in the front window, and you should give in to temptation. If there are two of you, try to snag one of the small tables rather than sit at the long ones that provide most of the seating.
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Want professionally-made food seasoned with your own vague sense of pride? Then order a DIY meal from one of these restaurants.
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Earl of Essex
With twenty brews on tap daily, Earl of Essex is a beer lover’s heaven. Come with friends, and don’t forget to order a basket of cheese fries.
Shambol Shiok is a neighbourhood favourite serving Malay specialties on the Holloway Road. Come for the laksa and stay for the shrimp sweats.
The Albion is a pub in Barnsbury with some great outdoor space, an excellent drinks selection, and some tasty food options.
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Jolene is a bakery, café, and restaurant on Newington Green serving very nice, very grainy, very wholesome breakfast, lunch and (on some days) dinner.
Coleman Coffee Roasters
Coleman Coffee Roasters is a picture-perfect coffee shop near Waterloo with a nice patio area at the back.
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Llerena is a straightforward but excellent tapas spot in Islington, serving products direct from the family farm in Extremadura, southwest of Madrid.
The Wet Fish Cafe
Wet Fish is a posh neighbourhood cafe in Hampstead serving food that’s way better than you’d expect.
The Stag is the perfect pub: it’s old, it has a friendly atmosphere, it serves a large selection of beers and they do an great Sunday roast.
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