London's best comfort food

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Cold and hungry? Ease the misery of winter with London's best comfort food

From stodgy puddings and bowls of hot noodle broth to classic British fish and chips, the capital has options to satisfy any comfort food craving. Our food and drink editors have been cosying up with the most warming comfort dishes that London has to offer.


The best comfort food in London

  • Arctic roll at Union Jacks

    4 Central St Giles Piazza, 1 St Giles High Street, London, WC2H 8LA

    Jamie Oliver’s new gaff sees him and his army of helpers piling British ingredients on to pizza bases; a very modern mash-up, but the puds are more traditional. Surprisingly, he’s ignored the chance for a bit of Sid James humour and overlooked the spotted dick, but there’s Arctic roll – that combination of sponge, ice cream and fruit last seen on a Bird’s Eye ad during a break in ‘Knight Rider’. Handmade in Oliver’s kitchen, it will banish all unpleasant memories of school dinners and take you to a happier time.
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  • Chicken soup and kosher sandwiches at Deli West One

    51 Blandford Street, London, W1U 7JH

    Chicken soup just like bubbie (granny) makes, and fat sandwiches the size of the rabbi’s Volvo – it takes you straight back to a Jewish childhood, even if you didn’t have one. And the best place for it is this new kosher deli, just north of Oxford Street. It’s not the place for a quiet, discreet date though – half of Golders Green passes through this tiny sandwich shop most weeks. But for comfort food, and maybe bumping into old friends, this is the place in central London.
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  • Fish and chips at Poppies

    6-8 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR

    The quintessential British combo and the one tourists put at the top of their must-try meals when they visit: keep national pride intact and send them here if ever asked for a recommendation. Poppies is a perfect mix of posh and pukka: bang in the East End but a short stroll from Old Spitalfields Market and the City. The faultless cooking is overseen by ‘Pop’ Newland, a longstanding cockney fryer, but all fish is sustainably caught. A fish supper from here is a pat on the back, a warm hug and a reassuring wink all rolled into one.
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  • Fish pie at Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

    11-15 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DG

    Bentley’s is a venerable Theatreland restaurant we hope stays unchanged forever, and the fish pie is its most famous dish. Luxurious yet unchallenging, stuffed with first-class seafood and swimming in a creamy sauce, it’s the perfect meal to enjoy with a bottle of green Tabasco and a glass of stout.
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  • Hot noodles with hot broth at Koya

    49 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SG

    Thick, chewy wheat noodles submerged in a piping hot and savoury broth –it doesn’t get much better than this Japanese comfort food on a wintry night. Koya’s bowls of steaming udon are real tummy warmers, and we love the combination featuring earthy mushrooms and walnut miso in a hot broth.
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  • Mince and tatties at Dean Street Townhouse

    69-71 Dean Street, London, W1D 4QJ

    The mere thought that a humble Scottish staple like mince and tatties would be served in a smart Soho brasserie for £13.50 would no doubt have Pa Broon spluttering into his tea in disbelief, but here it is. It’s a modern enough rendering to have cemented its place as a fixture on the menu, but is also traditional enough to keep purists happy. Minced beef with stock, carrots and onions, a bit of subtle seasoning and a few tatties – it’s a Scottish national dish you can eat all year round.
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  • Mongolian hotpot at Little Lamb

    72 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6NA

    This is a classic way to stay warm while eating yourself into a satisfied stupor – a bubbling pot of broth is placed on the table, into which you dip pieces of meat, seafood and vegetables in to cook to your liking. It’s a fun, messy and communal affair, best enjoyed with a big group of friends.
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  • Pie and mash at Mother Mash

    26 Ganton Street, London, W1F 7QZ

    As a cockney cliché, pie and mash should be as comforting as watching repeats of ‘Only Fools and Horses’. But the sad reality is that many of London’s traditional pie-and-mash shops have sacrificed ingredient quality in the rush to undercut prices. Not so at Mother Mash, which neatly reinvents pie and mash with dashes of modernity, such as horseradish mash, or pumpkin and goat’s cheese pie. But for the traditionalists, we can recommend the steak and ale pie, with the classic mash of potato, milk and butter. The interior is suitably spick and span, white-tiled and wipe-clean.
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  • Puddings at Stockpot

    18 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TN

    Could you ask for a spotted dick without a few creaselines appearing around your laughing gear? If so, then this is the place to head for retro puds with lashings of custard. The 1970s school dinner favourites such as rice pudding, golden sponge, and jelly with ice-cream desserts rarely stray over £3. They’re served in the timeless setting of a Soho caff that has seen the fashion of the past four decades come and go, and continues to blithely ignore them.
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Users say

3 comments
Mint
Mint

I've been many times to Brazas restaurant in Brixton/Tulse Hill and I couldn't agree more - the food is fantastic! But I have to give a special mention to the cakes which are the most deeeelicious!!!! I've never been disappointed with the food or friendly service on any occasion.

fluffy_mike
fluffy_mike

My favourite chicken and chips comes from Brazas restaurant in Brixton (on Tulse Hill not far from the junction with Brixton Water Lane). This family-run Portuguese place provides generous portions of fiery hot chicken, with crispy chips and tasty salsa on the side. Delicious every time :-)

David L
David L

Have to big up 'Something Fishy' in Lewisham centre by the market. Great fish and chips. Also big up the Honor Oak fish and chips at 56 Honor Oak Park SE23. Great fish and chips freshly fried to order.