London’s best Sunday lunches

If you’re looking for a traditional pub roast or a cracking restaurant serving Sunday lunch in style, you've come to the right place
the best sunday lunch in London, Islington Smokehouse
By Time Out London Food & Drink |
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Sunday lunch: it’s the greatest meal of the week, bar none. We’ve rounded up London’s best Sunday roasts – and a few alternative treats – from a host of homely pubs and restaurants all around town. From snug neighbourhood staples to more bijou gastropubs, we’ve got something for every taste (if that taste is for comforting mounds of carbs that’ll see you through winter). Think we've missed a great place to have Sunday lunch? Let us know in the comment box below.

Reviews by Laura Richards, Nicola Arencibia, Tania Ballantine, Megan Carnegie, Phoebe Trimingham, Hayley Joyes, Ashleigh Arnott, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Alex Plim and Alexi Duggins, Emma Hughes, Laura Price and Yolanda Zappaterra.

Looking for a tasty Sunday roast? Watch the video below on five of the best lunches in the city.

The best Sunday lunches in London

Restaurants, British

Bistro Union

icon-location-pin Clapham Park

The signature roast chicken at this laidback sibling to Adam Byatt’s Clapham flagship Trinity comes into its own on Sundays. Brought to the table with its legs in the air and surrounded by mouthwatering extras, including meaty pigs in blankets, game chips and bread sauce, it’s built to share in all its juicy crisp-skinned glory. Size wise, it’s perfect – it’s certainly filling but it won’t slay your appetite as much as roasts with more traditional trimmings. Which leaves just enough room for a classic British trifle.

Don’t miss: Start your meal with bar snacks from the brown-paper bar menu.

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Bull & Last

icon-location-pin Dartmouth Park

Oversubscribed as ever, The Bull & Last’s well-worn oak tables are in demand for good reason: this Sunday-lunch-scene fixture is the god of gastropubs. Non-trad starters like slow-cooked lamb ragu with pappardelle or English squash salad with burrata give way to pimped-up Sunday roasts, with accompaniments as enticing as the meat. Think pork belly and crackling with sauerkraut, roasties, greens and black pudding (£18.50). Indulge in the hot chocolate and peanut butter pud with roasted rum-laced bananas, and you won’t need to eat for a week.

Don’t miss You can walk off your mammoth meal on nearby Hampstead Heath.

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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Bobbin

icon-location-pin Clapham

Tucked away in a quiet residential street north of Clapham Common, this charming, understated gastropub does a cracking roast dinner within the cosy confines of its cute duck-egg blue bar and dining room. Choose from a slab of slow-roasted pork belly with homemade apple sauce (£17), half a roast chicken with house bread sauce (£17), or the pièce de résistance: roast sirloin of beef with creamy horseradish and a Yorkshire pud (£18.50). Starters and puds take inspiration from Italy and the French Riviera.

Don’t miss: A special guest draught ale in the pub’s sun-trap beer garden before your meal.

The best sunday lunches in London, Carpenter's Arms
© Ed Marshall
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Carpenter's Arms

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

Sunday lunch at this bonza boozer is a relaxed affair – at first. As the afternoon progresses, a couple of low-key locals yield to crowds of swag-carrying Brick Lane marketeers and the mood cranks up from low-key to lively. In keeping with the pub’s unpretentious ethos, the food here is more about satisfaction than aspiration. Sunday-specific options are two roasts (sirloin of beef or loin of pork, served with roasties and a Yorkshire pud), or you can order off the main menu. The cooking style is homely, with sweet-baked seasonal veg and red wine onion gravy liberally dispensed. Beef is quality topside correctly served medium; pork is tasty loin. Roasts come in two sizes: the smaller should be plenty, though note that there’s only one pudding on offer.

Don't miss: The bottled line-up includes impressive Belgian beers worth seeking out.

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Bars and pubs, Pubs

Camberwell Arms

icon-location-pin Camberwell

The Camberwell Arms takes the classic Sunday roast and moves it up a gear, with starters such as fish soup with rouille croute and comte sauce, or pig fat and scotch bonnet pepper on toast. For mains, there’s beef rump for two or rolled beef brisket. Whole spit-roast chicken and roast Welsh lamb offer a slice of tradition. We sampled the chicken for two, served on a huge white platter, piled with roast potatoes and vinaigrette-drenched lettuce leaves. Gorgeous. The pared-back, 1940s brasserie aesthetic – aubergine walls and salvaged furniture – goes well with the no-nonsense service.

Don’t miss A cracking cheese plate demands your full attention.

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Canton Arms

icon-location-pin South Lambeth

Rustic, meaty dishes, the lifeblood of contemporary British food, are served at The Canton Arms – but with the odd Italian or French flourish. Oh là là. Pasta, shellfish or warm seasonal salads and soups are the perfect way to whet the palate. Go with a big appetite and share a succulent joint (seven-hour lamb shoulder, say) or opt for a lighter risotto or fish dish (the menu changes daily). Finish with a decadent chocolate pot with cream, or a satisfyingly tart crumble. Child and dog-friendly, The Canton is popular on weekends and not the place for a rushed meal. NB: bookings are not taken.

Don’t miss The pub serves a less-usual selection of real ales such as Skinner’s Betty Stogs or Timothy Taylor Golden Best.

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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Cat & Mutton

icon-location-pin South Hackney

This East End boozer is in a prime location for wintery walks along Broadway Market. Half a roast chicken (£13.50) takes up a sizeable portion of the plate, with its skin buttery, crispy and humming with lemon and garlic. Roasted parsnips and carrots come coated in rosemary, with extra gourds in the form of butternut squash. Order cauliflower cheese on the side or save room for seasonal puds. When they’ve got deep-fried Oreos on the menu, don’t muck around: make yourself popular by ordering a couple of portions for the table. It’s the weekend, after all.

Don’t miss: Book a space upstairs, where seating is a little more comfortable and the overall vibe more relaxed.

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

The Cow

icon-location-pin Westbourne Grove

West London’s The Cow is known for putting the ‘gastro’ in gastropub, and blazing the trail for high-quality pub dining in London. These days, the menu is a mix of Continental and British Isles styles, with a proper sit-down roast served in the upstairs dining room on Sundays. Said roast is a no-choice affair, but when the only option is usually a beautifully cooked forerib of beef with Yorkshire pudding, roasties, carrots and horseradish cream, no one’s complaining.

Don’t miss Get a seat by the roaring open fire. Or a round of oysters when in season.

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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Culpeper

icon-location-pin Whitechapel

You have to be an early bird to catch the rotating roast – lamb, chicken or pork – from this ice-cool east-end gastropub, complete with made-to-order Yorkies, fluffy roast potatoes, carrots glazed in the meat juices, and greens grown just a few floors up on the roof garden. If you miss out, don’t despair: you could always plump for a bavette steak with pomme anna chips and horseradish. Enjoy it either in the airy ground-floor pub, whose bare bricks, eclectic vintage chairs and industrial lighting reference a hip New York loft, or in the equally stylish turquoise- and mustard-accented first-floor dining room.

Don’t miss: A cocktail apéritif on the roof in summer.

The best sunday lunches in London, Crabtree
© The Crabtree
Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

The Crabtree

icon-location-pin Fulham

This riverside gastropub doesn’t just rely on its location for custom. On Sundays, the kitchen goes out of its way to keep up with demand for its roasts, with fresh joints cooked from scratch several times throughout service to ensure your cut is juicy regardless of when you order. Whether you opt for rump of beef (£17), Suffolk farm chicken with chipolatas (£15.50) or pork belly with apple sauce (£16) your plate will come piled high with roasties, Yorkshire pudding and seasonal veg, and doused in red-wine gravy.

Don’t miss: A spell in the appealing pub garden, with its prime views of the Thames.

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Find more Sunday lunches in London

Make the most of your Sunday

The top 10 brunches in London, Beagle
© Jamie Lau
Restaurants

The best brunches in London

Brunch in London is bigger than ever. You can bearly set foot out your front door at the weekend without stumbling across a steaming pan of shakshuka or finding the waft of waffles in the air. So let us guide you to the best spots in town for a kick-ass weekend brunch in London, from boozy bottomless brunches to traditional Full English fry-ups and even New York-style feasts, you can start off your weekend in style. 

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