For a lesson in how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, head to Spuntino. A challenge to find (look for ‘number 61’), the venue is laid out as a bar – and a tiny one at that, with a smattering of fixed, backless seats allowing diners to perch along the counter.
This is no wholesome 1950s-style diner, but a dark, grungy space where dim lights dangle in cages, the walls are cracked and battered, and the staff sport daring tattoos under flimsy vests (and that’s just the girls). The anti-establishment vibe trickles into the menu, which is Italian-American with plenty of ‘additude’. Served mostly on all-the-rage enamelled tin dishes, food features big bold flavours packed into tiny portions: from our dinky slider (mini-burger), filled with moist pulled pork and pickled apple, to a black-edged pizzetta (mini-pizza) topped with long stems of pleasantly bitter cicoria (Italian dandelion), thin salami slices and a hit of chilli.
The salads are equally innovative, as seen in a tumble of kohlrabi (a mild turnip) and apple with crumbly feta, hazelnuts and black sesame seeds. Only dessert proved a let-down; our chocolate, pecan and bourbon cake had plenty of nuts but no discernible liquor. We wondered whether the bartenders had necked it on the sly.
61 Rupert Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-12.45am Mon-Sat; noon-11pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube|
|Price:||Main courses £5-£10Meal for two with wine and service: around £60|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
- 5 star:20
- 4 star:9
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:9
- 1 star:16
Fantastic experience at Spunito! The food was amazing, especially the sliders. The staff are brilliant and the cocktails are good too.
Great little place for a casual eat and chill out. Cosy and friendly atmosphere with really good food and drink to match. This place will be top of my list next time I am in London.
Best mac and cheese ever..! Would go back (and have) for this alone. Super tasty American comfort food done in snack size portions and easy to share. You can end up waiting a while for a seat however as space is limited. But the cocktails are worth the wait and service is fast due to the majority of the menu being fried. The fried chicken is also a hit... And the pizza... And the sliders... actually it's all really great. Young, fun crowd and really friendly staff.
I looooooved this place - go for brunch, as there's no queue and this is good comfort food. The interior is excellent and so Brooklyn. I wrote about it here, with lots of photos: http://hyhoi.com/2014/05/spuntino-small-mighty-brooklyn-diner-soho/
Have You Heard Of It? blogger | HYHOI.com
Wow, what a disappointment. There's a thing in london recently, where we take food from other countries that would be considered street or junk food there, and available for tiny prices, and then decorate the restaurant in a 'cool' style, and then knowingly crank up the price 5-10 times...with a knowing wink, In England, we don't quite get food, we knowingly and snobbishly enjoy junk food, but only as long as the surroundings and prices are made as middle class and knowing as possible. Eating a McDonald's is frowned on, but when it's a middle class burger, (the same thing, only 5 times the price, half the size and served in somewhere with ironic exposed brick walls) we'll happily pay whatever we're asked. To be honest, I'm sick of it and spuntino is as bad an example as I've ever seen. The tiny portions and pretension is maddening, it thinks it's a burger joint in downtown LA, but it isn't, it's as real as a place in chessington world of adventures.. A totally caricature, where they rob you blind at the end. I didn't spend £90 like the person above (I assume he had beer or an alcoholic drink), but without any alcoholic drinks, still racked up a 70 pound bill, was hungry at the end, and far from convinced that it was any better than going to wether spoons for lunch. Avoid.
Visited 14/12/13 - Nice food but got so irritated the guy who served us - I got up to go to the toilet and the über-hipster barman with massive ginger moustache shouted at me a number of times "CAN I HELP YOU SIR?" as if I were at school and had not asked the teacher's permission to leave my desk. I ignored him so he darted across the bar to intercept me and ask where I was going. First, the restaurant is basically one room and two WCs so the toilet is the only place I could have been going. Second, the toilets were clearly for customer use. Anyone who knows the layout of the place would know there are only two reasons to leave your seat - either to leave the restaurant or to go to the toilet and I was clearly doing the latter. I removed the tip from the bill. Hire people based in their self awareness - not how Hoxton they look.
Timeout should really make it's writers pay for their own meals - it would really change the way they review restaurants. Spuntino definitely has a vibe - but the prices are absolutely outrageous. - especially considering this is essentially fast food and slightly tarted up bar snacks. To be full you need 4 -5 dishes each, (they tell you 3-4 but that's optimistic) ... but when a pizza the size of a saucer costs £9, and 6 aubergine 'chips' costs a fiver, and the burger 'slider' is the size of a canapé, expect a massive bill and a feeling of intense frustration at the end of your £90+ meal. You will have been absolutely had; paying premium prices for food that is available on every street corner in America for $1-2. Even the beer, at £4.50 is only the size of a can of coke. Go down the road to honest burger, and get a far better, timeout approved, burger, with chips for £6... you can go there a good 8 times to for the cost of one meal at spuntino and have a far better time. Avoid unless you enjoy spending large amounts of money on canapé sized food.
Went there with a friend. Definitely a "different" place with good ambience. The food was very tasty - all things we tried had a little twist to them which made them taste quite interesting. The only problem is that the portions were very small, so you spend at least 40 pounds for two. It is worthy giving it a try but am not sure when I will return to dine there again, as this is not a good value for money place. Also be prepared to queue...
Über cool diner; decor is faded & "vintage". Food was absolutely scrumptious. Full of flavour (how do you pump so much flavour into a pizza?!). Yummy fries. We also had slaw and a beetroot salad, both yummy. We had good service, staff friendly if not always completely on the ball (took one of our drinks orders but left to make it before taking the other person's order). Pretty expensive: £36 for two, including one beer. Still, I thought it was worth it as a treat. It's a little different to the usual, delicious food and cool atmosphere.
Just popped our heads in today (18/08) and were greeted by a shout of an arrogant bartender who made an awkward face towards us when we said we just wanted to have a look around first. Being super unprofessional and impolite. Just because of him we didn't even consider staying for dinner.
I've only been here on a Saturday lunch time when it is quiet, but I really liked it. Eating at the bar is great if you are there on your own. I've found the staff very friendly, attentive and helpful. One, seeing I was reading a guide to Johannesburg and being from there gave me a list of good restaurants there. I love the house "slaw" - fresh, crunchy and zingy with fennel, courgette and mint. So much bettter than the usual carrot and cabbage swimming in mayo. And I think the cheese burger is brilliant - the burger not too finely minced and pink in the middle with a bit of bite from the jalapenos.
Average and overpriced food, rotten service, waiters were smug and self-satisfied. Unedible macaroni, average slider. Steer well clear. PS: They are so cool they don't even have a phone number!
Pretentious and annoying. Don't go here if there are more than two of you or if you want to enjoy your food. We went as a three and were sat in a dark corner on fixed stools in a row facing a wall. The food was over priced for what it was, despite attempts at having a good variety. Any atmosphere this place might have had was lost as I was facing said wall in a dark corner. I felt like the music and the whole place just wanted me to eat and leave, not linger or enjoy myself. Selection of only two beers was another missed opportunity. I don't want £6 a glass and up wine in a diner. I don't know who I would recommend this to.
I want to love this place - it is cool, but maybe trying a little hard. However it remains the only place I've ever been where the waiter has accidentally knocked my food into pieces over the busy bar counter, then re-assembled it with his fingers and served it to me without apology and walked away. The sliders (@£5) were very dry, the bun and the meat (Ox tongue and beef marrow). As I say, there's cool, then there's just arrogant...
I rate it 5 stars for the reason that it's a complete copy from Brooklyn. Sorry Time Out but this is not LES at all. Just sayin.
I loved this place. It has a lovely intimate, cool feel to it that makes you feel like you could be East Village New York. I went on a Monday night and it was reasonably busy but a great atmosphere and the staff were really friendly and welcoming. I had the pulled pork slider with pickled apple and the soft boiled egg, aspargus and hazelnut salad which was delicious. My date had the mac & cheese which was one of the best I've had out - rich, moreish and perfect textures. We had lovely cocktails, a lovely bottle of wine and all in all a lovely date.
agree with those describing this place as image over quality. This place has a boring atmosphere and boring food. yawn. really feels like a cool place to be, but also seems very 'try-hard'. a respected 'cool' hangout in soho is something you become and something your called. this place shouts in your face we're cool so conform to our no-effort attitude Coffee: no specialist coffees, just poor quality filter coffee without free refills Food: Sliders - basically a meatball in a bread roll Service: yes people work there, no they aren't especially friendly, but no problem really Essentially i know soho very well. Better places, at better prices exist.
Shocked by the negative reviews but mostly seem to be complaints of long waits for tables or scatty service. But you really can’t fault the quality of the food. We LOVED this place – great atmosphere and every dish was a delight. We'd tried to get in on a Friday night and been put off by the very long wait, so returned 9pm on a Wednesday when we were seated at the lively bar after 5-10 minutes. We ordered 5 dishes between 2 of us and none of them disappointed. The artichoke salad was divine. We also ordered the special beef, ricotta and basil salad (excellent), pulled pork / apple slider (simple but delish), mackerel (good), mussel linguine (too oily but tasty) followed by the baked rhubarb pancake for dessert. The whole bill, plus service came to £60 - including alcoholic drinks and a whole lot of food. I'm going back soon! The cocktails looks enticing too…
This is exactly the sort of place you would expect to see around old street/hoxton. Very cool, the decor is gritty and a kind of busy in and out style feel, which creates that old Brooklyn feel. The food looked amazing, I had the mac and cheese and would say it was the best mac and cheese I've ever had. Add to that a Bottle of water and fries, and for £15 I think was good value. I came away stuffed! I've been there in the evening and seen a huge queue so didn't bother, go in the afternoon for lunch and get a seat straight away. It's massively popular so you have to expect large queues. Must pay it a visit. At the end of the day it's a fast food joint and not a restataunt as such. So keep that in mind.
So very bad. So image over quality and good food. We were served rotten meat for steak, leaving an aftertaste so bad we had to eat anything we could to get rid of the taste. Chocolate, you name it. The taste is still there. This is all about the concept and absolutely nothing about food or service. Do not waste your money
Loved the decor and concept but the food came in dribs and drabs with no explanation or apology, most of it was average in temperature and one dish bubbling hot. Wanted to love it but felt let down.
Unlike other reviewers, I do not understand the hype. The decor is well done, dim lit, modern speakeasy type of place, but not anything atypical of hundreds of places in east London. I think what this restaurant has done is very cleverly marketed the hipster movement in east London at tourists and soho-ites that wouldn’t be caught dead in a bar restaurant in old street (judging by the clientele) The food was very good, enjoyed the sliders and soft shell crab. Unfortunately value for money isn’t great. £35 a head and me and my boyfriend left so hungry we went to another restaurant for starters and desert (were not huge eaters either, I'm a size 8). Maybe it’s more suited to I light lunch or late dinner in that case I would have enjoyed it much more, even if a little expensive. About the queues, I know this was the restaurant all the critics where talking about so it should be expected, but no one should have to wait over an hour to be seated; stood up in a cramped bar only to leave hungry. On the other hand service once seated was good. In summary come here, if you’re a 30 something banker with a small appetite, trying to impress a 20yr old that your still cool, or you want to show your friends out of London how hipster you are without actually visiting east London.
Pretty average on the whole - the truffle toast and the Jerusalem artichoke salad were very nice, the sliders were very average and over priced. It makes me sad to think that this place is so hyped with people already lined up for "their turn" at 6pm on a Wednesday for the pleasure of eating some over priced, over hyped food. Places like Spuntino should be the norm in London not a dining experience.. Also wtf is it with queuing for the honour of eating somewhere ? although we que very well as a nation none of us like it, this is London not LA, get me a reservation.
Hugely disappointing compared with their other eateries. The sliders, fries and salad were decent but £5 for one slider?! The croque monsieur was the worst I've ever eaten and charging £3 for 1/3 of a sandwich is a joke. The clam chowder was overly salty and nasty.
Such a disappointing meal after a 4 star review from time out. Do not waste your money in this place. Portions are miniscule with huge price tags. Service was pretty poor. If you want to spend this much money you could eat at a michelin starred restaurant and they might actually fill you up! London restaurants do not all charge these obscene prices and do much better food. Don't trust the reviews.
Average food, wildly overpriced, full of trust funders on an away day from Dalston. Specifically, cheesecake & burgers both very average, fries fine. Negroni not up to much. Been twice, so not a one - off. Bar staff (with one exception) an irritating combination of inattentive, over - friendly and inexpert. Nowhere near Polpo or Bocca. Very much for those who don't pay their own bills.
Back for the sixth time and Spuntino continues to deliver on all counts. Laid back attentive service, food with all the focus on flavour and no excessive pretentions and an ambience that is second-to-none. I too am over 35 (over 50 actually) and believe Spuntino is right up there with Terroirs, Bincho, Cay Tre and Hawksmoor in defining London as one the most vibrant, ground-breaking restaurant scenes in the world
Simply the coolest place to spend an hour in the afternoon, the kids behind the bar are laid back and not in your face and play great music and serve great drinks. I don't know what some of the people below were expecting but this is a bar with surprising small plate bar food and great cocktails (yes in thick beaker glasses Diane, get a life, if you want 'wine glasses' go to one of the zillion lookalike wine bars or 'Italian restaurants' in the immediate vicinity and leave the precious bar space to someone who 'gets it' as you say. I am over 35 years of age by the way..just not a weekender or a square with a stick up my ass)
Most of the food was average. The sliders were poor. Only the calamari and squid ink dish had much flavour. Music deafeningly loud for eating. Service seemed ok, but it was fairly empty at the time. Loved Polpo & Polpetto, but won't be going back here.
Dear Timeout reviewers, could you please clarify whether you have any conflict of interest with Spuntino (like the owner is your best friend or something...). Cause that's the only possibility for giving such a high rating to this kind of place. The place looks great, no doubt, and it deserves your award...but then the food came. A meatball that they dare call 'burger' and that is stack so high to make it look big that you can't bite it. A softshell crab dish with a pile of wet fennel and a pool of aioli to distract you from the almost absent crab. The worst Old Fashioned (and the smallest) of my life, which took 10 minutes to prepare by a guy who wasted far too much time on awkward jokes (see comments below too). And the worst dessert ever: figs (although the plural must have been a mistake) and cheap meringue slobbered with some mayo-like cream. So, honestly, can you please explain a bit more in detail what lead you to the unfairly high rating you gave to this place? I always admired your ratings...Terroir, Koya, Whistling Stop...you're always spot on...but this one...you let me down.
The food, music and atmosphere were simple but great. The service was horrific, they told me my card had declined and then remarked only joking - hilarious!
A great addition to London. Maybe it's trying a bit too hard to be cool, but it also pulls it off. If you want 'Dinner' then go elsewhere; this is about an enjoyable 1 hour pitstop as part of your evening in Soho - but it will probably be the highlight of the evening. [Btw - If you want a cheap meal go to Macdonalds or move up North]
Yes you have to queue and yes the service is a little third world but it is a good restaurant/diner if all you are interested is the food. If you want good service, menus is Italian and a piano being played in the corner then go to a restaurant the other side of Regents Street.
Not great food and over-priced. Nice interiror but let down by unfriendly bar staff. If you're hungry or want something special go elsewhere. For those who think central London just HAS to be pricey you're just suckers!
Grow up, everyone! It's a diner, not a restaurant. Go for a burger, fries, a beer, a coffee or 6 (the only place I know that does genuinely bottomless coffee) and leave after 30 minutes with change from £15. It's Ed's Easy Diner with attitude and London is better for it. Sit and whinge in Strada, will you, and leave those precious seats for us. Along with Barrafina, Polpo, Fernandez/Wells and Bocca di Lupo, this place is what Soho dining is all about.
The same old show. It all looks very nice but come on the food is very below standard and for around £40 a head with a few drinks you want more for your money than sloppy cheese grits, a terrible chicory dish and eggplant fries that are so sweet they should be dessert. Staff of course are lovely but the whole experience should be half the price. Critics get a grip!
We went early in the day during the week, so the place was empty and we were seated immediately (though by 1pm, when we left, it was very busy). The food was very good, though I would not go as far as to say amazing (the mac and cheese was a bit of a disappointment), and the price was not as bad as I was expecting, though certainly not cheap. But the best thing was the service. I've spent a few years living in the US, and it always pains me to come home to the UK, where restaurant service is mostly terrible, and the food usually accompanied by mild contempt from waitstaff (particularly in hipster-ish places like this). But at Spuntino the staff were wonderful - they offered recommendations, topped up our drinks at the right intervals, and were very laid back, cool and courteous. I'd definitely eat here again, though I would not bother battling the crowds at peak periods, since its not very big and I imagine not nearly as enjoyable when its too busy. Best to come here during off-peak times.
It's not cheap but don't eat in central London if you want cheap and good food. The food and drinks were great but I found the service to be outstanding. Natural, genuine and effortless hospitality struck the perfect balance between being left to enjoy the company you're keeping and minding your needs.
This place had so much potential with a lovely looking building and great sounding menu. Such a shame that the staff are trying so hard to be cool that they just end up being rude. The drinks were yummy and the food was not. Apparently if you say 'we bring the food as it is ready' it means it is OK for food to arrive 30 minutes after everyone else has finished. Expect to pay £25 minimum for two small drinks and two very small dishes ... and expect the staff to complain if you don't pay the full 12.5% discretionary service charge for sitting a bar and having your food dropped in front of you by people who look like they wish you weren't cluttering up their restaurant (we accidentally underpaid our £90 bill by 20p).