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The best restaurants in Hoxton

Hungry and in Hoxton? Here are the best restaurants and cafés to please your palate

By Time Out London Food & Drink
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JANUARY 2020: We’ve added Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton (the latest Filipino restaurant from ex-Nopi chef Francis Puyat), as well as the Hoxton sibling of Notting Hill’s Cocotte (a wholesome French take on rotisserie chicken) and the branch of Sodo Pizza at The George & Vulture pub on Pitfield Street.

Hoxton may be small in size, but its eating-out scene packs a heavyweight punch. Still as hip as ever (partly thanks to its blurred boundary with Shoreditch), but with a down-to-earth mix of locals from all walks of life, the area boasts a mightily impressive array of eats. Whether you want to explore some of London’s best Vietnamese restaurants scattered along Kingsland Road, get stuck in to great British grub or just work through some truly memorable breakfasts, Hoxton has an eatery to suit everyone, and we’ve rounded-up the very best offerings below to make sure you don’t miss out.

The Bach, Hoxton
The Bach, Hoxton
Natale Towell

The Bach

Restaurants New Zealand Hoxton

New Zealand doesn’t just do Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Lord of the Rings’, and this spacious Kiwi café proves the point. It’s all about ‘coffee, brekkie and brunch’ here, so choose from a dizzying range of options from pure breakfast (posh porridge and granola) to larger lunches (burgers and corn fritters) – plus tempting small plates, hefty smoothies, cocktails and locally brewed beers. BTW: ‘bach’ (pronounced ‘batch’) is the Kiwi name for a modest holiday home or beach house.

 

Cocotte

Restaurants French Hoxton

A spin-off from Cocotte in Notting Hill, this French rotisserie chicken specialist offers a wholesome, free-range take on the current chook trend. Herb-marinated, whole-roasted hens are brought to the table on a wooden board, along with your choice of accompaniments – we suggest the bernadette lentil salad, some roasted root veg or ratatouille, plus garlic mayo or gravy. Cocotte may be a little bit restaurant-by-numbers, but it’s a decent formula, charmingly done and full of smiles.

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Cub

Restaurants Contemporary Global Hoxton

Any venue from boundary-breaking cocktail wizard Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is bound to be off-piste, but Cub is something different – an eco-friendly bar/diner offering a multi-sensory foodie ‘experience’ with bizarrely alluring drinks and plenty of thrills for carnivores and vegans alike on its fixed-price tasting menus (nettle, sweet bell turnip and sea truffle, anyone?). We love its super-savvy staff and rockin’ house-party vibe too.

Curious Yellow Kafé

Restaurants Coffeeshops Hoxton

Fans of that Swedish erotic arthouse movie ‘I Am Curious Yellow’ will feel right at home at this Kafé – a tiny, super-Scandi drop-in for snacks and drinks. Stockholm meets Hoxton on the menu, which offers properly brewed coffee and a vast selection of exotic teas, plus plenty of brunch options ranging from a breakfast platter to hearty Swedish meatballs and a good range of veggie/vegan options. On warm days, sit outside under one of the big yellow parasols.

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Friends of Ours

Restaurants Cafés Hoxton

Acclaimed Hackney roasters Dark Arts provide the coffee beans at this good-looking laid-back Hoxton café, but there are also raw pressed smoothies up for grabs, plus an impressive selection of teas from Good & Proper and some exotic lattes for those who like their caffeine a little wilder. The food menu majors in brunch-tastic ideas such as french toast, reuben benedict and Japanese buddha bowls, which can also be paired with one of the creative house cocktails.

Ginger Pig Café

Restaurants British Hoxton

It’s not related to the acclaimed Ginger Pig butchers, although this no-frills Hoxton café does a good line in simple, meaty British staples – as in slow-cooked brisket with roasted garlic mash and root vegetables. Chef Jorge Cardoso earned his stripes at the ace Eagle gastropub in Farringdon, so also expect plenty of eclectic twists and Mediterranean influences along the way. To drink, there are gluggable craft beers, zesty aperitifs and a fistful of wines (primarily red).

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Green Papaya
Green Papaya
© Yusuf Ozkizil

Green Papaya

Restaurants Hoxton

Following the cult-like local success of its original Mare Street restaurant, Green Papaya branched out and set up this second outlet on the Hoxton/Shoreditch border. As before, the kitchen continues to deliver superb Vietnamese dishes overlaid with some Xi’an Chinese influences (don’t miss the pork burger or the various ‘wheat noodle’ riffs). It’s cheap-ish and cheerful, but Green Papaya is still cool enough to attract everyone from hip kids to local families.

Meat Mission

Restaurants Burgers Hoxton

Praise be for carnivores at this church of meat on the Hoxton/Shoreditch border (run by the folks from Meat Liquor), which used to be a Christian mission in a former life. The result feels like a high-end dive bar with an eye-popping stained glass ceiling and a confession box photo booth – though you’ll be too busy munching through the extensive selection of burgers, chicken and hot dogs to notice. Vegans aren’t shunned, and there’s even a ‘triple chilli’ challenge for bravehearts with cast-iron palates.

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Mien Tay

Restaurants Vietnamese Hoxton

Having expanded into the premises next door, this Vietnamese stalwart has gone upmarket – although it’s lost none of its allure as a destination for first-rate cooking in Hoxton. Seafood is the big draw here and the kitchen proves its mettle with brilliant ideas such as stir-fried green mussels with ginger and spring onion or scallops with black bean sauce, plus a few more esoteric ideas designed to challenge conservative westernised palates. Another bonus: you can BYOB.

petit pois bistro
petit pois bistro
© Addie Chinn

Petit Pois Bistro

Restaurants French Hoxton

The kind of unreformed French bistro where they spoon out chocolate mousse straight from the bowl, aptly named Petit Pois, is cute, dinky, lively and refreshingly off-kilter for oh-so-hip Hoxton. Forget fancy cooking and fussy sauces, this place deals in confident and familiar bistro fare at user-friendly prices, while service is as friendly as can be. If it’s sunny, make like a Parisian and sit at one of the tables in the leafy alfresco space out front.

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Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton

Restaurants Contemporary Asian Hoxton

Having scored a hit with their Filipino pop-up Kinilaw & Buko, ex-Nopi chef Francis Puyatand his partners at 100 Hoxton have combined the two venues and re-launched the wholepackage as Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton. Kick off with some ‘pulutan’ grazing snacks and kinilaw plates (the Filipino take on ceviche) before dipping into dishes such as daing mackerel with burnt butter, bottarga, ginger, water spinach and tomato. For afters, don’t miss the buko – homemade coconut ice creams with a host of wacky flavours. There are Filipino-style bottomless brunches too.  

 

Sardine

Restaurants French Hoxton

You won’t find many sardines here, but you will find marvellous Mediterranean cooking at its rustic, stripped-back best – all served up by Stevie Parle alumnus Alex Jackson in his open kitchen. There’s a vibey buzz to this smart, clean-lined Hoxton gallery space, and the cooking is similarly on-point, showcasing uncomplicated Provencal-leaning dishes with a gentle twist – from morteau sausage with lentils and mustard to a full-on version of bouillabaisse. Backup comes from a cool European wine list.

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Sodo Pizza Hoxton

Restaurants Pizza Hoxton

Holed up within the grandiose George & Vulture pub in Hoxton, this branch of the Sodo mini chain is all about pizza. Their margheritas, for example, are textbook with a thin, crisp Neapolitan-style sourdough base (Sodo, geddit?) and impressive toppings. Also look out for combos with names like Jon Bon Chovy, The Wicker Man and Winter Goat (goat’s cheese, caramelised onion, walnuts etc). Gluten-free options come on a base fashioned from butterbeans.

Sông Quê

Restaurants Vietnamese Hoxton

Friends of pho should make a beeline for the excellent noodle soups on offer at this shining star of the Kingsland Road Vietnamese scene. Big, light and buzzy, Sông Quê is constantly packed with happy customers, including many families and a good showing of Vietnamese locals, while the food is always first class – and highly authentic too. Textures are perfect, and the flavours are true, bringing out the best in each dish.

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Trew Era Café

Restaurants Cafés Hoxton

Donated by one Russell Brand to the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust, this not-for-profit vegetarian café on the New Era housing estate is a cosy affair. No wonder it’s popular with locals looking for well-priced, no-nonsense meat-free nosh. Punters can look forward to breakfast bowls, toasties, smoothies and coffee from Redemption Roasters, plus daily specials ranging from vegan curries and fritters to superfood salads and home-baked cakes.

Via Emilia, restaurant, Italian, London, Time Out
Via Emilia, restaurant, Italian, London, Time Out
Daniel Ogulewicz

Via Emilia

Restaurants Italian Hoxton

Every morsel on the menu at this petite but modern pasta joint in Hoxton originates from northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region – and each pasta dish is typical of its home city. Tagliatelle bolognese and pappardelle with porcini from the Borgotaro Hills are bang-on, but nothing can beat the deliriously gorgeous deep-fried gnoccho fritto. Via Emilia has touches of East End hipster cool, but it’s warm, friendly and affordable. It also takes bookings.

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