London Lunchtimes: Al fresco vs Al desko - Part Three

London is constantly changing and so are your lunchtime food options. Here’s another list of my recommendations for those of you who want to keep discovering new and interesting places to eat lunch.

These recommendations are all within 25 minutes’ walk from the Aiimi offices on Upper Thames St.

Name:  Yamagoya

Location: Opposite The New Vic – on The Cut

Postcode: SE1 8LF

Cuisine: Japanese

A very authentic Japanese lunch experience.  They specialise in Ramen but also offer tasty rice dishes.  Their chilli sauce is spicy-hot too.

Favourite Dish:  Pork Chashu Rice Don.  A rice based dish with slices of pork in a rich sauce.

Approx cost: £6


Name:  Nyokee

Location: Opposite Mansion House tube


Cuisine: Italian

A very authentic Italian lunchtime option.  It opened earlier this year and offers a gnocchi alternative to the endless pasta options available.  Choose your fresh, homemade gnocchi or courgetti and one of their delicious sauces.  However, their home-cooked meal options are the reason they’re in this blog.  (Incidentally, their coffee and croissants are the best I’ve tried in London).

Favourite Dish:  Chicken Cacciatore with roasted sweet potatoes, salad (with a balsamic oil dressing) and a slice of crusty bread.

Approx cost: £8


Name:  Paella street stall

Location: Pop-up stall in the courtyard of the St Mary Aldermary church (Bow Lane)

Postcode: EC4M 9BW

Cuisine: Spanish

There are many paella stalls in London but this one is my favourite.  They offer chicken, seafood or vegetarian paellas and you can mix and match.  They’ve just started up so will value your custom and support.  You can practice your Spanish too.  Get there early to get the big pieces of chicken!

Favourite Dish:  Chicken paella with a dash of lemon juice

Approx cost: £6


Name: Bleecker Bloomberg

Location: The Bloomberg Arcade

Postcode: EC4N 8AR

What started as a burger truck is now a successful chain of premium burger shops.  This one has just opened in the new Bloomberg Arcade.  They serve award-winning, sumptuous burgers with beer on tap.  Get there early to avoid the queues.

Favourite Dish: Bacon Cheese Burger and house fries with Bleecker sauce

Approx cost: £7.50


Name: Taoo

Location: 49 London Wall (near Liverpool St station)

Postcode: EC2M 5QB

An alternative to the standard dim sum fare, offering oversized steamed buns (Baozi) filled with juicy pork meat, Chinese cabbage and herbs.   The bread-like texture and size make for an interesting eating experience but it’s very authentic and very ‘London’!

Favourite Dish: Balance Meal (B) consisting of 1 Pork Baozi, 1 Suimai and a portion of broccoli.  Comes with a tasty hoisin sauce

Approx cost: £8.20


The Pub option

Name:  The Pelt Trader

Location: Just down from Canon Tube station

Postcode: EC4N 6AP

Cuisine: Pizza

A popular drinking establishment offering an impressive range of ales and beers.  Come for the beer, then stay for the 18” traditional, thin and crispy pizza.  The spicy hot Pepperoni will blow your socks off.  The beer helps calm the taste buds.

Favourite Dish:  The 18” Pepperoni.

Approx cost: £18

Street Markets

London is renowned for its street markets.  Here’s a new one in the Southwark area

Flat Iron Square

Operates daily

What used to be an abandoned car park is now a courtyard rammed with bars and pop-up market stalls as well as vans offering a wide range of food and drinks.  According to Timeout it’s “a one-stop shop for all your culinary and cultural needs”.  There’s not much culture at lunchtime, just great food and drink, seating with cover and an indoor section too. 

The Cantinas Carnitas van is my favourite:  I recommend the 10” slow cooked, chuck steak, beef chipotle burrito with rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, jack cheese and sour cream.  Approx cost: £7


In this third blog of the series, I’ve suggested a range of new fantastic places to eat lunch in the Mansion House and Southwark area.  Enjoy!

Topics: #AiimiCulture