Central London is packed full of culinary choice when it comes to lunchtime and I like to think that after working in Soho for nearly two years, I have a better idea of some of the best places for lunch in central London. (Especially as I never seem to stick to my resolution of bringing packed lunches in #fail.)
Some of these appeared on my 10 Good Affordable Restaurants for Dinner in Central London post but without furtho ado, some of my favourite lunch spots are:
The Detox Kitchen
Like most healthy food restaurants the prices here can add up (approx. £3 for a protein portion and £6 for a medium salad) but the portions are generous, tasty and filling. There are a few deli branches but the Mortimer St branch is the biggest and has the most seating.
Top tip: If you get any of the snacks, you must try the coconut protein ball. Squidgy, chocolatey with a hint of honey/lime zest – just delicious.
This vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Soho is cosy and very popular, so give yourself enough time to wait for a table. Dishes range from the hearty – like mushroom pie, sweet potato curry and my personal favourite black bean burrito – to the light selection of salads you can mix and match. They also have lunch options to take away too – as much as we say we will bring our own lunches in, my colleagues and I find ourselves taking away salads from here more times a week than we care to admit…
Prices: £5.25 for a medium sized salad to go.
Muriel’s started out as a cute, cosy café in West London and now has two fab restaurants in central London. The seasonal, healthy and reasonably priced menu and fresh, wooden decor makes this place great for anyone. I would definitely recommend the Quinoa and Sweet Potato patty with beetroot hummous – it’s a starter but is so filling it could well be a main! Also, I have to give a shout-out to the lovely staff here.
The Riding House Café
This has got style and substance. The interior is a moody mix of dark industrial wood together with vintage touches that makes it perfect for any occasion, whether it be a date, friendly gathering or family catch up. The lunch menu here is hearty but I love the Superfood Chicken Salad as it is SO tasty and filling! For something heavier, don’t miss the Beef Wellington. Absolute melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness.
I love Savage Salads and have written a whole post on them before! Don’t let the salad part fool you, this is tasty, filling, hearty grub for just £6 per box. Think pan fried chicken with sweet potato & quinoa, roasted peppers with couscous, spinach/tomatoes/butterbean/croutons, pitta bread with yoghurt and, er, cabbage. Sold on Broadwick St Market, go early to avoid the queues!
Le Comptoir Libanais
The hummous here though *preach hands*. This Lebanese inspired restaurant has a relaxed souk feel to it and serves tasty food at very reasonable prices. I usually go for the Sharing Mezze for One (around £9) which comes with falafel, hummous, baba ghanoush, cheese sambousek and tabbouleh. *Can I get another preach hands*.
There is always a queue for this intimate Taiwanese café in the heart of Soho. They specialise in steamed milk buns for around £3.50 each (you may have seen them as one of Instagram’s most ‘grammed food last year). Great for a quick bite, if you can get past that queue.
My friend Sophie recently took me to Cookhouse Joe in Soho and I was so impressed at the value for money here! On their lunchtime menu you can get a chicken, falafel, halloumi or kofta wrap with chips for just £5. I usually go for the falafel wrap, which is stuffed to the brim with salad and pickles, and can never finish all of it. Much better than nearby Yalla Yalla IMO. You can either take away or sit in the small, chilled restaurant although it does get busy as soon as 1pm hits.
This newish healthy vegetarian restaurant has a fresh, Nordic style and a tasty buffet of healthy food, plus THE nicest white wine I have ever tasted! (Cotes de Gascogne, in case you’re wondering). Just be warned, price is determined by weight and it’s not the cheapest.
Are there any other good restaurants in central London that I should know about?