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Five Restaurants to Try this Weekend

Vegan arancini, a perfect Sunday lunch, a new non snoozefest Highbury brunch spot, plus options in Peckham and Tooting

A range of dishes at Plot, in Tooting

This weekly column suggestions five restaurants to try during the weekend. There are three rules: The restaurants must not be featured in either the Eater 38 Essential map, nor the monthly-updated Heatmap, and they must be outside Zone 1.

Arancini Factory

Arancini Brothers at Old Street recently tweaked its entire menu to vegan. The wraps, the hot boxes, the salads, the cakes, the lot. It’s been such a hit the owners are taking Kentish Town (from tomorrow) and Dalston (by the end of February) vegan too. These are a no-frills sort of joints, no table service, sauce bottles on table. The Aussie Arancini Brothers, Dave and Dave’s street food roots are still very much evident, but for those in search of an option for feeding non-animal eaters here is the solution. A vegan chorizo and tomato wrap and a filter coffee with oat milk there this week was enjoyed whilst watching vegans, who are used to no choice at all, try to cope with an entire menu. Minds blown. —Grace Dent
115A Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PB

St. Paul

There’s a moment in American Psycho in which Patrick Bateman describes how relief washes over him “in an awesome wave” when he gets a good table at an in-demand restaurant. The Millennial equivalent might be the feeling when a new brunch place opens just round the corner and turns out not to be the usual avocado-on-toast snoozefest but the real deal. Such is St. Paul, just off Highbury Corner: the coffee is good, the staff are friendly and engaged, and the food — especially the chorizo baked eggs — is just that crucial few percentage points more interesting and rewarding than the usual. At night, a tasteful Parisian-cave-style menu long on La Fromagerie cheeses comes to the fore, including a lethal one-two punch of tartiflette and baked Camembert. Killer. —George Reynolds
274b St Pauls Road, N1 2LJ

Coal Rooms

A good all-rounder, this — and a bit of a Tardis too. Tucked under the platforms at Peckham Rye, Coal Rooms’ blink-and-you’ll-miss-it frontage leads onto a café, a bar, a co-working space and, right at the back, a casual-plush dining room. It’s a lovely, buzzy spot for a left-of-centre Saturday brunch (pastrami-seasoned smoked salmon, coffee-cured bacon with homemade brown sauce, Cabrito goat sausages) or Sunday lunch (tacos to start, a whopping plate of Dexter beef with all the trimmings, then apple-and-cheddar pie to round things off.) The team is charming and clued-up, and is serious about cutting down on waste: the sourdough comes with a quenelle of smalec, a kind of seasoned pork dripping, and the tiramisu is made with leftover coffee from the café. —Emma Hughes
11a Station Way, SE15 4RX

Canton Arms

In appearance, like the archetypal British boozer. In execution, a well-sourced and brilliantly conceived menu has made this Stockwell establishment more than a local watering hole. Show-stealing sharers, such as seven-hour salt marsh lamb shoulder (conservatively suggested for ‘five-ish’) or Hereford rib of beef, chips, béarnaise and watercress, make this an ideal haunt for a Sunday lunch with a group of friends. The décor may be a little bare, but the portions are hearty and the welcome is warm. —Sam Orbaum
177 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XP


It wasn’t so long ago that the thrum of Tooting’s Broadway Market was only available as a daytime pursuit. With a surfeit of restaurants, bars and bottle shops springing up in SW17, Plot is a fine example of where the nobility of good eating rubs shoulders with the ignoble whiff, or rather stench, of gentrification. Saturday only with a menu that defines concise, the pearlescent countertop and communal tables creek under small plates of food that couldn’t be more Modern British if it was in fact in happily indebted to the food of the Continent. Oh wait. Charred January King cabbage with mushroom purée and toasted hazelnuts or venison carpaccio with sprout salad and sea buckthorn will make for fine table-fellows; with such a short menu, it’s also a rare place where dessert is not to be skipped for a lack of imagination. —James Hansen
29 Tooting High Street, SW17 0RJ

St. Paul

274b St Pauls Road, London , N1 2LJ Visit Website


182 Stoke Newington Road, , England N16 7UY 020 7249 1203 Visit Website

Coal Rooms

, , England SE15 4RX 020 7635 6699 Visit Website

Canton Arms

177 South Lambeth Road, , England SW8 1XP 020 7582 8710 Visit Website


Brixton Station Rd., Brixton, Greater London, London, 44 0207 998 3309 Visit Website


94 Lamb's Conduit Street, , England WC1N 3LZ 020 7405 0713 Visit Website

Arancini Factory

115A KENTISH TOWN ROAD , London, NW1 8PB Visit Website


Unit 70-72 Broadway Market, 29 Tooting High Street, London , SW17 0RL Visit Website

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