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Moo krob at Singburi restaurant, one of the top London standbys of 2019 Michaël Protin/Eater London

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The Top London Restaurant Takeaway and Delivery Standbys in 2020

The restaurants that Eater London’s staff, contributors, and friends ordered from time and again

It is the tradition at Eater to end the year with a survey of friends, contributors, rovers of the industry, and professional eaters. Even a year like this one. For 2020, the group were asked 13 questions, covering the best meals and the worst tweets alongside community responses, and coronavirus pivots. Their answers will appear throughout this week, with responses related in no particular order; cut and pasted below.

Having surveyed the best meals inside restaurants, it’s time for the best meals outside of them — the takeaway, delivery, and on-the-move eats that lit up 2020.


Adam Coghlan, Editor, Eater London: Dumpling Shack’s spring onion pancakes and jars of chilli oil; Sonora’s (nee Pollo Feliz) pork fat tortillas; Ombra’s pasta; Tutto Wines, Modal Wines; wines from Noble; Singburi; Yard Sale pizzas; kebabs from Mannoush; mangoes from Feroz; and so many baguettes from Today Bread.

James Hansen, Associate Editor, Eater London: Buns from Tetote Factory; Tunisian stews from Sidi Bou; udon noodles and tempura from Kiraku; coffee from Lyle’s when offices were still real and coffees from Element when they weren’t. Chongqing noodles from Xi’an Biang Biang, again when offices were still real; pizza from Santa Maria; more buns from Tetote Factory. Living ten or fifteen minutes’ walk from Tetote Factory: it’s dangerous.

Anna Sulan Masing, food writer and Eater London contributor: Wine deliveries full stop. Modal Wines, Nobody Asked Me have been a particular feature — saviours. Double soup’ing it from Sichuan Grand – Won Ton Soup and Chongqing Spicy & Numbing Noodles. And of course, Sambal Shiok!

Jonathan Nunn, food writer and Eater London contributor: Going against everything I did in 2019 (when I was so bored of the limits of London I briefly considered pitching a series on the New Towns), I made the decision this year that I would not care about anything that wasn’t going on within a 15 minute cycle ride of my house. No new openings, no collabs, no FOMO. As a result I have been far happier. The infinite permutations of lunch collapsed into two questions: what sandwich would I get at 40 Maltby Street, what pizza will I get at ASAP? Both took foods considered as lowest common denominators and did something imaginative with them. I know everyone wants to open as normal again, but I’ll be sad if 2021 doesn’t feature more sandwiches and more pizzas.

ASAP Pizza Borough Market shows off a slice of pizza with fragola grape, stracciatella, and fennel fronds held from a birdseye view over a road Sam Cornish/ASAP Pizza

Chris Cotonou, writer and Eater London contributor: Thai Garden Cafe in Greenwich, their off-menu massaman curry and wings got me through the worst of days; Bun House in Soho for terrace eating/people-watching; Dionysus in Southgate for takeaway. Although the Deptford one is the original, in tricky times, I’ve turned to Goddard’s Pie and Mash in Greenwich for starchy comfort; Han in New Malden for dinner and karaoke post-lockdown and where I’ll be going with pals for Christmas Eve dinner; Shahanshah in Southall for their unparalleled paneer samosa, delivered home in a brown bag and devoured on the sofa.

Sejal Sukhadwala, food writer and Eater London contributor: None. I only had a couple of takeaways and pizza deliveries; my food year revolved entirely around cooking at home, watching food shows on various streaming services, and suddenly finding a lot of time to work on my Indian food dictionary.

Emma Hughes, food writer and Eater London contributor: Stockwell Continental for London’s best focaccia, frittata and ribollita, Darby’s for perfect pastries, Artusi for peerless pasta and sauces, Sorella for mushroom arancini by the bag — south London served me very well indeed during lockdown and beyond.

George Reynolds, food writer and Eater London contributor: As I always do a conscientious compiler of year-end content, to prep for The Year In Eater I have a good old scroll through my Instagram (anyone wondering about my weirdly anachronistic frequency of posting to grid now has the explanation: it’s basically my memory’s external hard drive these days). First thought: wow, that’s a lot of sandwiches! Second, connected thought: that’s a lot of sandwiches from places I went to a lot pre-pandemic and which have pivoted to sandwiches this year: Brawn, 40 Maltby Street, Dumpling Shack, Bright, Trullo. Third thought: the other places I went to regularly all belonged to some sort of family: whether the Nasi / Sambal Shiok duo, the Quality Wines / Quality Chop / Quality Chop Shop trio, or the Primeur / Jolene / Big Jo / Westerns / Fitzroy / North Street Kitchen we’re-going-to-need-a-people-carrier brood. Final, unifying theory of eating out in 2020: we go back to the places we love not because they do good sandwiches — though if Mandy Yin did a sandwich stuffed with her fried chicken I would be first in line — but because whatever they do, we trust them to do it with love and attention to detail, and that’s worth any amount of inconvenience as we try to eat it on a park bench in a howling gale.

Chicken fry at Thattukada in East Ham, an outstanding Kerala neighbourhood restaurant Tomas Jivanda/Eater London

Shekha Vyas, food writer and Eater London contributor: Even after lockdowns 1&2, I wasn’t able to leave the house more than a handful of times due to an injury so I kept it local with the usual e.g. Kate’s Cafe, Royal Chef, Thattukada, Sichuan Grand, Singburi, Minh’s etc.

Gemma Croffie, writer and Eater London contributor: There was no such thing in my family this year as regular in restaurant dining unfortunately. Sadly, the most regular delivery in my household has been Domino’s pizza, because sometimes only pizza will do especially where children are involved. Tasty Jerk’s jerk pork was second.

Feroz Gajia, restaurateur and Eater London contributor: Having weekends off during the course of the year felt weird, but it meant being able to go to the markets, so takeaways became a mixture of 40 Maltby Street, Sonora Taqueria, Singburi, local Turkish joints and more bakeries than I care to mention. Delivery usually met a base need to eat anything that wasn’t made by me so was dominated by the golden arches and flanked by a few orders from Chubby Cheese (previously Good Burger and part of the Coqfighter family) and Neden Urfa. The best delivery I had was certainly El Inca Plebeyo, a delicious Ecuadorian restaurant whose delivery zone I no longer fall into.

Vaughn Tan, academic and restaurant consultant: 40 Maltby Street, Quality Wines, ASAP Pizza

Daisy Meager, food writer and Eater London contributor: Ombra for lasagne Sundays, park picnics and terrace evenings; Bright for essential wine pick-ups; Pavilion Bakery for anything and everything pastry; at-home feasts from Nasi Economy Rice; Lily Vanilli for special birthday cake; Yard Sale Pizza.

Ed Cumming, writer and restaurant critic: Delivery: Yard Sale Pizza, One Love Kitchen, Dishoom, Home James Delivery.

Angela Hui, food writer and Eater London contributor: Ombra, Tian Tian, Beigel Bake, Smokestak, Singburi, Arch Rivals, Flor/ASAP, Kotch, Quality Wines

David J Paw, food writer and Eater London contributor: Lunch on Ombra’s terrace was my first meal back after the first lockdown; Oren delivery genuinely felt like an event; Pollo Feliz (later Sonora) became a much-anticipated weekly ritual.

Sambal Shiok

171 Holloway Road, London, Greater London N7 8LX

Pita

197A Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02115 Visit Website

BRAT

4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Cafe TPT

21 Wardour Street, , England W1D 6PN 020 7734 7980 Visit Website

Salon

18 Market Row, , England SW9 8LD 020 7501 9152 Visit Website

Sabor

35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website

Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar

33 Cranbourn Street, , England WC2H 7AD 020 7836 4399 Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website

Pizza Pilgrims

11 Dean Street, , England W1D 3RP 020 7287 8964 Visit Website

The Good Egg

93 Stoke Newington Church Street, , England N16 0AS 020 7682 2120 Visit Website

Franco Manca

20 The Broadway, , England SW19 1RE 020 8947 4368 Visit Website

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, , England W1F 9TL Visit Website

Rochelle Canteen

16 Playground Gardens, , England E2 7FA 020 3928 8328 Visit Website

Naughty Piglets

28 Brixton Water Lane, , England SW2 1PE Visit Website

Thattukada

241B High Street North, East Ham, Greater London E12 6SJ +44 20 8548 8239

40 Maltby St

40 Maltby Street, , England SE1 3PA

Flor

1 Bedale Street, , England SE1 9AL 020 3967 5418 Visit Website

Brawn

49 Columbia Road, , England E2 7RG 020 7729 5692 Visit Website

Lina Stores

18 Brewer Street, , England W1F 0SH 020 7437 6482 Visit Website

Tasty Jerk

88 Whitehorse Lane, , England SE25 6RQ 020 8653 3222

The Quality Chop House

88-94 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 7278 1452 Visit Website

Dosa n Chutny

466 London Road, , England CR0 2SS 020 8683 3297 Visit Website

Hawksmoor

10 Basinghall Street, , England EC2V 5BQ 020 7397 8120 Visit Website

Kaieteur Kitchen

, , England SE1 07466 616137

Jolene

54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 429-8383 Visit Website

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, , England W1J 9EB 020 7499 6996 Visit Website

Quality Wines

88 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 3602 8115 Visit Website

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