Rosh Hashanah, “head of the year” or Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Sunday, 25 September and is celebrated for up to two days, until sundown on Tuesday, 27 September. The ten days between the start of Rosh Hashanah and the start of Yom Kippur — Day of Atonement — is a time of deep reflection, punctuated, as many Jewish holidays are, with copious amounts of food. At this time of year sweet, round foods prevail to signify the hope for a kind and prosperous future.
And while it is possible to make many of these foods at home as those celebrating gather with friends and family, isn’t it nice to know you don’t have to? Here are nine of those lending a helping hand across London over the coming days.
Tel Aviv-inspired restaurant Shuk has released a limited edition DIY apple and honey babka (£24) ahead of Rosh Hashanah; this sits alongside a date and pistachio version (also £24), a fitting sweet as dates are customarily eaten as part of the Sephardi and Mizrahi holiday traditions. Orders for the apple and honey babka must be placed online by midnight 20 September to be delivered on 23 September Offer is only available within the greater London area.
75-year-old Panzer’s Deli and Grocery in St. John’s Wood offers two Rosh Hashanah-themed hampers for collection or national delivery. The standard hamper (£60) is filled with the signature honey cake, Panzer’s spring honey, kosher sweets, a dried fruit selection, and a handmade beeswax candle. The ‘deluxe’ version (£110) also includes apples, pomegranate, a bottle of kosher wine (thankfully it isn’t Manischewitz), and a collection of Bendick mints. The Deluxe hampers, though Ashkenazi-leaning, includes apples and pomegranates — which nods to Sephardi and Mizrahi symbolic eating traditions during the holiday. For those looking to spend less, the raw apple blossom honey or seasonal honey cake ticks the holiday’s theme box and would make a great host gift, too. Order online.
The folks at the ever-expanding Honey & Co. are offering a range of nationally shipped items from honey cake to pomegranate-themed tea towels. A limited edition, local delivery only Honey & Almond Baklava (£35) might make you consider moving house. The deluxe hamper (£150) includes two kinds of kosher wine, a pomegranate-themed tea towel, notebook, Baharat roasted nuts, honey cake, packs of pomegranate-shaped sumac and vanilla biscuits, a honey dipper, and local honey from bees kept in nearby Regents Park. A variety of other goods are available including raw buckwheat honey. Pre-order all goods by 22 September to guarantee delivery on time. Order via the website.
Leaning into the sweet theme Rosh Hashanah elicits, owner Tami and her merry band of bakers over at Karma Bread in Hampstead Heath have left no dough unproved or apple unpeeled in the plethora of baked offerings available to celebrate the Jewish New Year. The round poppy seed-topped ‘Premium Challahs’, traditionally eaten to represent the cycle of seasons, is quickly selling out of pre-orders. Don’t panic though; there are still plenty of ‘Apple Pecan Honey Crowned’ Challahs and a variety of other baked goods like their ‘Vegan Rosh Box’ containing apple and honey mini doughnuts and a cinnamon babka, still available. Orders are placed online for collection only on Sunday 25, Monday 26, or Tuesday 27 September.
Blue Smoke is a very small one-man operation, serving house-smoked and cured kosher lox (salmon), beef short ribs, lacon (bacon-inspired lamb) and brisket. Speaking with the owner, it’s no surprise to hear it's already sold out of pre-orders for Rosh Hashanah. However, it will soon release the break-the-fast menu for Yom Kippur so best to keep an eye on the Blue Smoke Instagram page. Alternatively, join the Blue Smoke private Facebook discussion to catch a whiff of the first menu drop, normally posted on Sundays, for pre-order. Orders are collected or couriered from Blue Smoke HQ in Hendon. Prices range from £34 for honey, tarragon and thyme smoked kosher chicken to £275 for Texas-style smoked briskets that will feed you and your 15 closest friends. More options are also available. Goods are occasionally stocked in Supermarket of Dreams in Holland Park for those who miss out on pre-orders.
BK Salt Beef Bar
Though this kosher-style deli isn’t running anything separate for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, it also doesn’t need to — the menu has many of the typical dishes found on Ashkenazi-style platters when celebrating high holidays (minus the baked goods and kugels). With Rosh Hashanah beginning on Sunday evening, BK suggests calling to place orders as soon as possible, especially if ordering any fish so they can make sure to be first in line at the fishmongers. Call 01923 518693 to order at the Hatch end location or 0208 9528204 for Edgware. Closing time to pick up orders on Sunday is 2 p.m., allowing plenty of time to get home and ready for sundown.
Margot Bakery has a loyal following and is known for its exceptional Jewish baked goods. According to its website, Rosh Hashanah offers and orders will be announced soon. Notably, round challahs, a customary tradition for Rosh Hashanah, have been spotted on the bakery’s Instagram stories as of Friday 16 September. Best to visit the East Finchley shop 121 E End Rd, London N2 0SZ for full offerings.
Reichs doesn’t need a Rosh Hashanah-specific menu for its takeaway or catering options. When it comes to Ashkenazi fare, it covers it all — including an apple kugel, one of at least five other flavours. Make sure to order from the takeaway menu at least four days in advance to avoid disappointment. Order by phone: 0208 459 2587. Be aware hours will likely be reduced on Sunday 25 September as Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown, so it is suggested to collect on Thursday 22, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., or Friday 23, 8:30 a.m – 3 p.m.
Looking ahead to Yom Kippur, which traditionally includes fasting followed by feasting, Papo’s Bagels, owned and operated by ex-New Yorkers offers something many other London bagel shops don’t: the everything bagel (also known as mish mosh). Options include baby bagels and schmears (cream cheeses) in olive, scallion (spring onion), and chive flavours. Despite the small size of the operation, Papo’s offers nationwide delivery Wednesday to Friday by ordering online. Sandwich options and other daily goods are available in-store.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Address: 73-75 Shacklewell Ln, London E8 2EB
Bubala, meaning darling or sweetheart in Yiddish, is a fully vegetarian, pan Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant with locations in Spitalfields and Soho. The mixed mezze at home (£55), delivered through Dishpatch, includes amba labneh, hummus, and halloumi with black seed honey and more, which would make a fitting Yom Kippur break-the-fast meal for two. Though, it will require a bit more effort than a bagel. Nationwide delivery is available. Order one week in advance.