One of south east London’s less surveyed neighbourhoods, Woolwich has the foundations to become a go-to dining destination alongside Peckham and Deptford. Perhaps still best known as the location for London’s first McDonald’s — the fast food chain launched its debut UK branch there in 1974 — Woolwich home to an increasingly exciting restaurant scene in 2019. From the clutch of local restaurants serving a burgeoning Nepalese community, through to a unique fine dining establishment at a sixth form college, an acclaimed Eritrean café, and a quality craft beer taproom, these are the best places to eat and drink in SE18.Read More
Where to Eat in Woolwich and Plumstead
Nepalese community stalwarts, retro fine dining in a sixth form college, excellent Eritrean cuisine, and more
1. Taproom SE18
The original taproom from Woolwich-born brewery Hop Stuff, Taproom SE18 is a stylish but approachable space, specialising in local craft beers and sourdough pizzas. The house Jolly Cooperation Sour IPA — brewed in collaboration with Barbarian Brewery in Idaho — is an absolute joy, as is a pizza topped with Calabrian ‘nduja, mozzarella, and basil.
London SE18 7BZ, UK
Specialising in Taiwanese bao buns, Yum Bun’s gua bao are favourably pillowy and stuffed with a melange of corresponding flavours. Try the Japanese fried chicken with optimally craggy batter and accompanying tarutaru sauce, or the bun filled with crispy tofu, black bean mayonnaise and heady garlic choy sum. Find them at the Public food market, Friday and Saturday.
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3. D Namaste
London SE18 7DY, UK
Technically in Plumstead — which boasts the UK’s largest Nepalese community — D Namaste has become a local institution, and unsurprisingly so. A tiny café-style space leads to an upstairs with various dining rooms, including a space where guests sit on the floor to eat. Here, the menu is vast, but the steamed momos are an essential order, as are the crispy lamb ribs, and the mixed thukpa with its intense chicken broth and a mixture of grilled chicken, pork and mutton.
4. Blue Nile Café
A family-run operation honouring Eritrea’s colonial history, Blue Nile Café doubles up as an Eritrean-Italian restaurant. Set within a 1930s butcher shop, lunch has pronounced Italian leanings with various pastas, while Eritrean injera with zigni stews is the main focus during evening service. Staff are on hand to talk through the menu, while a set Bebiaynetu menu for two — five vegetarian zigni, or three vegetarian and two meat — offers a chance to sample a wide range. The vegetarian options are the most rousing: hamli with bitter green leaves, chickpea shiro, or peppery lentil tumtumo.
5. Kailash Momo
Kailash Momo’s namesake is, unsurprisingly, the main draw at this family-run Tibetan restaurant. Of the versions served, the chilli pork or steamed mutton dumplings are amongst the best, but aren’t necessarily some of the area’s finest. Pork chura, on the other hand, a stew of pork belly “boiled with blue cheese,” benefits from the way that the astringent cheese cuts through some of the dish’s spiciness, ultimately complementing the deeply savoury flavours. A must-try.
6. Viet Baguette
London SE18 6EG, UK
Formerly known as An, Viet Baguette has since re-launched with a new name and larger premises, still focussing on Vietnamese bánh mì. The new space is bright and airy, with its mix-and-match wooden chairs and bare brick walls. Pork is unsurprisingly omnipresent, featured in various styles throughout the menu. The Viet Baguette Special is a safe order, comprising pork roll, slices of gently spiced pig and earthy pâté, with coriander and pickled vegetables. So too is the fried bean curd baguette, packed with cubes of breaded tofu.
7. Maya DD's Restaurant
London SE18 6EG, UK
A stone’s throw from Woolwich Arsenal station, Maya DD is one of the area’s outstanding Nepalese restaurants. Service is warm in low-key surroundings, and be sure to order the following: jhol momo, featuring stuffed momo dumplings in a restorative broth laden with sesame, turmeric and ginger; egg chatamari, and slightly sweet sel roti rice doughnuts.
8. City View
A unique restaurant at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, City View is run by student chefs and front of house staff. Hosting several lunches throughout the week and ‘Fine Dining Evening’ every Thursday during term time, the venue also boasts sprawling views across the city, given the venue’s hilltop location. While the dining room’s décor is somewhat stuffy, service is friendly and professional. The cooking is equally professional, offering good value at £22.50 per head at dinner, with occasionally overwhelming portion sizes. Dishes may include deftly grilled parrot fish with a pronounced dill, prawn and caper sauce; or chicken in sauce hongroise, humming with smoked paprika. Booking essential.