Woolwich and Plumstead have the foundations to become go-to dining destinations 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 2022. From the clutch of local restaurants serving a burgeoning Nepalese community, through to a growing number of West African sites and a high street South Indian restaurant of note, 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
Plumstead boasts the U.K.’s largest Nepalese community, and D Namaste has become a local institution — 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.
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.
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.
Maya DD's Restaurant
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.
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.
From a food van on Beresford Square, Peter’s Panas serves a strong menu of Latin American dishes. Alongside the likes of cachapas with cheese and beef, cornmeal empanadas, and tequeños, arepas are the main draw here, split down the middle and stuffed with a variety of fillings. Particular highlights include “the Hairy,” filled with spiced beef under a blizzard of grated cheddar cheese, or slow-cooked chicken with coins of fried plantain.
Tasty African Food
Now the largest West African food chain in the UK, Tasty African Food has over 20 sites across London and Kent. Tasty African Food chose Woolwich for the site of its first UK restaurant, which makes perfect sense given the area’s rich African community, and they’ve since opened an additional Woolwich site (on Thomas Street), and another on Herbert Road in Plumstead. As for the food, Tasty African’s vast menu comprises classics such as boldly seasoned jollof rice; beef suya; chicken gizzards with sweet red peppers; ewa riro; and a variety of soups and stews such as goat stew rich with tripe and ponmo, or well-spiced ofada stew with either red or green peppers alongside slow-braised lotus beans.
Dosa & Sambal Express
A no-fuss restaurant on Plumstead High Street, Dosa & Sambal Express serves excellent South Indian and Sri Lankan food. Split into a number of sections, the huge menu is filled with must-try dishes, so it’s worth either visiting with a group, or planning more than one trip. The crab kari is an essential, as is the D&S special kothu roti with a trio of mutton, chicken and seafood. Other stand outs include ulunthu vadai dumplings with urad dhal, green chilli and sweet coconut chutney; battered cauliflower Manchurian with a slightly sour Indo-Chinese sauce; the egg and fish roll stuffed with potato masala; idli as perfect vehicles for scooping up the accompanying sambal and sambar; and dosas brushed with mysoor chutney.
Los Carnales Mexicanos
Parked outside The Ship pub on the corner of Plumstead Common, Los Carnales Mexicanos operates from a flamboyantly muraled van. On the menu, a range of four or five main fillings are available on nachos or in quesadillas, enchiladas or burritos, including Yucatan beef, smoky chicken tinga, pork carnitas made using neck meat, and — best of all — slow-cooked lamb barbacoa. The burritos are easier to eat on the go (and travel better if ordering for delivery), but the enchiladas benefit from a delicately spiced mole sauce, also capped with Monterey Jack, guacamole and sour cream.
Tamar's Restaurant & Wine Bar
Following the success of a mobile food business, the team behind Tamar’s Restaurant & Bar chose Woolwich as the location for the restaurant’s permanent site, based on the area’s rich African culture. Celebrating West African cuisine, the restaurant serves a collection of broadly Nigerian dishes with other influences also thrown in, including Gambian/Senegalese cheb yacine, also known as “white jollof.” Highlights from the lengthy menu include the likes of pepper soup made with uziza leaves; asun featuring goat meat that’s chopped into bite-sized pieces and ferociously spiced (as it should be); whole grilled tilapia with chilli sauce; and isi ewu, a traditional Igbo specialty of slow-braised goat head garnished with thick rings of raw white onion.