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Assam pedas at Normah’s Cafe in Queensway
Assam pedas at Normah’s Cafe in Queensway
Normah’s Cafe [Official Photo]

Where to Eat When Canvassing in Cities of London And Westminster

Roti canai, reuben sandwiches, peerless dim sum, perfect popcorn fried chicken, and more

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Assam pedas at Normah’s Cafe in Queensway
| Photo by Normah’s Cafe [Official Photo]

Another Tory-held seat that’s losing its incumbent MP: this time it’s Mark Field, who’s standing down because he shoved a female climate activist against a pillar and grabbed her neck disagrees with the Tories’ Brexit policy. Currently it’s looking like a three-way race between Nickie Aiken for the Tories, Labour’s Gordon Nardell and Lib Dem Chuka Umunna, latterly of Labour. Cities of London and Westminster encompasses Soho, Chinatown, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury, and Victoria — with so much choice pit stop-wise, we’ve prioritised value for money, speed, and convenience.

Covering a lot of ground? Here’s how to eat your way around the city in 24 hours.

For further recommendations in Chinatown, check this guide; for Soho, this one.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fortitude Bakehouse

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35 Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1N 1JA, UK

Slow-fermented doughs with wild yeasts are the thing here, and that extends to sweet buns and even cakes, rather than stopping with sourdough. Rye, Pump Street chocolate and sel de guerande biscuits run London’s Best Cookie close, while those slow-fermented buns are a perfect breakfast: softly-spoken sourness, yeasty, flaking dough, and a good whack of sugar. James Hansen

2. BAO Fitzrovia

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31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

A good choice for those who like to plan their meal-breaks. Four or more people campaigning? Bao Fitz is bookable! Reserve a spot for guaranteed black cod bao, restorative rice bowls a-plenty and beef-cheek nuggets. The cocktail selection is strong (as are the cocktails). Emma Hughes

Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard Pascal Grob

3. Mortimer House Kitchen

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41 Mortimer St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 3JH, UK

Very much adored by critics, dinner at Mortimer House Kitchen would be a lovely thing to look forward to during a long day of pounding the pavements. Save space after Mediterranean-meets-the-Middle-East small plates and perfectly cooked pastas for the tiramisu, which comes with a sprinkling of crisp almond-and-chocolate brittle, lending a pleasing crunch. It isn’t massive, which means it won’t send anyone to sleep on the way home. Emma Hughes

London restaurant reviews: Mortimer House Kitchen Fitzrovia impresses Evening Standard and Sunday Times food critics Jamie Lau/Mortimer House Kitchen

4. Banh Mi Kêu Deli Soho

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9 Poland St, Soho
London W1F 8PY, UK

Easily one of the most reliable bánh mì in London can be found at Kêu. Crispy pork belly, ham terrine and chicken liver pate (all house made) with refreshing daikon, carrot, chilli and spring onion are all jammed into a crispy baguette and topped with coriander to create, in Kêu’s “Classic” banh mi, one of the most nourishing sandwiches around. James Hansen

Banh Mi at Banh Mi Keu Deli, one of London’s best Vietnamese restaurants Kêu Deli [Official]

5. Good Friend Chicken

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14 Little Newport St
London WC2H 7JJ, UK

One of the best of Chinatown’s newer wave snack shops, Good Friend is a small shrine to various ways of frying a chicken. Flattened breast as big as a human head? Yes. Small pieces of popcorn chicken? Yes. Stuffed with molten cheese? Double yes. But the best and most evil way is the chicken skin, which absolutely must be consumed within about 10 seconds of exiting the fryer, showered in whatever flavoured powder one desires. Jonathan Nunn

6. Kiln

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58 Brewer St, Soho
London W1F 9TL, UK

Up there with London’s best restaurants, full stop. Ben Chapman is a learner and perfectionist, and curiosity took him to northern Thailand on a research trip in 2016. The findings have been on exhibition at Kiln in Soho ever since. In-house butchery of rare-breed British meat means prices are unusually fair; day boat fish means seafood curries are extra fresh. Thai veg and herbs are grown for him in Cornwall and every single bit of cooking is done not with electricity or gas, but over charcoal. Clay-pot noodles are a lunch in themselves. Adam Coghlan

Best seafood restaurants in London: cockles at Kiln in Soho Kiln [Official Photo]

7. Normah's

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Normah's 23-25 Queensway Market, Bayswater
London W2 4QJ, UK

Rivals Roti King as London’s best Malaysian caff. The roti canai here is arguably better, with the fluffy interior not compromised by the caramelisation she achieves on the crust, but people are mainly here for the assam pedas, a scarlet bloodbath of whole fish, as sour as tangy wine gums with tamarind, and lifted by a prickling chilli heat. All of Normah’s dishes work better if able to convince her or her nephew to cook them ‘pedas’ — spicy — but if she doesn’t, service is so charming that it won’t matter. Jonathan Nunn

Assam pedas at Normah’s Cafe in Queensway Normah’s Cafe [Official Photo]

8. Brasserie Zédel

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20 Sherwood St, Soho
London W1F 7ED, UK

No matter the hour, this place will come up with the goods. A very jolly addition to the West End: a vast, bustling, glam-feeling, late-opening French brasserie with very jolly prices. Do onion soup, steak tartare, frog’s legs, celeriac rémoulade, confit duck, choucroute Alsacienne. Zédel is a respected cabaret venue, too. All in all, a gift. Sophie Dening

Profiteroles and chocolate sauce Brasserie Zédel [Official Photo]

9. Monty's Deli

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Market Halls Victoria, 191 Victoria St, Westminster
London SW1E 5NE, UK

Here be sandwiches of rare quality and heft. Along with Gopal’s Corner (roti canai), Monty’s is the standout trader at the Victoria Market Hall. A plate of latkes and smoked salmon is the perfect pre-canvassing breakfast, while a salt-beef sarnie makes for an ideal lunch on the hoof. Check out all the options at Market Halls here. Emma Hughes

Salt beef sandwich by Monty’s Deli at Market Halls Victoria, the new London restaurant food hall Maria Nakhmanovich

10. A. Wong

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70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico
London SW1V 1DE, UK

Situated on Wilton Road, and at the vanguard of Victoria’s overdue effort to up its food game, Andrew Wong reimagined modern Chinese cooking, and was awarded a richly deserved Michelin star in 2017. Dim sum at lunch are available by the individual piece, the best of which is a vinegar-sharp xiao long bao. Leave space for the wonderful moo shu pork to share. —Adam Coghlan

Dim sum at Michelin-starred A. Wong, the Chinese tasting menu restaurant in Victoria that forms part of the best 24 hour restaurant travel itinerary for London — where to eat with one day in the city Ola Smit/Eater London

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1. Fortitude Bakehouse

35 Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JA, UK

Slow-fermented doughs with wild yeasts are the thing here, and that extends to sweet buns and even cakes, rather than stopping with sourdough. Rye, Pump Street chocolate and sel de guerande biscuits run London’s Best Cookie close, while those slow-fermented buns are a perfect breakfast: softly-spoken sourness, yeasty, flaking dough, and a good whack of sugar. James Hansen

35 Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1N 1JA, UK

2. BAO Fitzrovia

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN, UK
Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard Pascal Grob

A good choice for those who like to plan their meal-breaks. Four or more people campaigning? Bao Fitz is bookable! Reserve a spot for guaranteed black cod bao, restorative rice bowls a-plenty and beef-cheek nuggets. The cocktail selection is strong (as are the cocktails). Emma Hughes

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

3. Mortimer House Kitchen

41 Mortimer St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3JH, UK
London restaurant reviews: Mortimer House Kitchen Fitzrovia impresses Evening Standard and Sunday Times food critics Jamie Lau/Mortimer House Kitchen

Very much adored by critics, dinner at Mortimer House Kitchen would be a lovely thing to look forward to during a long day of pounding the pavements. Save space after Mediterranean-meets-the-Middle-East small plates and perfectly cooked pastas for the tiramisu, which comes with a sprinkling of crisp almond-and-chocolate brittle, lending a pleasing crunch. It isn’t massive, which means it won’t send anyone to sleep on the way home. Emma Hughes

41 Mortimer St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 3JH, UK

4. Banh Mi Kêu Deli Soho

9 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 8PY, UK
Banh Mi at Banh Mi Keu Deli, one of London’s best Vietnamese restaurants Kêu Deli [Official]

Easily one of the most reliable bánh mì in London can be found at Kêu. Crispy pork belly, ham terrine and chicken liver pate (all house made) with refreshing daikon, carrot, chilli and spring onion are all jammed into a crispy baguette and topped with coriander to create, in Kêu’s “Classic” banh mi, one of the most nourishing sandwiches around. James Hansen

9 Poland St, Soho
London W1F 8PY, UK

5. Good Friend Chicken

14 Little Newport St, London WC2H 7JJ, UK

One of the best of Chinatown’s newer wave snack shops, Good Friend is a small shrine to various ways of frying a chicken. Flattened breast as big as a human head? Yes. Small pieces of popcorn chicken? Yes. Stuffed with molten cheese? Double yes. But the best and most evil way is the chicken skin, which absolutely must be consumed within about 10 seconds of exiting the fryer, showered in whatever flavoured powder one desires. Jonathan Nunn

14 Little Newport St
London WC2H 7JJ, UK

6. Kiln

58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TL, UK
Best seafood restaurants in London: cockles at Kiln in Soho Kiln [Official Photo]

Up there with London’s best restaurants, full stop. Ben Chapman is a learner and perfectionist, and curiosity took him to northern Thailand on a research trip in 2016. The findings have been on exhibition at Kiln in Soho ever since. In-house butchery of rare-breed British meat means prices are unusually fair; day boat fish means seafood curries are extra fresh. Thai veg and herbs are grown for him in Cornwall and every single bit of cooking is done not with electricity or gas, but over charcoal. Clay-pot noodles are a lunch in themselves. Adam Coghlan

58 Brewer St, Soho
London W1F 9TL, UK

7. Normah's

Normah's 23-25 Queensway Market, Bayswater, London W2 4QJ, UK
Assam pedas at Normah’s Cafe in Queensway Normah’s Cafe [Official Photo]

Rivals Roti King as London’s best Malaysian caff. The roti canai here is arguably better, with the fluffy interior not compromised by the caramelisation she achieves on the crust, but people are mainly here for the assam pedas, a scarlet bloodbath of whole fish, as sour as tangy wine gums with tamarind, and lifted by a prickling chilli heat. All of Normah’s dishes work better if able to convince her or her nephew to cook them ‘pedas’ — spicy — but if she doesn’t, service is so charming that it won’t matter. Jonathan Nunn

Normah's 23-25 Queensway Market, Bayswater
London W2 4QJ, UK

8. Brasserie Zédel

20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED, UK
Profiteroles and chocolate sauce Brasserie Zédel [Official Photo]

No matter the hour, this place will come up with the goods. A very jolly addition to the West End: a vast, bustling, glam-feeling, late-opening French brasserie with very jolly prices. Do onion soup, steak tartare, frog’s legs, celeriac rémoulade, confit duck, choucroute Alsacienne. Zédel is a respected cabaret venue, too. All in all, a gift. Sophie Dening

20 Sherwood St, Soho
London W1F 7ED, UK

9. Monty's Deli

Market Halls Victoria, 191 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5NE, UK
Salt beef sandwich by Monty’s Deli at Market Halls Victoria, the new London restaurant food hall Maria Nakhmanovich

Here be sandwiches of rare quality and heft. Along with Gopal’s Corner (roti canai), Monty’s is the standout trader at the Victoria Market Hall. A plate of latkes and smoked salmon is the perfect pre-canvassing breakfast, while a salt-beef sarnie makes for an ideal lunch on the hoof. Check out all the options at Market Halls here. Emma Hughes

Market Halls Victoria, 191 Victoria St, Westminster
London SW1E 5NE, UK

10. A. Wong

70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE, UK
Dim sum at Michelin-starred A. Wong, the Chinese tasting menu restaurant in Victoria that forms part of the best 24 hour restaurant travel itinerary for London — where to eat with one day in the city Ola Smit/Eater London

Situated on Wilton Road, and at the vanguard of Victoria’s overdue effort to up its food game, Andrew Wong reimagined modern Chinese cooking, and was awarded a richly deserved Michelin star in 2017. Dim sum at lunch are available by the individual piece, the best of which is a vinegar-sharp xiao long bao. Leave space for the wonderful moo shu pork to share. —Adam Coghlan

70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico
London SW1V 1DE, UK

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