The 13 Best Comfort-Food Spots In London—Worth Every Calorie

Brr, bit nippy, isn’t it? These chilly nights are perfect for indulging in your favorite comfort foods. Salads certainly don’t warm our cold souls in quite the same way.
Vegetable-dodgers unite: Here are our pick of the best places in London town to find the most delicious home-style eats. We're talking smokin' hot Mexican joints, classic Italian pizzerias, and burger bars to satisfy any craving. Bon appetite!

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Photo: Courtesy of the Electric Diner.
Electric Diner
We have four words for you. Fried house-made bologna sandwich. Is that four? The hyphen kind of threw us. Here are a few more choice words, just in case that didn’t pique your appetite: Knickerbocker glory. Honey-fried chicken with chili and sesame seeds. Double cheeseburger. Enough? Okay, but we’d also like to point out the Goodfellas-style vibe makes us want to linger all day, soaking up the atmosphere while consuming all the fried goods on the menu. And, we can't forget to mention it’s next to one of the oldest cinemas in London. Win-win.

Electric Diner, 191 Portobello Road, W11; +44 (0)207 908 9696.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Electric Diner.
This is the only time you'll see this diner empty.
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Photo: Courtesy of Roast.
Crafting a seasonal menu from good ol' British produce (much of which is sourced from purveyors in Borough market), Roast overlooks the bustling stalls below and iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. The view is good, but the food is even better. Think slow-roasted free-range pork belly with mash and apple sauce or honey-glazed leg of ham with bubble and squeak. Got room for more? A Neal’s Yard farmhouse cheese board will sort you right out.

Roast, The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, SE1; +44 (0)845 034 7300.
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Photo: Courtesy of Roast.
This truly is a room with a view.
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Photo: Courtesy of Burrito Mama.
Burrito Mama
There are few things better than tucking into an overstuffed, cheesy, guacamole-filled burrito when you’re famished and it’s cold outside. The newly opened Burrito Mama is the sister of bounteous Mexican eatery Wahaca (a spot that celebrates the joys of refried beans). And, it definitely fills a very large, tortilla-shaped hole in this fair city. There’s even an app where you can order whatever your heart desires and pick it up at the counter. The website says "Mama knows best." Who are we to argue?

Burrito Mama, One New Change, EC4M, +44 (0)203 375 2374
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Photo: Courtesy of Burrito Mama.
Corn chips, refried beans, and guacamole are a cold-weather cure-all.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rum Kitchen.
The Rum Kitchen
We love The Rum Kitchen for so many reasons, starting with the hidden cellar holding over 100 types of rum. But, it's the saltfish fritters, jerk chicken, and caramelized banana puddin’ that keep us coming back. A beach shack in the middle of Notting Hill where the drinks are sweet and the beats are provided by DJ Fast from The Fun Lovin’ Criminals? It's basically a tropical holiday without the expensive airfare.

Rum Kitchen, 6-8 All Saints Road, W11; +44 (0)207 920 6479.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rum Kitchen.
Nothing beats a rum punch. Are we right? Or, are we right?
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Photo: Courtesy of Cabana.
Founded on the Brazilian culinary ethos of communal food, haphazardly served and enjoyed with gusto, Cabana brings the country’s fine cuisine to London town. Our dream order goes something like this: Chunks of aged parmesan dipped in honey, pork-and-papaya hot dog, and a big bowl of steaming black beans cooked with cumin, onions, and garlic. And, it would be rude not to wash it all down with copious Caipirinhas. Get your fix in Covent Garden or either of the Westfield locations for now, and in Islington, too, come December.

Cabana, 7 Central St Giles Piazza, St Giles High Street, WC2H; +44 (0)207 632 9630.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cabana.
Now this is what we call a meat feast.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Townhouse.
Dean Street Townhouse
We’ve got a lot of love for Dean Street Townhouse. It's not exactly a hidden gem, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that its Sunday roasts are pretty impeccable. There’s some magic in there somewhere. Our money’s on the gravy. Aside from that, the restaurant is elegant and inviting and the slick, old-school interiors and beautiful oak bar gives the space a gentleman’s club appeal. You can even stumble upstairs into one of the hotel rooms if it all gets a bit too much.

Dean Street Townhouse, 69-71 Dean Street, W1D; +44 (0)207 434 1775.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Townhouse.
The seating is made for a post-dinner food coma.
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Photo: Courtesy of Berners Tavern.
Berners Tavern
We’re all for eating a dirty, sloppy hot dog from the latest food truck or talking with our mouths full over rough-and-ready fried chicken. But, comfort food can reach all-new levels of extravagance when served in the most elegant of settings. Berners Tavern, with Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton at the helm, serves up contemporary British gastronomy (think deep-fried Clarence Court duck egg, mushy peas, and crispy Cumbrian ham) in an opulent, neo-Baroque dining room in London’s hottest new hotel, EDITION. Also: fish 'n' chips on Fridays. That’s all we’re saying.

Berners Tavern, 10 Berners Street, W1T; +44 (0)207 908 7979.
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Photo: Courtesy of Berners Tavern.
The most breathtaking dining room in all of London. Really.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chop Shop.
Chop Shop
The newly-opened Chop Shop has generated well-deserved buzz from London’s top tasters. The New York-based company delivers a crazy-good menu of comfort food from both sides of the pond. Chicken liver paté, cottage pasta pie and meatballs, and plates filled with cheese and cured meats. And, we didn't even mention the steak. Yes, we know. We’ll see you in there.

The Chop Shop, 66 Haymarket, SW1Y; +44 (0)207 842 8501.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chop Shop.
Make sure you have room for the hangar steak. Just. Too. Good.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pizza Pilgrims.
Pizza Pilgrims
No feature on comfort food is complete without a mention of pizza, a.k.a. the food of kings. The Pizza Pilgrims' brothers started their business in van with a small-but-perfectly-formed menu, and since turned their business into one of London’s must-visit food spots. The duo learned the trade in Italy (and, incidentally, gained a stone each on their pizza recce through the country) and use only the highest quality ingredients (the cheese is cow’s milk mozzarella from Latteria Sorrentina, the San Marzano plum tomatoes from Campania). It’s little wonder their authentic-style offerings have gained such instant stardom.

Pizza Pilgrims, 11 Dean Street, W1; +44 (0)778 066 7258.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pizza Pilgrims.
Forks and knives are not required in this pizza joint.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chosen Bun.
Chosen Bun
London's love affair with all things fast food and Americana-related shows no sign of abating — and for good reason. Sometimes, nothing hits the spot quite like a big, juicy gourmet burger. Founders Pete Sharman and Andy Shovel know this intimately, setting up Chosen Bun after a year-long burger-eating reconnaissance mission (including a two week road trip across the States). Every detail of their resulting takeaway joint was scrutinized — they tested 10 types of lettuce, 50 chip recipes, and a 1,000 different beef patties. So, London, you can stop looking. Burger glory is to be found right here in our fair town — Fulham to be exact (or delivered within a two-mile radius).

Chosen Bun, 647 Fulham Road, SW6; +44 (0)207 731 2411.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chosen Bun.
We recommend the Moonshakes to wash down your burger.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chicken Shop.
Chicken Shop
Given the vast array of poultry-based eateries, you’d be forgiven for thinking that South London was the centre of the fried-chicken universe. Your world is about to be turned upside down. Chicken Shop, part of the unstoppable Soho House group, calls north of the river home, and is responsible for some of the most delicious chicken available in the city. Choose a whole, half, or quarter chicken depending on how hungry you are, opt for hot or smokey-flavoured, pile on the sides (slaw and butter lettuce and avocado salad for us, please) and then put the final nail in the coffin with the chocolate brownies. Then, when you have nothing left to give, roll home. It’s over. Chicken Shop won the day.

Chicken Shop, 79 Highgate Road, NW5; +44 (0)203 310 2020.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Chicken Shop.
Chicken nuggets have nothing on this Chicken Shop.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Newman Street Tavern.
Newman Street Tavern
If classic British fare is what you’re after (the kind that patriotically warms your heart as well as your cockles) then the Newman Street Tavern’s hearty menu is for you. Blackface lamb, Galloway beef cottage pie, and homemade fudge are all waiting to be consumed with gusto. The best bit? Traditional meat-ageing, butchery, and fishmongery are all handled onsite and the chef forages in hedgerows for their herbs and fruit. Cue the National anthem.

The Newman Street Tavern, 48 Newman Street, W1T; +44 (0)203 667 1445.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Newman Street Tavern.
The bar is as impressive as its extensive wine list.
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Photo: Courtesy of Coal Vaults.
Coal Vaults
If Coal Vaults was the new kid at school (and new it is, indeed), it would probably drive a vintage Mercedes and throw legendary parties when its parents were out of town. That's how cool it is and we definitely want to be friends. Set on Wardour Street — the main artery of London’s Soho — the building was originally used for storing coal in the early 19th century and the updated space has a supremely cosy feel. The cool-kids founders (young entrepreneurs Simo and Andy Kanter, ex-GRUB at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club chef James Knox Boothman and The Rooftop Café’s Magnus Reid), make everything they can in-house — from bread to alcohol infusions. Start with the deviled popcorn, move on to the pulled rabbit with smoked black beans, and then finish with the salted flourless chocolate cake with mint cream and toasted almonds. Hungry?

Coal Vaults, 187b Wardour Street, W1F; +44 (0)207 434 1550.
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Photo: Courtesy of Coal Vaults.
Meet your new favourite saturday night hangout.

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