10 Greek Street, Soho
Getting a table at the legion of hip “no booking” places that have opened in recent years in Soho – the five restaurants in the Polpo stable, among others – can often mean queuing for an hour. Not so, for now at least, at 10 Greek Street, the place to go for polenta with girolles and burrata (?13), or vine leaf wrapped mackerel (?14).
• 10 Greek Street, W1, 020-7734 4677, 10greekstreet.com. Open Mon-Sat noon-11.30pm. Bookings taken for lunch only
Delicious udon noodles inspired by those from Sanuki island, rolled in the traditional way (by foot) downstairs, and served hot or cold, with a choice of chicken, seaweed, tofu, prawn tempura, in dashi broth, or with cold sauce to sip, or cold sauce to pour. Much loved by food writers and chefs, including staff of the Observer Food Monthly magazine.About ?30 for two people.
• 49 Frith Street, W1, koya.co.uk. No reservations. Open Mon-Sun noon-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Chef Jose Pizarro has two fantastic places to eat not far from the Shard, London Bridge and Shad Thames. Pizarro (194 Bermondsey Street, SE1, 020-7378 9455, josepizarro.com/restaurants/pizarro) is the more formal restaurant (but doesn’t take reservations except for weekday lunches), serving treats such as lamb, white beans and pancetta (?15), and Iberico pork fillet with mashed potato, piquillo, almonds (?16.50). Alternatively try Jose (104 Bermondsey Street), his tapas and sherry bar, for sea bream with morcilla de Iberico (?7) and hake with alioli (?6). The street is also home to the stylish Garrison pub, superb Italian restaurant Zucca, and on 3-5 August, a food festival, Feast (wefeast.co.uk) in the courtyard of Guy’s Hospital, with London’s best street food and pop-ups by top chefs – ?6 a ticket.
KXFS, King’s Cross
The revitalisation of King’s Cross is a slow-moving work in progress, and the maligned area hasn’t quite yet become a destination in its own right, despite the relocation of Central St Martins art college there and revamped King’s Cross station. But for anyone travelling by train from the north or Europe who will arrive near here, or for those perhaps walking the Regent’s Canal towpath from Camden to Angel or the Olympic Park, the new King’s Cross Filling Station, a bar in an old petrol station, attached to Shrimpy’s (020-8880 6111, shrimpys.co.uk) restaurant, could be a worthy stop for a bite, at least to see what all the fuss is about. Street food hit Homeslice offers great thin-based pizzas (this week’s specials were bone marrow, spring onion and watercress, or artichoke) for ?3 a slice, ?9 for a whole one.
• Goods Way, N1, kxfs.co.uk. Open daily noon-10pm
Rita’s Bar & Dining, Dalston
While the street food fad for north American barbecue is sweeping the city, foodies know reinvented fried chicken will be the next big bite. Rita’s then, newly opened by Jackson Boxer, whose Brunswick House Cafe (brunswickhousecafe.com) in an old architectural salvage yard brought stylish eating to Vauxhall last year, is on the money, serving a crispy chicken roll (in a brown paper bag, the accessory du jour), alongside fish tacos, burger sandwiches and unusual options like duck heart baked beans.
• 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, facebook.com/ritasbaranddining. Open Tues-Sat 7pm till late