The Sunday Roast.
A meal so integral to our identity as Brits that the French literally refer to us as ‘les rosbifs’.
Something that – with the whole ‘frogs’ thing – we probably started.
Fortunately though we’ve come to wear our crown with pride, turning what began as a humble piece of meat and veg to feed the whole family into a food-driven cultural beacon representing the entirety of Britain.
It is London that reigns supreme though, and we’ve outlined exactly where you can find out why.
Behold, London’s best Sunday roasts:
Blacklock | Soho, Shoreditch, The City
A Soho chop house opened by a trio of ex-Hawksmoor folk. Choose your meat – beef, lamb or pork – or don’t, and get the ‘All In’ which has everything, with all the trimmings, and is perfect for sharing. Their gravy is the best in London; we said it. And it’s all even better paired with one of their bloody marys or breakfast martinis.
Details: 24 Great Windmill St, W1D 7LG | Sundays 12-6pm (9pm Shoreditch) | £16-£20 | Make a booking here
The George | Strand
A slip of a pub on the Strand that looks like it’s been ripped straight out of Tudor England, with mullioned windows, cosy nooks and a carving on the outside of a naked man chasing pigs. Unconventional farming methods notwithstanding, that pork (and beef, and chicken) is whipped into an excellent Sunday roast with crispy roast potatoes, springy greens and possibly the best cauliflower cheese in London.
Details: 213 Strand, WC2R 1AP | 12-9pm | £16 | Make a booking here
The Quality Chop House | Farringdon
The Quality Chop House is a dining room, wine bar, butchery and butchers shop that has opened for lunch and dinner since 1869. Or, you could just call it an institution.
Details: 88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA | Sundays 12-4pm | £35-£39 | Make a booking here
Cora Pearl | Covent Garden
It’s a super intimate, richly-designed space in Covent Garden, serving a small-in-size, big-in-flavour Sunday lunch menu, including the likes of roast beef with horseradish sauce, brought to you alongside bowls of seasonal veg, crispy rectangles of layered confit potatoes, cauliflower cheese, and of course a Yorkshire pud.
Details: 30 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, Central London, WC2E 8NA | Sundays 12-3.30pm | £18-£28 | Make a booking here.
Mr. Ji | Soho
Mr. Ji in Soho offers a Cantonese twist on the traditional Sunday roast – here you’ll get roast duck, roast pork belly, Taiwanese sausage and soy-poached chicken… aaand unlimited jasmine rice, lettuce cups and pickles. The menu’s only on offer for the first Sunday of every month, and understandably, they sell out way ahead of time. But if you can snag a seat, it’s well worth it.
Details: 72 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UN | First Sunday of each month | £67.50 | Book here (bookings open about 2 months in advance)
Jones & Sons | Dalston
Just perfection. Starters of grilled sardines with cherry tomato salsa give way to Welsh leg of lamb, slow roast pork belly and Herefordshire rib eye (and an actual choice of dishes for non meat-eaters), with all the trimmings in tow.
Details: Stamford Works, 3 Gillett Street, N16 8JH | 1-5pm | £17-£33 | Make a booking here
The Marksman | Hackney
Hackney Rd’s revamped Victorian pub serves up a cracking roast with universally admired Yorkshires. There’s plenty of veggie and fish options too if you have a pescetarian or vegetarian to drag along with you. Doors open at 10am and coffee is served on their balcony, just around the corner from the Colombia Rd Flower Market.
Details: 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ | 12-8pm | £40 | Make a booking here
Hill & Szrok | Hackney
Butcher by day; communal, intimate steak eatery by night. Just like a restauranteering Batman. Chef Alex Szrok, previously of The Eagle in Farringdon, wipes down the chop table at 6pm, places 12 seats around it and – if you’re lucky enough to nab one – cooks whatever he feels like.
Details: 60 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ | 6-10pm | £20 | Make a booking here
The Spread Eagle | Homerton
Okay so, if you’re here, you’re probably not a vegan. Stab in the dark guess. But the fact is that the roast at The Spread Eagle is both vegan, and delicious. They’ll cook you up a beet wellington, a walnut & cashew nut roast, or a pot roast with celeriac & potato crackling, and then embellish it with all the usual trimmings, and it’ll be every bit as good as your regular roast. Only, it’ll be from a zero waste kitchen.
Details: 224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS | 12am-8pm | £14-£16 | Make a booking here
The Jugged Hare | Barbican
The Jugged Hare has a secret weapon in the Sunday Roast wars: a rotisserie. That means that their sage-stuffed chickens, Tamworth pork bellies, and Longhorn rump beef cuts, and even their butternut squash all come with rotisserie gravy (should you want it).
Details: 49 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA | 11am-10.30pm | From £26 | Make a booking here
The Culpeper | Spitalfields
An establishment named in honour of the 17th century herbalist, physician, astrologer and Spitalfields local, Nicholas Culpeper, and which under one roof(top) combines a pub, restaurant and urban garden – and one of London’s best Sunday roasts.
Details: 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | 12-6pm | £15.5-£20 | Make a booking here
Barge East | Hackney Wick
A 114 year-old Dutch cargo barge moored up by the Olympic Stadium, that serves some of the best food in London. And like any respectable boat, Sundays are dedicated to formidable roasts, board games, and Sex With The Captain*.
*that’s a cocktail.
Details: Sweetwater Mooring, River Lee, White Post Lane, E9 5EN | 11am-7.30pm | £27 two courses, £32 for three | Book here
Darby’s | Battersea
Darby’s comes to us from Robin Gill, the man behind such south London restaurant luminaries as The Dairy and Sorella. This, however, is his masterpiece, a restaurant named after his own father, and which happens to serve a stunning roast. It’s relatively simple, serving just one thing: roast Dexter beef rump, which they cook to pink perfection, along with balloon-like Yorkshires, kalibos cabbage and – maybe the best bit – roast confit potatoes.
Details: 3 Viaduct Gardens, Embassy Gardens, SW11 7AY | 12-4pm | £23 | Make a booking here
Nutbourne | Battersea
It’s not exactly a surprise that the Gladwin Brothers do a good roast. After all, both the meal and the brothers themselves are about as English as they come, and at their rustic Battersea idyl, they’ll serve you up with a classic old-school Sunday lunch made with roast meats from their own family farm down in Sussex. Expect ribeyes, pork belly, and even partridge, all sided by Yorkies, roast potatoes, carrots, onion puree, and hispi cabbage. And wine.
Details: 29 Ransomes Dock, 35-37 Parkgate Road, Battersea SW11 4NP | 10am-8pm | £14-£19 | Make a booking here
Coal Rooms | Peckham
If you’re looking for a great Sunday Lunch in Peckham, The Coal Rooms is just the ticket. Housed in a former ticketing office, right next to Peckham Rue station, it gently moves from cafe in the day – with fancy coffees & fresh pastries – to a fully-blown restaurant in the night. On Sundays they offer four varieties of a traditional Sunday lunch: dry aged beef wellington; miso-butter-roasted chicken; rosemary & garlic lamb, and more…
Details: 11a Station Way, Peckham Rye Station, SE15 4RX | 12-5pm | £16-£29 | Make a booking here
The Camberwell Arms | Camberwell
Dining at the Camberwell Arms is a test of willpower. Because you’re going to have to either starve yourself for a fortnight beforehand, or somehow hold back on the starter of crispy pork belly with nectarine; the side of sage & lemon roast potatoes; the sharing plates of overnight braised lamb; and the dessert of elderflower rum baba – if you want to have room for this bad boy.
Details: 65 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8TR | 12-4pm | From £18pp | Make a booking here
The Anchor & Hope | Waterloo
No great shakes from the outside, but one of Waterloo’s best restaurants within. The pub setting makes for a cosy atmosphere, and the roasts are top-shelf: seven-hour lamb shoulder to share, or the classic Highland beef, and roast skate slot into a lengthy Sunday lunch menu bookended by lobster broth, and a hot chocolate pot and cream ice cream.
Details: 36 The Cut, SE1 8LP | 12-3.15pm | £18+ | Make a booking on 020 7928 9898
The Victoria Inn | Peckham
It’s a handsome gastropub and hotel on Peckham’s Bellenden Road where – alongside roast chicken, pork belly, and beef – they do the best vegan wellington on the south side of the river.
Details: 77-79 Choumert Rd, Peckham, London SE15 4AR | £14.50-£18 | Make a booking here.
The Palmerston | East Dulwich
Back open after a scare with the lease, they’re serving one of the best Sunday roasts in south London, with huge Yorkshires, near-perfect veg, and potatoes that are like crispy little clouds.
Details: 91 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EP | £14.50-£20 | Make a booking here.
Hawksmoor | Knightsbridge, Covent Garden, Piccadilly, Guildhall, Borough & Spitalfields
Simply the best steaks in London, and also a pretty strong contender for best roast, with 55 day aged beef rump started off on charcoal, finished in the oven and covered in lashings of bone marrow gravy.
Details: Various Locations | Sundays 12pm-Late | £24 | Make a booking here
Sam’s Riverside | Hammersmith
Sam’s is a relative newcomer on the roast dinner scene, but Sam Harrison certainly is not. He’s been in the restaurant game for a couple of decades, and it shows in the skilled execution of his Sunday roasts. Expect a melting cut of Herefordshire sirloin, or a crackling-topped wedge of rare breed pork, all sided by pillowy yorkies and crisp roast potatoes.
Details: 1 Crisp Walk, W6 9DN | 12am-4pm | £24-£28 | Make a booking here
The Drayton Arms | South Kensington
Roasted. Spatchcocked. Lemon. Chicken. With gingerbread stuffing. And some other stuff, too.
Details: 153 Old Brompton Road, –
The Harwood Arms | Fulham
The only Michelin-starred pub in London. And so unsurprisingly, the roasts here are rightfully lauded. And it’s one of the few places in the city where you can get roe deer shoulder…
Details: Walham Grove, SW6 1QP | Sundays 12-2.45pm | £55 (three courses) | Make a booking here
The Hero of Maida | Maida Vale
The food at this Maida Vale pub and dining room is excellent on any day of the week. But on Sundays, lunches begin with Jersey oysters; continue with veg wellingtons, pork shoulders and sirloin, lamb shoulder or spatchcocked chicken to share; followed by desserts like brownies with pistachio ice cream; and finish off with a pub quiz and a glass of peanut butter stout.
Details: 55 Shirland Road, London W9 2JD | 12-6pm | £16-£38 | Make a booking here
The Old Queen’s Head | Islington
The OQH’s four roasts jostle for first place – there’s Aycote farm leg of lamb with minted peas; roast corn-fed chicken with aioli and smoked gravy; just-pink 32 day aged Longhorn beef with marrow gravy; and an excellent veggie/vegan mushroom wellington, with all the trimmings.
Details: 44 Essex Road, Islington, London, N1 8LN | 12-7pm | £13.95+ | Make a booking here
The Pig And Butcher | Islington
Perfect cuts, direct from the suppliers and butchered in-house, paired with beef dripping potatoes, creamed leeks, buttery carrots, extraordinary gravy and ballooning Yorkshire puds perched on top. Plus, ginger Jamaica cake with whisky toffee sauce to finish.
Details: 80 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD | 12-11pm | £16.50+ | Make a booking here
The High Cross | Tottenham
A Tudor-esque former public toilet hides Tottenham’s smallest gastropub within: a cosy, independently run spot with a killer roast. Pork, chicken, beef, lamb and nut versions are served up every Sunday with all the trimmings, and a great beer list to match.
Details: 350 High Road, N17 9HT | 1.30-6.30pm | £13+ | Make a booking on 020 8292 8115
The Drapers Arms | Islington
Beef forerib to share. Rare roast 48 day aged sirloin. Roasted duck magret. North London’s finest gastropub ain’t messing around when it comes to roasts: the Yorkshire puds are the size of your face. Order a half-litre carafe of wine, and get stuck in.
Details: 44 Barnsbury Street, London, N1 1ER | From 12pm | From £14.50 | Book here
1251 | Angel
Keeping it simple, 1251 offer one roast, and one roast only: 42 day-aged Belted Gallway beef sirloin with beef dripping roast potatoes, carrot puree, chargrilled hispi cabbage, smoked bone marrow, horesradish cream, and perfectly crisped Yorkshires.
Details: 107 Upper Street, N1 1QN | From 12pm | £25pp | Make a booking here
Smokehouse | Islington
If this Islington gastropub were called Roasthouse, this would be a whole different ball game. But this is Smokehouse – a temple to the joys of playing with fire, and their Sunday roasts are perfect for when you want a twist on the genre. On the menu you’ll find smoked Hereford striploin, a whole smoked chicken to share between two, and smoked Texel lamb shoulder, all cooked using English oak. They do all, however, still arrive with puffed-up Yorkshires, veggies and beef fat roast potatoes. Nobody needs to go ripping up the rule book that much.
Details: 63-69 Canonbury Rd, N1 2DG | From 12pm | From £16pp | Make a booking here
Main image: Blacklock
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