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, Covent Garden, Shoreditch, The City
A quartet of chop houses 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 12-8pm (6pm City & Covent Garden) | £15-£24 | Make a booking here
temper | Soho, Shoreditch
It’s hard to keep cool at temper when their huge smoked roasts – aged beef, pulled lamb shoulder, pork belly or baby chicken – are presented before the table having been given a thorough dose of flame from an open fire-pit kitchen. Chuck in beef fat roasties, sizeable veggies, four-cheese cauliflower and a Yorkshire pudding that could contend for London’s biggest, and any semblance of composure you might have had before is gone completely…
Details: Soho 25 Broadwick Street W1F 0DF | Shoreditch 78 Great Eastern St EC2A 3JL | 12-7pm | £21.50-£25 | Make a booking here
Maison Francois | St James
Step inside the grand, Art Deco-styled space that is Maison Francois and, depending on the Sunday, you’ll be transported to a different region of ‘deep France’. From Toulouse to Lyon, the four-course set menu has been designed around the area’s signature dish – rich plates of cassoulet or pot-au-feu – all excellently paired with wines spanning sparkling Mauzac to peppery Marcillac. As if going back to work on Monday wasn’t hard enough…
Details: 34 Duke Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6DF | £50 with an optional £25 wine pairing | Make a booking here
The Guinea Grill | Mayfair
The Guinea has built a loyal clientele around being one of the most underrated steak places in London, but on a Sunday the historic pub is well aware of what the story is and serves a stonking roast. There’s no grilled guinea pigs here – let’s just get that one out of the way first – instead you’ve got choice between a rump of Godfrey’s beef, blue cheese, truffle and walnut gratin or slow-cooked pork belly, both bolstered with Yorkshire Pud and the regular ensemble of beef-dripping roasties, honey-glazed carrots, baby onions with bacon and gravy from the pan (that they say is optional). Optional. Pfft, yeah right…
Details: 30 Bruton Place, W1J 6NL | 12-9pm | £30-£35 | 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 | 12-8pm | £17+ | Make a booking here
The Quality Chop House | Farringdon
The Quality Chop House is a dining room, wine bar and butchers shop that has opened for lunch and dinner since 1869. Or, you could just call it an institution. And the Sunday lunch menu is a big part of that, with dishes like Ryeland hogget shoulder to share; roast pheasant with plum jam and Mangalitza collar all served up with Yorkshire puds, roasted onions, ‘bashed roots’, and the option to upgrade your roasties to their famous confit potatoes, which take almost 24 hours to make.
Details: 88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA | Sundays 12-5pm | £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 with a jazz soundtrack. Tuck into roast poussin, roast sirloin with horseradish or a lovely roast squash for veggies, brought to you alongside bowls of seasonal veg, crispy cuboids of layered confit potatoes, cauliflower cheese, and of course a Yorkshire pud.
Details: 30 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA | Sundays 12-3.30pm | £22-£30 | Make a booking here
Jones & Sons | Dalston
Pure 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 | 1-6pm | £17-£33 | Make a booking here
The Marksman | Hackney
Hackney Road’s revamped Victorian pub serves up a cracking roast with universally admired Yorkshires, and the unusual option of roast mallard. There’s plenty of veggie and fish choices too if you have a pescatarian or vegetarian to drag along with you. Doors open at 10am and coffee is served on their balcony, just around the corner from the Columbia Road Flower Market.
Details: 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ | 12-8pm | £40 for 3 courses | 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 | £16/17 | 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 | £32 | Make a booking here
The Culpeper | Spitalfields
The Culpeper is all of five things: a pub, a restaurant, a boutique hotel, a rooftop bar, annnd an urban garden. And somehow amidst all this, the team finds time to rustle up a mean roast. If you’re going in a group, you’ll want to order the big hitter: the Côte de Boeuf to share, made with beef from regenerative farms and herbs picked from their very own rooftop garden.
Details: 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | 12-6pm | £17+ | 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, duck fat roasties and bottomless Bloody Maries.
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 Sunday 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 idyll, they’ll serve you up 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 Rye 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: half a Norfolk chicken; smoked hogget shoulder; ex-Dairy sirloin to share; and a lovely veggie platter of oyster mushrooms and courgettes, served with all the trimmings.
Details: 11a Station Way, Peckham Rye Station, SE15 4RX | 12-4pm | £18+ | 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 ham hock & raclette; the side of sage & lemon roast potatoes; the sharing plates of overnight braised lamb and spit-roast chicken with chicken fat crème fraîche – 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 Scottish langoustines & chips, and buttermilk pudding with salted caramel sauce.
Details: 36 The Cut, SE1 8LP | 12-3.15pm | £23+ | 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 Road, Peckham, London SE15 4AR | 12-9pm | £16+ | Make a booking here
The Great Exhibition | East Dulwich
Your classic neighbourhood boozer with a knockout Sunday roast. And they don’t skimp on the gravy either. Also, they serve a seriously good spicy Bloody Mary to help ease it all down.
Details: 193 Crystal Palace Road, East Dulwich, SE22 9EP | 12-6pm (or until sold out) | £16.50-£19 | Make a booking here
Canton Arms | Stockwell
This isn’t your typical Sunday roast. It’s way better than that – as you’d expect from a place by the same people behind the esteemed Camberwell Arms. Grilled Cornish gurnard with fennel & olives; duck and smoked ham pie with buttered greens; rare Dexter beef… you can pick from them all (not easily, mind), as well as a seven-hour Salt Marsh lamb shoulder to share with potato and olive oil gratin, greens, and more. And that’s before you get to the run of classic British desserts.
Details: The Canton Arms, 177 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XP | 12-3.45pm | £21+ | Make a booking here
Hawksmoor | Knightsbridge, Covent Garden, Piccadilly, Guildhall, Borough, Spitalfields, Canary Wharf
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. With beef dripping potatoes.
Details: Various Locations | Sundays 12pm-sell-out (about 5pm) | £25 | 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 | 12-4pm | £24-£32.50 | Make a booking here
The Drayton Arms | South Kensington
21 day-aged beef sirloin. Roast chicken with pigs in blankets. Roast pork belly with a red wine jus. All on one, glorious plate.
Details: 153 Old Brompton Road, –
The Harwood Arms | Fulham
The only Michelin-starred pub in London. So unsurprisingly, the roasts here are rightfully lauded. And it’s one of the few places in the city where you can get slow-cooked fallow deer…
Details: Walham Grove, SW6 1QP | Sundays 12-8.15pm | £65 (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 chicken liver parfait; continue with spinach & feta wellingtons, pork belly and sirloin, and lamb shoulder or whole roast chicken to share; inevitably involve a sticky toffee pudding; and end with a pub quiz (from 7pm) and a glass of peanut butter stout.
Details: 55 Shirland Road, London W9 2JD | 12-6pm | £17-22 | 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 bone marrow gravy; and an excellent chestnut mushroom wellington with all the trimmings. Add to that a roaring fire and a karaoke room for hire, and you’ve got yourself a Sunday.
Details: 44 Essex Road, London, N1 8LN | 12-7pm | £13.50+ | Make a booking here
The Albion | Islington
Is The Albion nicer in winter or summer? With one of the best beer gardens in London, all clad in purply wisteria during May/June, and a cosy countryside-esque interior with a roaring fireplace, it’s a tough, tough call to make. Fortunately, you can enjoy their roast all-year-round, in either of those lovely settings, where they source their meat from trusted local British farms – anything from Texel lamb leg to 21-day aged topside beef, slow-cooked Gloucester Old Spot and Yorkshire chicken breast – and supplement it as one should with a spot-on Yorkshire pud, veg and perfectly-cooked spuds.
Details: 10 Thornhill Road, London N1 1HW | £19-£23 | Lunch 12-9pm | Book here
The Baring | Islington
New and improved, The Baring opened under a new team earlier in the summer to universal praise, but the true acid test was always going to be how good is the Sunday roast? And it’s good, very good – one of London’s best Sunday roasts, in fact. Make the hard choice between grilled pork collar, roasted chicken or grilled Normande beef rib (all served with roast potatoes, greens & gravy) and then make the easy choice to return again next week…
Details: 55 Baring Street, N1 3DS | 12-4pm | ££ | £23-76 | 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 | £20+ | 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 | From 1pm | £13+ | Make a booking on 020 8292 8115
The Drapers Arms | Islington
Beef forerib to share. Spatchcocked coquelet. 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 £18 | Book 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 Road, N1 2DG | From 12pm | From £16pp | Make a booking here
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