Ironically, Old Street’s home to a lot of new restaurants.
And while Shoreditch is just around the corner with its own bumper crop of restaurants and bars, there’s plenty of spots orbiting the Old Street roundabout that shouldn’t be overlooked – especially given their proximity to Nightjar, one of the best bars in London.
So here they are: our pick of the best Old Street restaurants…
Richard Corrigan is one of the Emerald Isle’s most successful chefs in recent decades, having scored Michelin Stars at three different restaurants, won Great British Menu three times, and been awarded London Restaurant of the Year four times in a career littered with other culinary accomplishments. And now he heads up Daffodil Mulligan, an Irish restaurant right by Old Street station, with a grill and an oyster bar upstairs, and a snug subterranean bar with individual drinking booths…
Details: 70-74 City Road, EC1 2BJ | Book here
Yes, ordinarily Comic Sans rings some very loud alarm bells. And yes, Lilienblum’s menu offers a ‘plate of tomatoes from far away land’ and bruschetta with the note that ‘it’s a very bad idea to eat this but there will be no regrets’. However behind Miznon founder Eyal Shani’s tongue-in-cheek descriptions lies a seriously excellent Tel Aviv-inspired feast. On al fresco dining watch: while the interior is expensive yet inviting, with an open kitchen and counter seats, Lilienblum’s also got a mood-setting hidden courtyard terrace.
Details: 80 City Rd, London EC1Y 2BJ | Book here
Gloria by name, glorious by nature, this all-singing, all-dancing Italian trattoria is guaranteed to give you something you’ll remember. Even if that’s a mild, cheese-induced heart attack the next day. Giant cocktails in loud, maximalist glasses; a ten-layer lasagne; and a wedge of lemon meringue pie standing over half a foot tall are among this enterprise’s modest offerings. It’s the kind of place you’re going to want to visit at least once (or so say the queues around the block).
Details: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, Old Street, EC2A 3QR | Book here
This handsome, exposed-brick, moodily-lit spot is all about the meat. And the beef-dripping chips. Oh, and the classic cocktails served table-side from a trolley. Blacklock remains one of London’s finest chop houses, with the option to go ‘all-in’ on your meats for £26pp. This is also a great option if you work around Old Street and fancy upgrading your Tesco sandwich once in a while – their steak sarnie is served in double-quick time, and is a just-about-justifiable weekday treat at £13.
Details: 28-30 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DZ | Book here
Pachamama – the ancient Peruvian goddess of fertility – has, in her eternal generosity and fecundity, granted us a second incarnation of the Marylebone restaurant.
It’s been given a suitably East London makeover, with tiled floors and brutalist wood and metal accents offsetting the delicate presentation of Chifu dishes, the crossover of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine that arrived with East Asian migrants to South America in the 19th century. If you haven’t tried it before – and in London, it’s perfectly conceivable that you haven’t – you’re in for a treat, with aji panca prawn toast, fried crab wantan and wild mushroom mapo tofu available both à la carte and in a blow-out tasting menu.
Details: 73 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3DT | Book here
By day, Ozone is a huge, two-level, industrial coffee shop serving cups of their in-house roast alongside eggs every which way, vegetable fritters and granola. By night, it turns into a candlelit warehouse, in which you can unwind with Modern European dishes, cocktails, and a possible appearance from a dog in a gold lamé jacket.
Details: 11 Leonard Street, EC2A 4AQ | Book here (weekdays only)
It’s the brainchild of Sager + Wilde’s Michael Sager and his mixologist-turned-business-partner Marcis Dzelzainis. Together they decided to open this breezy, all-day Spanish-meets-Italian restaurant in Old Street, offering pasta and tapas dishes alongside bespoke coffee, cocktails, and over 250 bottles of wine.
Details: 11 Old Street, EC1V 9HL | Book here
Padella might not blow their own trumpet, but they do knead their own trompetti. The relaxed handmade pasta spot started out in London Bridge, and quickly won itself an army of fans prepared to queue for hours for their mouthwatering dishes. Suffice to say their second restaurant behind Old Street roundabout is worth checking out – especially now they’ve got al fresco seating round the back. Download the WalkUp app to queue virtually while you get a drink elsewhere.
Details: 1 Phipp Street, London EC2A 4PS
An intimate, unusually shaped restaurant serving seasonal European dishes like veal tartare; smoked eel caesar salad; and grilled artichoke gnocchi. Wine’s revered here, with a sizeable list to wash down your meal – though be warned, they have good taste and it doesn’t come cheap (bottles start around £40). They will, however, waive the usual £40 corkage if you want to bring along your own bottle to Saturday lunch.
Details: 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU | Book here
Dressed up in the standard industrial-style Shoreditch uniform, Officina 00’s USP is slightly unusual pasta dishes – things like cavatelli (small, shell-like pasta) with padrón peppers, almond pesto, and crispy coppa; or corzetti (big, disc-like pasta) with wild mushroom, fennel, sausage, and parsley. For starters they’ve got cacio & pepe ravioli (a definite must-have), whilst sweets take the form of both lemon and chocolate profiteroles (again, difficult to turn down).
Details: 156 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BW | Book here
Venture a little further… and you could check out these great restaurants in Shoreditch too