“The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.”
– Oscar Wilde
Forget all those eating out guides and videos, if you want a decent meal in London without paying a fortune, you need to ask a local. Garlic and Shots in Frith Street is a Soho legend and well established, and if you’re after fun as well as food it’s a friendly place. The basement is the ideal setting for those garlic infused shots that keep on coming. Try the steak and potato gratin, delicious. There are pots of parsley on each table, chew a mouthful as you leave to avoid breathing garlic on everyone you meet. Stockpot round in Old Compton Street is perfect for cheap pre theatre or clubbing dinner and serves basic food, freshly cooked. The daily menu does change but stalwarts include liver in sage and onion gravy with mash, breast of chicken diabolo, and penne with salmon and rocket. The friendly manager Manuel is great, and the bill after ice cream and a glass of wine is likely to be around a tenner. If burgers are your thing, head across the road to Ed’s Easy Diner for an authentic American style burger. Up the road in Camden you’ll be spoiled for choice with mussels and frites at Belgo, terrific pizza and pasta at La Porchetta and traditional Caribbean food at Cotton’s Rum Shack, all on Chalk Farm Road. For those on a bigger budget try Gilgamesh in the Stables Market, but do book first.