Cuisine: Reborn Sichuanese food concept from LA chef Julian Denis
Influenced by Cantonese, Yunnan and Shaanxi cuisines, Facing Heaven is a vegan’s go-to place. Especially before and after a long night out. Garlic and sesame oil “spanked cucumber”, purple gong bao broccoli at the center, dan dan noodles in front, msg margarita or organic wine in the hand. What else could you ask for?
Where: 1A Bayford Street E8 3SE
Heads-up: It’s named after Sichuanese "facing heaven" pepper. This means hot, spicy food all over.
Cuisine: Falafel aka Middle Eastern street food
It’s pretty rare you can convince a hungry, hang-over Londoner to wait in queue for food for more than ten minutes. But that’s exactly what Pockets do on any given Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Starting cooking these delicacies at Oxford, followed by Chatsworth Road Market, they made (lucky for us) their way into Netil Market in November 2020. And since their debut, there is no single day or hour we can bypass the queue to attain the ultimate goal: falafel pita. It’s not just the falafel, it’s the union of fluffy pita bread, crunchy green falafels, the classified sauce we finally dared to ask and learned was mango-based, hummus, tahini, garnishing and the final touch: boiled, roasted, fried potato slice.
Where: Netil Market, Thursday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m.
Heads-up: It takes about 2 minutes to layer impeccably one falafel pita. Yes, we timed it! Be prepared to wait in line for about 40 minutes.
Cuisine: Izakaya. Pacific Japanese plates from Hakata to Hawaii
If you are lucky enough to find a table outside of OKKO on a sunny London afternoon. Just keep it and keep the food coming. Our suggestion is to start with mixed pickles (including daikon) followed by Crunchy vegan roll, homemade gyoza and ramen accompanied with a nice bottle of sake of course. The lunch would turn into dinner and before you know it you are ordering Yamazaki 12 years.
Where: 10-12 Broadway Market Mews London E8 4TS
Heads-up: Okko is open every day, between 12:00-10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 12:00-9:00 p.m. on Sundays, non-stop.
Cuisine: Italian American deli classics with a plant-based twist
The only place where you can have Rueben made from seitan seasoned with Russian sauce and American style I am Nut Ok cheese; Caprese using Bluffalo Notzarella in focaccia seasoned with green pesto and you can also buy from the deli counter to keep company for your wine and dine nights in.
Where: 29 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH
Heads-up: If you time yourself well, you can have corn chowder soup and arancini balls with a cocktail.
Cuisine: Diner meets café meets tapas
A hip, leafy market, co-work space with shared tables during the day, loud and dance music by night. To some, this is the ultimate weekday hang-out where you can listen to Stranger Than Paradise tunes, to others, a brunch spot with long-time not seen friends. One thing is certain: Order a chipotle black bean burger w/ white cabbage slaw, sriracha, and pickles accompanied by fries.
Where: 117 Mare St, London E8 4RU
Heads-up: If you are looking for quiet, I need to have a couple of meetings online or IRL kind of co-working place, Mare Street is not it. The volume of the music and conversation is always up here. İdeal for people who are looking for inspiration.
We are no longer in the E8 zone but there is a valid reason for that. Burger, chips and a touch of culture. Situated about 10-12 minutes from Broadway Market, this is one of the neighborhood local pubs where you can meet people at the bar and chat. Beer battered artichokes, and vegan black bean burger w/ coconut cream, mint, salad, “brioche” bun & fries is our selection from the menu.
Where: 47 Approach Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9LY
Heads-up: The Approach Tavern has a gallery on the second floor. Check out the program.