Campania

As the bottom of the boot, Southern Italy is really where you’ll find the country’s sole food. And there’s no better place to find it in London than the utterly transporting Campania, a little sliver of backstreet Italy hiding behind Hackney’s Columbia Road. The menu changes daily depending on what

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Il Bacino

Fantastic Authentic Italian, great value for money, huge portions, superb wine choice, customer service second to none and has been consistent every time I’ve frequented. Occasionally premiership footballers and celebrities in here but seriously good value for money. Very inexpensive. 

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Smith’s of Wapping

Opened in 2011, this younger sibling of long-running Smith’s Ongar operates along similar lines and also receives its due share of plaudits: one reader rates it as his favourite London restaurant, while others praise its “great food and great atmosphere”. Spacious surrounds and exposed brickwork set the tone in the

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Ping Pong

With branches peppered across London, this mini-chain touts affordable dim sum and drinks all day. The pan-Asian menu covers your traditional offerings of har gau and bao buns, with the addition of regularly changing specials such as succulent black prawn dumplings and crisp truffle-laced spring rolls. For the uninitiated, helpful

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St JOHN Bread & Wine

St John Bread and Wine takes the food at the legendary St John restaurant in Farringdon, and transfers it into an informal canteen-style dining room close to Spitalfields Market. The British food here is, as ever, excellent. The menu changes all the time, but literally everything is good, whether you’re

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Fabrique Bakery Hoxton

London now has several branches of this Swedish bakery chain but the Hoxton outlet, in a railway arch next to the Overground station, was the first one to open, and it’s where the actual baking is done. There’s not much room – there are far more tables outside the industrial-looking

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Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton

The food concept is simple, small sharing plates drawing from Filipino flavours, spices and ingredients. The ambiance is laid-back, the drinks are smooth and service is always with a smile. The menu is the brainchild of Mediterranean-trained Pinoy chef Francis Puyat, formerly of NOPI, Yotam Ottolenghi’s West-End masterpiece. After the

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Morito

North African Moro has perched atop Exmouth Market’s food chain since 1996, and is celebrating 20 years of rave reviews with the opening of this second little sister in Hackney (following Morito Exmouth Market). The capacious, concrete-chic space (oh-so east London!) generates much noise, best suiting it for fun, casual meals

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Aviary

Perched high above the capital with enviable views out over the City, London’s hottest destination rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace, Aviary, has come home to roost. Aviary is an ornithological paradise soaring above London’s busy streets that will have cocktail connoisseurs, City lunchers and evening pleasure-seekers flocking. Aviary – London’s

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Gloria

Few restaurants successfully manage to transport you back in time without feeling like a clichéd relic from an earlier era, but this UK debut from French hospitality group Big Mamma does just that. Despite its Gallic roots, Gloria’s shtick is Italian food, billing itself as a ‘70s Capri-style trattoria’. A

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