DJ Yoda’s ditched the decks for buttermilk pancakes & briskets; Scotch egg burgers are a thing; there’s a bottomless Nordic crayfish fest on Brick Lane; and Soho Grind’s doing FREE Marmite on toast cos it’s turning into a ‘pay-by-sentiments’ cafe this August. That’s right people: the Summer of Love’s come to London. Leave your skinnies at home cos this hit list is rife with button-openers.
What used to be a petrol station on Shoreditch Highstreet has turned into a hungover (or p*ssed) person's mecca! It's all going down at Pump and tucked in to the left is the big daddy, BoneYard. They've gone for that American fast-food vibe with fridges full of Sierra Nevada beer and an industrial, thrifty décor. They even sought out the best chicken fryers (which happen to be the same as KFC!) so go get stuck into buttermilk fried chicken, American smoked ribs (do it), bone marrow burgers and chilli fries, and you can get it 'til 2am baby.
Boneyard, 168 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU
Nordic-themed everything in Shoreditch this August apparently and we sure as hell aren’t bitching about it. They’ve nailed the crayfish feast, they’ve killed the ‘I rolled out of bed this way’ look & now they’re smoking sh*t up. It’s all happening at Curtain Road this August, so after you’ve crayfished out on Brick Lane, get smoked at Rok: chefs will be drawing upon techniques such as brining, pickling and smoking and applying them to British ingredients, so you get the best of both worlds without having to deal with the catastrophe that is Stansted Airport. Dishes will include beauts such as beef shin croquettes with horseradish and parsley as well as smoked short rib with birch syrup. Epic twice-over and they’ve even got a late license till 1 am.
26 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NZ // From 10th August 2015
The boys behind Wright Brothers’ve got a new naughty little brother under the arches of Borough Market and he won’t be around forever so get on it. They’re keen on demystifying the oyster and re-establishing it as a fare that anyone can enjoy: so leave your frills and reservations at London Bridge station. And with a tidy (and sexy) menu concept that consists of ‘Naked, Dressed or Blown,’ how could you refuse? Get blown and opt for a Mediterranean anchovy, butter, lemon, olives & sundried tomatoes sea critter. What to pair it with? Mediterranean hero Gin Mare, of course.
7 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London SE1 9AD
Mexico’s gifted the rest of the world with ‘out of your box’ alcohol, brilliant swear words and mega holidays but that’s just the beginning of it. They NAIL nosh. All you gotta do is top up your Oyster card & head to Marlyebone to partake. This one’s for all who don’t give a sh*t about calories as this boutique taco bar’ll stuff you with champion guacamole, braised oxtail with crema, octopus with pico de gallo or cod cheeks with a squid ink foam. Seriously. Sip on a Guava Pisco Sour and please don’t come here with your sombrero. Not even on Cinco de Mayo 'cos this is not the 90’s.
16 Picton Place, London W1U WBP
Lover or hater? BarChick loves Marmite like you love your nan: it’s hardwired into you and you’ve got no choice otherwise. We put it on crumpets, toast, cakes; we’d consider using it as lube if we could. There’s even a sculpture of a Marmite jar in Burton-on-Trent called Monumite. Which is why we’re giving massive props to Soho Grind and their Marmite Love Cafe pop-up. They’ll check your social media and if you’re a lover you’re getting it free whilst haters pay, so don’t be dense and get on it. Go on, show your big love on social media and give all your mates FOMO.
Soho Grind, 19 Bleak Street, Soho, London, W1F 9RP // 4th - 5th August
This Nordic enclave on Brick Lane is keen to crayfish you up for a few weeks this August & they’re not f*cking around. Imagine a terrace with fairy lights and bottles of schnapps: it’s a lush Swedish dream and we haven’t even started talking food. Not only will there be bottomless crayfish, but chicken liver pate, pickled herring, cured salmon and traditional Swedish party hats. Sail across the North Sea in Shoreditch, don that crayfish hat and do say yes to snap songs.
161 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB // 30th July-16th August
Burgers are a culinary cornerstone. And whilst there have been some questionable permutations of it, this one’s the real deal. You’re about to get double-meated in the face 'cos Yeah! Burger’s Scotch Egg Burger Menu is in effect from the 7th to the 22nd August at Strongroom Bar & Kitchen and The Star of Kings. We’re talking about Scotch Ness Monsters (aged beef, pickled onions, cheddar, Yeah! Sauce, white pepper and sage scotch egg) but if being double-meated sounds traumatizing, they’ve got a vegetarian-friendly option.
Strongroom Bar & Kitchen, 120-124 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3SQ // 7th - 22nd August
Head to Bloomsbury, follow the flip-flop wearing Aussies and spend the night at Generator Hostel. We can’t promise blagging a bunk with travellers, but for a few weeks in August you’ll get v. sleekly-plated Filipino fare & Red Horse beer (8%ABV, so clutch). You also, consequently, may get absolutely munted and incapable of ordering an Uber, so do bring an extra pair of pants and a toothbrush just in case. Chef Rex de Guzman will keep you grounded with Vegetable Laing (taro leaves stewed in spiced coconut sauce, taro fondant & crisps, pan fried tofu & achuete oil) and some proper Leche Flan; forget everything you’ve heard about hostel horror tales and dive in.
37 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SE // From 6th August
In Borough Market but not keen on oysters? We got you. If you don’t want buttery handsome sea critters, you must fancy Iberico pig, Castillan lamb & beef from The Ginger Pig? Lobos does mean wolves in Spanish, so get carnivorous. It’s also got all appropriate tapas restaurant kit: oxblood leather booths, tall wooden tables & black wire mesh cages for wine storage. But keep your eyes wide and protruded for this absolute life alternator: The Lobo Bun (marinated pork patty, onion, peppers & candy bacon topped with a fried egg). If you think you’re hard enough.
14 Borough High Street, London SE1 9QG
PYT (PICK YOUR TOPPINGS)
Tommy Updergrove does 'American carnival food' in Philly and he's keen on bringing his borderline ghastly creations to the UK. The word ghastly having no negative connotations, of course. But us Britons don't come across 1,400 calorie burgers topped with Philly cheese steaks encased in glazed doughnuts at the staggering velocity at which Americans do, so this is tripping us up and we're stoked. Basically, this guy Tommy is bad *ss cos he understands the countless merits of using a deep fryer and he has no bias whatsoever: pizza, doughnuts, cereal...nothing is spared. Hurrah for National Burger Day.
Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, London E8 3DU // From 27th August
DJ Yoda is mad about barbecue, so he’s calling a halt to bashing out bangers and is instead focusing on Southern American fare. We’re talking, classic pit barbecue cooked slow in American smokers over oak, pecan and hickory. Beasting. Go to this Kensal Rise hit on a Saturday or Sunday for New Orleans Louisiana style brunch and hoover up pulled pork boudin benedicte, brisket hash and American BOTTOMLESS coffee. You thought the latter was an urban stateside myth? Think again.
109 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3NS