Crowds from all over London descend upon the Square Mile each year for the Lord Mayor’s Show, but so few know the area very well. Where do you grab a good coffee in this concrete jungle? Which pub is best? Where do you feast for lunch and dinner? Well we’ve got...
Crowds from all over London descend upon the Square Mile each year for the Lord Mayor’s Show, but so few know the area very well. Where do you grab a good coffee in this concrete jungle? Which pub is best? Where do you feast for lunch and dinner?
Well we’ve got your prayers answered. We’ve rounded up the top spots to dine at during this year’s Lord Mayor’s show which are located along the procession route. So, you can duck in for some food or a pint and not miss out on all the action.
Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat or want to go all out and try some of the City’s famous fine dining restaurants, this guide will have what you need.
Located right next to Mansion House, where the procession begins and ends, this big City of London dining destination will surely be buzzing. Grab your coffee fix and a spot of brunch at Caravan City (the famous London coffee roasters) before moving up to Bleecker for some of the best burgers in the area. Homeslice is ideal for a quick bite to eat before running back to the procession but those wanting to take their time should check out the larger restaurants.
Koya offers up the best soba noodles as well as your favourite Japanese dishes. Brigadiers offers up old school Indian elegance with bold flavours. Kym’s is for Chinese feasting. Ekte serves up healthier Nordic meals like fishy open sandwiches and Danish meatballs. And Vinoteca is the place to go for a comforting glass of wine with a cheeky cheese and charcuterie board. Have a wander up and down the arcade to find your fave spot.
Bloomberg Arcade EC4N 8AR
The Natural Kitchen
The Natural Kitchen started off as a humble retail organic food shop, but has now become one of London’s top healthy lunch venues with venues all over the City. Hearty and healthy options leave diners spoiled for choice, and the fresh meat counter is a marvel in itself. Whether you eat at the café or breeze through the deli, you’re sure to find a deliciously organic snack or lunch option. Chefs getting up at 4am for trips to the market is the norm at The Natural Kitchen in order to select and serve the freshest and best quality produce to use across all their London stores
Various City of London locations
Ye Olde Cock Tavern
This massive pub will certainly have a big and boisterous atmosphere all day long. The three-level maze of food and booze is ideal for big groups who want to take over one section just for themselves, either going for a more formal gastro pub meal or burgers and chips for the kids. Sit up by the upstairs fireplace and get your whisky on or head to the shuffle board room to embrace your competitive streak. If you don’t think you’ll find a spot once you first walk in, push ahead – there’s usually free space hidden somewhere inside Ye Olde Cock Tavern.
22 Fleet Street EC4Y 1AA
Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange
The hyper Instagrammable Fortnum and Mason bar in The Royal Exchange is the place to go for morning coffee or even a more luxurious afternoon tea. Or, if you just want to treat yourself during the day, grab a glass of bubbles before doing some luxury shopping and stepping back out into the busy streets full of festival goers making a proper raucous. It’s the perfect excuse to check out the interiors of this historical landmark.
The Courtyard, The Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LR
This fine dining restaurant is for those wanting to find a slow and calm oasis within the busy streets around the procession. Start off with some sake while you watch the masters making their soba noodles from scratch before ordering a whole assortment of high-end Japanese dishes. Soba noodles are their speciality. But, those in a rush at lunchtime can still run in to grab a quick bento box or some sushi rolls before joining the noise and mayhem back out on the streets.
190, 5 Strand, Arundel Street WC2R 3DX
On the Bab
The sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken at On the Bab is like crack. Last time we were there, we went to town on a bucket of them and ended up covered in delicious sticky sauce. We’re obsessed. But they are better known for the famous bao buns (in circle) filled with either bulogi beef, spicy pork, fried chicken, mushroom fritters or a breaded prawn patty. If you’re in a large group, just order one of each and share. They’re all worth trying. Pair it all with some dumplings and kimchi pancakes and you’re well and truly sorted. Let’s just hope they don’t have a queue out the door.
9 Ludgate Broadway EC4V 6DU
If you haven’t been inside The Ned’s massive food hall then you must take a peek inside during the Lord Mayor’s Show. This old converted bank retains a lot of its classic elegance, with massive double vaulted ceilings and large colonnades scattered throughout. Wander around, admiring all the design and architecture while you decide on which of the eight different restaurants to eat at.
Cecconi’s is your very own little Italy in London, Millie’s is traditional British with it’s won afternoon tea and Kaia is Asian-Pacific cuisine and even has its own alternative afternoon tea for those who want to change things up. But our favourite comes in the form of Zobler’s Deli and Diner where you’ll get one of the best Reuben sandwiches in the city alongside all your other New York deli favourites.
27 Poultry Street EC2R 8AJ
Obicà Mozzarella Bar
Does anything sound dreamier than a mozzarella bar in the Square Mile? We think not. The casual dining restaurant lets mozzarella be the star – topping pasta dishes, pizzas, salads and sitting all on its own. And they do burrata too – so go all out on this hyper cheesy menu, washing it all down with some cocktails and bubbles while you’re at it.
Unit 4, 5-7 Limburner Lane EC4M 7AX
This traditional Indian restaurant is a hidden gem, located right by Fleet Street. Here, local delicacies from regions all over India are brought together under one roof. Tuck into giant garlic prawns baked in the iron tandoori oven, sizzling lamb shanks grilled to order, or one of their long list of rich and spicy curries. India India is especially good for big groups, putting together large platters of all their best bits alongside buckets of beer and two for one cocktails before 9pm.
8 Crane Court EC4A 2EJ
The Fat Bear
The Lord Mayor’s Show is a quintessentially British historic event but that doesn’t mean you can’t stray over to the Americas for some hearty grub. After all, the City of London is now well and truly international in scope – with dining destination reigning from all over too. The team at The Fat Bear focus on American soul food which is packed full of flavour and fun. Sample some Cajun gumbo, make a mess with some New York-inspired buffalo wings and then go all out on the fried chicken and waffles combo. Wash it all down with some bourbon and rye and call it a day as you Uber back home for a little late afternoon food coma.
61 Carter Lane EC4V 5DY
M Threadneedle Street
These guys are huge players in the City of London food and drink scene – partly because of their size and extensive offerings. Within their central location, they have a cocktail bar, wine tasting room, M Grill restaurant, whisky lounge, private members lounge and four separate private dining and event spaces. And even though they’re best known for the red beef offerings (City workers love their steaks), they’ve started to embrace the veg and seafood options over the past years. Definitely try the surf and turf feast too if you have the time and determination.
60 Threadneedle Street EC2R 8HP
We’ve had a food crush on Temper City for some time now. And their new bottomless steak and wine deal has made us fall in love with them all over again. The bottomless brunch craze has certainly made its way into the Square Mile but this is a far more adult and sophisticated version. Head here for a hefty British rump steak with sides and 90-minutes of unlimited wine for just £29 per person. It makes for an epic show day.
2 Angel Court EC2R 7HJ
Sweetings has been around since 1830. It is a London institution. And it continues to be crammed full of loyal customers each and every lunchtime. The seafood is served simply (they don’t want to mess about with the high-quality fresh stuff) and the service hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years either. Don’t expect flashy Instagrammable food and drinks here. That wouldn’t fit in with the famous no nonsense charm here at Sweetings in the City. It really feels as if you’ve stepped back in time when you’re dining. Any fish loving Londoner should come here at least once in their life. Add it to the bucket list.
39 Queen Victoria Street EC4N 4SF
Spring at Somerset House
Somerset House isn’t too far away from the procession route this year, making the Spring restaurant the perfect spot for the ethically minded diners. Head chef Skye Gyngell has been pushing forward Spring’s environmentally-friendly policies since 2016, creating brilliant seasonal menus from all locally sourced and organic produce. Her last ‘Scratch Menu’ raised awareness on food waste and she is now pushing ahead with a plan to make the restaurant entirely plastic free by the end of 2019; not a small feat for those in the hospitality industry. And beyond all of their sustainability efforts, the space within the new wing of Somerset House is visually stunning and the changing menu is given a whole heap of thought and care. It’s fine dining done ethically.
Somerset House, Lancaster Place WC2R 1LA