Plan your Oxford Street Christmas shopping around a lovely lunch and you’ll enjoy it much, more. Most department stores have a wealth of offerings and there are chains aplenty in the area, but if you want a little peace and quiet and a proper sit down you’ll need to walk one street away.
Here are 16 places near Oxford Street where it’s well worth stopping for a glass of wine and something to eat. Go early or late to make sure you bag a table, or book if you can.
On face value Marble Arch looks like a bit of a wasteland unless you want a quick sandwich from Pret, but if you walk around the block behind the tube station you’ll find Seymour Place, a whole street of lovely places to eat including these two recommendations:
Vinoteca offers a wall of wine to choose from and excellent menus. Brunch is served from 11am-4pm on Saturday so you can satisfy your avocado on toast (with salsa rossa) craving or eat grilled bavette with watercress, horseradish and chips off the main menu. Wine is optional but it will be all around you, so you might as well… the menu recommends a glass for each dish. Fixed price lunch, 2 courses for £12.95 and 3 for £15.95.
American food at it’s best. Come for a brunch of eggs benedict on buttermilk biscuits or fried chicken with waffles and a bloody mary at the weekend; or lunch on muffaletta with salt & vinegar crisps on weekdays. You can eat the legendary cornbread, baked to order, every day.
Avoid the actual street itself and escape around the corner to James Street or the block to Wigmore Street for a breather at lunchtime. Wigmore Street is also a convenient, crowd-free route between Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.
Patty & Bun
Burgers in brioche buns (try the Smokey Robinson with smokey mayo and caramelised onions), chips with roast chicken mayo and chicken skin salt, and if you can manage it, a side order of ‘thunder thighs’ with smoked jalapeno butter sauce. No bookings so avoid the busiest times, lunch starts at 12 daily.
On calm Wigmore street, away from the frenzy of Oxford Street, is one branch of bright and cheerful Lebanese restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais. You can eat lightly from the mezze menu or fill up on tagines and flat breads, so it’s ideal if you’re with friends of varying appetite. Bottles of pomegranate molasses, jars of harissa and silver teapots line the walls should you be short of a gift (it would save you plunging back into the hoards).
Going through the swing doors to MEATliquor is like disappearing down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland; it’s another world inside. We especially love the fried pickles with blue cheese dip, green chilli cheeseburger and onion rings, with fries (not chips). And we are partial to a hard shake, too.
Self-service vegetarian, and often vegan, food served in smart surroundings. The dishes are drawn from all over the globe and as well as wines and cocktails there are speciality teas. Read our full review here.
The décor is Mumbai 70s heaven in the newest Dishoom and as usual details are spot on. Don’t leave without a thorough inspection of the photographs on the walls. If you arrive before midday at the weekend you can have brunch – try the bacon and egg naan roll or bun maska, toasted bun and butter with spiced chai.
From midday onwards the full menu is your oyster, from chilli cheese toast and chicken ruby to spicy lamb chops and the prawn and pomelo salad.
Pitt Cue Co
Top notch BBQ and cocktails make this a busy place. There’s usually a queue but persevere for the signature ribs with slaw or pulled pork buns. Try a cider sour to drink. Open 12-3 Monday – Saturday lunch and 12-4 on Sundays as well evenings Monday-Saturday.
This isn’t single place but a collection of venues with diverse food offerings from Oka sushi, sashimi and robata grill to Peruvian Senor Ceviche and Hakata tonkotsu ramen at Shoryu.
Tottenham Court Road
This area is still undergoing a huge transformation while Crossrail bores its way underground across the capital. It’s within spitting distance from Soho and Charlotte Street, both of which appear to have a café, restaurant or pub every other door so you’ll be spoilt for choice. These are some of our favourites – if you pick your timings carefully, you should be able to bag a table.
If a plate of jamon and a sherry is your top scoring lunch (or gin, they have 20 kinds), then stop by Copita. Tapas is modern: try smoked anchovies & pork crackling or sweet potato with bravas sauce. You can book at lunchtime, which is helpful.
Absolutely no use to you on a Saturday, but Tuesday-Friday and Sunday this is an oasis of beautifully cooked food sourced from Cornwall. Stop off the beaten track and savour a seasonal dish such as steak and kidney pie or pan-fried mackerel followed by pudding. 3 courses for £19.
If you have ventured out on a Sunday then book in for the roast, on a Monday you have to eat pie. Lunch starts at 12pm. Read our ‘pro v punter’ review of The Newman Arms here.
Wood-fired pizza and focaccia are the main-stay at this Milanese bakery chain, and if you’re in a hurry you really can grab a quick bite. Add some salad to offset the carbs and eat at the shared counters or opt for a table in the pizzeria next door. Breakfast is also an option – they open at 8am.
Describes itself as East Asian and serves everything from KFC (Korean fried chicken) and pulled pork slider with kimchi island slaw to Scottish sirloin tataki. You can book.
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