Quick Lunch in London
If you've ever walked down a street in the capital, you know that Londoners are busy people: tourists are barged out the way; we'll crush ourselves onto the Central Line like sardines even if another is coming in a minute; and if the light turns red when you're crossing, you better run - so it makes sense that we'd all be looking for a quick lunch in London. But we shouldn't have to skimp on quality either, so we've taken a look at some amazing restaurants and created a list of the best express lunches in London. Now go get it! Go! Time's a wastin'!
Last updated on 7th July 2017
McQueen is a trendy East London bar with large chandeliers, rustic wood and Chesterfield sofas that would make even the busiest restaurant goer want to hang around. But still, when you’re in a rush near Old Street station, pop in for one of the most finger-lickin’, grilled express lunches in London, complete with cheeseburgers, steak sandwiches and ribs ready to go.
Back in the day, there was no chance of getting a quick lunch in London at Hawksmoor Spitalfields, since the cool cocktail bar was converted from a former illegal strip club – which would have made bumping into your boss there even more awkward. But now you can shout to the rooftops about their express menu, which lets you choose 2 or 3 courses between fish, salad, steak and whole host of sides.
The Cinnamon Kitchen is basically proof that a quick lunch in London doesn’t have to be a bad one. Leave the more generic chains aside and jump in for some delicious Indian food, with their menu offering either two courses or three courses between 12pm and 3pm, eaten in no time.
Middle Eastern favourites BabaBoom have tonnes of options for an express lunch in London. You can nip in for a kebab – made with gorgeous Persian flatbread and filled with chicken, lamb or falafel – or opt for Baba’s balance lunchbox packed with salad, chicken or falafel and tonnes of vegetables, for a healthy, quick lunch.
Benito’s Hat is a good option for budget-friendly lunches in London that are also speedy as well. Head into the Mexican eatery for everything from burritos to tacos to nachos with guacamole. And if you don’t have much time, order it to take away… and maybe have a cheeky margarita while you wait.
Wahaca frees up your time in a number of ways. Not only can you grab a burrito, taco or salad from their takeaway menu, or even order a few small plates from their street food menu for a quick bite, they’ve got another way to ensure a speedy lunch in London. Their QuickPay app means you can pay for your lunch without having to call down a waiter – isn’t the future great?
Kitty Hawk is split between a coffee bar, a lower restaurant and an upper bar to accommodate the three cycles of any city worker: quick bev and bite before work, sit down meal afterwards and a bar to soothe the pain. Luckily, the coffee bar is at your service for salads, soups and sandwiches, as well as all your pastry needs – perfect for a business lunch or a speedy bit of food before heading back to work.
While you’re more likely to associate Spain with chilled out beach holidays, Camino Bankside can give you a slice of Spanish deliciousness with some quick tapas. One of the tastiest quick lunches in London, you can order two pieces of tapas from their express menu while taking advantage of their ideally placed garden behind the Tate Modern should the sun come out, before shooting off.
Get a taste of delicious Indian food in a snap at Calcutta Street, who have a lunch menu running on weekdays from 12 till 3.30pm. Head into the vibrant former street food trader’s restaurant and you can treat yourself to a Kati roll served with chutney and salad or a Tiffin. You can also visit their Brixton venue.
Pop Brixton is a celebration of food, with over 50 different star ups from street food, restaurants, bars, and more. So if you find yourself looking for a quick London lunch, there is all manner of food available and it’s only a few steps from the train station.
NT’s is an all-day café serving up some mouth-watering food perfect for a speedy bite during lunch. If you love toasties, sharing plates or salads, they can be delivered to your table in a jiffy – all while you hang out in their cool, wooden surroundings.
Chimayo’s selection of pizzas, tacos and tapas are the perfect solution for people looking for a quick lunch in London but want something properly substantial. Their menu is packed with tasty treats, while this cool Chelsea bar is a delight to look at.
The Big Chill Bar is known around Brick Lane as the place to hang out, eat and drink for over a decade. And their lunch menu isn’t something to rush away from either, offering up a selection of tacos and nachos – and 50p from every nacho dish goes to Action Against Hunger, so you can do a good deed while you eat.