John Lewis Roof Garden
If you could escape the fresh hell of Oxford Street to sit in a sunny garden, drink cocktails and listen to live music, you would right? Yeah, us too. On the John Lewis roof, in amongst ample foliage and its very own garden furniture, you can do just that. You can even eat buttermilk fried chicken burgers and ice cream sandwiches - yes boi. Check the schedule on their site for live acts and DJs. Go on, pet, summer's your time to shine.
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Low, Slow & Juke
*** Perm Closed - Liam - 27/11/17*** The meat here is hand-rubbed, rested for 24 hours then smoked low and slow for 16 hours, before being glazed with all sorts of sweet and sticky goodness. These meaty flavours need some drinks that pack a punch so the guys at Low, Slow & Juke have put their own spin on classic cocktails (our favourite was the clover club) and gotten some artisan beers full. There’s plenty of spirit from the Deep South with blues and jazz playing and the whole space looking like the set of a musical based in 1930s New Orleans, with plenty of neon lights and above the bar, a strange array of windows; some shuttered up, some open, with net curtains blowing and a tiny TV inside one.
Ever wanted to visit New Orleans, booze away with sailors and learn how to jazz? Now you can taste - and drink - the Southern Dream at Ninth Ward in Farringdon. Food is definitely for sharing (American portions baby!), and save some time to read through the never-ending ale and craft beer menu. For a fail-free dinner, go for the heavenly buttermilk chicken, the dirtiest fries this side of the Atlantic, and a swanky Bayou 75 cocktail. Watch out for the voodoo cabinet near the toilets...
Meat and Shake
For when you need your gut well and truly busted, Meat and Shake delivers. Thing is, the burgers they sell here go way beyond your standard 'bacon and blue cheese'. Try the smoking bandit which comes under a cloche full of smoke. If you’re not after a burger, they've got some of the finest smokehouse goodness this side of the Mississippi, all washed down with the sort of milkshakes your mother warned you about - like fig and cinnamon, or pistachio and marshmallow topped with popping candy.
Red Dog South
Another mighty meaty BBQ joint in London, Red Dog Saloon prides itself on its hickory and mesquite wood smokers imported from the states. We actually prefer the chicken here though - they do some really decent wings here, especially the classic buffalo. It's the deadly food challenges this place is really known for. There's the Devastator burger that you get 10 minutes to polish off, or the hot wings challenge that you need to sign a disclaimer before starting. What are you, a wimp?