Paul Rothe & Son
This little deli/cafe is now in its fourth generation, and it's a blue-tick verified heart and belly warmer. Inside you can pick up all kinds of jams, pickles and sauces, or plonk yourself down for some soup and a sandwich. And by that, we really mean sandwich. There are all manner of the things here, packed full of meat or cheese or fish or veggies and they're goddamn tasty - the kind that draw in both working-class cabbies and the well-heeled posh folk of Marylebone. The sandwiches are traditional recipes like ox tongue, salt beef and garlic sausage, and are generously filled and well priced. This place is just brimming with character and history and is a rare old gem. Drop in and get full.
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Every neighbourhood has that one geezer that seems to have been knocking about forever. First opened in 1986, Sonny’s is that guy in Barnes: now co-owned by two star Michelin chef Phil Howard, the mission statement is filling up tums with classic dishes cooked with expertise. We especially like the sound of the chargrilled pluma of iberico pork with cavalo nero, roasted onion and pineapple relish. Fancy throwing a bit of a fancy dinner? There’s a private dining room available for hire and all. You’ll find Sonny’s Foodstore next door, with deli-style snacks and bites up for grabs - they also offer a catering service for private hire.
As if Brixton doesn't have enough goodness in the neighbourhood, it also has one of the best restaurants in the city within its borders - Salon. This overachieving eatery wasn't content with being the favourite of local gastronome types, it also had to go and be named one of the top 40 British restaurants by the Observer. But like any overachiever, they're eager to share their accomplishments in the form of changing seasonal menus with produce sourced from the market. The vibe: British cuisine influenced by global flavas. You can get a four-course set menu, for £36pp. Which, tbh, is a pretty sweet deal for the kind of scrummy scraps you'll be putting in your mouth. Think Jersey Royals with wild garlic and Devon blue cheese, or rhubarb with whit chocolate, sour cream, and sumac. Flavours. On. Point. Veggies need not be scared off: the menu is always pretty plant-focused, and the adorable staff is always accommodating. Oh, and if that all wasn't enough for you, they also do brunch.
Just like its lovely sister Portland, Clipstone is an absolute winner. Start with perfectly on point charcuterie and go on to treat your tastebuds to delicious seasonal plates of varying sizes. The menu changes regularly, with a lot of house pickles and other traditional British flavours with a twist, like grilled ox tongue with radishes and crème fraîche. Usually with food this good, service can be a bit stuffy, but these guys live up to their 'neighbourhood restaurant' claim and are pretty much as welcoming as you can get. Be warned, it's walk-ins only in the evening.
Bang in the middle of Marylebone, sits Jikoni, a lovely restaurant where the tastes of Britain, East Africa and Asia come together on a pretty little plate. Celebrity chef Ravinder Bhogal has given up working with mad hatter Gordon Ramsay, to focus on modernising heartwarming family recipes. Think prawn toast quail scotch egg with banana ketchup and pickled cucumber, or Ras Hal Hanout lamb served with Mujadarra. Not for the faint hearted, but definitely worth a gander.