When staying at The Montcalm At The Brewery London City, you are in the prime location for all the foodie fixes you can imagine. However, with breakfast often included in The Montcalm Club Reward Program, and dinner is a go-to for evening activities (especially when a theatre-trip is on the cards), you often find that you are eating non-stop. This is why you need some light lunch options, to make sure you can get through the day comfortably without being too full to enjoy your evening meal – here are the creme of the crop.
Shoop Soup Shop
This little soup and sandwich shop just off the beaten track of Oxford Street is perfect for a light lunch. Their soups are filling, nourishing and absolutely delicious. Not to mention, you can get an array of soup sizes from nibble size (perfectly paired with a salt beef sandwich, or falafel, both menu items for which they are notorious) to big, hearty bowls to feed your soul. It is a rustic setting, with a couple of tables that are almost always filled – so perfect for take-aways, and a great street-side vibe if you can brave the cold. It is made fresh, and the lamb fasolia (braised shoulder with white beans) is shoop-erb.
John Charlick’s on Grays Inn road is a lunch spot of note – between their deli bar options, including a range of fresh salads packed with wholesome ingredients, and their sandwiches, you can’t really go wrong. Try their tomato, buffalo mozzarella and olive ciabatta sandwiches, or take a crack at the chicken and avo on black rye. You are hardly going to be able to resist coming back and trying something different every time until you have eaten your way through the entire menu.
Sushi is already a light, snack-y type of lunch when done simply anyway, but Yoobi take a deconstructed approach and make the whole experience new and exciting. Essentially, they are not actually serving sushi, though the layman may assume as much, but rather temakeria, the word for Japanese hand-rolls. They self-identify as being hands-on (literally and figuratively), and serving dishes with Brazilian influence – not something you hear in conjunction with Japanese cuisine every day! You can eat as much or as little as you fancy – our advice would be to order them one by one and stop when you have had enough.
Address: 38 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 0LL
Banh Mi Keu Deli
Vietnamese baguettes and Saigon street food dishes turn a sandwich-y light lunch into something wholly more exciting. Nobody wants a boring ham and cheese sarnie on their holidays, but everyone can make time for a honey-glazed pork shoulder, lemongrass and five spice baguette, or for the veggies a grilled aubergine, mushrooms, scallion oil and organic tofu one (maybe with a healthy drizzling of sriracha, too!) If you have some time to sit down rather than grabbing a bite on the go, then be sure to try out their bowls and noodle soups – it is authentic and undeniably scrumptious!
Address: 9 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 8PY (Soho)
332 Old St, Hackney, London EC1V 9DR (Shoreditch)
168 London Wall, London EC2M 5QD (Barbican)
Okay, we hear you – maybe a steak lunch isn’t quite what people think of when dabbling with the prospect of a “light” lunch. But Flat Iron aren’t about huge hunks of meat with towering sides – instead, they focus on keeping things small and simple without denying yourself the indulgences you often crave on your holidays. Flat Iron only does one thing – steak, salad and a couple of sides. But they do it well. You get 100g of steak, which isn’t overwhelming but also is perfect for a lighter lunch, and then you can choose what to have with it – we would recommend Sophie’s Salad, which comes with blue cheese, candied pecans and lemon dressing. Oh, and you can never go wrong with some beef dripping chips!
Address: 17 Beak St, W1F 9RW (Soho)
9 Denmark St, WC2H 8LS (Soho)
17/18 Henrietta St, WC2E 8QH (Covent Garden)
77 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS (Shoreditch)
47–51 Caledonian Road, N1 9BU (Kings Cross)
112-116 Tooley Street, SE1 2TH (London Bridge)
88-90 Commercial Street, E1 6LY (Spitalfields)
Arcade Food Theatre, 103-105 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DB (Oxford Street)
19 Bevis Marks, EC3A 7JA (Aldgate)
Taro is a Japanese restaurant with a few branches around London, and is both good for light lunches and heavy ones – but we will stick to the light, given that this is why you are reading this! A delicious bowl of ramen goes down swimmingly, as do their sushi boxes and gyozas. Whether you just order a selection of small plates, like their seaweed salad or edamame beans, you are bound to leave satisfied without dreading the fact that it is time for afternoon tea in just a few hours!
Address: 61 Brewer St, London W1F 9UW (Soho)
193 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9BE (Balham)
412 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT (Kennington)
Music & Beans
Breakfast, brunch, lunch, cocktails, dinner… Music & Beans in Camden Town do the lot! But they are particularly wonderful for light lunches, due to their drool-inducing salad bar (special mention goes to the Turmeric Yoghurt Aubergine Salad), action-packed sandwiches (arguably award-deserving pastrami with mozzarella to be taken very seriously) as well as their healthy, nourishing buddha bowls. Basically, anything on the menu is worth your time.
If you have an afternoon tea session booked or a Montcalm Spa appointment set for the late afternoon or early evening, you aren’t going to want to be filled up from lunch – so a light lunch is a way to get the best of all worlds! Between a wholesome bowl of soup and harvest tables of salads galore, you certainly won’t go without when it comes to lunch in London.