Food with James Lowe

It was meals at St. John and The Fat Duck that made James want to start cooking. He had to get in the kitchen and find out how it all worked, and after reading Hotel Bemelmans and Kitchen Confidential, he was convinced it would be a good idea to be a chef! After working at some of the UK’s top restaurants, and eating and cooking in some of the best across Europe and the US as well, he is now looking for his own site in London while organising legendary supper clubs. James is eager to push British food in a new direction, promoting local products, and helping British food get taken seriously at an international level. Get to know London’s food scene by checking out James’ favorite spots in the guide below.

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Places in this guide

  • St. John Bar and Restaurant Waste not, want not

    I love this restaurant. I’ve eaten and worked all over the place, in some of the best restaurants in the world, but I’d almost always rather come and eat here. The people are cool, it’s great value, a buzzy room, casual, professional and it’s honest and they just simply buy the best stuff. I may also be slightly biased, having been the Head Chef for four years!

  • Violet Cakes Delicious and in demand

    Everything about this place is lovely. Claire makes wonderful cakes and pastries, has great coffee and it’s a really nice friendly place to hang out. She also has dinner parties in the summer with some really cool chefs too.

  • Franco Manca The great franco

    Brilliant little pizza place, probably the best in london. The guy makes the sourdough for the pizzas overnight, the ingredients are great and I love how they’ve come up slowly in odd surroundings.

  • Towpath Café Off the beaten path

    In their second summer now. Great place to hang out, loads of space to sit by the canal in the sun. They’ve got a bigger kitchen now so the food is really good, and best of all they do soft-serve ice cream affogatos, brilliant.

  • Koya Udon heaven

    Partly responsible for Soho becoming a foodie destination again. Only place in the country to make their own Udon, which is amazing but they also have interesting specials that change every day. I like that it’s Japanese, but Junya also takes some inspiration from British produce. Also, the poached egg…one of my favourite things in London.

  • Tayyab’s Serious Banglatown

    This place really amazes me. They serve up to 1000 people a night but the food is really great. All their dishes have strong individual flavours, they’re not just variations of a base spice mix despite the quantities they have to create. I love how long people will queue for too, and it’s full every night of the week.

  • Rochelle Canteen Nose to tail dining

    Really cool little restaurant. Simple food that follows the Nose to Tail philosophy of Fergus Henderson. The setting is amazing as it’s behind the school gate.

  • Mangal Charcoal grilled goodness

    Great food, really simple, you can go in late at night and not have to eat crap—which is rare in London. I love watching the guy chop through buckets of onions whilst sitting down in front of his massive grill. It’s a really good place to go with a group of people too and all dive into the food.

  • The Canton Arms The ultimate gastropub

    Favourite pub in South London. Small menu that changes every day, a really honest, proper pub that has good beer, great food and they even put a TV in the corner for sport, so you know it’s properly laid back!

  • Maltby Street Market Independent foodie destination

    Has the best foodie folk in London, run by nice people, it just has a good vibe to it. Neal’s Yard Dairy, Monmouth Coffee, The Kernal Brewery, St John Bakery and Tony Booth’s veg, it’s all here…

  • Keu That's fantastic

    This place has just opened and I’m addicted! Great Banh Mi, really simple concept—it’s outstanding fast food. So few people ever manage to do that.

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