There is nothing quite like a good meal out. Sitting at a table with your loved one, friends or family with some enjoyable drink in hand (preferably a few cocktails or a bottle of wine) and tasty food to enjoy placed in front of you with the time to sit and chat without going to the effort of preparing it and then having to tackle the dreaded washing up is such a brilliant way to make memories!
For me going to a restaurant is a real treat. Not only is it a chance to not have to do all the preparation and cooking but it is also a chance to try new dishes and ingredients and that is something that really excites me when it comes to food. I love trying new things and that includes going to new restaurants. It is also a bit of a luxurious treat of a way to reward myself for all the work that I carry out whilst just being able to sit and relax for a bit.
Essentially I bloody love going for a bite to eat and as mentioned in my 2018 goals post I want to do even more of it so I decided to compile a list of everywhere I want to go (some are more grab and go than sit down restaurant but HELLO FOOD) and at the end of 2018 in my yearly round up I will do a little tick list of all the ones I managed to get along to. Of course all the ones I do get down to I will be reviewing along the way so over the course of 2018 you should see a few reviews where the names of the restaurants ring a bell.
Apologies for the lengthy list and the drooling state you might end up in if you click through to look at the restaurants in question! And hey this list isn’t even a full list of everywhere I want to go it is just a copy from the list I have saved on my phone. Eek. You know what? Not even sorry about how long the list is so why am I pretending to be? Ha.
If you have any suggestions of restaurants I should add to the below list please do let me know in the comments below as if it involves food I am there!
Restaurants With Websites
- Miss P’s BBQ (Croydon) – Fairly recently opened BBQ spot in a converted pub. It’s just a few houses up from our first Croydon flat.
- Loving Hut (Archway) – I have visited this vegan spot before but it was incredibly tasty and has been on my mind ever since. So hopefully I can find a reason to head properly north of the river some time soon.
- Be Right Bake (Croydon) – There are doughnuts and then there are these. They do one with strips of bacon on the top and ever since I seen it I have wanted to try one.
- Pizza Storm (Wandsworth) – This is one of those spots that have sucked me in via Instagram. The method of creating the pizza sounds great and the pizza looks fabulous too. People generally give wonderful reviews of it as well.
- The Oval Tavern (Croydon) – Okay this is technically a pub but they do great looking food and I get press releases about some of the bands that will be playing there and it seems like it could be a great chilled evening.
- Polpo (Covent Garden) – There are multiple London locations of Polpo and whilst I would be happy to visit any of the three the one in Covent Garden stands out to me the most. I have admired Polpo for a long time and drooled at the cookbook whenever I have gone into Waterstones (it is on my wishlist), I just want some crab and chilli linguine in my life…
- Mud (Croydon) – This cafe started off in Tooting and I am never sure if it was there when I lived in Tooting and never paid attention to it or if it arrived not long after I left but it looks like an amazing place to go. I have said I would go to the Croydon one but if I happen to have some free time before my next hospital appointment at St George’s I will use it as an excuse to try out the Tooting branch. One of my friends loves Mud.
- Joe’s Kitchen (Bromley) – This spot looks fantastic but I mainly want to go on a Thursday for burger and shake for £12 day… I always feel like a traitor to Croydon when I visit Bromley but until we get a Wilko’s just a few doors away from a TK Maxx with a stack of other dreamy shops in the vicinity then the 30-45 minute bus journeys will continue to be worth the guilt.
- Galicia (Croydon) – So many people tell me about Galicia and the tapas on offer there and how it has served the good people of Croydon for a number of years. Recommendations from friends, family and work colleagues mean a lot to me and combined with the fact I go by this place on my way to and from work every day means this has to be on my list of places to eat at in 2018.
- Yumn Brasserie (Croydon) – There was a time when I could have gone into this restaurant but it was a Sunday afternoon where I had been working the early shift so just had some baggy jeans on, a poor quality t-shirt, no make-up and messy hair and felt far too uncomfortable and self-conscious to go inside. It is not a super fancy spot but does strike me as the sort of place where you should make some effort e.g. a guy should wear fancy jeans and a shirt or something as a minimum.
- Pescatori (Fitzrovia) – It is funny that the first time I went to this restaurant I had pretty mixed thoughts in my review but on reflection decided I loved it and went back there for my 21st birthday (which was an incredibly lovely evening). It is one of the places that always springs to mind when somebody asks me for a nice but not incredibly expensive restaurant in London, in comparison to other spots, and is somewhere I would love to revisit in 2018. On my last two visits I went to the now closed Dover Street branch so going to the Fitzrovia one will be an interesting comparison.
- Tre Fratelli (Croydon) – Perhaps I have this thing for roughly Italian restaurants, okay I admit it. But this spot is another that has been in Croydon for a fair while and combines classic flavours with modern day cooking techniques (nothing fancy though) to make a delicious menu. It sounds delicious to me and again is a stone throw walk away from my work so really if I don’t “accidentally” stumble in there by the end of 2018 we are doing something wrong.
- Little Bay (Croydon) – This was one of the first restaurants I heard about when moving to Croydon and starting to do a little bit of cultural journalism at one of the local papers. They have live music and events there that make for sell out nights as well delicious looking food at a super reasonable price (especially if you go for a set menu).
- The Gate (Angel) – One of the things in my past life was attending, and failing at, university TWICE. The second failed attempt was at City University London which is just down the road from Angel tube station and that meant I dashed by the door on a pretty regular basis. But I never made it inside. The Gate is a highly regarded vegetarian and vegan restaurant that also tackles a number of other allergies so still manages to has a number of bean/nut free dishes on the menu for me to tuck into!
- Ponte Nuovo (Croydon) – There are a lot of things to be said for flyovers to help the traffic go over a town rather than through it and it also allows for there to be extra shop space to situate a restaurant. Ponte Nuovo on the outside always gives me a bit of a Zizzi style vibe in terms of layout, menu and pricing but that does not stop me from wanting to give it a go.
- Annabella’s Kitchen (Croydon) – This little spot looks so wonderfully welcoming and cute whenever I go by it as the window has a little floral design on the outside and it always seems to be pretty bustling. It just gives a positive and comforting vibe that makes me want to walk right on in and try out their Mediterranean goodness.
- St John (Smithfield) – Sometimes I just really want to eat offal and slightly more unusual pieces of meat and St John, a restaurant that opened just a couple of months after I was born, is one of the main places to go in London to fulfil that need. Somebody I know on twitter loves this place and they make it sound totally worth getting the City Thameslink train up to town for.
- Banana Leaf (Croydon) – The website for Banana Leaf really confuses me because it has a proper sit down section and they do not mention it or the ability to book a table and that seems like a huge opportunity missed. Several people have gone to this spot in the past and they say that the food is flavourful and fragrant without being too punchy on the heat spice so that is fantastic.
- Bagatti’s (Croydon) – A lot of people at the Croydon Business Awards knew exactly who the owner of Bagatti’s is and they honed in on him, who happened to be sharing our table, and from that moment I was like “I clearly need to get my backside down there some time soon” and yet several months later I am no nearer to visiting than I was before that night. And yes it is another Italian restaurant and no I am not in the slightest bit sorry for that.
- Nopi (Soho) – Part of the Ottolenghi restaurants this spot has a menu that changes with the season and he is one of the chefs where his food and recipes always sound really good and enjoyable. With the seasonal menu the prices are also really random and amusing in comparison to the usual menus we see around the place and that adds to the magic for me because it comes across like a really carefully put together and considered menu.
- The Gold Coast (Croydon) – This spot is a place that specialises in West African food, as you can probably guess from the name, and it has a super interesting menu to go with it including several things including delicious peanuts and tilapia too. It also happens to be close enough to our flat to walk there and has a good pub just a little bit further down the road as well so it would be a wonderful meal out at some point. I think my partner is super keen to go here so maybe we will go around his birthday.
- Abshar (Croydon) – There are so many takeaway kebab places in Croydon but this is a restaurant that claims to be a proper Turkish spot and have a number of traditional dishes on the menu which sounds really interesting. And let us face it I am very unlikely to ever go to Turkey so I might as well go and enjoy some food that people like to claim is traditional and just roll with it without ever questioning it.
- Padella (Borough) – This is a place for super cheap and incredible pasta. The issue is you have to almost always queue for a table but once you are in there it looks amazing and everybody reviews the pasta so highly when they leave but this could just be because they have been standing around for ages waiting!
Websiteless Restaurants And/Or Spots I Have Nothing Much To Say On
- Uncle Lim’s (Croydon) – This is a spot inside the Whitgift Centre which could soon be demolished for a soul-lacking Westfield so it is a bit of a race against time.
- Anna’s Thai (Croydon) – They moved from the location where Abshar now is to a smaller spot so I still need to figure out if they have a sit down option available. The website doesn’t mention it.
- Caprice (Croydon) – A Bulgarian cafe between the High Street and the Restaurant Quarter.
- Chicago Steakhouse (Croydon) – This only opened a week before Christmas. It seems to lack a website.
- Brgr&Beer (Croydon) – I have gone here before but didn’t take pictures or do a review. Criminal.
- Coffee Craft at Stanley Halls (Croydon) – It does cake.