Food Articles

Restaurant Queue Killers

Nearby alternatives to the most popular and therefore rammed eateries in London

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As good as Patty & Bun is, it’s hard to ignore the murderous stares from those waiting outside because you’re not slamming your chips seven at a time. It’s a far more relaxed experience at French spot Big Fernand, one of the central London burger places that’s not always gruesomely cramped, and which resists dogma by offering patties in a lovely toasted sesame bun, not a doughnutty glazed one.

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Dishoom functions as a place where you could get the most basic of hangover-crushing bacon naans, or take your literary agent for talks about your splatterpunk novel. As such, all humans flock there at all times. Salaam Namaste, is a tucked-away beaut not far from the Covent Garden Dishoom serving rarely seen dishes – try the pistachio chicken korma.

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Korean BBQ

Korean fried chicken is the acceptable face of the vile, unutterable truth that yes, you do crave the £7.99 Failure’s Bucket at Chicken Cottage. On The Bab is a rapidly expanding chain specialising in excellent KFC, but close to its Soho site is Bo Drake, which more than holds its own in The Great Korean Barbecue Battle but is never so rammed. Maybe it’s held back by its weirdly inconspicuous, bread-shop-in-Balham exterior.

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Steamed buns

The last time we went to Bao, there was a two-part queue. People were queuing to get into the main queue. It was the stuff of a dystopian movie. Still, steamed buns are perhaps the most coveted item in London right now, and the spacious setting of basement joint Flesh & Buns is one of the easiest places to get them between your paws rapidly.

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Meaty slabs

You had more chance of finishing Ulysses than you did of getting a table at Pitt Cue Co when it was in Soho. It’s now moved to a much bigger site in Spitalfields, but the cachet of the name means a great migration of meat fiends is inevitable. Walter & Monty, the plucky street-fooders branching out with a permanent site, will make your life easier when you seek out their beef-enhancing hot coals.