The best places to have lunch around Roman Road

Since many of us are working from home at the moment, we thought that a roundup of best places for lunch near Roman Road might come in handy.

Luckily for us, we live in a multicultural area so there is no need to get tired of the same old thing. With Carribean, Turkish, British, Cockney, Moroccan and Italian options, we can travel the world without leaving the Roman. Looking for something healthy? Check. Craving something filling? Check. Want a cosy hub to escape your make-shift office? Check. Need to grab-and-go? … you get the drift. We’ve got all bases covered. Enjoy!

Sazzy & Fran

Vegan soup for lunch at Sazzy and Fran on Roman Road

33 Roman Road, London E2 0HU

Fancy a bit of plant-based paradise? This cute café near Roman Road’s London Buddhist Centre offers some revitalising, vegan lunch options. The new hot thing on the menu is their turmeric and red lentil dahl, which comes with a generous helping of crispy onions and gorgeous sourdough. Sit on the ground floor amid the uplifting greenery of emerald leaves, or perhaps venture downstairs to encase yourself in the dimly-lit nook of an ideal work area. Complying with their eco-ethos, Sazzy & Fran’s take-away options come in compostable containers accompanied by cornstarch spoons. 

Recharge

Takeaway Turkish lunch options at Recharge in Globe Town on Roman Road

140 Roman Road, London E2 0RY

You’ve probably walked past this little corner gem many times, unaware of the selection of wraps and toasties that are created inside. With the winning fillings of roast chicken or grilled halloumi, their list of lunch options is worth checking out. Aptly named, this is an ideal spot to come by and ‘recharge’ in the middle of your working day. If you choose to sit-in, maybe try their awesome pan of Shakshuka. 

Symposium

Italian lunch at Symposium on Roman Road

363 Roman Road, London E3 5QR

You may have dined in this Italian restaurant on Roman Road of an evening and sipped on Italian wines whilst scooping up a fork-full of the finest taglioni. But have you tried Symposium’s take-away lunches? Your Lasagne Parmigiana (to die for), or other homemade choices of the day, will come wrapped in the comfort of an eco-friendly box. Oh and don’t get us started on their ice cream; from popular pistachio to alphonso mango, their artisan scoops of ‘La Gelateira’ gelato are putting the ‘Rome’ in Roman. 

Mae & Harvey

The famous chicken sandwich at Mae + Harvey on Roman Road

Address: 414 Roman Road, Old Ford, London E3 5LU

Is this shiny navy shop-front home to London’s most famous chicken sandwich? It may well be. If meat isn’t your thing, Mae & Harvey has a range of vegan and veggie delights – their yellow dahl comes partnered with home-baked sourdough. You’ve probably spotted Roman Road’s Scandi-styled hub of yumminess whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed. With daily specials rustically hand-written on brown paper bags, and delightful floral sprigs dotted on every table, it’s a picture perfect lunchtime location. 

Quarantacinque

Italian deli sandwich lunch at Quarantacinque on Roman Road, Bethnal Green

Address: 45 Roman Road E2 OHU

There’s a welcoming window at the Bethnal Green end of Roman Road, from which you may have heard full-throated Italian voices as you walk by. That would be the friendly sound of café owner Francesco, serving delectable coffees to his herd of adoring regulars. Coffee isn’t Quarantacinque’s only speciality though. Whether you want a grab-and-go baguette, bursting with garlic infused venetian salami and asiago cheese, or a pre-ordered homely Italian meal like their salmon and asparagus lasagne (for two, four, or six people), there is a lunch choice to suit all. 

Café East

Chefs preparing brunch at Cafe East on Roman Road
Photograph by Claire Watts

426 Roman Road, Bow, London E3 5LU

Let’s just say that the curling lunchtime queue speaks for itself. The hardworking chefs at Cafe East blend the traditional with the contemporary, putting their own mouth-watering twist on favourite ‘caff’ options. From the popping green of a perfectly ripe avocado to the dazzling red of clustered cherry vine tomatoes, dishes are presented as vibrant masterpieces to eat in or take-away.

Tagine

Moroccan lunch at Tagine, Roman Road in Globe Town

106 Roman Road, Globe Town, London E2 0RN

From their iconic tagines to their flatbread sandwiches, Tagine is a welcoming, unpretentious café overlooking Globe Town Market, and brings the marvellous Moroccan flavours to Globe Town. Served in the traditional earthenware, the popular and varied tagines give diners an authentic and exciting experience. You may opt to partner your lunch with a Moroccan mint tea, poured beautifully from a silver pot.   

Pizza Brixton

Pizza lunch options at Pizza Brixton Bow

494 – 496 Roman Road, Bow, London E3 5LU

Sometimes pizza is the only thing that’ll do. If you haven’t already been compelled to enter Pizza Brixton from the waft of an open oven that surges from their door, then it’s about time you get involved in what’s going down here. Most of the ingredients are from the owners’ hometown of Puglia, the southeastern region of Italy famed for its wine and olive oil. Their pizza dough is 100% vegan and their toppings are 100% fabulous. Oh, and homemade tiramisu? Yes please. The large, smarly decorated interior makes this an ideal option for client lunches.

G Kelly

Cockney lunch pie and mash at GKelly on Roman Road

526 Roman Road, London E3 5ES

The East London legend of G Kelly’s pie and mash lives on. Steeped in the history of generations, black and white photos of the past hang nostalgically from freshly tiled walls and the gorgeous scent of pastry oozes from their open kitchen. Pies are assembled by hand and cooked on demand, landing on your plate steamingly fresh beside a comforting cushion of home-made mash. With the typical options of jellied eels and a drizzle of liquor (parsley sauce), this is the place to come for the true East End experience. 

Larder

Takeaway lunch options at The Larder on Roman Road

Globe Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 0JD

This spacious beauty at the western end of the Roman is ideal for work-lunches. Whether you want to go for a filling burger with hand-cut chips or something lighter like a superfood salad with an orange-blossom dressing, the varied menu options will tick all boxes and indulge all taste buds. With farm-house vibes and whole-food natural ingredients, a lunch at Larder brings the atmospheric pleasure of a rustic country kitchen to the urban streets.

Targa Green Cafe

Algerian lunch at Targa Green cafe on Tredegar Road in Bow

137 Tredegar Road, London E3 2EU

Picture the scene. A pistachio green-fronted cafe with tables scattered outside, seating a multiplicity of people. A warm, Moroccan-inspired interior with traditional Moroccan music pulsing in the background. What’s not to love? Targa Green Cafe on Tredegar Road is bursting with life and a community feel. With an emphasis on fresh, healthy food, this is a great spot to invigorate your body and soul on a well-deserved lunch break. 

Sultan Sulfrasi

Turkish chicken soup at Sultan Sofrasi on Parnel Road in Bow

72 Parnell Road, Bow, London E3 2RU

The cavernous family-run restaurant, at the end of Roman Road’s market, provides a whole lotta Turkish delight. As you enter, you are greeted by the warmth of their open fire braziers and swooped upon by their helpful table staff. Lunch specials range from the traditional turkish lahmacuns (thin pieces of dough topped with minced meat, minced vegetables and herbs) to scrummy soups partnered with bread and pickles. Their chicken soup is legendary and worth the trip alone.

Fiesta Cafe

Classic all day breakfast lunch option at Fiesta Cafe on Roman Road

546 Roman Road, London E3 5ES

This type of working person’s ‘caf’ is as inherent to the East End identity as jellied eels and rhyming slang. Fiesta Café is a family-owned business with unpretentious interiors serving large portions of familiar foods to predominantly local customers. It is also noteworthy for being the most spacious cafe on the Roman. Its large plate-glass windows overlooking the market provide a perfect place for a spot of people watching a full English, filling sandwich or perhaps their most popular item – lasagne. 

Coffee places and cafes that offer a lunch option

If you’re craving a coffee, cake or fry up, then there are plenty of coffee shops and greasy spoons on Roman Road that provide a quick lunch option too.

For sweet or savoury waffles, pop down to Zealand (391 Roman Road), or if you’re more of a crêpe type, try out Loafing (407 Roman Road). Mono (535 Roman Road) also offers fresh baguettes and bagels made to order, which can be enjoyed outside on their large terrace.  Newcomer Tossa offers an intriguing mix of bagles and noodles.

Cafe Creme (566 Roman Rd) and Semz Cafe (483 Roman Road) are classic greasy spoons offering breakfasts, burgers and soups.

For a fix of art and culture, try the coffee shops at Nunnery Gallery and St Margaret’s House. The Nunnery (181 Bow Road) offers a roasted red pepper soup and a mean vegan sausage sandwich. The Gallery Cafe (21 Old Ford Rd) has a varied vegan menu, including an all day  breakfast burrito and superfood bowl.

 


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