30/11/17 - updated with even more Christmas specials.
Yes, it's that time again - where the menus of London's restaurants, cafes, burger joints and sandwich emporiums all come with added seasonal fare. Turkey, mince pies, pigs in blankets - expect them all to make an appearance and there's the majesty of the Christmas sandwich for all to behold. We've rounded up what to expect this Christmas.
Keep checking this page in the run-up Christmas. There will be more specials added every week...
What? Chick N Sours are getting in on the Christmas action this year. Their burger is a fried chicken fillet, ‘christmas’ ham and cheese fritter, kewpie mayo, lettuce, pineapple kimchi and it'll be available at both Dalston and Covent Garden for £12. Photo by Tom Bowles.
When? 1 December
What? Of course what could be more comforting at Christmas than eating ALL the pies, and for Christmas pies head over to Piebury Corner in King's Cross. They've added a Turkey, Chestnut Stuffing and Cranberry Pie to the menu (or Mixed Nuts, Leek and Cranberry Pie for vegans) that gives that Christmas dinner feeling inside a pie. On top of that, they've a £30 set lunch offer which pairs the pie with their roast potatoes, honey roasted carrots, gravy as well as starters that include their new chicken liver pate and desserts that include a whiskey treacle tart with chantilly cream
When? Now until Christmas
What? It's the most iconic dish at Dinner by Heston and now the humble meat fruit has been given a Christmas overhaul. It's their "signature chicken liver parfait coated and shaped not in its usual orange, but instead in a seasonal plum - flavoured with red wine and the warm spices of winter." So if you've been craving a Michelin starred festive snack, this is where to go - but note it'll knock you back £21.
When? All December
What? Yes Polo bar also have an enormous burger on offer before Christmas, but as they're the place to go to for a breakfast at any time of the day - you'll want to be looking at their festive breakfasts. There's the Santa’s Big Breakfast (£9.90) with pigs in blankets, free range egg, home-made stuffing, cajun sweet potato chips, slow roasted thyme tomato, Christmas baked beans & a pot of chilli cranberry sauce. And also the Merry Berry Benedict (£9.50) with Polo Bar’s homemade stuffing, poached eggs on a toasted muffin, topped with hollandaise sauce with a chilli cranberry sauce on the side.
When? Now until Christmas
What? MEATliquor always pull out the stops for the Christmas season - particularly with their XXXmas burger. This year, it's free-range Heron Farm roast turkey, Gloucester Old Spot rare breed sausage patty, crispy bacon, stuffing crumbles, gravy and cranberry sauce. So yes, a Christmas dinner in a bun. And we also like the sound of the Turkey Cheesesteak - free-range roast turkey, bathed in gravy with melted camembert, crispy stuffing crumbles and cranberry sauce.
There's also the Burgducken (above), an entire five-bird festive roast in a bun created in collaboration with Tom Kerridge. It combines turkey, duck, chicken, pigeon and pheasant. The minced breast and leg meats are combined together with pork belly, styled into a patty and topped with a punch brandy and cranberry mayonnaise and festive Brussel sprout coleslaw, add to that the XXXmas Pudding Ketchup plus pigs in blankets and you'll need a lie down after all that. It's £12.50 and £1 from each sale goes to Hospitality Action.
When? From 6 November up to Christmas. The Burducken is available from 27 November at King’s Cross and from all other MEATliquors from 4 December.
What? New London doughnut shop Dougnut Time have released a series of special sweet treats in the run up to the day. There are six new doughnuts including "Treat yo’ Elves (£5.00)" - Nutella filled chocolate glazed doughnut topped with dark chocolate flake, holiday sprinkle mix, miniature chocolate chip cookies and "a milk bottle lolly with a cheeky note for Santa" as well as "A Very Terry Christmas (£4.50)" - Chocolate orange glaze topped with Oreo crumb and Terry’s Chocolate Oranges.
When: Available now until Christmas
What? If you've been wondering how to improve upon the traditional Christmas dinner, you could take a leaf out of All Star Lanes's book and put it all in a bun. This features a turkey, chestnut and cranberry patty beneath a layer of duck fat roasted potato salad, topped with a sausage and apricot stuffing fritter.
When: On now. Costs £18.50 and comes with a serving of Tater Tots.
What? OK, so in the grand scheme of festive treats, the idea of a raw brussels sprouts drink might seem like a terrible idea, but you know we've tried this and it honestly was pretty nice. Sure it's not going to hit the same spot as some of these seasonal sarnies but a juice with 15 brussel sprouts, cucumber, celery and apple might be just the ticket to undo some of your Christmas party excesses. Or not.
When: From 15 November (starts at £3.80).
What? Sticking with the sprouts theme, Yard Sale Pizza have gone all out with their Christmas special - really nailing what Christmas is all about. The Damn Son is the love child of Yard Sale and DJ BBQ and features Shredded Brussel Sprouts, Pancetta, Fior Di Latte Mozzarella, Black Pepper and DJ BBQ’s Double Smoked Garlic and Sriracha Mayo. Best of all, £1 from every pizza will go to Streetsmart and The Felix Project. Now that really does have the Christmas spirit about it.
When: On now till the end of December
What? At Gelupo, Jacob Kenedy is celebrating some of the best Christmas flavours from Europe, with flavours from the six original EU Countries of 1957. Available are - Christmas Cake [UK], Panettone [Italy], Salted Caramel and Gingerbread [Germany], Speculoos [Belgium], Roqeufort, Walnut and Pear [France], Stollen [Luxembourg], Advocaat [The Netherlands].
When: All December
What? Pret have turned the reveal of their Christmas sandwich into a yearly tradition and it's felt by many to be the sandwich to beat. This year, the "Christmas Lunch" sandwich is made of "slices of British free-range turkey breast on granary bread with a dash of port & orange cranberry sauce. Served with Pret's crumbly pork stuffing - made with minced pork, streaky bacon and apricots - and topped with crispy onions and fresh baby spinach." It'll set you back £3.75 - and there's also a veggie AND a vegan version available too.
Also new this year is the smoked salmon, soft cheese and dill baguette (£4.25) and something which fits the so-crazy-it-might-work bill. It's the "Festive Flat White" which adds a dash of mince pie syrup to your morning coffee (£2.75).
When: From 7 November
What? Nikkei City spot Waka are bringing a Peruvian/Japanese flavour to Christmas with their specials. The one that sticks out for us is the Nikkei Navidad Sushi Set (£5.85) - that's combining Nikkei dishes with Christmas flavours. So that's Nikkei Salmon Roll with salmon, cream cheese and sweet peppers; Curry Roll with chicken katsu, carrots and curry sauce; and Cranberry Roll with turkey, cranberry sauce and mushroom, chestnut & dried fruit stuffing.
When: Available now until 29 December.
What? Every year, Byron unveils the Cheesemas menu - with its special burger at the heart of it. And this year's sounds very enticing. The Fromagemas (£11, or £13.50 for a double) is a hamburger with Barber’s Cheddar, Barber’s Red Leicester, Byron Cheese, crispy Grana Padano, red onion, smoked tomato ketchup and Grana Padano aioli. But hey - that's not enough cheese - so how about a jug of hot melted Byron Cheese sauce to pour all over it. Yes, that'll do. Also look out for the Holy Cheeseballs - mac & cheese bites topped with buffalo glaze, Byron Cheese sauce, spring onions and crispy bacon (£5.50).
When: From 7 November - 2 January
What? Bubbledogs have named their latest Christmas special the "Santa’s Sausage" and it's certainly got the Christmas spirit. Expect Christmas stuffing, cranberry chutney, crispy brussel sprouts, parsnip chips and gravy for £8 (and if you're going all-out, add shaved truffles for an extra £8).
What? As the winter nights draw in, what could be better than a festive fondue? The Cheese Bar have teamed up with cast iron specialist Staub for this special creation, on offer every Thursday. There will be two fondue recipes made from the best in British cheese and that'll be served alongside deep-fried Brussel sprouts, smoked sausage and - of course - pigs in blankets.
When? Every Thursday up until Christmas
What? Every Christmas you can expect a mash-up or two that really turn heads and Paul have come up trumps this year with the mince pie croissant. It's just what you think it is, an all-butter croissant filled with sweet mincemeat and dusted with icing sugar. We also like the sound of their Cosy Christmas Pig Sandwich (£4.50) which is an artisan apricot and sage baguette loaded with Lincolnshire sausage and bacon, layered with spinach, freshly sliced apple and a sweet apple chutney.
When? From 28 November until Christmas at all Paul shops across London.
What? This year, Kricket are getting into the Christmas spirit with this special - Goose vindaloo, with brussel sprout and chestnut thoran (£12),. And you can pair that with Spiced Masala Chai, served with a boozy splash of rum.
When? All December
What? As a lunchtime staple the sandwiches at EAT are pretty decent, so we're always on the look out for their specials. This year, the Festive Full Works returns, as well as the vegan option - butternut squash & a seed stuffing, paired with a cranberry slaw, spiced vegan mayonnaise and rocket served within two slices of soft malted bread. But it's the pigs in blankets which are the real draw, and you can have them on their own (£5.50) or with mash potato and onion gravy. We may end up having too many of these as the season continues...
When? From 1 November 2017
What? This is one we've been actively searching for, but have yet to find any left in our local M&S. Last Christmas, we had rather too many of their lobster rolls and we can see the same happening with this particular bun. It's "Lobster and prawn thermidor with a brandy and Dijon mustard mayonnaise on a soft brioche roll" for £5. And we've had rather a lot of their roast turkey dinner crisps too and can highly recommend those.
When? Available now