London's best feelgood restaurants

We pick the London restaurants guaranteed to show you a good time


Max's Sandwich Shop


19 Crouch Hill, London N4 4AP

This small, but beautifully formed North London spot elevates the British sarnie to epic status. Max himself exudes bonhomie and it's impossible not to feel a little better about life when you've scoffed a portion of his deep fried jalapeno mac and cheese balls.


Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar


157A Commercial St, London E1 6BJ

The group as a whole excels in serving up great food, but for utter comfort gems you need to head downstairs at their original restaurant. Here's what you order - short rib nuggets, poutine and a lobster roll. Wash it all down with flagons of Shakey Pete's Ginger Brew. Better now?

Smoking Goat


7 Denmark St, London WC2H 8LZ

If you're old enough to remember having to wash your clothes after a night out in a smoky pub, this is the restaurant equivalent. Packed, hot, noisy, smoky - this is not a place to sit and debate the ramifications of last Thursday. This is a place to eat and eat well. The fish sauce wings are what you'll want, scratch that, need.




Drury Lane, Adelaide Street, and (for now) Frith Street

You can't feel like a loser if you've just managed to nab a seat at any of the Barrafinas. Hoist yourself up on a stool, and - with a glass of their fino in hand and one of their oozy tortillas on the way know that, right now, you're one of London's winners.


The Palomar


34 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DN

There aren't many, if any, places in London that match the sheer exuberance and energy of The Palomar. From the chefs bursting into song, the general ribbing that goes on and the multiple exhortations to toast l'chaim with free shots the food would be incidental if it wasn't also so good. Irrepressibly cheery.


Honey & Co


25a Warren St, London W1T 5LZ

Cake makes everything better. You know that. And when it's something that Itamar or Sarit have made, it comes with a copper-bottomed guarantee to boost your endorphin levels. Eat it all. Feel like you can achieve anything; once you've had a lie-down first.