For times when you’re feeling indecisive or maybe just greedy but ordering multiple dishes on the menu would be frowned upon, welcome to the world of sharing platters, tapas and full on feasts. Sharing is not only welcomed at these restaurants but it is actively embraced – no more food envy. Just make sure you go with a fair group of friends. Seven chips each please…
What: Fuss-free rotisserie chickens by the quarter, half or whole
Why: If you think chicken and you think Nando’s then think again. Chicken Shop serves fuss-free spit roasted free range chickens, sourced from a farm in Norfolk. Choose from a whole, half or quarter of a bird with hot or smokey sauce and failsafe crinkle cut fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob and avocado lettuce salad. Want to eat without prying eyes? Or just don’t have the energy to queue? Chicken Shop offer a take-out service.
Where: Balham, Holborn, Kentish Town, Tooting, Whitechapel
What: Trendy Lebanese in Borough Market
Why: Everyone loves a meze and Arabica doesn’t disappoint. For foodies who hang out in Borough Market, this bar and kitchen is a real feasting opportunity. Turn up hungry and ask for a big table – you’ll need lots of space when the dishes come out. The menu is extensive and grouped into dips, nibbles, fried, clay oven, charcoal, grill and raw/cured. The solution when you can’t decide? Yep, just get it all.
Where: Borough Market, 3 Rochester Walk, London Bridge SE1 9AF
Oxford Circus (0.1 miles)
What: Swanky sushi and rooftop views
Why: Sushi is a great option for a sharing meal, enabling you to be a bit more adventurous than perhaps you would otherwise be. Order a selection of smaller plates of gyozas, summer rolls, sashimi and tempura or go straight for the 12-piece sushi platters. If you want some turf with your surf why not get the wagyu beef fillet from Australia via Japan, with shallots, soya butter and egg tofu. For extra instagram opportunities, have a drink on the terrace and look at the shoppers on Regent Street below.
Where: 30 Argyll Street, London W1F 7EB
Bocca di Lupo
What: For when you’re hungry like the wolf
Why: The literal translation of Bocca di Lupo means hungry like the wolf but if you’d rather pick at a few dishes rather than wolf down one, the sharing style of this trattatoria style restaurant is for you. Widely believed to be the best tapas in London, Bocca serves regional Italian dishes alongside their homemade bread, pasta, sausage and salame. Buffalo mozzarella, sea bream carpaccio and tuna tartare are good options for smaller plates and fritti Romani dishes for the table to share include home-salted cod and sage leaves filled with anchovy. Perch at the bar and watch the chefs or reserve a table for maximum plate-filling surface area.
Where: 12 Archer St, Soho, W1D 7BB
Old Street (0.3 miles)
What: The one with the lifesized cow
Why: Mark Hix’s Shoreditch shed has sharing written all over it. A simple decision of chicken or steak actually isn’t that simple when both options are so damn good. Further decisions come when deciding between the 250g or 500g mighty marbled Glenarm sirloin steak or the even mightier porterhouse, 1kg of rare meat for 2-3 to share. The chicken is the more dramatic of the two options, presented upstanding, feet in the air, stuffed and with chips on the side. Still torn? Go with a larger group and get one of each.
Where: 32 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3LX
Randall & Aubin
What: Huge platters of fruits de mer
Why: If you go here you must go for le plat de fruits de mer – a kingly platter of rock oysters, whole crab, Atlantic shrimps, scallops, cockles, whelks, clams, prawns and mussels. Phew! Recommended for a minimum of two people, you can add lobster to make it the full fishy experience or go for the 2, 4 or 6 garlic butter langoustine. The menu really does have every time of seafood imaginable and the relaxed atmosphere of the former butchers shop makes it a great venue for a meal with mates.
Where: 14- 16 Brewer St, Soho, W1F 0SG
What: Authentic and affordable Spanish tapas
Why: Modern tapas sit alongside more adventurous dishes in Ibérica. Famous for it’s ibérico pork prime cuts and air-cured ham platters, this relaxed Spanish inspired restaurant is as suited to date night as it is to a birthday celebration with platters and plates filling the table. Try the Serrano ham croquettes with oozy cheese centre and the grilled prawns with garliccy mushrooms, all washed down with jugs of sangria heavily filled with fruit and served with a spoon.
Where: Canary Wharf, Farringdon, Marylebone, Victoria
What: Wine, cheese and meaty sharing dishes
Why: Wine and cheese is a great option for a sharing-style meal, and at Vivat Bacchus this sits alongside their a la carte menu. British, French and Italian cheese boards each include 4 different cheeses or take a tour in their walk in cheese room and make your own from the 40 plus cheeses. A walk in wine cellar completes the experience. Want the wine but not the cheese? A rack of lamb or côte de boeuf for two make this a great date destination.
Where: Farringdon and London Bridge
Berber & Q
What: Meze and trays of meat
Why: Think sharing food and you think meze or plates of meat. Berber & Q do both, equally as well. Mezze from the East, music from the West and grilled & smoked meats cooked over charcoal all washed down by beer and cocktails. Hand-pulled lamb machoui, harissa hot wings and merguez (North African style sausage) are served on trays and all with house sauces and grilled pita. Meze dishes consist of blackened aubergine, cauliflower shawarma, beets and whipped feta so head down on payday (it’s actually very good value but you’ll want to order a lot) or on a Sunday morning for their Israeli breakfast for two to share.
Where: Arch 338, Acton Mews, Between Dunston St & Dunston Rd, Haggerston, E8 4EA
What: Man vs Food style BBQ smokehouse
Why: From humble beginnings as a Bristolian BBQ festival and competition, Woodstock take barbequing very seriously. Hickory and oak smoke pit char meat to perfection. Choose from pulled pork, brisket, wings, rack of ribs and BBQ chicken or all of the above, plus sides, with the BBQ share plate for two. Want the full meaty experience? Get the Grand Champion Ultimate Feast: pulled pork, brisket, full rack of babyback ribs & 1⁄2 chicken plus brisket burnt ends, mac ‘n’ cheese, chilli cheese fries, slaw, BBQ beans, pickles and a bread roll. You’ll be rolling home.
Where: 198 Hoe St, Walthamstow, E17 4BF