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Apr 2, 2009 01:57 PM

St. John or Bread & Wine

Visiting London soon, and want to eat at one of them. Hotel is in Spitalfields area, so B&W will be closer, but that really doesn't matter...will be all over city anyway. Which one should we try? And why?

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  1. I've only been to St John and not the bread and wine, but I'd say the latter. More informal (not that St John is formal), tapas-sized plates so you get to try more on the menu, and cosier.

    7 Replies
    1. re: hollow_legs

      I think Bread & Wine is rather spiffy, but I prefer St John - that's coz you can get tripe & offal (and very well done too, I should say) there which you can't get at its smaller sister outlet.

      St John
      26 St John St, Islington EC1M 4AY, United Kingdom

      St John Bread & Wine
      94 Commercial St, Poplar, Greater London E1 6, GB

      1. re: klyeoh

        i dont know what you mean by you cant get offal at bread + wine? the menu's pretty much identical at both. the only thing you cant get at bread + wine is their famous bone marrow + parsley salad. i prefer bread + wine cuz it's a little bit more informal and therefore cheaper.

        1. re: t_g

          the menus aren't identical at both places (and both menus changes daily). I'd go for St John - it would be more of an experience and a larger choice on the menu

          1. re: pj26

            sorry i just dont get what you mean, i know they're not the same on the day i just mean they have the same dishes. and that usually they have the same number of things on the menu so i dont see why there'd be a larger choice? i've been to both places many times.

            1. re: t_g

              Me, too - loved both places. There are quite a number of dishes which are similar. But St John's do have a broader range of dishes. Check out their website:


              It lists themost current menus from both outlets which you can compare :-)

              1. re: t_g

                I mean they dont have the same dishes. There may be similar dishes or same ingredients, and now and then the same dishes but not identical menus. I just thought that comment was a little misleading.

                1. re: t_g

                  they do NOT have the same dishes, nor do they share a menu on any given day. they have some stylistic similarities, but it is wrong to suggest the menu's are essentially the same.

                  B&W is much more casual, grazing type food almost.

        2. If your hotel is near Bread and Wine, you could do that for breakfast. I was there last week and their bacon sandwich was great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jadec

            I second this suggestion. I really disliked dinner at St. John (as in, it turned my stomach so violently I couldn''t finish my food - never a problem for me). But breakfast at St. John Bread and Wine is one of my favorites in town. I feasted on the bacon sandwich just this morning and it was amazing. How they get the bread to be simultaneously spongy and fluffy is pure genius. Breakfast is really limited hours, though (just one hour on Sundays: 10-11am).

          2. I like the suggestion of St John Bread and Wine for breakfast and then St Johns proper for dinner. I think since you really want to go to St John you should go to the original one which appears to have a fuller menu (following much discussion on the board) and is also situated next to the Smithfields Meat markets which puts the food, decor and waiters attire in context.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Gourmet Chick

              St Johns proper is a formal dining experience, I've only been once but I found it a bit sterile (although with a group it might be more fun). Bread & Wine is much more relaxed, and it's just near brick lane, so good if you are there for a Sunday when the Spitalfields markets are on... I'm still not convinced by the bone marrow salad though....