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Last Minute Work Trip - Need Few Recs Near Piccadilly Circus [London]

fishermb May 14, 2013 10:12 AM

I'm coming from NYC to London for 48 hours on a last second work trip, leaving tonight and staying near Piccadilly Circus.

My lunches are already planned around a conference, but I need a breakfast and a dinner. With my other dinner I'm planning to revisit Tayyabs which I thoroughly enjoyed last time I was in town, but would love to also try something new.

I'll eat any type of food, but I have 3 requirements: Within a 30 minute walk of the area, not too awkward for a solo diner, and can get out the door for under 50 pounds ideally.

Thank you!

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  1. abby d RE: fishermb May 14, 2013 10:31 AM

    I'd go to the Nordic Bakery, Nopi or the Wolseley for breakfast.

    What kind of thing do you like/want for supper - you are minutes from Soho, Covent Garden and Mayfair so lots of options!

    3 Replies
    1. re: abby d
      fishermb RE: abby d May 14, 2013 10:58 AM

      Thanks I'll check out those breakfast suggestions abby.

      Anything unique/new I'm open to whatever for dinner, modern/traditional, Indian, I don't really care if there's a scene or not, just nothing too formal so as to be awkward for dining alone.

      1. re: fishermb
        fishermb RE: fishermb May 16, 2013 01:09 AM

        I wound up at Nordic Bakery this morning as I was in a bit of a rush and their cinnamon roll was absolutely delicious. I walked past Nopi also which looked quite good, I think I may try it tomorrow

        1. re: fishermb
          zuriga1 RE: fishermb May 16, 2013 05:02 AM

          Nopi is very nice. Their courgette fritters are very tasty, but so is almost everything else.

    2. zuriga1 RE: fishermb May 14, 2013 11:15 AM

      Princi is nearby and serves breakfast. Here's a description.


      Their baked goods are yummy.

      1. k
        klyeoh RE: fishermb May 14, 2013 03:12 PM

        If you enjoyed the food at Tayyabs, maybe you ought to try Lahori Nihari:


        1. a
          Asperges RE: fishermb May 14, 2013 05:17 PM

          I was about to post nearly the identical request - I'm staying in Piccadilly Circus for 24 hours and need someplace close where I can eat solo on a Saturday night without feeling too weird about it. When I made this same stopover 2 years ago Chowhounders sent me to Bocca di Lupo on Archer Street, where I sat at the bar and had an excellent meal without too much fuss; I might go back there, but would love to try somewhere new...

          9 Replies
          1. re: Asperges
            zuriga1 RE: Asperges May 14, 2013 10:32 PM

            There's also Dean's Townhouse.


            1. re: zuriga1
              sundeck sue RE: zuriga1 May 15, 2013 08:52 PM

              We recently ate there pre-theatre--disappointing.

              1. re: sundeck sue
                zuriga1 RE: sundeck sue May 15, 2013 10:26 PM

                Good to know... I haven't eaten there but always heard such nice things. OK - off my list but what was wrong?

                1. re: zuriga1
                  sundeck sue RE: zuriga1 May 16, 2013 09:46 AM

                  It was a couple month's back, so I'm more or less hazy re details, only clear re over-all take-away (OK, not great; and there are other great places to choose in Central London).

                  The location was perfect for a pre-theatre bite (theatre 'round the corner and up a block), especially since it was a freezing cold and really gust-y day (almost got hit, en route to the restaurant, crossing Leicester Square, by a huge flying sign that came loose from its concrete mooring--that I recall quite vividly, with associations to Dorothy and her little dog, Toto!).

                  The service was spotty. I liked the draught beer I had (not remembering what, though my husband had some difficulty communicating w/ the server re his beer preferences--he likes German-style lagers; and they weren't getting that).

                  I started w/ a soup that wasn't quite hot enough and just all right re flavor (but what kind of soup? sigh). My husband had a prawn, crab, and chicory salad to start, which he liked fine, but when I had a taste, I found it lacking in seasoning/balance.

                  The fish part of my fish and chips entree was the best part of the dish and the meal over-all--nice piece of fish, well fried. Chips, definitely not so much. My husband again gave his pick--calves liver and bacon--better marks than I--I found the liver not well trimmed or cooked, bacon meh, etc.

                  Good of you to ask, since this more elaborated description (including my husband's more positive read) might not chase you away; and if others have enjoyed, it maybe merits another go.

                  1. re: sundeck sue
                    zuriga1 RE: sundeck sue May 16, 2013 02:05 PM

                    Thanks for the report. With so many wonderful places to eat in London, this one isn't high on my list but all opinions help.

            2. re: Asperges
              klyeoh RE: Asperges May 14, 2013 10:46 PM

              I didn't have a good experience at Bocca di Lupo last month(http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660421).

              Nearby Soho should present quite a few good dining options:

              I've always been wanting to go back to Quo Vadis on Dean Street (I was last there in the mid-90s when Marco Pierre White first took over the restaurant). It's currently very well rated:

              1. re: klyeoh
                Asperges RE: klyeoh May 15, 2013 10:48 AM

                L'Escargot and Quo Vadis both look good to me. Which do you think would be more casual - that is, where would I stick out less as a solo female diner on a Saturday night?

                1. re: Asperges
                  klyeoh RE: Asperges May 15, 2013 11:23 AM

                  They both emanate about the same vibe but, IMO, L'Escargot seemed to have the more "feminine" feel.

              2. re: Asperges
                Paprikaboy RE: Asperges May 15, 2013 04:45 AM

                You could always sit at the counter at Ittenbari on Brewer Street if you don't want anything too fancy and want some decent Shoyu ramen.


              3. k
                klyeoh RE: fishermb May 14, 2013 10:28 PM

                For breakfast, try One Leicester Street (formerly St John's, the chef's still the same):


                1. f
                  Foodie94 RE: fishermb May 15, 2013 06:50 AM

                  Roti chai - Indian street food - is a 20-min walk, tasty, casual, and fun. 3 Portman Mews South | London | W1H 6HS, http://www.rotichai.com/street_kitche...

                  On the Indian theme, I like Dishoom for its chicken curry, fried okra, and especially house dal, although some people here aren't as keen on it. It's even closer - 12 Upper St. Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9FB.

                  1. prima RE: fishermb May 15, 2013 09:37 PM

                    I love having breakfast at the Wolseley.


                    Maybe Mela on Shaftsbury would be a decent Indian option close to Picadilly Circus. I haven't tried Mela, but I had a good meal at Chowki, that was run by the same owner. http://www.melarestaurant.co.uk/shaft...

                    1. b
                      brokentelephone RE: fishermb May 16, 2013 12:56 AM

                      Cecconi's is great for breakfast -- it's like a Wolosley type place but with a more italian vibe.

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