Gone are the days when grabbing a kebab counted as ‘fast food’. Now, the guilty pleasure has turned gourmet with restaurants all over London whipping up posh plates of food that were previously consigned to privacy and never gleefully splashed over Instagram or Twitter. But the times have changed and we’ve put together a list of our favourite fancy fast food for when you’re feeling deliciously sinful.
Forget those floppy finger fripperies or those pathetic plastic packets, sandwiches have got serious. Stuffing huge quantities of fresh and flavoursome meat into decadent brioche bread, Smack Deli have upped the ante and created four lobster rolls that will tickle everyone’s fancy. A quick pay and go system means you don’t have to wait too long for your fix but whether you can eat on the go is completely up to you.
Cheese toasties were formerly the type of thing you’d make yourself on a hangover and less likely to be the accompaniment to cocktails with names like ‘Thank F**k It’s Buttered’ but Loves Company are never ones to play by the rules. Serving seven gloriously named toasted sandwiches (Crustin Bieber, Notorious P.I.G) in their tiny bar tucked around the corner from Old Street, you’ll never look at your post-night out fix in quite the same way again.
Delia Smith made it her mission to teach everyone how to boil an egg. But why learn when you can ask the guys at Bad Egg to do it for you? Using the humble hen’s egg as their basis, they’ve whipped up a round the world in 9 egg dishes selection for you to choose from. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner you’ll soon determine how you like your eggs in the morning, afternoon and evening.
‘Traditional Turkish food with a twist’ is Dom’s mantra and it’s a tough challenge given its proximity in Clapton to the many successful Turkish outlets on the Kingsland Road. The formula’s no surprise - choose your filling, choose your wrap and then your salad and then devour as much as you can without dropping it down all yourself - but it works. Perhaps a little out of the way for Westerners but Hackney dwellers lap this place up with glee.
Mark Hix isn’t exactly known for fast food but Tramshed’s chicken and chips undeniably falls into the convenience category whilst packing a punch. Forget cardboard boxes on the bus and think a converted railway arch in Shoreditch, a Damien Hirst above your head and a whole chicken brought to your table for your carving pleasure, topped off with slaw and enough chips for even the hungriest to share.
Think of curry in London and you’ll probably think of Brick Lane. But we know somewhere better. Dishoom - in Covent Garden, Shoreditch and King’s Cross - brings Bombay style cafes to London with modern tastes on classic Indian dishes that don’t all look the same. Their chilli cheese toast and Bombay breakfasts of Ginger Pig bacon naans are legendary and perfect for any weekend pick me up.
Us Brits love fish and chips - salty, vinegary and served with a side of mushy peas, gravy or curry sauce depending on where you’re from. Kerbisher & Malt are trying to bring the seaside dream to life in London with sustainably sourced fish that can be battered, grilled or tossed in matzo meal and served with hand cut, double fried chips are hand cut and double fried. Pickled egg optional.
Bagels galore at this Soho spot. Delancey & Co takes Londoners on a tour through the many delis that can be found dotted around the Lower East Side of New York. Here, you will be able to experience authentic New York favourites such as the Salt Beef Bagel, homemade salad and fresh bread. This new healthy twist on fast food has taken New York by storm and London is sure to fall in line.
Hotbox is every meat lover’s dream. What was once a super-popular meaty pop-up now has permanency on Commercial Street. Expect short ribs, wagyu brisket, tacos, smoked mac 'n' cheese plus anything else you can waggle a meaty stick at. This is the type of place we absolutely adore at TTF – a must try for meat-lovers. On top of the meat offering, there will be a destination cocktail bar downstairs, called 46 and Mercy.
People of London (and pretty much anywhere else for that matter) associate kebabs with late night, meandering, alcohol fuelled rations, usually consumed after a night out. Chifafa kicks that stereo-type in to touch by delivering healthy, premium kebabs in a cool and modern setting. Their mission it to make the Kebab a respected dish that can be had throughout the day – the around the corner queues they had on opening weekend suggests they’re off to a great start.
Whilst ribs aren’t the cleanest of things to eat, they’re definitely amongst the tastiest. We like De Beauvoir’s Duke’s Brew & Que for huge racks of sticky, sweet ribs to tear into with unbridled appetite. If you’re feeling indecisive, order the Duke’s Greatest Hits - beef rib, pork rib and pulled pork served with coleslaw, pickled red onions, BBQ sauce and garlic toast. And wash down with a beer, of course.