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1
Luca
2
Pepper and Spice
3
Ranoush Juice
4
The Palomar
5
Normans Cafe
6
Dinings
7
Decimo
8
Mangal 1
9
Il Baretto
10
Afghan Kitchen
London

Benji B's Favourite Restaurants in London

Benji B, eminent London-based DJ and producer, has been an integral part of the city's electronic music scene for 20+ years. Over the course of his career, he's been able to collaborate with creatives like Kanye West and Virgil Abloh, and established his famous Deviation club nights. Over this time, he has also gotten to know London's culturally rich and diverse food scene. From Italian to Middle Eastern, below Benji B shares his favourite go-to food spots from around London.

Benji B, eminent London-based DJ and producer, has been an integral part of the city's electronic music scene for 20+ years. Over the course of his career, he's been able to collaborate with creatives like Kanye West and Virgil Abloh, and established his famous Deviation club nights. Over this time, he has also gotten to know London's culturally rich and diverse food scene. From Italian to Middle Eastern, below Benji B shares his favourite go-to food spots from around London.

Luca

If I could move in here and (afford to) eat lunch and dinner every day I would. Italian-based food with locally sourced ingredients in a great setting - tastefully done and a special night out but not overly fancy. If it's nice weather sit in the small garden. Food is absolutely banging. I’ve always liked this neighbourhood too.

Who to ask for: Johnny

What to order: Everything on the menu.

Pepper and Spice

One of my favourite local West Indian spots in North London.
What to order: fish stew or curry chicken w/ rice and peas & a veg pattie
Who to ask for: Don’t ask for anyone, just get in line. Talking of which, if you are in a rush and it's lunchtime this ain't the place for you. Just know that all good things come to those who… wait in a long queue.

Ranoush Juice

Sometimes only Ranoush Juice will do. More of a takeaway snack spot than a sit down place, although there are a few tables if you want to eat and go. Sometimes I realise it's on route to somewhere I’m headed and I’ll divert to make a stop, sometimes I’ll just make the trip especially. I go there for one specific item: the Ranoush Juice Shawarma wrap: one is never enough and two is too much.

What to order: Chicken Shawarma wrap and a fresh carrot juice.

The Palomar

Just off Shaftesbury Avenue near Chinatown, serving a Middle Eastern menu inspired by Israeli cooking, Southern Spain and North Africa, the food here is fresh and good for lunch or dinner and is made in the open kitchen, right in front of you.

Who to ask for: Well, if you remember Layo and Bushwaka - The DJ duo closely associated with The End Nightclub in London, this is Layo’s place! So you could ask for him, or shake his hand and say good job.

What to order: Fattoush Salad, Persian Lemon Chicken, Tomato Labneh and plenty of Baharat Farmhouse Bread.


Normans Cafe

Low-key cafe breakfast spot that keeps it simple and gets it right. Breakfast also might be my favourite meal of the day to be honest.

Who to ask for: Elliot.

What to order: Scrambled eggs on 2 toast with parmesan shaving on top, hash browns and a cup of tea (I don’t eat red meat but if you like your bacon and all that theres plenty of that too).

Dinings

Had to put a Japanese spot in this list and there are loads I could have chosen but I’m going with Dinings because it is top level Japanese food in an understated place. Was originally started by ex-Nobu chefs in 2006. I’ve eaten there from time to time over the years and it has maintained its quality.

What to order: Hamachi Tar Tar Chips, Unagi Nigiri, Miso Aubergine, Black Cod.

Decimo

Top floor of the Standard in Kings Cross in London. Mexican and Spanish influenced menu. Environment posh but city vibe, feels like you’re in New York, lighting and design on point, definitely good for a night out. With the location being in Kings Cross, it gives a good mix of people -- and views. Food and drinks top level. Definitely not cheap tho.

Who to ask for: Thomas is the boss.

What to order: Cauliflower Tacos, Spanish Tortilla, Day Boot Fish. A Negroni before or an Old Fashioned after, depending on which way round you do it. Bartenders know what they are doing.

Mangal 1

Feels like it would be rude not to include this classic. The OG Arcola street Mangal 1. What is there to say other than that I’ve ended up in here more than few times over the years. I respect this place a lot, the environment in the neighbourhood around this place has changed so much but this place has remained. There are undoubtedly loads of amazing Turkish places in London but this place is a classic.

What to order: Cacik, Tavuk Sis or Moussaka.

Il Baretto

Classic Italian family run vibe not tryna be a cool spot but with a classic traditional feel. In a way this is the random one on the list - not sure why I like it so much but I do. Has a casual family feel to it, even if it ends up feeling a bit posh because of where it's located (Marylebone) and who goes there. I think I went in by chance once and I ended up going back. Not on the foodie cool list, you might go there and think “huh?” - but I like it for a secret straight up traditional Italian.

What to order: Cacio e Pepe, followed by Sea Bass.

Afghan Kitchen

This place been open for years and years but its hard to tell sometimes which nights it opens. Very simple environment - not a “night out” but good if you want a simple home cooking feel. Low key and casual, sometimes with shared tables.

What to order: Fresh Bread, Banjon Borani, Lavand-e-murgh.