Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
British food sometimes gets a bad rap, but one meal that very few can argue against is the Sunday roast.
Comprised of meat, two veg and lashings of gravy, it’s one of our most beloved national dishes – a cosy meal enjoyed with family when the weather gets colder, and for some people a tradition that’s embraced all year round.
Whilst everyone thinks their nan makes the best one…let’s face it, there’s an art to a truly excellent roast dinner. The meat has to be cooked to perfection, potatoes have to be copious and crispy and the gravy has to be thick and full of flavour.
If you feel like forgoing the family smalltalk (or shunning that long winded prepping, if you’re the resident chef), then the UK has an abundance of truly excellent chefs Sunday roasts just waiting to be scoffed.
To start you off on the right tracks, here are some of the best London roasts to stick your teeth into, as chosen by team Twisted…
Don’t expect a wholesome weekend lunch at Temper, but if you can brave the dim lighting and the open flames, this trendy open kitchen in Soho is definitely one of the candidates for the best roast in central London.
Not one for the veggies, Temper is all about succulent barbecued meat, with an ever changing menu that features the likes of pulled lamb shoulder, roast aged beef and baby chicken.
You can order family style, which offers you three meat options to share, and you can expect sides like beef-fat roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding the size of your literal head and a four cheese cauliflower bake.
The best part of this Sunday roast is you get bottomless smoked gravy, too – don’t you hate it when you’re just handed a measly jug?
Oh, and you’re still peckish afterwards (how?!), they serve tacos too, in a nod to the restaurant’s Mexican influences.
Food starts at just over £20, with the sharing platter costing £35 per person.
Located not far from Spitalfields Market, The Culpeper is far from just an east-end boozer.
You might have heard us gushing about their leafy rooftop restaurant before, but don’t forget about them come autumn, too.
Offering one of the London’s superior Sunday roasts, the menu features four options, including a beetroot, sweet potato, broccoli and feta wellington for the veggies and a herb-fed chicken.
Prices start at £17, and for that you get a whole damn lot. All roasts are served with a huge Yorkshire pudding, fluffy potatoes, carrots, buttered Hispi cabbage, courgettes and gravy.
You can choose to eat in the rather scenic upstairs dining room, with massive greenhouse windows looking out at their vegetable patches and the London skyline, or settle down at a table in the pub’s interior.
A proper lovely experience, either way.
An upmarket affair, Straits Kitchen can be found in London Liverpool Street’s Pan Pacific Hotel, atop a rather dazzling spiral staircase.
Offering a twist on the traditional British roast, the restaurant serves a set menu with a Singaporian influence, featuring proteins including crispy pork belly, roast duck and soya chicken.
Alongside the main event, you’ll be handed trimmings like pak choi, choy sum, Thai salad and stir-fried noodles, and even starters like Vietnamese spring rolls before you tuck in.
Whilst it’s three courses, this set menu will set you back £50, so it’s one of the more expensive options on the list.
The good news is they chuck in half a bottle of Prosecco, and feed you so much you’ll have to be rolled out the door when you’re done.
Largely proclaimed to be south-east London’s best Sunday roast, Coal Rooms is situated right next to Peckham Rye station, in a grade II listed building where the ticket office used to be.
You’d be mistaken for assuming this is just a dingy train station restaurant, though. Inside it’s light, airy and immaculately furnished – a favourite of local celebs, like rapper Professor Green.
Tables never stay empty for long when the roast menu comes out, and it’s not hard to see why. The menu features the likes of smoked Hogget lamb shoulder and sharing Sirloin steak for two, both served with all the trimmings, including roast potatoes, carrots, spring greens and a Yorkie.
Prices range from £20 to £55 depending on the meat you order, but you can expect generous portions and flavours to boot.
Looking for the best vegetarian roast in London? Better still, what about a completely vegan offering? Don’t scoff, you haven’t tried The Spread Eagle yet…
Tucked away in east London’s Homerton, this pub is worth a visit for its fun, colourful interiors alone – the perfect antidote for any Sunday hangover.
But it’s their menu which really draws the crowds. The pub is completely plant-based, and still manages to produce one of the city’s top roast dinners.
Options include an earthy beetroot wellington and a pot roast celeriac with potato crackling, and there’s a walnut and cashew nut roast on offer, too. All roasts are served with crispy potatoes, roasted carrots, greens, a Yorkshire pud and gravy, and roasts start at £16.
Take your most carnivorous mate here, and watch them eat their words.
Want a Sunday roast with a difference? London Fields pub The Gun has a kitchen run by the incredible Ling Lings, serving Asian-fusion roast dinners that’ll knock your socks off.
Menus change weekly, but have included the likes of roasted cauliflower with Mala (a Chinese numbing sauce) and coconut; and a Korean inspired glass skin chicken with roast potatoes, choy sum, miso gravy, sesame seed Yorkshire puds and nori mustard. Wowza.
A mid-range pricing and roasts that pack an unrivalled punch, The Gun is proof that sometimes the best Sunday roast really can be found at an unassuming neighbourhood pub.
With neon lighting on the walls, wooden stalls and comfy leather seating, come here for what’s undoubtedly one of the best Sunday roast options in London. Just don’t expect any Bisto or bread sauce.
South London’s Canton Arms is a local institution, and there’s no better day to visit than Sunday.
Cosy it may be, but the Canton Arms is also great for someone who might want a lighter meal – they offer the likes of a ‘Greek style’ lamb shank with tomato, oregano and orzo, and an array of small plates, too.
Fear not, though, they’ve also got some roast dinner classics to feast on, like Deter beef and roasties and a sharing seven-hour Salt Marsh lamb shoulder, served with a potato and olive oil gratin (fit for nine people to tuck into, greedily).
The meatier offerings range anywhere from £20 to £100, depending what you’re ordering.
The Canton Arms is Sunday food personified. There’s a reason many hail it one of the best London roasts.
Brigadiers doesn’t serve a Sunday roast as you know it. The Indian restaurant offers up its own spin on a classic roast dinner, boasting tandoori masala spicing, wood roasted meats and flavour-packed greens.
Offering a Sunday BBQ roast at £30 per person, you can expect the likes of wood roasted Goan pork, served with smoked mackerel sambol and a xacuti masala.
Also on offer is a butter masala rotisserie baby chicken (which might be a candidate for the best roast chicken London has to offer). This comes served with a hens egg makhani, and all roasts also come with poppadoms and chutneys, an array of Indian spiced greens and even dessert, if you’ve got room to fit it in.
Inspired by the military bars of India, another bonus of coming to this upmarket spot on a Sunday is you won’t have to wrestle the city bankers for a spot.
So, there you have it, Twisted‘s official guide to the best Sunday roasts in London. It doesn’t matter if you’re after something cheap and cheerful or looking to push the boat out; something traditional or with exciting fusion flavours; something marvellously meaty or vegetarian, there’s something for everyone in the UK’s capital.
Of course, with so many options to work through, we’ve only just begun sampling the plates of meat, veg and gravy that the city’s restaurants and pubs have to offer. Keep an eye on this list and we’ll keep adding our favourites.
Sunday is about to become the most exciting day of the week…