Where to Find the Best Jewish Food in London

From Jerusalem bagels with za'atar to New York-style bagels with cream cheese & lox, London has it all.

New Jewish food has taken London by storm in recent years, a fact that brings this Jewish-food loving writer and native absolute elation.

The new Jewish cuisine comes with a story and a myriad of flavors — dishes that are both exotic, yet familiar. The real essence of these flavors is the merging of Eastern European Ashkenazi dishes with the spices of the Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewish traditions. The result is pure palatable bliss. From Barbary’s “Ashkenazi Chicken Liver,” and the Good Egg’s “Hanukkah Brisket Hash” to Bala Baya’s “Ox-tail Falafel,” London’s new Jewish cuisine merges the best of both heritages.

Here are my top five places to taste crave-worthy Jewish food in London.

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The Barbary

If you’re missing the streets of Jaffa, head to The Barbary. Sister restaurant to the highly acclaimed Palomar (voted as London’s best restaurant in 2015), Jerusalem’s Machneyuda restaurant group have done it again — and dare I say, done it even better. Tucked away in Covent Garden’s Neals Yard sits a single bar that seats 24 and serves up simply scrumptious Israeli-inspired fare. Sure, with no reservations you will have to queue (that’s “wait in line” for you Americans), but this is more than tolerable with a “Nishnushim” snack menu to feast on (a must-have: the Moroccan cigars, heavenly deep-fried lamb parcels).

The menu pulls together influences from the Barbary coast to Jerusalem — my favorites being the “Cauliflower Jaffa” and “Octopus Mashawsha.” Let’s not forget their Jerusalem bagels — made fresh in front of you and served up with small paper bags of za’atar — which are chewy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Delightful.

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Bala Baya

Chef Eran Tibi, mentored by Yotam Ottolenghi so you know it’s going to be good, has created a slice of Tel Aviv in the heart of London’s Southwark. Energetic, loud, and buzzing, the atmosphere and drinks are devilishly good — a perfect compliment to the flavorsome, fresh, frightfully delicious food. For dinner, yogurt-bathed cauliflower, hummus topped with oxtail, and melting malabi are some of the best dishes to order. And if you’re a fish lover, you must try the whole fish and fennel. For brunch, head over for their shakshuka, one of the best London has to offer.

Address: Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union St, London 

For more information visit their website.

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The Good Egg

White washed walls, shelves of preserved lemons, and bagels bursting out of the kitchen, The Good Egg is a favorite for brunch. Located in Soho and Stoke-Newington, The Good Egg’s two restaurants harmoniously combine well-loved Tel-Avivian dishes with those must-have New York classics. If you’re craving a thick slice of challah French toast, “Hannukah-style” brisket, or an overflowing sabich sandwich, then head to The Good Egg and you won’t be disappointed.

Address: 93 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London or Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly St, Soho, London 

For more information visit their website

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Monty’s Deli

London needed Monty’s Deli, because unlike New York, we sadly do not have a plethora of “deli-style” Jewish offerings within the city center. Of course, if you are dedicated and head to certain suburbs you will find your salt-beef fix, but for those casual observers living centrally, Monty’s Deli is the answer. For brunch, freshly baked bagels, spot-on babka, and undoubtedly the best rueben in London, Monty’s Deli serves up true “Jewish soul food” (as coined by owner Mark Ogus). In the evening, they pull out all the stops with their “Shabbat Dinner” menu: challah, chicken soup, chopped egg, and lokshen to name just a few of the offerings.
Address: 227-229 Hoxton Street, N1, London

For more information visit their website

Zobler’s Deli & Diner

Housed in what used to be Midlands Banks headquarters, Zobler’s is set in the newly opened, swanky hotel and members club, The Ned. In contrast to its vast, elegant, brass-brushed, marble surroundings, this New York-style Jewish deli manages to serve up some serious chicken soup and show-stopping salmon towers. A must for brunch or afternoon snack, particularly if you are craving a slice of decent cheesecake.

Address: 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ

For more information visit their website.

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