Despite having a name that sounds like a perfume, Essence is actually just a raw vegan cafe in Shoreditch with food that’s actually quite enjoyable. You should probably avoid it if you’re allergic to nuts, but if not, expect great veg bowls, filling salads, ‘noodles’, and wraps. The raw pad thai and caramel brownie are particularly good. That said, the slightly awkward space feels like something out of The Matrix, so we’d skip a sit-in meal in favour of grabbing something to take away.
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Dalston's Sông Quê makes some of the best Vietnamese food in London. Stop by for a casual group dinner or a quick bowl of pho.
Wright Brothers Spitalfields
You can get a shellfish tower or a posh seafood dinner at Wright Brothers Spitalfields. Or, you can get oysters for a quid a pop, 3-6pm every day.
As far as bars go, Happiness Forgets in Shoreditch is nearly perfect. It’s a small room with casual, local vibes and actually great cocktails.
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Persepolis is a BYOB deli-cum-café in Peckham serving excellent Persian meze at fantastic prices.
Sagar is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant where the food is incredibly consistent and always tasty.
Mildred’s is a classic vegetarian restaurant in Soho, with an excellent atmosphere and an even better mushroom pie.
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