Kanada-Ya makes the best bowl of tonkotsu ramen anywhere in London. There’s always a line of students from Hong Kong and Japan outside any of their shops (even in the cold – usually a good sign), but it’s absolutely worth the wait. With the totally reasonable prices (just over a tenner for the basic bowl of noodles), it’s a good deal. There’s not a whole lot for vegetarians, so don’t bring them with the hope that there’ll be a veg stock or tofu option. Do go for a casual, no-reservations spot where the atmosphere is full of the sounds of conversation and people slurping noodles. Expect not to linger, but to leave happy.
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J Sheekey is a classic West End post-theatre hang where you might spot a celebrity and will be guaranteed to have a great meal.
Old, full of red velvet, and with a taste for custard, Rules is a high-priced, novelty-feeling British restaurant in Covent Garden.
When you eat at The Barbary in Covent Garden, everyone sits at the bar and everyone has a great time, while eating brilliant Middle Eastern food.
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In addition to nice Japanese comfort food and good beers, Brixton’s Nanban is a solid place for a hang with mates.
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Compared to other ramen restaurants, Ippudo in Covent Garden has the advantage of a cool-looking dining room, a bigger menu, and more room for groups.
Lanzhou Noodle Bar
It doesn’t look promising from the outside, but Lanzhou Noodle Bar near Leicester Square makes excellent Chinese hand-pulled noodles.
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