26 Hanbury St., Spitalfields
The espresso here is serious: smooth, heady, and perfect on its own, which is why this café is always packed. In 2008, Nude's founders created their first café on Brick Lane, where they served ethically sourced artisanal coffee. Word spread, and the team moved to its current location on Hanbury Street, which also hosts a state-of-the-art roastery. Every cup served comes from beans roasted on-site by the industry's most eco-friendly roaster. There's also a sister café on Bell Lane.
Gul & Sepoy (Closed)
65 Commercial St., Spitalfields
Harnett and Devina Baweja have two successful restaurants already (Gunpowder and Madame D), and at this point they know what they’re doing. Gul & Sepoy is a newish concept, with “Gul” referring to the half of the menu dedicated to banquet-style Rajasthani dishes, and “Sepoy” to the more rustic dishes Indian soldiers would cook for themselves on the move. Order between six and seven small plates, and make sure the whole tandoor-roasted sea bream is in there—completely deboned and brightened with pickles. The space matches the food in terms of prettiness, with dusty-pink walls, slate tiles, and clean table settings.
Pitt Cue Co.
The Avenue, 1 Devonshire Sq., Spitalfields
Having started off as a roving barbecue van, Pitt Cue Co. now has its very own brick-and-mortar location in a cool corner space in Soho. Their American-style BBQ is excellent but we especially love the sides (green chili stew and grilled baby gem lettuces) and the rowdy whiskey bar. It's great for a lively dinner out, but be prepared to line up—it's tiny in here, like, 30-seats-only tiny. Photo: Paul Winch-Furness
68 Hanbury St., Spitalfields
Chef Rosie Healey (an Ottolenghi alum) mixes Middle Eastern and European influences to create a short menu of casual, homey dishes, from a lovely selection of seasonal salads to a super simple yet totally mind-blowing combo of nduja sausage on toast with honey and thyme (a highlight). And while the flavors are homey and comfortable, everything else is anything but: Everything from the presentation—dishes that look like beautiful, Modern Abstract paintings—to the building itself, which looks like it's straight out of Stanley Kubrick's2001:A Space Odyssey, are unflinchingly sleek and modern.