We here at Foodism are big fans of (you guessed it) food. The brief moments we're not found eating are often spent thinking about what we're going to eat next. If you, like us, are the sort of person that's already planning out your dinner during breakfast, you're probably also the sort of person with a passion for your favourite sandwich spot that would put most sports fans to shame.
While wearing your local football team's strip has always been a socially acceptable way of showing where your loyalties lie, the world of restaurant paraphernalia generally offers a more hazardous turf. And, by hazardous, we mainly mean hideous. Dominated by Planet Hollywood T-shirts, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. hats, and an endless array of naff key-rings, most of the gear you’ll get from restaurants rarely cuts the mustard.
Luckily for you, there's also some genuinely banging branded merch out there. And to help separate the wheat from the chaff, we've collated this guide to some of the best items available from London's finest eateries.
Get ready to rep your favourite restaurants and brands everywhere from the kitchen table to the dance floor…
Glenmorangie's Behind the Cask surfboard
There's a lot that goes into a whisky barrel – from the beautiful oak that's sourced for its creation to the crash-bang of the cooperage that bends and binds the wood and the whisky that seeps in and out of its pores during the ageing process, it's a product that's created to an incredibly high standard. With that in mind, it'd be a great shame if after it's coloured as much whisky as it can, it's left to rot or burnt.
That's where Glenmorangie come in: for the last few years, its Behind the Cask campaign has seen the scotch distiller partner up with some truly great craftspeople to give a second life to the wood used in its whisky barrels. After making whisky-barrel-wood sunglasses two years ago and a road bike last year, it's turned its attention to the water, teaming up with US-based Grain surfboards to create a limited-edition run of whisky-barrel-wood surfboards. Yes, you read that right. Grain, as the name suggests, uses American oak to create surprisingly lightweight, supple and beautifully crafted surfboards. If you like your whisky with water, a Glenmorangie-barrel will set you back a cool £5,150.
Minor Figures's oat beanie
Keep your head warm and your hands cold by pairing this Minor Figures beanie with a can of the brand’s Nitro Cold Brew coffee. As the coffee cools you down, the beanie will warm you up, creating the perfect temperature equilibrium for all environments. The beanie is one-size fits all and catered towards any noggin. The perfect head friend for a chilly winter's day, Minor Figures maintain a refreshing approach in their no added sugar and dairy-free beverages and fashion choices alike.
Monty's Deli Pickle T-Shirt
Home to one of the city's best reuben sandwiches, Monty's Deli specialises in doing the simple things, but doing them oh-so right. Just take this T-shirt. It's simple, it's sweet. It's a T-shirt with a pickle on it. What more do you really need to know?
Luminary Bakery's T-shirt
Luminary Bakery is more than just a place to get divine sourdough – it's a wonderful social enterprise that provides training, community and employment opportunities to some of the UK's most disadvantaged women. The Stoke Newington-based bakery also has some fantastic (and unsurprisingly ethical) merch on offer. We've singled out the Luminary T-shirt as a great way to support an even greater cause. Designed by Girl Love That, the T-shirt is printed by Luminary's eco-friendly FairTrade partners, Freeset Global – a social enterprise that provides opportunities for women affected by sex trafficking in West Bengal, India.
Camden Town Brewery x Folk shirt
This limited edition workwear range, created exclusively for Camden Town Brewery, has come about as the result of a long-standing friendship between Folk's Cathal McAteer and the brewery's owner, Jasper Cuppaidge. The stylish unisex collection features shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and even a gilet that all take inspiration from the brewery and its logo. Our pick of the bunch is this camel shirt adorned with CTB's iconic logo. The full range can be purchased at Camden's breweries in Camden and Enfield.
Silent Pool x Blenheim Forge's bespoke paring knife
They say that a true craftsman is only as good as his tools. It's 2018 now and 'they' should really get up to date with their pronouns but the question still begs: why are you still using that pathetic excuse for a knife that you bought when you first moved in and couldn’t find anything better at the supermarket? Thankfully for you (and your fingers), Silent Pool Gin has partnered with Blenheim Forge to produce a custom-made paring knife guaranteed to take your G&T garnishing skills to the next level. Blenheim Forge are renowned for producing some of the best knives in the business and Silent Pool Gin are certainly no slouches when it comes to gin. The outcome is a unique knife with a definite "wow" factor.
Voodoo Ray's pizza planet badge
The East London slice experts over at Voodoo Ray's have probably helped fuel more than a couple of messy nights out on Kingsland High Street than you'd care to admit, so we think it's only fair that you give a little back in return. With a merch range that encompasses everything from t-shirts to totes and trucker hats, our favourite is this enamel pizza planet badge. There's no better way to represent one of London's best pizza slices. Because if we honestly had to choose another world to live on, it would definitely be one made out of pizza. Elon Musk, if you're reading this: make it happen.
Beavertown x M.C. Overalls oatmeal polycotton skull snap shirt
This collaboration between Carnaby Street workwear brand, M.C. Overalls and local brewing heroes Beavertown Brewery is the fashion-meets-food world equivalent of bacon meeting eggs. On their own they more than hold their own. But the two have managed to come together to create something truly wonderful. And unique. Each garment is individually screen printed by hand using puff inks. We've singled out the Oatmeal Polycotton Skull Snap Shirt as an item you should definitely add to your wardrobe for the next work drinks night out. After all, it’s already been made with alcohol consumption in mind.
Bao's classic man T-shirt
Let's face it: you can't, and probably never will, make anything as perfect as the steamed buns at Bao. You and your partner could birth a Nobel prize-winning scientist and still we'd be hesitant to say that you had indeed created something better than what Bao has on its menu. But hey, if you can’t beat them: join them. And if you can't join them: dress like them. This T-shirt is a brand new item, ideal for any bun-loving individual who wants to show of their impeccable taste. And, if nothing else, it's at least going to make you look pretty bao-chickawowow (sorry-not-sorry) at your next dinner party.
Noble Rot tote bag
If you hadn't twigged it from their enviable wine list, the people over at Noble Rot really know their wine. Simply walking into their wine shrine is enough to make one immediately repent their university days spent drinking unknown white out of a box. Thankfully, they've also got some merchandise on offer to help broadcast to those around you that those days are long gone. This tote bag has the phrase 'Sex & Drugs & Pinot Noir on one side and 'Winos with Attitude' on the other. Both funny. Both true. It doesn't take a style sommelier to know this is definitely a fine vintage and that it's also the ideal size for carrying a few bottles of the good stuff.
Check out some more of our favourite London restaurants and find out where to rock your T-shirts, pins and beanies while chowing down on the best food in the capital