Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble... yeah, alright, Halloween may not be quite as fun as when you were a kid, running raucous on a fat sugar high from the 101 additive-packed goodies your neighbours stuffed begrudgingly into your plastic pumpkin bucket. But that's not to say you can't still celebrate Halloween in London with some delicious food and face paint-clad fun. There are a whole host of cute and kitsch novelty treats popping up for you to enjoy left, right and centre – scroll for Bao's terrifyingly adorable devil pumpkin buns, if nothing else - and many a themed evening at some of Foodism's favourite London locations just begging for you to don your best Boris Johnson, Eleven or Harley Quinn costume. You know you want to.
Behold, 12 Halloween events, special themed spooky one-off menu items not to miss and supper clubs just for the occasion. Happy All Hallow's Eve, all.
12 Halloween events in London not to miss
1. Vegan Nights Halloween party
31 October; 150 Brick Lane, Shoreditch
In the mood to channel your best wicked witch, creepy zombie or Stranger Things character? Yeah, us too. Come Thursday evening the (vegan) halloween celebrations will be kicking off with a bang and shed loads of delicious plant based fare at the Truman Brewery. In collaboration with Wicked Kitchen, prepare yourself for spooky cocktails, best costume competitions, sexy vegan tofu ‘fish’ and chips, beetroot ‘bleeding’ burgers and cookies galore. Fancy dress is encouraged - your halloween scariest or plant-based lols costumes welcome.
2. The Dairy Blood Shot supper club
2 November; 15 The Pavement, Clapham, London SW4 0HY
We interviewed head chef Robin Gill on the five dishes that shaped his career (read here) in our September issue, having set up The Dairy in Clapham after time in the Michelin-starred kitchens of his native Dublin and with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Next up to join the roster of foodie events at their much-loved supper spot is their annual Blood Shot Supper Club, back for one night only. Forever supporting young chefs who chose cooking over crime, Robin is letting in-house Dairy chef Jamil head up the dinner and take the reigns for the night. You'll be treated to a welcome cocktail and relaxed snacks in the bar followed by dinner with paired drinks throughout. Sounds good to us.
3. Crosstown doughnuts halloween special
31 October; 91 Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR
Any excuse for a doughnut is a good excuse in our humble opinion, but the vegan pumpkin spiced, pumpkin seed topped fluff balls from London’s much-loved Crosstown are up there with the holy grail of reasons-I-should-eat-this-doughnut-right-now. Think light as you like dough, sweet but not too sweet filling and a cinnamon spice crumb on top, adding texture to the smooth custard filling. Yeah, they’re good. Not in the mood for a whole bun? We can’t be friends. But they do have miniature Halloween dough bites filled with home-made raspberry jam and topped with Tongan vanilla bean glazed spooky illustrations galore, for those with a smaller appetite.
5. Norma truffle pumpkin dish
October; 8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LS
Ok, so it may not be entirely halloween themed or an event in itself but the new Fitzrovia-based restaurant from chef Ben Tish does have a rather spectacular pumpkin-themed dish on the menu. Alongside their signature antipasti, grilled fish and homemade focaccia on the menu is a cheese-and-truffle stuffed pumpkin, slow roasted and ready to cause toil and trouble (see what we did there…). Enjoy in the converted townhouse that houses the restaurant and bask in all the spooky Italian grand café vibes. Cheese, truffle and pumpkin? Hell yeah.
6. BAO pumpkin buns
31 October; various locations
This special edition Halloween bao with spiced lamb, pumpkin and numbing pip will be available on Thursday 31 October 2019 at all BAO branches including Soho, Fitzrovia and Borough. For those looking to accompany the dish with a delicious non-alcoholic beverage, guests can also enjoy BAO’s special Spooky Pico Fizz, made of peach, verbena and served with purple calpis and soda. The Halloween BAO is priced at £7 and Spooky Pico Fizz at £5, and are both first come first served. Get involved for the cutest, spookiest buns this side of town.
7. Bunhouse gourd buns
24 October-31 October; various locations
This Halloween, Bun House, the Cantonese-style steamed bun specialist, will celebrate all things haunted and ghoulish with its new limited edition pumpkin buns. Which are, in actuality, anything but haunted or ghoulish. Available one week only from 24 October, the spooky buns can be found at Bun House’s Chinatown home, Wembley’s Box Park, and Wun's Tearoom and Bar. The plump pumpkin buns will be filled with sweet, roasted pumpkin, spiced with fragrant star anise, cinnamon and cloves. The orange dough is then carefully scored to give it that uncanny pumpkin shape before being steamed to soft, pillowy perfection. Finally, each one is studded with a goji ‘stalk’. Bun House’s pumpkin buns are priced at £3.20 each, and they're even vegan! We'll take ten.
8. Flat Iron Square spooky pooch parade
3 November; 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
Flat Iron Square is hosting a Halloween Pooch Parade this Sunday on 3 November and you’re all invited. The parade will start at Monument with the ‘pup procession’ moving across London Bridge, before finishing at Flat Iron Square. The Brunch Collective will be in full swing across the sprawling garden area providing ample street food brunch dishes, killer coffee and Bloody Marys a plenty. As well as classic dog games you can also enter your pooch in a competition from 2pm for a £5 entry (all profits going to StreetVet). Categories up for grabs include ‘Spookiest Pooch’, ‘Cutest Critter’ and ‘Best Owner and Pet Combo’. To continue the family-friendly fun there will also be a free film screening of Frankenweenie (dog and kid friendly of course) at 5:30pm where you can enjoy a complimentary popcorn with your first beer. You’d have to be barking mad not to get yourself down to this.
9. Glenrothes halloween whiskey experience
31 October; 97 Sclater Street, E1 6HR
This Halloween, single malt whisky people The Glenrothes are hosting a whisky and cinema experience in Shoreditch. For one night only, Londoners can get in the Hallow’s Eve spirit of things with a night of deadly (and delicious) drams and a special screaming of Alfred Hitchcock’s horror-thriller, The Birds. Hidden in the cavernous haunts of Close-Up arthouse cinema, guests can enjoy selection of whisky cocktails and drams of the brand’s latest eerie offering, the limited-edition 13 year old single malt.
10. Kraken screamfest
31 October- 1 November; 2083 Acton Mews, E8 4DG
The Kraken Rum is delivering a bar and horror experience like no other this Halloween, having commissioning legendary horror mastermind Neil Marshall to direct every detail of the night. The Kraken Screamfest immersive bar experience will run for two days only with the highlight of the night being the special menu of Kraken cocktails, which will include the perennial favourite he Perfect Storm, as well as other spooky surprises in store.
11. Eyeball soup at Babur
31 October; 119 Brockley Rise, E23 1JP
When it comes to things we usually like to order from an Indian restaurant, eyeball soup isn’t exactly at the top of the list. Until now, that is. Forest Hill favourite Babur is getting a bit Halloween-y this year by offering a special Eyeball Soup cocktail on the top. That cocktail is far from gruesome, too. It’s actually just Absolut Vodka, Campari, pomegranate puree, lychee liquor and fresh lime. Which, when you think about, sounds rather delicious.
12. BaoziInn halloween fun
30 October - 2 November; various locations
To celebrate Halloween season this year the team at Baozilnn Group are launching a brilliant new Baozi Platter and Prosecco Special. The Baozilnn Halloween Special includes four Baozi (two black ones filled with chicken and two orange ones filled with pork) and two glasses of Prosecco for just £15. The offer will be available all day at London Bridge and Romilly Street from 30 October through to 2 November. The only thing we’re scared of is missing out on the chance to scoff these adorable dumplings.
Don't fancy going out? We have a whole host of halloween recipe content for you, too. Foodism favourite includes Melissa Cole's cheesy pumpkin pasta bowls and Bread Street Kitchen's smashing pumpkin cocktail recipe. Share your photos with us if you give them a go at @foodismuk.