Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish? Don't mind if we do. Yep, just like Samwise Gamgee, we're absolutely mad about potatoes. It doesn't matter whether its in the form of a crisp, a roastie, an aloo or even a goddamned farçon. You name the potato dish and we can guarantee that we've tried it, loved it, and think about eating it whenever we're presented with something that's not potato-based. In fact, if we were redrawing Hippocrates' four humours of the body we'd likely replace blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm with mash, chips, gratin, and gnocchi. Because God knows those golden tubers already make up 80% of our own bodies.
There is a catch when it comes to this wonderful carbohydrate though. Because while potatoes can be very, very good, they can also be very, very bad. We'd go as far as to say that there's nothing worse than being served an over-boiled or under-roasted potato (sorry, Nan). Getting stuck with a dissatisfactory jacket potato does nothing but act as a painful reminder of that tear-inducing school report card phrase: "an unfortunate failure to reach one's potential". All a bad potato dish does is make it all the more obvious how delicious that potato could have been.
Thankfully for all us spud lovers in the city, London is a hotbed of potato action. From decadent dauphinoise to sultry sweet potato noodles, there are plenty of fantastic potato dishes in London that will knock your socks off. Potato ice cream? You best believe it, buddy. And you best believe that you can find that (and oh, so many more great potato-based iterations) on this guide to London's best potato dishes. All of which you can find nestled down below in, as always, no particular order.
35 of London's best potato dishes
1. Confit potatoes at Quality Chop House
88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
Chips are delicious. There's no doubt about that. But confit potatoes? Well, confit potatoes are even delicious-er. Fried in duck fat and beef fat, these carbohydrate cuboids are some of the tastiest potato vessels in the capital and an absolute must-order whenever you go to Quality Chop House. They're crackling crisp on the outside and have a soft and flaky interior we'd love to wrap around us like a spuddy shawl on a cold winter's night. Have we often considered eschewing the rest of QCH's excellent menu and just eating four portions of confit potatoes as a main? You're goddamn right we have.
2. Vada pav at Shree Krishna Vada Pav
121 High Street, TW3 1QL
The vada pav is what would happen if a chip butty went on an episode of What Not To Wear and came out the other end looking absolutely gorgeous. This potato patty sandwich is the superior of the chip butty in just about every way possible, and the host of crisp and addictive and pavs at Shree Krishna Vada Pav are absolutely worth schlepping out to the sticks for. Oh, and they cost £1. How great is that? Order the Schezwan [sic] Vada Pav for a classic bit of Indo-Chinese bonding and you'll properly be transported to your potato happy place.
3. Gnocchi with nutmeg butter at Padella
6 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TQ
It's always the simple things in life that work the best, isn't it? That ever-so slight touch on your wrist from someone you fancy; the smile on the face of a stranger as you open a door for them; your mum's spag bol. We'd go ahead and add the gnocchi from Padella to that list. Dressed in nothing but nutmeg butter, these gnocchi nugs are perfect bites of potato that don't get muddled in a medley of flavours. They're also an absolute bargain at only £4: a potato dish that's truly worth queuing for.
4. Dum aloo at Kashmir
18 Lacy Road, Putney, SW15 1NL
The dum aloo at Kashmir is the kind of meal that'll make you think: "you know what? I could definitely live without meat". It's a Kashmiri special that consists of whole potatoes fried and simmered in a spicy thin red gravy where the humble potato is turned into a perfect flavour sponge that pricks and pinches your tongue in all its tender spots. If all vegetarian food was this good, we'd happily hand in our omnivore card at the next opportunity.
5. Farçon at Italo Deli
13 Bonnington Square, SW8 1TE
What's a farçon, you ask? Well, it's a French regional delicacy: a layered potato loaf that usually comes decked out with bacon, dried fruit and spices. It's fucking delicious and the best version of it we've found in the city is served at Italo Deli. Rifling with prunes, potato and sliced and pan-fried pancetta, Italo's farçon is genuinely the best you're going to get outside of rural central France. It arrives served with a smattering of sausage on the side and, well, it's simply just a true thing of beauty. C'est la vie.
6. Beef dripping chips at The Guinea Grill
30 Bruton Place, W1J 6NL
A good chip can solve a lot of ones crises in life. Boyfriend playing it too aloof on the text and your bit-on-the-side being a bit too keen with the tongue emoji? A plate of chips should help those anxieties melt away. If you are going to go in on a portion of fried potatoes all by yourself (texting other people probably wasn't a grand idea, was it?), we'd recommended doing it at The Guinea Grill. Not only do they serve these golden straws, which are deep-fried in beef dripping to give them just the right kick of umami on the back-end, but it's also a grand place to sit back and realise that all of life's emoji-related worries are rather inconsequential in the big picture of life.
7. Ube cheesecake at Romulo Cafe
343 Kensington High Street, W8 6NW
The concept of chowing down on a potato-based dessert might seem a bit weird in your head. But trust us when we tell you that it becomes a whole lot less weird once you've seen the ube cheesecake they've got at Romulo Cafe. Made from the bright purple ube sweet potato, it's a dessert the colour of Thanos that delivers all the flavour of a clock in the jaw from an infinity gauntlet. A sweet end to any meal and a great way to plan a night of eating if you want to eat potato for every single course. A challenge we're sure this guide to the best potato dishes in London should give you a helping hand with.
8. Sweet potato noodles at Xi'an Biang Biang
62 Wentworth Street, E1 7AL
These sweet potato noodles in hot and sour soup are an excellent way to kick off any meal at Xi'an Biang Biang. And by excellent we do, of course, mean fairly fucking hot. The thin noodles are addictively slurpable and swimming in such a vibrant broth of lip-singing liquid that it's difficult to ascertain whether or not they're actually made from sweet potato. Regardless, the end result is so punchy, balanced and moreish that we couldn't refuse them their rightful place on this list. Fancy more of the same? Read our food guide to Bali, whilst you're here.
9. Aloo tikki channa chaat at Lucknow 49
49 Maddox Street, W1S 2PQ
Potatoes are a staple of Indian cooking, and it's not hard to see why when they're put to such dangerously good use as this. Lucknow 49's dish of aloo tikki channa chaat consists of two handsome potato and green chilli patties sitting pretty on a bed of 'chatpata' chickpeas. Coming through with a subtle spice hit of their own, you can show these potato pucks some love with a glob of the accompanying apricot and grape chutney. It's a sweet and spicy combination for the record books. If you prevent yourself from getting a second round in, you've got the restraint of a saint, my friend.
10. Patatas bravas at Iberica
195 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PS
Proper tapas isn't complete without some proper tubers, is it? One of our favourite potato-related small plates going in London is the patatas bravas at Iberica. Available at all of the Spanish purveyor's London outlets, these crunchy bronzed adonii come with a small pool of brava sauce and aioli on the side for dipping. Because just when you thought fried potatoes couldn't get any better, Iberica goes and gives you a thick and delicious ramekin of garlic sauce for good measure. We dare anyone who says you shouldn't consume garlic before getting intimate to dunk Iberica's patatas bravas in that velvety emulsification and not immediately feel a little randy.
11. Potato and rosemary sourdough at GAIL's
Bread is, like, really, really good. The bread at GAIL's especially so. While the bakery's rough hewn baguettes and endless assortment of delicate pastries are well worth shouting about, it's the potato and rosemary sourdough that we're giving the love to in this guide to London's best potato dishes. Made with roasted potatoes, fresh rosemary, nigella seeds and extra virgin olive oil, it's a loaf for the ages. An icon. A legend. We stan this bread. While GAIL's recommends you have a few hunks with tomato soup, we'd also proffer demolishing it on its bill while you watch crap telly as a comparably delightful option.
12. Shepherd's Pie at The Ivy
1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
A shepherd's pie is comfort condensed into food form, really. It's why Colman's did that whole tearjerker of an advert with the dad who decides the only way to comfort his heartbroken daughter is with a big old portion of shepherd's finest. Personally, we'd suggest actually speaking to your children about their emotions and not just whacking a plate of food in front of them as some sort of emotional surrogate that'll potentially instil an unhealthy relationship with food in their delicate child psyche. That being said, if you are dead-set on using a shepherd's pie to salve a bit of a broken heart, you should really do it with the shepherd's pie they've got at The Ivy. It's the tits.
13. Tortilla at Barrafina
26-27 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
Tortillas shouldn't taste this good. They're just potatoes and… stuff. Yet – somehow – the wizards at Barrafina have managed to create a tortilla so perfect that it has our eyes lolling to the back of our collective skulls every time we consume it. Whether you opt for the classic, the prawn and piquillo pepper rendition, or our personal favourite jamón and spinach, you won't leave Barrafina without feeling you've left a part of your soul behind. You won't ever look at a potato in the same way again.
14. Roast potatoes and sage at Marksman Public House
254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
Everyone knows that the second best thing about a roast dinner is the potatoes (the first is, obviously, the bread sauce. Don't @ me). It doesn't matter whether you've got 'em triple cooked, under-cooked, or drenched in goose fat – roast potatoes are taste bombs just waiting to be slathered in whatever gravy you've got on hand. The roasties at the Marksman though? They take the roast tatty game to the next level, tasting so overwhelming of potato that they make us contemplate what we'd been consuming at every Christmas dinner for the last few decades of life. Boasting both the colour and temperature of the sun, the Marksman's roast potatoes are, well, flawless.
15. Bambaiya ragda at KoolCha
Unit 21, Wembley Boxpark, HA9 0JT
Wembley's Boxpark has got a pretty good selection of different eateries to get down and dirty with some fine food at. The best of the bunch, however, might just be Rohit Ghai's KoolCha. One of our fave items on the menu is the relaxed eatery's bambaiya ragda: a crispy potato cake made with dry peas, tamarind and mint chutney. Whether you're wolfing it down pre-footy, post-footy, or simply because you read Foodism's guide to the best potato dishes in London and wanted to give it a go, it's an excellently spiced bit of potato perfection that won't disappoint.
16. Mash with smoked bone marrow gravy at Darby's
3 Viaduct Gardens, SW11 7AY
NYC-inspired oyster bars don't get much better than this, really. Yep, it's fairly safe to say that Darby's has got its whole "classy Irish-American dining experience" shtick down to tee. That harmonious medley of the two cuisines is perhaps no better exemplified than in the swish SW11 restaurant's stellar take on potatoes. We've always said it's the sides that set a good restaurant apart from a great one, and Darby's spuds show exactly why that is. The 'seriously buttery potato mash' is seriously, seriously good as it is; however, the option to plop a generous ladle of smoked bone marrow gravy on top? Now, that's seriously too good to pass up. It'd also be rude not to give a shout-out to Darby's beef-fat potatoes: what up.
17. Croquetes de Alheira at Bar Douro
35B, Arch, 85B Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
God, we love potato croquetes. We love talking about them, we love thinking about them, and – more than anything else – we love eating them. London isn't exactly stuck for great tapas places that have these juicy potato nuggets on the menu but the best croqeuetes in London might just belong to Bar Douro. Bursting with fragrant Portuguese sausage to provide a porky counterbalance to its creamy potato innards, Bar Douro's croquetes de Alheria are undefeated.
18. Aloo pie at Roti Joupa
12 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UT
If you can get an aloo pie from Roti Joupa before they run out of the beautiful potato-filled dumplings, then thank your lucky stars. These deep-fried wedges of love are in high-demand at the Clapham takeaway and, once you've eaten one for yourself, you won't struggle to see why. The Trini specialty is the ideal delivery system of salted, sweetened and spiced spuds – a handy system of delicious you can eat while sitting down or on the move. Order two so you don't end up disappointed.
19. Gratin Savoyard at Augustine Kitchen
63 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3AU
Potato gratin is one of those heart-stopping, eyelid-shutting, angels-singing items of food that everyone needs to rekindle a love affair with every now and then. We (like your GP) wouldn't recommend you consume gratin too often – though we don't say that for any vague health related reasons. It's just a bit of a sensory overload, really. Eat gratin too willy nilly and you'll build up your cheese, potato and cream tolerance and likely dim the satisfaction you'd get from every subsequent gratin. It's simple science. If you do limit yourself down to just a single gratin a year, you should make sure you spend that potato blowout on a meal at Augustine Kitchen. The gratin savoyard at Augustine is as rich as it gets, and just the right amount of much, which is "too".
20. Champ mash at MotherMash
26 Ganton Street, W1F 7QZ
MotherMash is where you should go to erase any haunting memories of smash and burnt chipolatas. Inspired by the traditional East End pie and mash shops, MotherMash has succeeded in turning the simple dish into something trendy. While every mash on the menu is worthy of being scooped onto your plate, our pick of the litter is the champ. A traditional Irish mash made with milk, butter, cheddar cheese and spring onions, it makes the perfect bed for any sausage or pie you want to make it WooHoo with a la The Sims. Dense and filling rather than airy and fluffy, it's delicious stomach lining and a hearty bit of carbohydrate you'll be thanking your lucky stars for on a winters day. The champ is here.
21. Chips at Cora Pearl
30 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
The chips at Cora Pearl aren't just any old chips. These are the Lamborghini of the chip world: ostentatious, sexy, over-the-top creations that you really need to take for a test drive to properly experience. Take a cross section of a single chip from Cora Pearl and you can easily see every individual potato layer that's been mandolined, pressed flat and rearranged into its jenga-like chip shape. It's spud-ular deconstruction (and reconstruction) at its finest. We'd suggest ordering a whole portion to yourself as, let's be real here, you don't want to be sharing anything this good.
22. Sweet potato and miso taro dumplings at Xu
30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL
Everything at Xu is made with a frankly terrifying level of dedication and poise; the sweet potato and taro dumplings especially so. These picture perfect parcels of sweet potato and miso'd taro arrive on your table looking as neat as Christmas presents nestled under a pine tree. Pinch one delicately in your chopstick grip, kiss it into a thin film of kow choi oil and ready your mouth for a flavour explosion.
23. Wood roasted purple potatoes at Gold
95-97 Portobello Road, W11 2QB
These eye-catching purple potatoes from Notting Hill's Gold restaurant are wood-roasted till they become a caramelised, inky colour, the strong smoked flavour given balance by the presence by an aromatic caraway sauerkraut slaw. The baritone char of the 'taters works in perfectly harmony with the bright soprano of the pickled cabbage to culminate in a culinary duet we'd order time and time (and time) again. Gold is proof that potatoes – when cooked correctly – can be worth their weight in just that.
24. Potato, wild mushroom and vacherin pie at Levan
12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Levan is a sexy ass restaurant, and the potato, wild mushroom and vacherin pie it serves is one sexy ass dish. Once that beautiful dark bronze pastry minaret spills its umami innards all over your plate you'll quickly forget about any of life's problems. Seriously. Eating this pie is a real "melt yourself into the moment" sort of eating experience. If ecstasy were a pie, this would be it.
25. Tameta per edu at Bombay Bustle
29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA
As part of Bombay Bustle's tantalising Sunday brunch menu, the tameta per edu is a dish where potatoes are really given the chance to be the star of the show. A crown of salli (crispy fried potato sticks) sit happy as larry on top of a medley of masala tomato and a perfectly timed egg. Needless to say it makes a brilliant breakfast. The salli adds a much-needed textural crunch and the friendliest counterbalance to the otherwise liquid Parsi dish. It wouldn't be the same beast without those excellent shards of potato, which is exactly why it's on our list of London's best potato dishes.
26. Beef-fat potatoes with Ogleshield at Temper
How do you make something louche like beef-fat potatoes even more decadent? You drown them in Ogleshield cheese. Temper's tempting barbecued meat and fish make the perfect carnivore accompaniment to these dangerous dairy-coated spuds. If cheesy chips were the nice-but-wet lad you knew in primary school then this is him after he's grown 3 feet taller, hit the gym and got a PhD in something really sexy. Probably Medicine. Or philosophy.
27. Fermented potato waffle at Native
32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU
This spuddy tasting snack from Native is a simple joy to behold. The carefully cross-hatched fermented potato waffle comes with chicken liver parfait and pickled apple on the side to round off a dish that doesn't overcomplicate anything. Its flavour is refined, sultry, and perfectly balanced between the tart acid of the apple and the richness of chicken liver. Basically, it's the most adult potato waffle you'll ever have the pleasure to eat. Captain Birdseye eat your heart out - and for the rest of Foodism's native review, you know where to click.
28. Roast potato ice cream at Pachamama East
73 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HR
According to that great philosopher Wikipedia, the potato was "first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC". Considering the tubular veg's history with the region it should come as no surprise that Peruvian eatery Pachamama East has a dessert dish on its menu that's simply called: 'roasted potato'. Deep-fried potato ice cream, rolled in olive oil and cookie crumbs? Oh, mama, that sounds like a bit of us. Playfully toeing the line between salty and sweet, that potato pudding is a great example of just how versatile the spud can be.
29. Hash browns at Christopher's
18 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DD
As far as Christopher's iconic brunch menu, these hash browns are a must-order. Ordering the pancakes? Get some hash browns on the side. Avocado toast? Get some hash browns on the side. Detox smoothie? Jesus Christ, definitely get some hash browns on the side. Golden, fluffy and grease-free, they're an upgrade from your McDonald's brekkie in just about every way possible.
30. Ruskie pierogi at Mamuśka!
9 Addington Street, SE1 7RY
A pierogi on a cold winter's day can be an absolute lifesaver when you're in need of something hot, delicious and hearty to warm your cockles. £4.30 at Mamuśka! gets you five cuddly Ruskie pierogi that come filled with blended white cheese, potato and onion. Considering it's such an affordable way to fill your stomach, it's unsurprising that Mamuśka has become a cult favourite with local students and homesick Polish expats alike.
31. Latkes at Monty's Deli
Although traditionally cooked for Hanukkah, latkes are appropriate eating for any time of the year. For those who aren't ITK about Jewish cuisine, a latke is basically a shredded potato and onion rosti. Crisp edges and a warm, seductive somehow stringy yet smooth potato filling are the hallmarks of a great latke. The latkes at Monty's Deli are likely the best renditions you'll find outside of the home of a Jewish nonna. Order them with Monty's house cured salmon belly and sour cream for a breakfast of champions.
32. Gunpowder aloo chaat at Gunpowder
11 White's Row, E1 7NF
£6.50 for a hearty portion of the spiced potatoes and chickpeas with a refreshing yoghurt rain on top? That's the aloo chaat at Gunpowder for you. This vibrant dish not only looks like something from a Jackson Pollock third draft but it tastes astonishing, too. You'd hardly believe it's the very same vegetable that your nan has been over-boiling for – I don't know – the last 80 years.
33. Potato, comté and caramelised onion pie at Holborn Dining Room
252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
As the only pie-maker to hold a candle to the venomous Mrs Tweedy, Calum Franklin is the undisputed king of pies. If you've yet to get down and dirty with one of his famous, highly Instagrammable, creations, then you really need to sort out your eating priorities. This potato, comté and caramelised onion jobby comes with a jug of parsley sauce and is the OED definition of rich. Yes, it will absolutely knock you for six and you might just need a nap afterwards. But it's worth it. It's oh so worth it.
34. Peckham Fatboy at Coal Rooms
11a Station Way, SE15 4RX
C'mon, we couldn't not include a dish called the 'Peckham Fatboy' on this list of London's best potato dishes, now could we? Layers of crisp and crunchy hashed potatoes are topped with a languid layer of Ogleshield cheese, beef fat (!) mayonnaise, and crispy onions to make up this beautiful behemoth. It's a plate of food we'd happily eat at any time of the day – breakfast, lunch, or dinner – under pretty much any circumstances. It's also just about the only thing on the menu that gives the Coal Rooms' grilled meat a run for its money. Speaking of which: you should definitely make like Simon Pegg and run to the Peckham Fatboy. Like, now.
35. Ube bilog at Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream
If you're even mildly involved in the London food Instagram scene, you'll likely have seen one of these phosphorescent bad boys on your feed. If not, well, there it is. Right there. Look at it. It's beautiful, and available at both Mamasons in Kentish Town and Chinatown. Mamasons's bilog is a dessert is comprised of a generous scoop of an ice cream of your choice tucked tight into a toasted pandesal milk bun. It's sweet, sugary perfection and the ube ice cream is obviously the flavour to go for. Not only do you get to enjoy the novelty of eating a bright purple potato-based ice cream, but you also get to say that you've tried the ice cream sandwich that everyone is 'gramming at the moment.