Sundays are made for two things, and two things only: hangovers, and roasts. At Foodism we're something of experts in both. Salvaging the after-pangs of a heavy night of drinking with a knockout meal comprised of as much meat, potatoes and vegetables as your body can handle is a fairly common weekend occurrence around these parts.
As a result, we've had our fair share of disappointing Sunday roasts over the years. You know the kind: grisly and grey overcooked beef; soggy oil-drenched potatoes; broccoli florets that've been over-boiled till they're nothing but a khaki-coloured pappy mush. Thankfully, we've also had our fair share of excellent Sunday roasts over the years. So much so, we're pretty confident we've had some of the best Sunday roasts in London. From newcomers like 12:51 to old school favourites like The Guinea Grill, London is full of restaurants that do Sunday roasts that'll put your own family's to shame.
Fancy a few Yorkshire terrier-sized Yorkshire puddings alongside a haunch of blushing rare beef? How about a whole spit-roasted chicken, beautifully golden and surrounded by a baying crowd of crispy roast potatoes? There's all that, and more, to be found in the capital.
To save you all the hassle of eating at places that are no better than a retail park Toby Carvery (but twice the price), we've been doing the difficult job of traversing the city to find the best Sunday roasts in London. Here – in no particular order – is our guide. Tuck in.
19 of the best Sunday roasts in London
107 Upper Street, N1 1QN
Two words: Sunday. Roast. They might be simple, but they're capable of dredging up all sorts of intense feelings and emotions. James Cochran's 12:51 is the place to be on Sunday to get properly example of a roast done right. Priced at £25 per person for a minimum of two people, 12:51's Sunday roast includes: 60 day-aged sirloin and a slow braised aged brisket of Dexter beef served with crisp and fluffy roast dripping spuds, roast carrots, chargrilled hispi cabbage, cauliflower cheese, yorkshire puddings, truffle mayonnaise, smoked bone marrow, horseradish cream, and beef gravy. If working your way through that on a lazy Sunday sounds like your idea of heaven, you need to make a visit to Upper Street for one of the best Sunday roasts in London. Stat.
2. Marksman Public House
254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
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There's a myriad of reasons why the Marksman was the first public house in London to be awarded the Michelin Pub of the Year. One of those reasons is that it serves one of the finest Sunday roasts in the entire city. It's seriously that good. The option to get three courses of excellent food (from devilled mussels and tomato on toast to chicken and chanterelle pie) for just £33 is an absolute steal, too. Make sure you don't forget to try the roast potatoes – one of the best potato dishes in London – while you're there. Located a short walk from Hoxton in London's east end, the Marksman is its owners Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram's ode to all that makes a British pub great.
The menu at Blacklock claims that it does "roasts almost as good as your mum's". Now, I love my mum a lot; she's a wonderful, inspiring woman who has worked immeasurably hard throughout her entire life. But Blacklock's roasts are better. Much better. Roasted over open coals and English oak – and served with Yorkshire pudding, duck fat roast potatoes, seasonal veg and Blacklock's signature gravy – every meat at Blacklock is a lesson in the maillard reaction. Choosing between the 55 day-aged beef rump, Cornish lamb leg and Middlewhite pork loin is no easy decision. So, our recommendation is to go for the sharing 'All In' option for a gargantuan platter of all three meats with all of the trimmings. Sorry, mum.
Everyone thinks their family makes the best roast – until they taste Hawksmoor's effort, that is. The group may be famous for steaks, but its roast steals the show for us and may just be one of the best Sunday roasts in London, especiallu when you're on a budget. Head down on a Sunday and you'll wade through giant Yorkshire puddings the size of your head, lashings of gravy, and thick slices of roast beef (oh, and veg). The best bit has got to be the price – £22 is decent going in the capital, especially considering the portion sizes and quality of that beef.
5 Regent Street, NW10 5LG
Jesse Dunford Wood is famed for his posh pub grub (his chicken kiev in particular) so it's no surprise to us that his roast dinners are equally eagerly eaten up by hungry hordes on a Sunday. Choose from sirloin of Shorthorn beef, last year's Cotswolds lamb or Goosnargh chicken breast, drum stick and stuffing at his restaurant Parlour – you might arrive back home sleepy and barely able to move, but that's what we call a successful Sunday, after all. Bring some pals take on the 2-3 person Parlour's posh roast platter to send your entire friendship group into a stupor while you're at it.
6. Four Legs
4 Compton Avenue, N1 2XD
Four Legs – the chef duo of Jamie Allan and Ed McIlroy that you'll probably know as the creators of London's hottest burger – have launched a Sunday roast menu at Islington's The Compton Arms. And it's good. So very, very good. Four Legs prides itself on working closely with suppliers, so the cut of beef served each week will change each week depending on availability. What won't change, however, is how perfectly that hunk of meat will be cooked. Well, that and the ever-present whole roast chicken dish that arrives scattered in fresh herbs, dripping it in its own lush juices, and served with fries and a beautifully violent aioli. Is it your typical Sunday roast? No. But is it one of the best Sunday roasts in London? You're goddamn right it is.
7. The Latchmere
503 Battersea Park Road, SW11 3BW
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Along with the usual things that earn a place in a list of best roasts, The Latchmere goes even further with its limitless gravy (no tiny pots here, thanks). The bread sauce is on point, and the scotch egg is as good as it looks. One of London's best Sunday roasts? We'd say so.
8. Cora Pearl
30 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
Sundays in Covent Garden occasionally involve getting harangued by crusty jugglers while a bunch of immovable twelve year olds block your path and fawn over subpar prestidigitation. Avoid having one of those days and spend your Sunday at Cora Pearl to savour in the restaurant's excellent roast instead. The roast pork is our pick of the meats. That well-timed bit of pig comes with a Yorkshire pudding and glorious crisp and chewy hat of crackling as well as a roster of top sides in broccoli, parsnips, crunchy potatoes, and cauliflower cheese. Save at least a slab of stomach space for the neapolitan dessert: a sweet and nostalgic end to an even sweeter Sunday.
9. The Plough
23-25 Homerton High Street, E9 6JP
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The only problem with this local boozer in Homerton/Hackney is you'll want to order the whole damn menu. The brunch is more than affable but the roast is our pick – swimming in gravy, with parsnips and crispy potatoes. There's a vegetable gratin for the veggies, although it's so good that meat-eaters might fancy it too. Or a taste, at the very least.
10. Jones Family Project
78 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL
This independent Shoreditch restaurant and bar was set up by a group of friends who share a passion for quality dining, so it's no surprise that the menu is heavily based on top-of-the-line ingredients. Beef from The Ginger Pig, a whole roast free-range chicken and a strong veggie option in the form of a nut roast mean that everyone will be happy, while even the beers and spirits tend to be produced within a few miles. Still need convincing? To try one of the best Sunday roasts in London? Really? What's wrong with you?! Just go already.
11. The Drapers Arms
44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER
Decisions, decisions, decisions – beef, chicken, pork or lamb? There's no reason to worry at this friendly pub in Islington – get the sharing platters and you can all pitch in, and, well, share. If you're feeling generous, that is. Other hearty dishes are available as well, and don't get us started on the desserts. It's always popular, so make sure you book in advance for one of the best Sunday roasts in London.
12. Flank at The Print House
133 High Street, E15 2RB
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Tom Griffiths is a man who knows his meat. If we were a pig we'd happily sacrifice our lives to the greater cause preordained with the knowledge that our carcass would end up in his safe and tender hands. Griffiths and his fellow butchery experts have brought his nose-to-tail ethos to Stratford in Flank's latest residency at The Print House. The Sunday roast sharing platters here are frankly... bananas. Firstly, you can choose your meat from a blood-pumping selection of belted Galloway beef, smoked pork belly with crispy pigs ears, and Skipton chicken smoked over wood. Secondly, all those roasts come with beef-fat roasties, caramel honey-glazed carrots, blood cake pudding, creamed spinach, gorgeous gravy, and Yorkies. Thirdly, you get a slice of apple pie and frozen custard for dessert. In the words of Guy Fieri: that's money.
13. Quality Chop House
88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
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Having a Sunday roast at the Quality Chop House is one of the finest ways to have a treat yourself day in the city. London's full of classic restaurants that deliver an old-school atmosphere but none of them do it quite like QCH. The roasts here are the stuff of poetry. Belted Galloway rump and brisket is served perfectly cooked with an accompanying army of roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, beetroot, runner beans and gem lettuce dressed with bacon and peas. It's one of the best Sunday roasts in London. So good, in fact, that you could almost be content with the roast alone, leaving fat and happy without ordering the confit potatoes as a side. Almost.
14. The Gun, Spitalfields
54 Brushfield Street, E1 6AG
The Gun is a great place to organise a hang. Gather your nearest and dearest there on the weekend for a Sunday roast that's got a bit of everything. If you opt for the full sharing platter you get, quite literally, a bit of everything. That spread of slow roast rib of beef, herb roasted chicken and slow roast lamb shoulder – served with all the Sunday trimmings of proper gravy, Yorkies and condiments – is the perfect way to salve even the nastiest of hangovers. As if that wasn't enough, you can even pimp your roast up Xzibit-style with sides like cauli cheese and sage and onion stuffing.
15. Coal Rooms
11a Station Way, SE15 4RX
All of the roasts at Peckham's Coal Rooms come with "the goods"; "the goods" in this case being beef dripping potatoes, roasted carrots and gremolata, spring greens, swede and pecorino, and a fat-off Yorkshire pudding. Lather up your portion of 40 day-aged Hereford sirloin and smoked chuck with Coal Rooms' signature 'Barney McGrew' gravy for a river of flavour you'll be dreaming about every other day of the week. Coal Rooms is a great option for all of your family and friends to get involved as vegetarians in your party won't feel short changed in the slightest with coal-roasted cauliflower and its rich vegetable gravy. Totally-not-vegetarian poultry fiends can go halves on a whole spit-roasted Yorkshire chicken that comes with tart cranberry sauce and a sourdough bread sauce that puts all other bread sauce to shame.
16. The Guinea Grill
30 Bruton Place, W1J 6NL
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Look: the classics are the classics for a reason, right? It's why we're firm believers that 'The Very Best of Elton John' is the singer-songwriter's greatest album. It's hard to go wrong with the greatest hits. The Guinea Grill is a great place to get an absolutely classic rendition of the Sunday roast that hits all the right notes. Yes, the option to get devilled kidneys on toast as a starter or a blue cheese, truffle and walnut gratin in place of your meat and two veg might be a bit more atypical, but The Guinea Grill is as quintessential as it gets. Hence why it makes the cut of our pick of the best Sunday roasts in London. Eat along if you know the words.
17. Canton Arms
177 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XP
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If the Canton Arms was a pair of actual arms we can only assume it would be something like Hulk Hogan's 22-inch pythons: strong, voluminous and strangely hypnotic. Arms that are especially capable of delivering a killer move-set on Sundays. Expect a headlock of rare roast Dexter beef, fine beans, roasties and watercress; a piledriver of half chopped rabbit with caesar salad and sweetcorn; a full nelson of longhorn short rib; an atomic drop of a seven-hour Salt Marsh Lamb shoulder, and more. A Sunday roast at the Canton Arms will leave you down for the count.
1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
The weekend BBQ roast at Brigadiers is a Sunday roast with a bit of a difference. It's not what you'd describe as traditional by any means but it's still one of the best Sunday roasts in London. Whether you decide on the butter chicken pot pie (it's as good as it sounds), the wood-roasted Goan pork, the mixed seafood sizzler, or the wood-roasted baby gobhi biryani as your dish of choice, rest assured you'll be well-catered for in the flavour department. Each dish also comes with chaat masala chips, sigri masala corn on the cob and a chilli cheese naan. The option to get all-you-can-drink Brigadiers lager, sparkling wine or palomas for just £20 on top? Well, that's just too good to turn down, isn't it?
19. The Cleveland Arms
28 Chilworth Street, W2 6DT
This Paddington local has been open for business since 1852. So, needless to say, The Cleveland Arms has been around for a while. But the quality of the food? That's only got better with age. It's also home to one of the best Sunday roasts in London. A rare slice of topside beef goes down a treat in this West London locale. If you're feeling like going a bit more on the lam with your Sunday eating you can always pre-order a whole braised lamb shoulder for you and five of your hungriest friends and end your day in a comforting food coma.
20. The Princess of Shoreditch
76-78 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE
We've followed Ruth Hansom's career with interest since she was an apprentice at The Ritz, through to her stint heading up the kitchen at Pomona's and her TV appearances on The Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen. But despite those achievements, it's fair to say it feels like The Princess of Shoreditch is where she's come into her own, and where her skill and ambition and her predilection towards seasonal British comfort food has found a natural home. To call The Princess a pub would be giving the wrong impression – especially seeing as the light-filled upstairs room serves an elegant tasting menu in the week – but Sundays are all about roasts, and hers is a cracker: think a gamey and delicious half of Norfolk black chicken with stuffing tucked under its crisp skin and a pot of sourdough bread sauce; slices of pork belly with sumptuous crackling, both served with all the trimmings. Starters and desserts – like beautiful trout with golden beets and dill, and an exquisite passionfruit soufflé with rich but delicately flavoured coconut ice cream – makes this a must-visit if you're in this part of town.