Nestled in between Clerkenwell and Islington, this magical fairy-lit enclave boasts some of the best food and drink joints in the capital. From sizzling Italian steaks to moreish Middle Eastern mezze, Exmouth Market’s colourful culinary landscape has it all. Here’s our pick of the must-book spots…
This dark, sultry cocktail den forms part of the Exmouth Arms. Wander upstairs after a Sunday roast for cocktails with a quirky twist.
23 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar
Inspired by the streets of Tel Aviv, Berber & Q specialises in rotisserie meats slowly cooked over charcoal and wood. The Shawarma Bar is the sister site to the flagship Haggerston eatery but still serves up the same mouthwatering Middle Eastern fare. Tuck into succulent shawarma slowly cooked on a roasting spit over hot, smoky coals, and opt for the window seat – it’s perfect for people watching.
46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
This independent wine shop stocks everything from organic English blends to exotic grapes from across the globe, with a few craft beers and ciders thrown in for good measure.
63 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL
This coffee shop-cum-restaurant serves up delicious all-day spread, but it’s the breakfasts and brunches that really draw in the crowds. Tuck into baked eggs with tomato pepper ragout and merguez sausage; morcilla hash with pickled cucumber, poached eggs and hollandaise; and barbecue beans with fried eggs and chorizo sausage. Put it this way, there’s no chance you'll be leaving hungry.
11-13 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QD
This Exmouth Market branch of Dirty Burger may have a small menu, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in taste. Small but perfectly formed, their slider burgers are big on flavour. Be prepared to get messy though; their signature sauce will ooze uncontrollably the minute you take your first bite. And for those who want to add a boozy twist, there’s a ‘secret’ basement bar serving ‘dirty’ cocktails.
17 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QD
The Exmouth Market Arms
Once an old-fashioned boozer, now a swanky gastropub serving up a slate of craft beer and a menu of British pub food classics – think sausage rolls, fish finger sandwiches, bangers and mash and burgers and fries.
23 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL
Exmouth Market Grind
Creative cooking with a caffeine hit, Exmouth Grind is the latest in an ever-growing chain of coffee-themed cocktail bars-cum-restaurants. This Clerkenwell spot is dressed up in soft pastel hues, marble countertops and snazzy neon wall signs, with suspended steel lighting hanging from the ceiling to add an industrial edge. As well as coffee, it serves a line-up of weekday breakfasts, weekend brunches and dinners throughout the week, along with a sizeable selection of cocktails and wine.
8-10 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QA
For steak night with a side of culinary theatre, head to Exmouth Market’s latest offering. An unusual take on the classic surf and turf, Macellaio specialises in beef and tuna – and odd mix to most, but their intriguing menu is built on the foundation that tuna are the cows of the sea (both red-blooded and big on flavour). The cuts of meat and fish are out of this world, and waiters are pretty adept at bringing a bit of theatre to the table. Knives will be stabbed into the wood with a great thud, as plates of sliced beef and tuna carpaccio are served up from a suspended wire.
38-40 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
Whilst you can book for lunch at Exmouth Market’s Morito – Moro’s cool little sister – dinner reservations are first-come, first-served, which almost always means you’re in for a wait. The food however, is a delight, and the atmosphere buzzing – so all in all, it’s worth it. Tuck into Spanish tapas, classic cocktails and sumptuous sherries.
32 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
A clever fusion of North African and Spanish cuisine, the award-winning tapas-style sharing plates at Moro are a delight to devour. Ingredients are flavourful and cooked in a wood-fired oven to give a smokey finish, plus there’s a bounteous selection of good-quality sherries on tap to quench your thirst.
34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
This exposed brick, reclaimed furniture-stuffed room serves up regional Italian ‘peasant’ food in its most delicious form. Dishes are small and designed to share, and include everything from arancini and bruschetta to succulent meats and freshly made pasta dishes. Be sure to try the orecchiette with nduja and pancetta and the chargrilled veal chop in a peperonata, lemon and pink peppercorn sauce.
2 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4PX
This Neapolitan pizza joint creates their own special dough – it’s made with rice and soy flours as well as wheat, which make the bases lighter, crispier, and easier to digest with less gluten and fewer calories. The ‘panzos’ come topped with a variety of seasonal Italian ingredients including aubergine, pumpkin, truffle, nduja, pine nuts and gorgonzola, and there are also daily salads, panuozzo sandwiches (a Neapolitan sandwich made from wood-fired pizza dough) and wines, beers and prosecco on tap.
50 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
One of our favourite pizza joints, if you’re looking for something quick and satisfying, Pizza Pilgrims always delivers. Serving up a heavy hit of deliciously addictive Napoli-inspired street food alongside zingy cocktails, pizzas are soft and chewy, Neapolitan style, with thick bases and scattered with on-trend toppings – think nduja, salsiccia and smoked chilli jam mascarpone. The calzone with Napoli salami, ricotta and mushroom, topped with tomato, fior di latte and parmesan is utterly divine.
15 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QD
The Wilmington Arms
This cosy gastro boozer, that’s set just around the corner from Exmouth Market on Roseberry Avenue, serves up a delicious British-inspired spread – think smoked haddock fishcakes, Suffolk chicken kievs and Cornish crab linguine – whilst the sister venue next door hosts live music and comedy shows. A firm favourite amongst the trend set.
69 Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4RL
Boasting an array of freshly baked goods – you’ll find everything from mixed olive sourdough to succulent sausage rolls at this award-winning artisan bakery. Be sure to try the toasted sandwiches or ciabatta – ideal for a lunchtime pit stop.
33-35 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL
From salt beef sandwiches to hearty Ghanaian stews, Exmouth Market’s longstanding weekday market offers up irresistible lunchtime eats from all over the world. It’s open Monday to Friday, from noon until 3pm.
Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE