May 28, 2012
Stratford and the surrounding areas are not exactly famous for their restaurants, as a degree of laziness prevents many of us from considering areas beyond zone 1 when it comes to eating out. If you’ve got tickets for the Olympic Games, this is the perfect opportunity to explore nearby dining options and impress others with your sense of adventure. Here are some ideas.
Stratford is where the Olympic Village is located, and the Westfield shopping centre is within walking distance. There are branches of some of London’s more interesting chains here, such as pizzeria Franco Manca
, Jamie’s Italian, Comptoir Libanais
and El Cantara
, but if the idea of eating in a food court seems a bit naff, fear not, there are alternatives. 012 Bar & Grill
initially appears to be a run-of-the-mill pub, but a separate dining room has a menu including curries, noodle dishes, and best of all, mixed grilled meats flavoured with Asian spices. Both food and drinks are cheap too, with main dishes costing around a tenner. Circus Café
, within the Stratford Circus theatre, has light bites and hot meals which change on a daily basis, as does the cuisine, which may be Caribbean one day and European the next. There is a decent, well-priced selection of bottled beers too. For British food try The Cow
, a Geronimo Inns pub that will suit if you’re in the mood for Scotch egg and piccalilli and omelette Arnold Bennett. It's part of Westfield but has its own two-storey space.
Mile End is a hop and a skip away from Stratford, being just one stop to the west on the Central Line. Burger-lovers should head to Greedy Cow
, who specialise in quality patties made from beef, lamb, chicken, and occasionally more extravagant meats like kangaroo and ostrich. Fish and veggie burgers are also available, and their ridiculously good value lunchtime deal comprises a hefty burger, side dish and unlimited soft drinks for £6.50. The Morgan Arms
and The Crown
are two cosy gastropubs with traditional British fare, the latter is run by the same people as The Cow (mentioned above), so expect similarly hearty English food. Family-run Palmers
has dishes from all over Europe, think clams with pancetta and manzanilla sherry, and harissa-grilled poussin. It’s also a great restaurant for taking the kids along to.
Hackney Wick can be reached by London Overground, and is one stop away from Stratford. The Hackney Pearl
is a neighbourhood café and a bar, with a menu that changes often but always has meticulously composed gourmet dishes. There may be wholesome options like oxtail and chorizo stew, or Old Spot pork belly, as well as daintier dishes like sweet corn fritters with crème fraiche and spinach. They also run an off-licence selling wine at very keen prices.
Equestrian and pentathlon events will be taking place at Greenwich Park, while the o2 is being used to host basketball, trampoline and artistic gymnastics. While there are numerous eateries within the good old Millennium Dome your best bet is to stick to Greenwich proper. Rivington Bar & Grill
will be open throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner while the Games are on, with classics like lamb chops with bubble and squeak and fish and chips with mushy peas. It’s run by the same people as J Sheekey and The Ivy, so prices are a little steep. Inside’s
modern European cuisine includes things like sautéed squid with black pudding and grilled lamb and apricot kofte kebab. Their set two course dinner is just £20, and they've even been featured in the Michelin Guide. Who said fine dining was restricted to central London?
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