The best places in London that serve salt beef

If you like it beefy (and salty) check these out...

In those pesky pre-refrigeration days salting your food was a good way to increase its shelf-life.

Turns out, it was also a way to make it jolly tasty.

Over time, salt beef was adopted as a staple by Russian and Polish jewish communities and when many from these communities emigrated to New York and East London they brought the delicious meaty goodness with them. That's why you'll find more salt beef delis in New York and London's East End than anywhere else. (Yep, every day's a school day on All In London...)

So take a journey with us to some of London's finest purveyors of salt beef...

Earl Of Essex
25 Danbury Street N1 8LE
Region: Shoreditch
Nearest Station: Angel (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: It is strange to find a salt beef level this good in a quiet Angel brew pub but find it you do. Served as either part of a meat platter (with pastrami) or on rye in the traditional Reuben style – minus the sauerkraut.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 8/10
Broadway Market
Just South of London Fields, and North of Regents Canal, West of Mare Stree

AIL Says: Not a venue per se, but Ivan Lester has been serving salt beef to Broadway Market since most locals can remember, which probably isn’t long, but hey. The salt beef isn’t quite the greatest in London but nothing beats a Saturday stroll with a pile of salt beef between bread at the end of it.

Birley Salt Beef Bar
Tower Concourse 1 Canada Square Canary Wharf E14 5AX
Region: Canary Wharf
Nearest Station: Heron Quays (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Get yourself a job in the financial sector and you can eat salt beef sandwiches from Birley Salt Beef Bar in Canary Wharf everyday. Or don’t and just make the odd trip. Too much processed/red meat is bad for you anyway, although a regular sandwich from Birley’s might be worth cutting a few years off the end for.

Deli West One
51 Blandford Street Marylebone W1U 7HJ
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Marble Arch (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: We don’t believe everything we read in the papers so when we read about the quality of salt beef at The Deli West One there was nothing else for it but to get out there and road test that meat. Undoubtedly this is one f the best places for deli meats in London and the salt beef on rye – with a half pickle – is worth every penny of the £8.50 it will set you back.

Beigel Bake
159 Brick Lane Spitalfields E1 6SB
Region: Spitalfields
Nearest Station: Shoreditch

AIL Says: Salt beef beigels from Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake have become an institution in Shoreditch and Spitalfields. The meat might be a touch tougher than some of the other outfits on our Best For list but nothing beats the value and the availability. Plus, you don’t get snooty looks when you add cream cheese to your salt beef and mustard.

  • USERS 10/10
B & K Salt Beef Bar
Whitchurch Lane HA8 6NL
Region: Town Centre
Nearest Station: Edgware (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: If we had a pound for every time we’d gone into the B and K Salt Beef Bar and mimicked the famous orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally we could afford all the salt beef sandwiches in the land. No, this is not Katz’ Deli but we mention it because the salt beef at B and K is the sort you dream of when you dream of New York salt beef. Reasonably priced and brined in-house.

  • USERS 8/10
Salt Beef Bar
Monkville Parade Finchley Road Golders Green NW11 0AL
Region: Golders Green
Nearest Station: Brent Cross (0.9 miles)

AIL Says: Put simply, Finchley got lucky. It has had the pleasure of having The Salt Beef Bar on its doorstep for over a decade. This is a simple café that does simple salt beef – the best way. Served on rye (or not) with gherkins and mustard. People travel for this and you can see why.

  • USERS 9/10
25 Catherine Street WC2B 5JS
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: If you want a place a little more upscale than a simple café to enjoy the delights of salty brisket, then give Mishkins a try. We’re big fans of the hip eatery and while the pastrami Reuben is always tempting, its best to plump for the salt beef beigel washed down with a maple syrup Old Fashioned if you want to be truly classy.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 7/10
Gaby's Deli
30 Charing Cross Road Covent Garden WC2H 0DB
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Leicester Square

AIL Says: Gabby’s Deli represents both everything good and everything bad about Soho. The good is that you can still find a family-run deli in an area being taken over by Pret outlets. The bad is that it is currently fighting to remain open. While it is open, pop in and pick salt beef. For the meat, for Gaby, for Soho!

  • USERS 9/10
The Longroom
18-20 St. John's Street EC1M 4AY
Region: Smithfields
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Salt beef sandwiches like the Reuben are the star of the menu here at the Longroom. You can rest assured of the provenance of the ingredients: the meat is sourced from Smithfield Market and bread comes from Jewish bakery Rinkoff.


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