For adequate levels of festive feasting, here are a few Jewish food groups and where to find them.
The Best Jewish Food in London
Bagels: You have two options here: One, the trendy and touted route for a the-line-out-the-door-is-worth-it experience: Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. Established in 1974, this 24 hour, 7 day-a-week bagel haven churns out 7,000 bagels a day in the traditional Jewish style with fillings such as hot salt beef with mustard, chopped herring and obviously, cream cheese and salmon. And yes, the famous rainbow bagel is sold there. For a more low-key method to obtaining the perfect bagel in London, head to The Happening Bagel Bakery. Small batch bagels and Challah, a traditional Jewish plaited loaf of yeast risen egg bread, are served warm until 2AM.
Matzoh ball soup: Also known as ‘Jewish Penecillan’, these first-sized dumplings (kneidlach) in broth runneth over in hearty bowls at Reubens Restaurant. For upscale dining, the 2015 Michelin starred Restaurant 1701 is a delicious celebration of Jewish Cuisine. The restaurant sits within the grounds of Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks, built in 1701 and designated a building of national interest.
Salt Beef: For serious Jewish soul food made with love, head to Monty’s Deli. One of the only places in Britain to make its own salt beef and pastrami, Monty’s keeps its recipe a secret a la the school of Katz’s in New York, and Langer’s in LA. Seek salt beef seasoned with class at the salt beef bar in Selfridges, The Brass Rail, which is now in its 50th year. An extensive menu features heritage salt beef and a specially paired artisan marbled rye & caraway bread.
Shakshuka: Jewish cuisine links also to countries of the Jewish diaspora: Shakshuka was first created in North Africa, and, like other Sephardic Jewish foods (such as falafel and houmous), the dish shares an Arabic heritage. Hit Honey & Co for a fantastic classic as well as a ‘green shakshuka’ baked in spinach with herbs. The savoury breakfast food is also the crown jewel of Ottolenghi’s breakfast menu at Nopi.
Jewish Brunch: Because yes, brunch is a food group. From the likes of sweet, chocolate babka to crispy halloumi, The Good Egg celebrates cuisine ranging from Tel Aviv’s street food stalls to classic Jewish delis and bagel bakeries using sustainable and ethical produce. Bala Baya boasts the innovative weekend brunch menu expected from any former Ottolenghi chef. Eran Tibi’s restaurant is a love-letter to Tel Aviv in the form of blackberry pitta french toast and beef short rib & bonfire roast.
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