If when Sunday rolls around, you have cravings for a roast dinner and you don’t have the time to prepare it yourself, or you want to taste the best roast dinner in East London, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the award-winning options available.
From cosy gastro pubs that keep the menu traditional to carveries to restaurants with Michelin stars under their belt to eateries which cater to patrons on vegan, vegetarian, or restricted diets, for East London food lovers, there are plenty of places to celebrate the Sunday roast tradition, which dates back to the 15th century.
Historically, it was only the wealthiest households who were able to roast a large joint over an open fire in great halls. Today, a roast dinner in a pub or restaurant doesn’t have to cost more than a meal from a takeaway chain, and there are enough budget-friendly options to ensure eating out doesn’t need to cost more than preparing a roast dinner from scratch at home.
Everyone can indulge in the food-centric symbol of togetherness, which is a great source of homely comfort for students living away from home for the first time; round up your new university friends and go in search of the best Roast Dinner in East London.
Best Roast Dinner in East London: 7 Top Options
1. The Marksman in Hackney
The Marksman in Hackney was the first pub in London to receive the Michelin Pub of the Year Award; when you see the lengths it goes to make every Sunday a special occasion or skim through the gallery of mouth-watering plates, you will see why it was more than worthy of the accolade!
On Sundays, the kitchen is open from midday to 3:30 and from 6 PM to 9 PM; tables can be reserved via the website, but don’t leave it to the last minute; The Marksman is one of the most popular roast dinner hotspots in East London. The pub pays as much attention to the roast dinner menu as the drinks menu, which includes local ciders, ales, and beers, along with carefully curated spirits and wines.
The Sunday Roast menu is heavily inspired by the rich culinary history of London, with a strong focus on sustainable and seasonal British produce. You can rest assured that only the highest quality ingredients go into the unforgettably flavourful dishes.
The three-course menu comes with some unique and artisan starters, including a Pigeon & Tamworth Terrine, served with Crab Apple Jelly and Braised Cod Cheeks with Coco Beans & Muscles. For the mains, you can choose from roast mallard, whole roast chicken or Hereford sirloin. Each three-course meal costs £40 at a minimum, with some supplementary charges applicable. Service charges may also apply.
2. The Culpeper in Spitalfields
On the first floor of the iconic East London bar, The Culpeper, the locally famous Sunday dinners are served between noon and 6 PM. If you fancy a boozy roast dinner, the Bloody Marys (£8.50) and the Mimosas (£7.50) are highly recommended by the expert chefs in the kitchen. Start your roast dinner by sampling the healthy oddities on the starter menu.
The Burrata, Wild Nettle, Pickled Kohlrabi and nuts will ensure that your tastebuds are truly tickled before you choose from the roast meats, all of which are served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, roasted parsnip, seasonal greens, honey-glazed carrots and gravy. If you’re treating yourself to a roast dinner with your friends and family, the roast dinner share plate might be a better option than the individual plates. But if you do not want to argue about who gets the last Yorkshire pudding, individual plates may save the drama!
If you have felt that some of the other supposedly God-tier Sunday roasts in East London have failed to hit the spot, the stacked plate full of comfort food served in a warm atmosphere will put your faith back into the humble roast dinner. Vegetarians and vegans won’t be disappointed by the menu either. People travel far and wide for the Golden Beetroot, Mushroom, Spinach & Onion Wellington! If you’re not ready to bid farewell to The Culpeper after your roast dinner fill, hop down to the first-floor pub for a cocktail or drink on the rooftop terrace in the summer.
3. The Royal Oak Pub in Bethnal Green
Known as Bethnal Green’s best pub and restaurant, The Royal Oak Pub, located amongst the hustle and bustle of Columbia Road, is a perfect place to escape the smoky fray. When you head down on a Sunday, you can also browse the colourful wares at the flower market after you’ve had your fill of homely gastro-pub food.
If the menu isn’t enough to entice you to check out The Royal Oak Pub, the rich history of the building that cropped up in 1923 might be, the East London boozer has been the filming location for many TV shows and hit films, including a few of the Kray Twins films! At this gastro pub, there is a strong focus on no-nonsense pub grub, so if the other restaurants and pubs don’t tempt your traditionalist tastebuds, you can rest assured that the chefs at The Royal Oak Pub can knock your socks off with the classics! The menu also makes it easy to pair the dishes with the perfect beer or wine!
Every Sunday, you can choose between the half-chicken, Angus rump, slow-cooked pork belly roast dinners that are served with hispi cabbage, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, butternut squash puree and buttered crushed root veg. Or you can opt for one of the filling gastro-pub mains. With plenty of vegan options, everyone in your party will find something on the menu, which also proves that pigs in blankets aren’t just for Christmas; they are available for £5.00 a portion. You can also upgrade to goose-fat roast potatoes for just £5.50.
4. Toby Carvery in Snaresbrook
Any British natives will know that Toby Carveries are far from the height of sophisticated dining but that doesn’t mean they are without their charm, especially for roast dinner fans who always want to fill their plates with second servings of roast potatoes, vegetables, and Yorkshire puddings. And unlike many other recommendations on where you can find the best roast dinner in East London, you won’t need to wait until Sunday rolls around to tuck into a roast dinner – they are served every day at the Toby Carvery in Snaresbrook. The mid-week carveries cost just £9.49; if you have a big appetite, you can super-size your roast dinner with extra meat, Yorkshire puddings, and two chipolatas!
Despite some foodies looking down on the carvery chains, the food comes from the kitchen after being prepared by expert chefs who have more than perfected the art of roasting tender cuts of meat. You may also be surprised to learn that alongside the marmalade-glazed gammon, pork, beef, and chicken, there are delicious options for vegetarians and vegans. For fair pricing, the vegan roast costs £1.75 less than the meaty option!
If you would prefer to eat your roast dinner in the comfort of your own home, you can either venture down to the carvery to collect or arrange to have the fluffy roasties and wonky Yorkies delivered directly to your door via several partnering delivery services.
5. The Princess of Shoreditch
For any East Londoners looking for a roast dinner spot that boasts opulent style, The Princess of Shoreditch is hard to beat. The Instagram-worthy roast dinner boards are up there with the most expensive that you will find in East London, but given the rave reviews, you won’t regret paying the £32 price tag for the two-course meal or the £39 price tag for the three-course options. Both meal options are £5 cheaper for vegetarians at £27 and £34 per head.
If you have unfond memories of unseasoned family Sunday dinners, that isn’t an issue at The Princess of Shoreditch; all mains are fully garnished. The stuffed Norfolk black chicken with bread sauce is a great option for meat-eaters; vegans only get one main option, but the pecan and apricot nut roast ensures the restaurant is worth a trip for vegans, flexitarians, and vegetarians.
The kitchen is open for Sunday Dinner bookings from 12 PM – 7 PM; after the kitchen has closed, the bar remains open until 9 PM, giving you more time to work through the expansive wine menu. You’re bound to find several new wines on the wine list due to The Princess of Shoreditch’s ethos of working with small and family-owned businesses and helping them to thrive.
6. The Empress in Victoria Park
The Empress in Victoria puts a modern spin on the traditional British gastro-pub menu. The 19th-century building, complete with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, gives this eatery a trendy vibe, which extends to the menu that is constantly changing with the seasons. The Empress sources its meat, fish, bread, and coffee locally, allowing its loyal customers to always savour fresh produce.
The award-winning location serves Sunday lunch from noon – 9 PM alongside their regular menu, meaning that you can mix starters and mains from both menus. One of the only drawbacks to The Empress is its slightly limited menu. Currently, the sample menu only consists of a roast rump of beef with Yorkshire puddings, roast pork belly with apple sauce, and vegetable wellington.
Reservations can be made via the website, or the restaurant’s booking partner, RESY. If the limited roast dinner menu doesn’t tempt you as much as the other entries on this list, the range of organic and low sulphur wines may be enough to convince you to give The Empress a try.
7. The Camberwell Arms
When The Camberwell Arms isn’t running classes, workshops, and comedy nights, it is keeping East London fed with pub-style roast dinners in the hipster haven of a setting. Since 2014, it has become the perfect place for a Sunday dinner date with its sharing menu, which includes spit-roasted chicken slathered with chilli yoghurt sauce, rolled saddleback pork belly with savoy cabbage and pickled quince, and aged Dexter steak with wild garlic butter and roast potatoes.
The roast sharing plates come with a price tag of £40 – £80, so The Camberwell Arms may be the better roast dinner joint if you want to make your Sunday outing a special occasion. The drinks on the Sunday menu include Bloody Marys (£9.50), Muz Vermut & Soda (£7), and champagne glasses (£11) and bottles (£60). Leaving room for dessert is also highly recommended; the olive oil cake served with crème fraiche, panna cotta with poached rhubarb, and coffee ice cream desserts are the perfect way to round off your fine dining experience at The Camberwell Arms.
Feel Like Venturing Further for a Michelin Award-Winning Dinner?
Harwood Arms is currently London’s only Michelin Award-winning pub; if you don’t mind travelling back to East London on the tube with a full stomach, you won’t regret going out of your way to dine on the menu, which puts a heavy emphasis on wild food, game, and seasonal organic British produce.
Tucked away in the Fulham high street, Harwood Arms may be one of the most revered pubs in London, but that doesn’t get in the way of the friendly and relaxed atmosphere, which provides the best setting for a laidback Sunday dinner.
Roast dinners are available all day on Sundays; a two-course meal is £50 per head, or you can splash out on the three-course meal, which will cost an extra £15. Ensure you make your booking in advance if you want to taste the hype that has amassed around the stunningly presented plates.
Currently, the choice of mains includes a sirloin of belted Galloway with horseradish cream, a bacon-wrapped slow-cooked deer shoulder, roasted Cornish monkfish in cauliflower sauce and a loin of Iberian pork in Bramley apple sauce. As the wine list is 15 pages long, you will definitely find your perfect pairing.