1 | Chop Shop
There is surely no better respite from winter’s bleak chill than a hearty meal in a chop house. The phrase alone conjures up images of Dickensian excess - slabs of meat scoffed in places of warmth, comfort and indulgence - and seems an archetypal British notion.
London’s latest, greatest chop house, however, is owned by Americans. And irritatingly, they’re rather good at it. Chop Shop on Haymarket is part of the slick Altamarea Group based in NYC and has the requisite distressed wood panelling, exposed brickwork and attractive waiting staff of a Lower East Side hangout. But the meat - oh, the meat.
Starter highlights include the charcuterie, duck-liver mousse and the frankly astonishing cottage pasta pie (baked gnocchi with braised oxtail). The mains are superlative, too; steaks are thick and tender (fillet) or else rich and beautifully textured (hanger), while lamb chops with grilled fennel are also faultless.
Chop Shop is a victory both for our US cousins and (more importantly) for our nation’s great culinary tradition. With house drinks to complement the meats, there’s nowhere better to banish the winter blues.
66 Haymarket, London SW1 chopshopuk.com
2 | Paternoster Chop House
In the shadow of St Paul’s and the London Stock Exchange, the Paternoster Chop House serves expertly cooked, impeccably sourced meat to the City’s big hitters. Service is warm, and the Hereford beef rib eye is very good indeed.
1 Warwick Court, London EC4 paternosterchophouse.co.uk
3 | The Rib Room
While seasonal fare is served, as the name suggests, ribs are the main attraction. The tender cuts of meat are served with big Yorkshire puddings and terrific mash.
Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, London SW1 theribroom.co.uk
4 | HIx's Oyster & Chop House
Esquire’s resident chef runs a tight ship in EC1. Expect his trademark nourishing, nurturing British cooking - look for the Tamworth pork chop with Poole cockles - or bring a friend and tackle the mighty Aberdeenshire porterhouse steak.
36–37 Greenhill’s Rents, Cowcross Street, London EC1 hixoysterandchophouse.co.uk
5 | The Quality Chop House
This Grade II-listed dining room has been a Farringdon fixture since 1869. Lunch is à la carte, while dinner is a set menu changed daily (tip: visit when the smoked brisket is on).
92–94 Farringdon Road, London EC1 thequalitychophouse.com