Marianna Hunt

Where to eat on the Elizabeth Line

Where to eat on the Elizabeth Line
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Finally, after more than three years of delays and a couple of ripped up budgets, the Elizabeth Line is set to open this month. This new purple squiggle on the TfL map will mean we can zip from Paddington to Canary Wharf in just 17 minutes (half the current time) and, when the next sections open in autumn, from Tottenham Court Road to Ealing Broadway in just 13 (down from 28).

These super-fast connections will open up a whole new world of dining opportunities and put underappreciated restaurants in far-flung locations on the proverbial map. These are the five places you need to discover.

Allegra

Warm salad of kale and anchovy, whipped ricotta, lemon, mint & pecan

Nearest station: Stratford

With its own wildflower meadow suspended seven floors in the air in a swanky hotel, Allegra is a restaurant worth travelling for.

It sits within The Stratford, a five-star glass tower of a hotel overlooking the Olympic Park. Reflecting the soft planting of the park below, Allegra’s interior area spills out onto a sunny terrace. Cedar walkways lead you through wild grasses, flowers, and water features.

The menu has high-end European vibes (and central London prices). The whole barbecued fish platters or sharing duck, though, are quite spectacular.

If you can bear to sit inside rather than on the terrace with those views, there’s an open kitchen so you can watch the magic happen. Guests are encouraged to wander into the glass-encased wine room to try a few things before they select their tipple of choice.

Allegra is a five-minute walk from the new Elizabeth Line station in Stratford.

https://www.allegra-restaurant.com/

Mala

A riverside lunch at Mala

Nearest station: Canary Wharf

Much of Canary Wharf is filled with chain restaurants that you can find across London – Mala is one of the refreshing exceptions.

This modern Indian restaurant occupies a pretty spot overlooking the Thames and is around a 10-minute walk from Canary Wharf station. The floor-to-ceiling windows and heated terrace mean you can enjoy the views both indoors and outdoors.

The menu channels India’s Punjab region – the spiritual home of the tandoor. Succulent lamb chops and jumbo tiger prawns are some of the best dishes to try from the clay oven.

For the indecisive, the thali platters offer a good opportunity to try the chef’s selection from the menu (from £25 per person).

Mala also has an innovative cocktail menu, which blends Indian flavours into the mix. For something fresh, go for the Cinnamon Sour (Cinnamon Bourbon, fresh citrus juice, sugar syrup, egg white and peach bitters).

The sweet-toothed should try the The Panch of Punjab: Indian-spiced rum, rose and cardamon syrup, with pineapple and lime.

https://www.malarestaurant.com/

Santa Maria Pizzeria

Add an extra smoked burrata to your pizza at Santa Maria

Nearest station: Ealing Broadway

Widely considered one of the best pizzerias in the capital, Santa Maria was set up by Angelo and Pasquale – two Neapolitans frustrated by the lack of authentic offerings in West London.

What’s most impressive is how the pair manages to serve up such good quality pizza at such affordable prices (a well-sized Margherita costs £8.50).

The Santa Filomena – a mushroom-truffle cream base, topped with umami smoked cheese and melt-in-your-mouth hunks of rare breed sausage – is a must-try. If you're feeling decadent, ask for extra smoked burrata on top.

Any pizza can be made gluten free and there’s a strong selection of vegan options. Santa Maria’s new location at 11 Bond Street is less than five minutes’ from Ealing Broadway station.

https://www.santamariapizzeria.com/

Roxy (New Asian Tandoori Centre)

Nearest station: Southall

Southall is the Mecca of Indian cuisine in London.

Often called 'Little Punjab', it is unfortunately not well-connected to the city centre. Pre-Crossrail, your best bet was an almost 20-minute train from Paddington. All that is about to change.

Another bastion of Punjabi cooking in London, Roxy has been welcoming Southall locals for generations with its thick spicy gravies and paper-thin paratha.

It is one of the oldest restaurants in the area – formerly operating as a canteen under the name: Sagoo & Takhar – and still has a super-fast takeaway counter.

Go for the creamy black lentil daal mopped up with onion kulcha (a leavened bread stuffed with buttery onion) – then wash it all down with a spicy masala tea.

The prices are reasonable and clientele hyper local.

No website – just turn up at 114-118 The Green, UB2 4BQ

The Prince Regent

Nearest station: Paddington

Paddington is hardly poorly connected. But the inauguration of the Elizabeth Line will make it much faster for those living in the depths of east and west London to zip in and out for dinner.

Well worth the trip is The Prince Regent, a canal boat turned seafood restaurant in Paddington Basin.

Throughout the course of a five-plate set menu (which changes daily) you float along Regent’s Canal, past London Zoo, all the way to Camden and back.

Cruising dinners run from Wednesday to Saturday, setting sail at 6pm (back by 9:30).

Menus include treats such as Cornish pollock with beurre blanc and spider crab infused with wild garlic – and cost £65 per person without wine.

https://londonshellco.com/the-prince-regent/