Smiths of Smithfield
If you say 'SOS' to a hungry Londoner, they'll know what you mean. While they may not rescue you at sea or send you a message in a bottle, they will more than likely be up for nursing a hair-of-the-dog Bloody Mary with you over ethically-sourced ham, egg and chips at John Torode's Smiths of Smithfields ground floor brunch emporium. Smiths of Smithfields, or SOS, opens its doors to late-rising trendites when the rest of the neighbourhood is taking the day off. Indeed, Sunday is far from the day of rest for this hub for plain and simple fare cooked to perfection. Sitting across from the famous Smithfield meat market (unlike those around Vauxhall, this one actually sells meat), SOS is housed in a grade II listed four floor restaurant and bedecked in low-fi industrial chic, from exposed iron beams to raw concrete walls. The music is dutifully hip, but the food is modest and affordable, boasting breakfast goodies like pancakes with bacon and maple syrup or a more traditional fry-up with bubble and squeak, alongside lunchtime surprises like smoked haddock macaroni and cheese. A Mecca for chilling out, the only thing distressed in this place is its furniture.