French Lunch: 5 amazing options in London right now

By Valentine Benoist

From legendary toasties to Michelin-starred set menus at truly affordable prices, London offers plenty of delicious lunch deals to those in the know. At Taste France Magazine, we’re always on the lookout for cracking options that won’t break the bank, so we’ve rounded up five of your favourite options across the city. With a French twist, bien sûr. Dig in! 

French lunch _ photo

Noble Rot Soho: from the South of France with love 

© nr_soho_hero_

A household name for all demanding wine lovers, Noble Rot started out as a brilliant indie magazine about wine, food and popular culture. Since then, they’ve also opened three award-winning London restaurants, inspired by European wine bars and bistros. 

The incredible wine lists are the main draw, but the food is just as brilliant. At lunchtime, head over to their Soho outpost, where chef Alex Jackson — known for his Provençal cuisine in the days of Sardine — rustles up a brilliant, sun-drenched lunch menu. Leeks vinaigrette followed by a bavette steak with Ratte potatoes and béarnaise sauce, before indulging in the ricotta sour cherry cake. With a glass of red Saumur-Champigny wine from the Loire region, you’re transported straight to France! 

Lunch Menus - 2 courses: £22, 3 courses £26 
Available from 12 to 2-30pm everyday. 
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 12p-2.30pm and 5-9.30pm  

Noble Rot Soho 
2 Greek Street, 
London W1D 4NB 
020 7183 8190

Planque: for winter Saturdays ahead 

© La planque

Who said set menus only happen during the week? At Planque, East London darling, it’s all about Saturday long lunches. Since 2021, the wine club, cellar and restaurant set under railway arches welcomes diners and wine lovers looking for casual, yet top-notch food and service. 

The refined modern French menu by Australian chef Seb Myers is full of gems inspired by his time at cult L’Auberge de Chassignolles in the Auvergne or P.Franco, with a strong emphasis on produce — think mussel and Lyonnaise onion tartine, guinea fowl terrine or 24-month aged Comté cheese. Open for lunch only on Saturdays, we can easily picture ourselves eating the day away during those long winter months. According to the season, the set feast may include the likes of aubergine, black trumpet mushrooms and sheep’s curd or jasmine tea ice cream, mirabelles and meringue. Tempting! 

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday from 6pm, Saturday from 12pm 

322-324 Acton Mews
London E8 4EA
020 7254 3414

Kappacasein: the cheese legend 

© cheesemongers

Not technically a lunch menu per se, but believe us, these street food staples are well worth featuring in this list and will definitely make a lunch on their own. For over 20 years, Kappacasein Dairy has been serving the best raclette in London and a legendary grilled cheese toastie in Borough Market, the historic famous foodie destination in London Bridge. 

Have you ever tasted these two legends? They make a mean toastie, with cheese dripping from two slices of French Poilâne sourdough bread, and a mix of leeks and onions to give it that extra kick. Also give a go at their classic raclette dish, oozing cheese scraped over a plate of potatoes with a few cornichons for good measure. Yes, you’ve made it to Alpine cheese heaven! 

Raclette and cheese toastie, both £8. 

Opening hours: Thursday from 9am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 5pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm 

Kappacasein Borough Market
1 Stoney street
London SE1 9AA 

Socca: Côte d’Azur vibes without the price tag 

© french-restaurant-mayfair

Celebrity chef Claude Bosi is mostly known for his renewed Bibendum restaurant and oyster bar nestled in the iconic Michelin House on Fulham Road. Last February, he opened the doors to his latest address, Socca, tucked away on South Audley Street. Named after the traditional chickpea pancake from Nice, this intimate Mayfair bistro is inspired by the coastal towns of the French riviera and its timeless French-Mediterranean culinary traditions. 

Head there for lunchtime or an early dinner for a refined dining experience at a fraction of the stellar prices of the neighbourhood: green bean salad with peaches and almonds, veal petits farçis stuffed with summer vegetables, orange blossom madeleines with olive oil ice cream… all served in the playful French salle à manger with hand-painted stucco walls and bright warm touches, designed by award-winning Fabled Studio. Where do we sign up? 

Lunch menus £28-39 

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 12 to 2.30pm and 5.30 to 10.30pm 

41A South Audley Street, 
London W1K 2PS 
020 3376 0000 

Côte Brasserie: the textbook French menu 

© cote-view-st-katherines

Inspired by the Parisian brasseries, the high-street restaurants chain founded in 2007 now counts over 80 restaurants over the UK, 25 of them in London. With its iconic striped awning and bistro chairs,, Côte is a safe bet when a French classic craving hits, any time of the day. 

On the north bank of the River Thames, their secluded St Katharine’s Docks restaurant is a great spot for a good-value lunch menu of pear, walnut and roquefort salad, sea bass in a red pepper beurre blanc and black olive tapenade and even a crêpe au chocolat topped with orange crème fraîche, overlooking the water. It almost feels like taking a vacation without leaving town. 

Prix Fixe Menus - 2 courses: £16.95, 3 courses £20.95 

Available Monday to Friday from 12pm, weekends and bank holidays from 12.30pm 

Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9am-10pm, Sunday 9am-9.30pm 

Côte St Katharine Docks  
1 St Katharine's Way,  
London E1W 1UN 
0207 488 3668

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