Tucked under the Westway at the ordinary end of Portobello Road, this Lebanese cafe/bar is charming, unpretentious and impeccably run. Eat souvlaki from terracotta plates (supplied by the Spanish supermarket across the road) - then move on to cheap cocktails while listening to funky eastern beats. The exposed brickwork and low tables might come over all Hoxton, but the pretension factor is low - and so are the prices.
299 Portobello Road, London W10 5TD. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove
100% real Greek food, they say. Well, even if that's not strictly true, it's pretty damn good. Order some mezedes (small dishes) to start - gigandes beans, aubergine dip, tzatziki, houmos, octopus, etc - with some pitta bread to share.
Then, as the name suggests, you have to tuck into a souvlaki, be it lamb, pork or chicken, and wash it down with a Mythos beer. And, of course, you can't leave without having some loukoumia (otherwise known as Turkish delight) and a piece of baklava or two.
It's not the cheapest place in the world, which is why I recommend getting your boss to take you there for lunch. As often as possible. Even if you are just about to go to Athens, where they really do have 100% Greek food.
140-142 St John Street, EC1V 4UA
Nearest tube: Farringdon or Barbican
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