We all know that it’s bad etiquette to eat on public transport, and Boris put paid to mid-journey boozing when he banned alcohol on the network back in 2008. But there are still plenty of opportunities for transport-related eating and drinking across town, from tube themed drinks to pizzas on a bus.
Things change fast in a time of coronavirus. Check on venue websites and social media ahead of visiting for the most up to date details.
Bombay Bustle, Mayfair
One of the loveliest, we reckon, of Mayfair's array of fine dining Indian restaurants, Bombay Bustle's both utterly luxurious and utterly cosy. Unlike the others on this list, the restaurant hasn't taken its inspiration from London's transport network — instead looking further afield to Mumbai. Custom-designed formica, four-person booths lining the space, and warm, corrugated glass lighting echo Bombay's old, first-class railway carriages. At the time of writing, the space has been turned into the Winter Carriage: the month-long offering brings together design touches from British printmaker Molly Mahon with a (spectacular) five course menu that travels across India's cities, and their regional specialities — to really dial up the romance-of-a-long-train-journey vibe.
Bombay Bustle, 29 Maddox St, W1S 2PA
This secretive subterranean bar in Soho’s Kingly Court occupies a space which used to be an air-raid shelter, but to all intents and purposes it’s now a slightly worse-for-wear closed tube station in post-war Britain. It has been designed with advice from London Transport Museum and comes complete with tube carriages, sandbags, wartime posters and stairs that look like an escalator. Music is of the jazz and swing ilk while the drinks list has a ‘dig for victory’ theme with cocktails featuring potato, peas, and beetroot. The food stretches to snacks and sandwiches — including spam sandwiches.
Cahoots, 13 Kingly Court, W1B 5PG
Dine on a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line train, at these regular pop-ups at Walthamstow Pumphouse Transport Museum. Chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreño is cooking a six course menu that travels across Latin America — but the real treat is to be able to eat your dinner on the tube without getting a single look of disgust (hopefully). Don’t tell Boris, but you can even have a drink. These events sell out very quickly, so snap up your ticket — starting at £50 — quickly.
Supperclub.tube, at Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, 10 South Access Road, E17 8AX
BB Bakery, Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s BB Bakery isn’t transport themed, but it does offer guests the option of taking their afternoon tea atop a moving London bus. Be prepared to embrace your touristy side if you decide to hop aboard the vintage Routemaster, which takes you on an hour-and-a-half round trip from Trafalgar Square taking in Buckingham Palace, Royal Albert Hall and Marble Arch.
BB Bakery, 6-7 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HU — bus tour departs from Northumberland Avenue just off Trafalgar Square
Canteen, Covent Garden
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Set above the London Transport Museum shop, you won’t find anywhere more in touch with the capital’s transport heritage than here. As well as gazing over buses and tubes galore — and celebrating London's transport network with moquette seats, and tiles, seats, and signs reclaimed from the Underground — you can also enjoy a cappuccino topped with a roundel dusting of chocolate.
Canteen, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
Last Stop Kebab, Edmonton
Serving kebabs out of a double decker bus, Last Stop Kebab's currently parked up in Edmonton. Grab a moquette seat on the top deck to eat in, or order takeaway from the conductor — this is one night bus that might actually be a pleasure to spend hours on.
Last Stop Kebab, 150 Bridport Road, N18 1HA.
A double decker bus with luxury flourishes, Bustronome's trip takes nearly three hours to transport its diners to some of the biggest landmarks in the city. You can even have a drink on this bus, though alcohol has to be pre-ordered (drinking on the bus is legal, sales of alcohol on it aren't), and settle in for the ride — and a six course French influenced dinner.
Bustronome, coach bay 40B, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PB.