Hot Dinners recommends

Yes, it's that time again - where the menus of London's restaurants, cafes, burger joints and sandwich emporiums all come with added seasonal fare. Turkey, mince pies, pigs in blankets - expect them all to make an appearance and there's the majesty of the Christmas sandwich for all to behold. We've rounded up what to expect this Christmas.

It's early days yet - here's what's been announced so far and we'll be updating this list regularly in the coming weeks...


MEATliquor's XXXmas


What? Every year, all the MEATliquors put on a host of specials in the run-up to Christmas, and this year is no exception. We're getting the return of the XXXmas burger (turkey, sausage patty, stuffing crumble, gravy, bacon, cranberries - £9.60), and new this year is the XXXmas Garbage Plate - that's "Free-range Herons Farm roast turkey, piggies in blankets, crispy  stuffing crumbles over fries served with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side" all for a tenner. That plus a turkey cheesesteak and the deep-fried mac and cheese is now with camembert and stilton with a cranberry dip. Just order the lot, we say. 

When? Now until Christmas

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Michelin-starred mince pies at Lyle's

Michelin-starred mince pies at Lyle's

What? If like many people, you spend this time of year looking for the perfect mince pie (a laudable endeavour) then a visit to Lyle's in Shoreditch is necessary. And none of that stewed fruit nonsense, these ones are made with beef. They're made with "aged mince beef and fat from Farmer Tom’s Dexter cattle, russet apples and puff pastry". You can either pop in to have them with coffee or pick them up to take home. And you can even make them at home

When? Now until 22 December

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Cheese-dipped burgers at Byron

Cheese-dipped burgers at Byron

What? The launch of the Cheesemas burger at Byron is an annual occasion, and each Cheesemas is different from the one before. The one thing that is guaranteed is - lots of cheese. This year's burger is a "Beef patty, American cheese, smoked cheese, cheese crisp, pickled red onions, lettuce, spicy garlic mayonnaise, onion ring, as well as a scoop of bacon macaroni cheese and served with fries and a house salad". All yours for £14.95 and there's a veg version with a veggie bean patty. And just because that's not enough cheese, you can also order a bowl of melted cheese to dip the burger in. Which sounds like a must. 

When? Now until 2 January 2019

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Pigs in blankets as a garnish at Chick n Sours

Pigs in blankets as a garnish at Chick n Sours

What? We do love pigs and blankets and do our best to overdose on them at this time of year. So we thoroughly approve of the Chick N Sours special - the Twisted Xmas. It's fried thigh, kewpie mayo, cranberry hoisin, pigs in blankets (yay!) and fermented red cabbage. No holly though. Sorry.

When? Now until Christmas

More about Chick n Sours


Xmas dinner in a bun from Haché


What? Haché's Christmas special this year is pulling as much of the Christmas dinner as possible into a bun. It's "not one but two patties – the first a twist on your traditional turkey, the second a juicy succulent sausage - topped with crispy bacon, fresh baby gem leaves and a tangy cranberry ketchup, all sandwiched between a lightly toasted brioche bun". All that and it comes with lightly fried Brussel sprouts on the side. It's £11.50 at all of the six Hachés in London. Plus they'll be donating £1 from every sale of the bun to the Albert Kennedy Trust, who support young homeless members of the LGBT community.

When? Now until Christmas

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Mercury-nominated Christmas pizza from Yard Sale

Mercury-nominated Christmas pizza from Yard Sale

What? The Christmas pizza from Yard Sale continues their monthly tradition of a new special, and for this one they're teaming up with Mercury nominated Loyle Carner (cue a discussion about why they haven't brought in Ottolenghi too). It is "signature double-fermented dough base topped with turkey chilli, mozzarella, and teardrop peppers on a house tomato sauce garnished with cheddar, sour cream, coriander and lime" - with a quorn chilli veg one available too. It's inspired by Loyle Carner’s Chilli Con Carner cooking school and £1 from each pizza and limited edition t-shirt sold will be donated to the school. So there's no excuse not to order it asap.  

When? Now until 9 January 2019

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Deep-fried Brussel sprouts from Poppie's

Deep-fried Brussel sprouts from Poppie's

What? We love Brussel sprouts here at Hot Dinners but aren't fond of the actual preparation of them. So if someone's willing to go to that trouble AND deep fry them, we're very happy indeed. Poppies in Soho is serving these up battered and fried (£3) which you can have in a cone to take away and wander around Soho, being very pleased with your purchase. And they'll also be serving up their "naughty or nice" chips. The former can get edible red glitter on their portion of chips, but if you've been bad, it's charcoal powder for you.

When? Now until 24 December

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The "my Christmas eating budget is VERY generous" sando at Tokimeite

What? Japenese restaurant Tokimeitē is assuming you've money to burn this Christmas and that you might as well use it on a VERY pricey sandwich. This is the Wagyu Katsu Sando that's only on for Christmas. It's "a premium 120g A5 Japanese wagyu beef fillet coated in panko breadcrumbs and lightly fried, before being sandwiched between fresh brioche with melted Saint-Nectaire cheese and Japanese Demi-Glace sauce. Once served, the sando will be topped with shaved white truffle at the table." They're only making four per day and it'll be £150 per portion. 

When? Now until Christmas

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Mince pie naan at Cinnamon Bazaar

Mince pie naan at Cinnamon Bazaar

What? In Covent Garden, Vivek Singh's Cinnamon Bazaar has an Indian spin on the mince pie. They've added a Garam Masala Mince Pie Naan to the menu. It's described as a "buttery, warming creation, stuffed with dried fruits, nuts and spices that have been marinated in dark rum, brandy and red wine for six months and is topped with homemade cinnamon ice cream". it's £7 with the ice cream or £6 without. 

When? Now until Christmas

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Christmas doughnuts at Crosstown

Christmas doughnuts at Crosstown

What? Just one Christmas doughnut isn't enough for Crosstown - they're bringing out FIVE specials for the season. They are Christmas Crème Brûlée (filled with a sprinkling of Christmas pudding, folded through calvados
cream custard), Vegan Winter Fruit Crumble (filled with a festive spiced apple, pear and quince compote), Gingerbread (Gingerbread cake dough filled with cranberry jam, smothered in clementine icing), as well as the Vegan and non-vegan Mince Pie dough bite (filled with home made fruit mince, covered in brandy icing).

When? Now until Christmas

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Duck bun at Pittabun


What? They've only recently opened but Soho's Pittabun already have their first Christmas special. It's one of their pitta buns stuffed with duck confit, sweet potato puree, rocket salad, toasted walnuts, prunes and then drizzled with prune syrup. 

When? From now until Christmas

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The EAT Christmas dinner Yorkshire pudding wrap


What? Every year, EAT manage to do something that outdoes the last - and this year is no exception. They weren't happy enough for a Christmas dinner wrap alone. The filling - turkey, sage & onion stuffing and crispy bacon with sage mayonnaise and cranberry sauce - is all rolled up in a giant Yorkshire pudding (£4.99). That's not all, though. They have a Keralan Turkey Curry (£6.25), their festive full works (one of our faves) and are the place to go if you just fancy a pot of pigs in blankets (£2.75 or with mash and gravy for £5.75). All that and a salted maple caramel and gingerbread cake for dessert (£2.65).  

When? From 7 November 2018

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The Pret Christmas baguette


What? Yes, the Pret Christmas sandwich is a big deal and its arrival really kicks off the Christmas season (it's always just after Guy Fawkes). It's back again, with turkey, port & orange cranberry sauce, herby pork stuffing and baby spinach leaves, mayo and crispy onions (£3.75) and there's a veggie and vegan option. But new this year is the Christmas Lunch Baguette - all the same as above but in a stone baked baguette (£4.25). There's also a new mince pie cookie, which sounds like a must-try (£1.45) and a creme brulee latte too.

When? From 6 November 2018

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Gingerbread pinecones and reindeer croissants from Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel

What? Pimlico's Dominique Ansel can be relied on for pushing the boat out at Christmas, and we just love the look of the gingerbread pinecone above (£7.10). It's made with ginger mousse, speculoos ganache and a spiced cake, finished with more than 60 tiny individual hand-cut dark chocolate petals. Or there's his own take on the mince pie, with a little reindeer on top (with brandy-soaked mincemeat (spiced currants, sultanas and raisins) with a hint of cider and sherry, clementine jam, £3.60 - and there's a gingerbread filled version too).

And, like last year, you can order his Christmas Morning Cereal (£12), made of Valrhona Caramelia (caramelised milk chocolate) covered crispy puffed rice, smoked cinnamon Mini Me’s (miniature meringues) and whole candied hazelnuts. So that's one to save for the morning itself. 

When? From 23 November 2018

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Christmas ham sarnie from Paul


What? The Christmas sandwich from Paul bakery is pretty highly rated - their Dinde de Noël has been voted best Xmas sandwich two years in a row by Time Out. But it's the new additions this year that we're recommending. We've already tried the Festive Hock Feast (£4.40) which is a sage and onion baguette, studded with cranberries and completely full of hand-pulled British ham hock, topped with a chunky coleslaw. If you can't wait for your Christmas ham, that should do the trick.

And that's not forgetting the 'Tis The Vegan (£4.35) - which is houmous, grilled carrots and peppers and spinach, topped with cranberry sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds, in a sesame baguette.

When? From 6 November 2018

More about Paul


Max's Morning Reviver

Max's sarnie

What? The amazing Max's Sandwich Shop has teamed up with Tabasco for his latest special - which sounds like just the thing after a heavy pre-Christmas session (and there will be many of those). It's smoked turkey, Bloody Mary ketchup, TABASCO Sauce and more (with a veggie stuffing option too). And look out for a Tabasco pop-up in London in December which will also have this fine sarnie. 

When? Now until Christmas

More about Max's Sandwich Shop


Tonkotsu's venison ramen

Tonkotsu's venison ramen

What? Yes, there are lots of pics of Rudolph around Christmas, but he's finding himself in some of the special dishes too... This is the special venison ramen at Tonkotsu. It's thick homemade noodles topped with minced miso venison & walnuts, spring onions, red currants, nori and Burford Brown egg yolk.

When? 10 November 2018 to early Jan

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Christmas empanadas at Abasto


What? Head over to Connaught Village in Marylebone for empanadas with a difference. These are the turkey and ham empanadas all baked in pastry. And you can even grab these pre-frozen to take home and warm up yourself later. 

When? 22 November 2018


The 3 bird wontonmen at Bone Daddies


What? Bone Daddies are taking its Spicy Miso Broth and serving a mix of three birds in wontons - pheasant, duck and turkey - along with pulled duck, freshly chopped spring onions and chilli garlic butter.

When? 12 November 2018

More about Abasto


The Hot Dinners guide to Christmas in London

Hampers, Advent calendars, ideas for Christmas Day, foodie gifts, our guide to Christmas specials as well as Christmas AND New Year party ideas. We have all you need for Christmas.

Read all our Christmas round-ups


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