Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
I work around Oxford Street/Fitzrovia area, so I’ve focussed on the places which are tasty, cheap and quick to walk to from the office. I guess Pret and Eat are obvious choices, but I’m a bit bored of them. I also find them a bit expensive. I’ve only put a few and try to limit my daily lunch budget to £4-£5. Leave a comment if you can suggest somewhere else to try.
Without doubt the best hot takeaway lunch you can get in the area – £3.80 gets you a big box of rice or noodles and a topping of your choice. Choices include thai curry, chicken cashew nut, pad thai noodles. Or if you want a selection, then a pound more gets you a small box plus some freshly made sushi.
Don’t be put off by the queue, which is often out the door – service is super fast. He’ll be serving people who are barely in the door while the queue snakes round the tiny shop. There are a few seats by the window if you want to sit in – at no extra charge.
I only tried this place for the first time today. When they opened last week, they put out a message that everyone who says the magic words gets a free wrap. Cue a very, very long queue on one of the coldest days of the year. I stood waiting for half an hour before giving up when it started snowing. I even took a video of the queue before I joined it, to show how long it was. Apparently, they gave away 450 of their £3.95 wraps, and from my experience today, they’re worth the wait.
I don’t know if this stall, which sells great filled bagels, pastries and dessert-type sweets, has a name. It sells great food with friendly service.
The best place I’ve found to eat in. A big, sizzling hot bowl of rice plus a topping, which continues to cook as you eat. A choice of ten different toppings from £6.45 includes mixed mushroom, vegetable, chilli chicken and beef. A great place if you’re meeting a friend for lunch, I’ve found. When I first went, they were pretty slow, despite being empty, but I think they’ve realised people need speedy service, and have sped up considerably so you can get back to the office within your lunch hour.
We used to call this the cheap shop, but they’ve put the prices up several times since I first discovered it, so now I guess it’s the mildly inexpensive shop now. They sell a range of hot and cold food for not very much money – a slab of chicken escalope in a giant bap is £2.60, and a baked potato with filling £3.65.
If I get bored of all the others, my final resort is Marks & Spencer’s on Oxford Street. If you go in at lunch time, the queue can snake most of the way round the store, but the extra cashiers they employ specially to deal with the rush deal with it admirably, so it’s rare to have to wait long. They sell pretty good sandwiches, salads and hot food – but who wants to go to a supermarket when you have so many other tasty places to go to just around the corner?