Lately I've been trying to reclaim my lunch break (lunch hour may be pushing it but unless you're a brain surgeon you can probably stop what you're doing for twenty minutes for lunch). Food is an important part of the day and eating a sad sandwich while reading work emails is neither joyous nor satisfying. Since making an effort to take a lunch break I've definitely felt more productive in the afternoons and the 4pm slump is a rare occurrence rather than a daily struggle.
Working in central London there is so much choice for a quick lunch. I don't understand how some of my colleagues eat the same Pret baguette every day! Here are some of my favourite lunch spots - not a sad sandwich in sight!
I never used to be a soup fan but Nusa's soups are amazing - so flavoursome and filling. The menu changes weekly so there's always something new to try and everything is clearly marked as to whether its dairy free, gluten free, veggie or vegan. The soups come with a side of brown rice or homemade bread and toppings of your choice - the perfect lunch for chilly days (yes, even in August).
Locations: Old Street, Cannon Street and Old Broadstreet and online here
Leon is an old favourite for a healthy and tasty lunch. I tried the new super clean vegan quinoa salad which is as yummy as it is #trendy sounding. I also love the green shake and the rice boxes for a more substantial lunch and the breakfasts are great, too. Oh, and there's a loyalty card where you get a free brownie once you've completed all the stamps.
Locations: too many to list - all are here
Sushi is everywhere these days but it's variable at best in London - don't even get me started on supermarket sushi (aside from Waitrose's which is good). NiHaw does a great selection of brown rice sushi which I prefer these days and also does brown rice bowls and miso soup - there's never a big queue and the sushi is reduced after 5.30pm so its perfect for a lazy dinner, too.
Locations: Ludgate Circus and Cannon Street and online here
Falafel is one of my all time favourite foods - I could eat it every day and did just that at Glastonbury last year. Having had a bit of a falafel break lately I had a lunchtime craving for it last week and so popped into Hummus Bros for a falafel and quinoa box (seriously, what did we eat before quinoa was a thing?!). The falafel were hot and perfectly crispy and the hummus boxes here are so good, too, and there are loads of veggie and vegan options - the website is really helpful for sorting out any dietary requirements.
Locations - Holborn, St Pauls and Exmouth Market and online here
Branches of Wasabi are everywhere in London - I don't visit that often as the queues are always crazy and I'm always tempted by the not-as-healthy options but Fridays need sushi and this spicy chirashi bowl hit the spot.
Locations: lots! Online here.
Another London lunchtime staple - you can't really miss their yellow signage in the city. I love the Potsu rice pots for chilly days and the sushi is great, too. Everything is calorie-counted and it does all feel very health-focused. There are low-carb boxes, veggie options, protein pots and the last half hour of the day is "happy hour" where everything in the fridges is half price - this makes me far happier than it should do! Although be warned - I've had city men snatch boxes of half price sushi from the shelves just as I've been about to pick one up in the past.
Locations: again, there are too many but online here.