The “different place for lunch every day, when working in London” Challenge of 2017

January 2017 – a new year and a new job, working in central London for the next month or two. On my first lunch break (I get a whole 40mins), sitting in Pret a Manger on Carnaby St, found myself struck by the number of places to eat in the area. Thus began my “Eat at a Different Lunch Place every day when working in London Challenge 2017“. There were/are no rules really, except no take-aways, you must sit in the place to eat! Also, I do try to keep the cost as cheap as possible, which has become to mean, less than £10 – blame the location. Originally I aimed at 30 places, as that would be a month’s worth, but then I (surprisingly) got re-hired and decided to keep it going. Despite the walking distances and difficultly of find places increasing and a desperately strong desire to go back to previous establishments, I have persisted and been rewarded with a surprisingly good and varied cuisine for lunch. So, here is my 2017 lunch-challenge diary so far…

Notes: Yes, I’m still updating this list – as it comes from my phone and I’m still trying to workout/remember some of the places.
Also Yes, I will add quite a lot of these to Trip Advisor at some point – already a Level 4 contributor 🙂

When:Where / What / Any Good? :Notes:
Wed 4.1.17Pret a Manger, Carnaby StWhere it all begins…
Thu 5.1Asian cafe round corner pork noodles 
Fri 6.1Hipster sandwich bar 
Mon 9.1Cafe Pomodoro chips? 
Tue 10.1Leon, Carnaby St – green curry 
Wed 11.1Itsu on , chicken & rice –  
Thu 12.1Work from home day 
Fri 13.1Wasabi on Wardour St. – Katsu curry – good as always from Wasabi  
Mo 16.1Work from home day 
Tu 17.1Italian cafe on Wardour St – had v good lasagne 
We 18.1Italian cafe chicken panini 
Th 19.1Vital Ingredient on Golden Square – pork rice – nice tasty healthy food 
Fr 20.1Hawaii Poke bowl, Kingly St – an unusual lunch of fish and rice in a bowl. Surprisingly tasty and good. 
Mo 23.1Carbon – rice & lamb – not many seats in the place(maybe 3 or 4) but the food was fresh and good. 
Tu 24.1Flatplanet pizza flatbread – pretty good, but a bit expensive for a flat piece of pizza, still the service was very good. 
We 25.1Mother Mash (pie shop), Ganton St – sausages and mash – excellent fayre 
Th 26.1Burgeri, Great Marlborough St – burger and chips – good place, they give you a machine that buzzes to let you know when your order is ready, think this place is Qatar version of McDonalds.  
Fr 27.1Cafe by salt beef and cheese panini 
Mo 30.1Crush – beans wrap 
Tu 31.1Hummus Wardour St – bowl chicken 
We 1.2Bao – 1 X chicken Bao 1 X xaio Thai chicken – good food, but expensive and I don’t quite get what’s so great about it, but it’s very popular. 
Th 2.2Urban Tea Rooms – chorizo panini 
Fr 3.2Vietnam noodles soup 
Mo 6.2Work from home day 
Tu 7.2Toi & Moi Cafe place – bacon guacamole panini 
We 8.2Koti Roll, Poland St – very good value and a tasty eat. 
Th 9.2The Diner, Ganton St – pork burger & fries – wasn’t bad, but expensive for what it was, also the service was awful, the waitress did’t return with my change, which was quite annoying. 
Fr 10.2Joe and the Juice, Carnaby St – a sandwich -a loud trendy place, the loud trendy version of Costa really, would’ve preferred not to be quite so loud, even the serving guy shouted at me when my order was ready. 
Mo 13.2 – Th 16.2Worked from home and went on trip to Scafell Pike. 
Fr 17.2Eat 

My contract ended at this time and so far had clocked up 28 eating places in total by this point…Then I amazingly got re-hired, so the “Work lunch challenge” started again…

When:Where / What / Any Good? :Notes:
Mo 3.4Wok to Walk – Excellent place 
Tu 4.4Dunkn Donuts – chicken baguette – always wanted to go to this place, but never have done til now, not bad. 
We 5.4Mister Lasagnia – fab potato lasagne. This was a real random find and glad I did find it. 
Original Goal Reached: 31 place(an entire month’s worth)
Th 6.4Wok on fire 18.4 
Fr 7.4Chilangos – burito! 
Mo 10.4Tuk Tuk noodle bar 
Tu 11.4Ma Plucker 
We 12.4Thai Street Food place 
Th 13.4&Pasta 19.4? 
Fr 14.4Good Friday 
Mo 17.4Easter Monday 
Tu 18.4Princi Italian bread place 
We 19.4Ten Ten Thai – 40th place 
Th 20.4work from home 
Fr 21.4Cotton Cafe 
Mo 24.4Herman Ze German 
Tu 25.4Jumbo Eats 
We 26.4Itenburi 
Th 27.4Shoryu Ramen 
Fr 28.4Billy & the Chicks 
Mo 1.5Bank holiday 
Tu 2.5Taro – Japanese yakisoba 
We 3.5Cafe near ronnie scott’s – chicken escalope wrap thing good £6 
Th 4.5Subway – yes I was getting restaurant-outed at this point and just wanted a Subway! 
Fr 5.5Lingo Japanese – not bad 
Mo 8.5Poppies – Fish & Chip shop – chicken pie & chips £12 v good 
Tu 9.5Work from home day 
We 10.5Rasa Sayang Malaysian – the chicken was not great in this place £10 
Th 11.5Melt Room cheesy sandwich place – top place £5 
Fr 12.5Masala Zone – not bad, considering I asked them to rush serving me £10 pretty good 
Mo 15.5Rosa’s Thai good £10 
Tu 16..5Cafe TPT – did not like this much Kung po chicken £12 
We 17.5Bodeans Soho Special Sandwich v good £7 
Th 18.5Thai cottage restaurant – excellent noodle dish and only £5 
Fr 19.5Tommi’s burger place – the burger & fries were a bit expensive, but good, only thing this place played very loud music for such a small place 
Mo 22.5Taiwan Street food in soho old tree Daiwan bee – Taiwan need noodle soup 
Tu 23.5Potato people – duck in jacket – v good 
We 24.5BGR burger place – nice burger 
Th 25.5Jamie Oliver’s diner burger – a surprising bargain at £6 
Fr 26.5Butifara Peru sandwich thing – unusual cuisine in this place 
Mo 29.5Bank holiday 
Tu 30.5T Gerrard’s Corner Chinese chicken noodles – a giant restaurant, but with wonderful service and lovely noodles £9 
We 31.5Caffe Nero – time and wanting something a bit plain meant a cheese panini here 
Th 1.6Vital Ingredient, Berwick St – my rules allow me to visit the same chain, BUT it must be a different location and the Sri Lankan chicken and quinoa here was v good. 
Fr 2.6Libanis restaurant – remarkably good lunch dish 
Mo 5.6Tombo poke and matcha – 
Tu 6.6Katsu curry china town Matsoki – this was a good katsu curry. 
We 7.6The Breakfast Club – had “huevos rancheros”(eggs) at this trendy hugely popular cafe 
Th 8.6Leon china town – chicken burger meal 
Fr 9.6EAT on Golden Square – Coconut chicken noodle soup + brie and ham baguette 
Mo 12.6Hungs Chinese – really not the most pleasant restaurant, was almost sitting in the kitchen, but the shredded chicken noodles sure were good £7 
Tu 13.6Pret on soho road – wahey – always reliable for a sandwich 
We 14.6Costa coffee – a gloriously sunny day, so ended up walking to The Mall and sat and had a cheese panini on the way back. 
Th 15.6Bap – burger restaurant – it was indeed a burger and fries, not much else to say really 
Fr 16.6Pepe’s Italian – on Old Compton St – Pepe herself served me and was a top Lasagne £7 nice 
Mo 19.6Shelley’s cafe hot – it was the hottest day of the year and this place was like a sauna, but the £7 large katsu curry was worth sweltering for, Amazing! 
Tu 20.6Yoobi suishi £9 expensive for 6 bits of salmon 
We 21.6Tostado £5 v good Ecuador lunch 
Th 22.6Yoshimo Gyoza £5 v good rice curry sauce and 6 X pork Gyoza 
Fr 23.6Smack Lobster Roll – £8 + 2.95 chips shrimp roll – nice 
Mo 26.6Muslim cafe Shaftsbury – chicken escalope and chips –  
Tu 27.6Simit sarayi chicken roll not great nice pretzel 
We 28.6Work from home day 
Th 29.6Wholefoods buffet £8 for 500g but has to be said was delicious 
Fr 30.6Cafe Buon Gusto – Frith St. – marvelous 
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