restaurants
Da Polpo
6 Maiden Lane
WC2E 7NA
+44 207 836 8448

Just a tiny bit too hipster, this affordable and delicious Italian spot is one of the "rapidly becoming a chain" Polpos, but this one, near Covent Garden, has the benefit of being less sought after than the Soho original so wait times at the no-res spot are more half hour than hour plus. Ignoring the spacy service (missing dishes in your order, trouble finding your waiter again) and the Brooklynish gear (we swear everyone here shops in Dalston), simple dishes such as a meatball menu (classic, spicy pork + fennel, lamb + mint, chickpea + spinach + ricotta) or seasonal salads (zucchini, rocket + Parmesan, fennel, endive + almonds) satisfy at very little hit to your wallet. A nearly perfect menu offering everything from arancini to white pizzette to shrimps in a white truffle polenta; most dishes are 6 pounds. And it's in defying the overly twee dishes in the current London restaurant scene that had made these spots winners. They just do nice home cooking. The deli top style bar allows for eating, drinking and lingering and a few larger tables are good for groups of about six.

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