Before the days of pulled pork tacos and wood-fired pizza around every corner, London street food was simple. The Victorians didn't mess about, they just picked up an eel pie to go and went on their merry way. Today's best pie and mash shops honour the London tradition of a well-made portable pastry, then give it their own little twist.
Who knew that London history tasted so good? M. Manze's been dishing up pie and mash for well over a century, so we reckon they know a thing or two about it. If overly complicated menus make your palms sweat, never fear: this one keeps it simple. British beef and onions are stuffed into a browned-to-perfection pastry crust. You can choose a vegetarian pie with soya mince if you prefer. If you're really feeling the throwback vibes, add stewed or jellied eels for that old-school London authenticity. The only other choice to make is whether you want your order sauced up with parsley liquor or brown gravy, and you're good to go.
2. Mother Mash
Creating an epic plate of pie and mash is as easy as 1-2-3 at Mother Mash. To get started, pick your mash. You can opt for the traditional version just like your gran would make, or get a little freaky with sweet potato, cheesy mustard and zippy horseradish flavours. Next up, we've got the pies. These come filled to the bubbling brim with mince, steak, chicken, butternut squash or even roasted veg. Finally, select the gravy of your choice. You can swap out the pies for sausages if you like, and round out your meal with comfort food faves like cauliflower cheese or bubble and squeak. Save room for dessert: the sticky toffee pudding's truly swoon (and spoon)-worthy.
3. Goddards at Greenwich
Another relic of the London of yore, Goddards at Greenwich is a beloved local institution with generations-old recipes. The classic plate of pie and mash is expertly prepared with plenty of gravy and optional eels. Are you ready to take your pie eating to the next level? Feast on one of Goddards' premier pies. The lamb and rosemary features a hint of redcurrant jelly, while the chicken and ham is enhanced by diced pancetta. Vegans are invited to this pie party too, with veggie mince in a rich gravy. Wash it down with a mug of tea and revel in the Britishness of it all.
4. Piebury Corner
London's first official 'pie deli' was once but a humble stall around the corner from Arsenal Stadium. It's since then grown to become one of the city's must-visit destinations for pie and mash. We're really feeling the balance between textures here. The pies are light on the inside with a delicately crispy crust, the mash creamy and dreamy. Aside from the classic steak and ale, you'll find more unusual fare like jerk chicken in Porter and vegetarian Balti fillings. It's even ok if you're not a pie lover, Piebury Corner's still got your number with scotch eggs and sausages to pair with your mash. And fans of the sweet stuff can indulge in a selection of hot and cold fruit pies with dollops of custard.
5. Square Pie
The pies are square-edged and the mash skins-on at Square Pie. This emporium of high-quality British pie and tatties mixes it up with a constantly rotating selection of pie flavours. Steak and ale is on hand for the traditionalists, while fillings like spinach, sweet potato and goat cheese (said to be Kate Moss's favourite) let you mix it up a bit. The pies are a work of art in themselves, with a shortcrust base and puff pastry top for peak flakiness.
Rediscover the beauty of pie and mash from London's best restaurants. Order a modern take on the Cockney classic from Deliveroo delivered piping hot.