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Taberna do Mercado

Taberna do Mercado

Taberna do Mercado

Address Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial Street; London E1 6BG
next to Smiths
Neighbourhood Spitalfields | See on map
Tube Liverpool St [Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, BR]
Telephone +44 20 7375 0649
Website http://www.tabernamercado.co.uk/
Price GBP 40-60
Hours Mon-Fri 08-10:30, 12-21:30. Sat 12-21:30. Sun 12-19:30.
Notes Reservations taken only for lunch 12-14:15

If you’re over eating next to Lindsey Lohan and trying to find a hidden club through the backend of a bathroom over at Chiltern Firehouse, here’s your chance to get close to chef Nuno Mendes’ cuisine without the paparazzi. And while dinners are walk-in only, even common people can actually snag a reservation for lunch at Taberna do Mercado.

This unassuming spot in Old Spitalfields Market (in itself swapping more tired stalls for premium tenants) serves Portuguese cuisine so authentic you’ll have to call on one of the staff to help you decipher the menu. Don’t worry, they’re only happy to jump in with suggestions and explanations.

Standout dishes include the prawn rissóis and tinned fishes (like the Spanish, the Portuguese excel in canned seafood) with sourdough, and for dessert the yolky abade de prisco. In the afternoons choose from cold meats and cheeses, and if you pop by for breakfast you can pick up a warm, oozing pasteis de nata to go.

The decor is laid-back taberna-style – wooden chairs, concrete bar, mixed up china – with some tables outside facing the market. And here when you go to the little boys’ room, you’ll need to pass right through the kitchen with a bull’s-eye view of the chefs at work – you might even spy senhor Mendes himself – and not a Mean Girl in sight.