Working Lunch review: 8 Hoxton Square is what the phrase "I know a great little place" was made for

Melissa York
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Turns out, hot bread and cheese is all you need to be truly happy

8 Hoxton Square
8 Hoxton Square, N1


An independent restaurant and bar with a cosy Continental-style outdoor terrace in the midst of Hoxton’s hipster bustle off of Old Street.


If you need me to tell you again, you’re no longer welcome in the food and drink section.


Still here? Good, it’s executive chef Cameron Emirali, a Kiwi raised in Australia who’s also behind 10 Greek Street in Soho.


Freshly made rosemary and onion bread

The kitchen gets entire animals in and simply works its way through different cuts, so the menu changes daily. One thing that stays on though is the gorgonzola custard, which is every bit as decadent as it sounds. Served with hot bread for dipping, all other bar snacks bow before its gorgon-gooey glory.

Summery options include a refreshing melon dish with capocollo (a cold pork cut) and a vividly scarlet cured trout with beetroot chunks and horseradish that gets you right in the nostrils.

All the desserts are childhood favourites; a chocolate brownie here, a rhubarb crumble there, but try the raspberries set in prosecco jelly set with sour cream ice cream for a grown up take on a kids party classic.


It’s incredibly relaxed during the day, so much so that you may be anxiously staring at your watch if you’ve only got an hour to spare. But if you’re one of those flexible working types, simply sit back and let the small plates roll on.


Inside 8 Hoxton Square with a view of the terrace

You should be able to rock up for lunch, but dinner gets busy. There’s also a chef’s table downstairs and the restaurant can accommodate up to 20 people per booking. Call 020 7729 4232 or email


Feels like an intimate neighbourhood restaurant, tastes like an ambitious big city player. Its small dishes are packed with bold flavours. The phrase “I know a great little place”was made for 8 Hoxton Square and it’ll earn you serious cool points with the clients.


Ask for the not-so-secret wine list. It’s handwritten by Luke Wilson, Emirali’s partner in crime, who also happens to be a former wine merchant. If you’re looking for something rare or a little bit special, it’ll be in his little black book.

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