Canteens get Class

I consider canteens quite the underdog of eateries. Commonly associated with schools and workplaces, they've also become accepted into the dining culture, mainly due to the infusion of Asian cuisine and now canteen restaurants like Wagamama, Cha Cha Moon and Busaba Eathai are popular and reliable choices.

I think this is down to three things:
1) prices don't make you limit your order
2) service is pretty swift
3) they have great atmosphere

Point 3 is one of the most important as it's what a canteen is all about. Lively, an eavesdropper's dream and full of satisfied faces. Though the great atmosphere probably has a lot to do with points 1 and 2. Which is where Canteen (a canteen called Canteen) differs. It's prices are high but reasonable for the organic local produce they cook with. It's much larger which means you're not squashed up with other diners - not so good for eavesdroppers; and service is at a regular pace. It's essentially a restaurant disguised as a canteen. So once you accept this it becomes an enjoyable meal.

The menu is mostly modern British food. I went for the lamb and mint pie, mash and cabbage with gravy at £10.50. Seems a bit steep, but tastes great and really fills a hole!

I'm not much of a fan of macaroni cheese, yet theirs was surprisingly light, and had just the right amount of crunch to the golden  brown top.


Verdict: too much class and pleasantries to be a true canteen, but very worth a visit if you appreciate free range and organic produce.


  1. Hi, good posting. Which branch did you go to? I'm going to give the Baker Street one a go, the one at Spitafield I found disappointing.

  2. Hi, thanks for the comment.

    This one was the Baker Street branch, was very quiet when I went, so maybe take along some good company. Let me know what you think of it!

  3. I went to the one at Canary Wharf. It was amazing, great service, fantastic food and it was so nice siting in outside in Canada Square.