Proudly independent, this all-day brasserie is a dependable alternative to Spitalfields’ pervasive chains – not surprising since it’s co-owned by bright spark Clive Watson (of The Garrison and Village East fame). Fans praise Blixen’s “well-done and good-value” food, as well as its spot-on service and buzzy vibe – whether you’re in the light, airy dining room or the rustic wood-toned basement bar. One regular also likes the ‘secret garden’ for a quick lunch. The cooking is broadly European, moving from pea and wild garlic soup or scallop crudo with radish and poppy seeds to robust mains of corn-fed chicken with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and chicken jus or pork belly with spätzle, kale and quince. To round things off, we like the sound of the banana and caramel pudding with coconut sorbet. Brunch, daytime snacks and Sunday roasts lure the crowds, while drinks encompass house sodas, smoothies, locally brewed beers and some “OK” wines.