St John Bread & Wine

Bronze Award
London, E1 6LZ ·Website·Call020 7251 0848

SquareMeal Review of St John Bread & Wine

Bronze Award

Proof that classic never goes out of fashion, this sparsely decorated canteen delivers "fantastic British food for adventurous eaters", according to one reader. Whilst the acoustics might be poor, meaning you may need to shout to be heard, the more casual sibling of the mighty St John is still well worth experiencing for its "relaxed vibe", "impeccable service" and daily changing menu.

Breakfast, cakes and pastries are always in demand here – one bite of the Old Spot bacon sandwich, chased by a sweet hit from one of the signature doughnuts, will explain why. But there's much more to explore on the full nose-to-tail line-up, from kohlrabi with brown shrimps and chervil via devilled kidneys or grilled mackerel with beetroot and horseradish to steamed lemon sponge or burnt vanilla cream. The sound but "pricey" all-French wine list kicks off with surprisingly good house selections by the glass.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch
Special Features
Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Food Hygiene Rating


94-96 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LZ

020 7251 0848 020 7251 0848


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 9am-3pm Mon-Sun 6-11pm (Mon -8.45pm))


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18 Reviews 

Eric D

26 July 2019  
A great menu for some one who loves the full variety of meat dishes.

Hugo G

09 July 2019  
Almost like dining in someone's pared back kitchen. British nose to tail eating with inventive takes on wild foraged ingredients. Consistently interesting.

Stuart D

02 July 2019  
Flavour, flavour, flavour.

Stuart D

27 June 2018  
Better than the main restaurant. Even the salads are brilliant.

Eric D

04 May 2017  
Brilliant imaginative menu with great service.

Claire B

04 May 2017  
Only place the food always surprises me - in a good way!


20 January 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
On my favourites list!
We ate dinner here last night, and I loved everything about the place! Excellent waiting staff, buzzing atmosphere, delicious food and a daily changing menu, what's not to love? We had fois gras pate on toast, the welsh rarebit (wonderful mustard heat), skate cheeks and tartare sauce (super light crispy batter), cucumber, kohlrabi and brown shrimp salad (divine) and roasted quail with crab apple jelly and a bottle of Picpoul and the bill only came to £73. People were popping in on their way home to buy the freshly baked bread (which is wonderful) and you can even buy the rarebit topping to take home and make your own. I am already planning my next visit.

Hugo G

07 November 2016  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
One of my all time favourites
Have been coming here since it opened, and always love it. SJBW is by no means for the faint hearted or picky eaters, the food is pared back rustic with a whiff of foraging in every dish. Smoked sprats come simply on a plate with a dollop of horseradish. Homemade bread with superb butter is a treat. Duck hearts with loveage or lambs brains in breadcrumbs are done so gently and deftly that whilst you might baulk at the headings or thought of eating such offal, the actual experience is sublime. Fresh game such as hare, mallard or grouse feature often when in season. the only difficulty is navigating the wine list which is eclectic to say the least - but then again so is the place itself.

Brian S

12 December 2015  
Food & Drink 2
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 2
Value 2
Bad Service
Despite telling the head waiter and the waiter serving our table that we had a time constraint the restaurant ignored this and proceeded to serve us at a glacial pace. Everything was slow. When 10 minutes before our planned departure our main course had not arrived, enquiries got the head waiter to explain his approach (based on 30 years experience!) that they do not tell the kitchen to proceed with preparing the main course until the plates from the starter have been cleared. Clearly responding to the customer is not part of his approach. As we were discussing the problem, with voices becoming raised on both sides, the main courses appeared 5 minutes before we needed to leave. I told them to return them to the kitchen as there was no time to eat them. We then left the restaurant. Having eaten there before with no problems I was very disappointed with the approach they took and the very unresponsive reaction to my complaint.

Corinne C

08 April 2014  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Great as usual. Favourite of mine for informal business lunch.
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