Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear reader. Happy birth - now rinse your hands. It is, needless to say, not ideal to have your birthday in the midst of a pandemic. Unless you’re not really a birthday person, in which case, result. But, a pandemic does not = ‘no party’. Because thanks to the wonders and resilience of restaurants, bars, and video apps with questionable T&Cs when it comes to personal data, you can still celebrate your birthday in ways big, small, and boozy. Here are some suggestions for food, drink, and cakes.
Any birthday involving Bob Marley and a lemon tart the size of your head is bound to be a good one. Napoli Gang is a very fun, cheese-fuelled delivery operation from the people behind Circolo Popolare and Gloria. Not only can you get involved in big, truffle-topped pizzas and ricotta cannelloni, every order comes with a free playlist that’ll set you up for the perfect night of post-dinner dancing. A bottle of limoncello and a couple of batched negronis are also mandatory in our humble opinion.
In an alternate reality we would have featured on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. Only instead of asking for a ’rarri or a performance from Nelly, we would have asked for the QCH’s confit potatoes with a big bow on top. Luckily, you can get that and a party-sized supply of stuff like smoked cod’s roe, big family-style pies, wine, and more from their shop.
You never thought your birthday wishlist would involve toilet roll and a hand-held hoover, but here we are. The good news is that your birthday meal can still involve some of the best butter chicken, lamb chops, and biryanis that north London has to offer. You can order directly from Namaaste Kitchen’s website or give them a ring on 020 7485 5977.
If your birthday plans are reading like a vicious post-festival comedown - 1) shower, 2) wear (clean) underwear, 3) briefly sob, 4) retreat to sofa with ice cream for the foreseeable future - then we suggest you look at Yauatcha’s menu instead. The stalwart Soho Chinese spot is delivering their excellent dim sum alongside macarons and champagne around central and west London. Best of all, underwear is very much optional.
Great things can come from bad times, and in Fat Boy BBQ - the new barbecue menu from the previously-closed Coal Rooms in Peckham - a great thing has happened for your birthday. Less phoenix rising from the ashes, and more pig slow-cooked in them, the Thursday - Saturday menu features BBQ pork belly, Korean short rib, burgers, mac and cheese, and a gloriously filthy sounding bone marrow gravy. Plus, there are milkshakes and cocktails too.
Top Cuveé in Highbury have rebranded themselves as Shop Cuvée and, depending on which number birthday you’re celebrating, you may well be thinking about having a little mid-crisis rebrand yourself. What you’ll also want is their £60 birthday package for two that includes cocktails from Three Sheets bar, nibbly bits, a ragu, a side, a bottle of wine, and sticky toffee pudding. Delivery is London-wide and, to be honest, we’ll be ordering it birthday or not.
Look, there is nothing - we repeat, nothing - wrong with spending your birthday solo downing passion fruit margaritas whilst reenacting the hasta la vista baby, Terminator scene with your cat. Sure, Mr Tiddles might need to work on his Arnold Schwarzenneger impression, but Taqueria in Notting Hill has the margaritas and tacos covered. You can order here and look out for their set menu deals.
Put down the pipette. We repeat, put down the pipette. And don’t even think about putting those micro herbs on your spag bol. You’re not a fine dining chef, but the folks at Pidgin are. Every Sunday this neighbourhood Hackney spot is releasing four days worth of fancy three-course menus for to pre-order for the following weekend. All you have to is set a reminder and hit this link for a stylish, celebratory meal.
No, this year you can’t go to the pub on your birthday, but yes the pub can come to you if you’re either within 2.5 miles of The Camberwell Arms, or you want to swing by and pick-up. Alongside essentials, the go-to south London gastropub is selling our kind of classic birthday bundle: beef and bone marrow pie, mash, wine, and a galette to finish. Order that, some bubbly, and whatever else takes your fancy from their website.
Missing your mum on your birthday? Then La Mia Mamma’s ‘pacco di mamma’ is the next best thing. This mamma’s package is a whopping amount of food, including portions of aubergine parmigiana, handmade ricotta and burrata, croquettes, pizza dough, pasta sauces, wine, and pretty much everything and anything your own mother would try to feed you after 78 courses of birthday eating. It’s available for delivery all over London from their website.
Obviously spending your birthday in a wine bar would be the dream right now, but buy enough wine, light a few candles, and order from Naughty Piglets in Brixton and you’ll almost, almost be there. This Brixton wine bar is taking 40 orders a day via 07964 538 982 between 2pm - 4pm, featuring handmade crab linguine and pork belly with XO sauce. Check their Instagram for menu details.
You know that gaping hole in your heart where your mad birthday party should be? Yeah, fill it with an 18-inch pizza from Yard Sale. Plus, if you don’t want to eat something called the Mush Be Love on your birthday, we’re not sure we can be friends. Their toppings include everything from fennel sausage to truffle oil, and they deliver from Hackney, Finsbury Park, Clapton, Walthamstow, and Leytonstone.
Sadly, Hide’s multi-course tasting menu experience isn’t an option for your birthday this year, but their cleverly named Hide at Home menu is. Call or email if you’re in the mood for a truffle-filled croque monsieur birthday brunch, or a full-blown scallops followed by suckling pig dinner.
The late-night Hackney wine bar is sticking to what they know and supplying pretty much everything you need for a good time, birthday or otherwise. They’re delivering set meals that you just need to ‘finish at home’, including parmigiana di melanzane, salads, focaccia, a very grown-up cheese situation, as well as countless bottles of wine.
Some of your most formative birthday memories have involved piri-piri chicken and fries, so why should this one be any different? Throw in a little Zoom with your mates and an order from Casa Do Frango, and you’re basically there. Just don’t forget a pastel de nata, it’s your birthday after all.
Your birthday fantasy might have involved a Vespa and excellent Italian wines. It probably didn’t involve an industrial amount of hand sanitizer, but that’s okay, because you can still make your whole grown-up Chianti moment happen by ordering in from Passione Vino. They’re now delivering across London with their #wineonwheels service, including aperitivo packs and plenty of independent wines.
If the whole theme of your birthday this year is just going to be the phrase, ’it’s five ‘o’ clock somewhere’, then take note because Top Cuvée are delivering cocktails across London. Their online shop has everything from natural wine survival packs to a magnum of negroni. That’s right, a magnum of negroni. If you live in Islington, you can collect, otherwise they’re offering same-day deliveries across north, east, and parts of central, as well as London and UK wide shipping.
The Sun Tavern
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, get pissed on your sofa, happy birthday to you! Celebrate your birthday with The Sun Tavern’s ‘quarantini kit’ which involves four large cocktail serves of either negroni, boulevardier, or old fashioned for £30. If your birthday has crept up on you this year due to, you know, time no longer existing, they also have free same-day delivery, plus plenty of beer too.
Beer, beer, and more beer - that’s what you can expect from Kicking Horse Craft Beer. As well as big 24 bottle cases, you’ll find plenty of mixed case options, the odd bottled cocktail, and cider too. Deliveries will be made in two working days and it’s free for all orders over £35, just be sure to order before 12pm on Thursday if your birthday falls on the weekend.
Nothing will fill the void of your friends and family on your birthday, except for an enormous tray of profiteroles and a multi-layered caramel cake from L’Eto Café. This patisserie has got a few locations over London, and their spread includes chocolate, sponge, layered cakes, and more.
Crosstown Doughnuts & Coffee
Look, no matter what you do - pop bottles, Houseparty with everyone you’ve ever known, thank your dog for the birthday present you bought and wrapped yourself - you’re going to end up back on the sofa. And when you do, you’re going to want a box of Crosstown Doughnuts next to you. Order selection boxes of six or twelve here. You want twelve.