Because hell knows no fury like a hungry drag queen!
Before your gorgeous night at The Glory, it’s probably a good idea to get some food in ya before all that high-heeled stomping, clapping, side-eyeing and frolicking that no doubt lies ahead. There are plenty of decent food options on our door step, some queer-owned too. So yeah, here are some of our favourites to get your appetite’s wet. Bon appetit baby!
1. Tonkotsu East
“Can I get a RAMEN in here?” – Yes you can.
This once-hidden gem under the Haggerston overground arches on Dunston Street is now one of several Tonkotsus around London. Jonny Woo is a HUGE fan of their Tokyo Ramen, and their low-lighting suits an off-duty drag queen just fine.
The restaurant’s owner is a proud lesbian and has sponsored our drag king battle Man Up in the past – what a legend! But we’re not biased, we used to eat here all the time even before we met the staff, they’re ramen is just hella good, and their side dishes are all yummy too.
If you find yourself in Soho there’s one there now – great for a bite before Soho Theatre, and they just opened another in Shoreditch. If there’s no Tonkotsu branch, is it even a place?
Top Tip: Try the chocolate, miso and Guinness flavoured ice cream sandwich made especially for Tonkotsu – it’s DIVINE.
2.Hoi Polloi at The Ace Hotel
This place is down the road a little in Shoreditch (it’s a good fifteen minute power march from The Glory, or if you’re in ten inch heels get a cab hun) but we like it a lot. The Glory has a long and lovely working relationship with Hoi Polloi, ran by sexy gay restaurateurs David Waddington and Pablo Flack, and the menu is as exciting as they are!
If the roast chicken is on – get that. The eggs benedicte with avocados on the side is great for a classy queen’s brunch, Filofax on one side, pen poised, executive realness! Many of the staff here are queer too – so you can enjoy a sisterly smile and a wink with your meal. Plus Grace Dent is a fan so keep your eyes peeled for her iconic beehive.
Top tip: Do the Cocktails. They’re nearly as good as ours!
3.The shop a few doors down
The shop a few doors down is good if you’re on a budget, have a penchant for knock-off Haribo or want to eat like a real life drag queen. John Sizzle is a devoted crisps fanatic and this local shop has a wide range of Pringles with a wide range of sell-by-dates – why not try to find your birth year.
Top tip: If you’re going to need fags later (cigarettes for American readers) then buy some here as this shop closes around 11pm and you don’t want to be begging kids for cigs at The Glory later, it’s not a cute look.
4. Chick N Sours
If you’re making a big night of it and fancy lining your tummy with some fancy fried chicken and dreamy carbs – look no further than this intimate joint! They play good tunes, have basement seating, and if you like people-watching there’s bound to be an eye-catching date or two going on.
Washed down with their house pisco sours, and then onto The Glory – drag shows for pudding – perfect!
Top tip: Chick N Sours have some decent veggie options – their deep fried aubergine in szechuan sauce is heavenly. Also when the receipt comes – look out for some temporary tattoos that come with it. So fash hun, so #Faggerston.
5. Island Social Club
Just two minutes walk from us this cafe Curio Cabal is a good place to get coffee and cookies during the day (disclaimer: cookies may be gone by 2pm, they’re baked fresh each day by a real pair of hands – shocking) The cafe staff are super social (shout out to Ryan and Bella!) and we love the fash-mag collage in their loos.
By night this place becomes Island Social Club where you can enjoy Marie’s East London spin on Caribbean food. The goat curry is gorge, so are the roti, and sometimes you just need to get stuck into some plantain.
Top tip: Roti Wednesdays offer great 25% off deals – so look out for those.
Photo: Jonny Woo shot by Phillip Prokopiou
Words: Jack Cullen