Rhona Wheatley lucked out when she became owner of The Workers’ Food Room at the start of 2017. The cafe’s existing concept married perfectly with what she’d envisaged for her own business. As a bonus, the 38-seater came with a vivacious team. All she had to do was hang charming paintings of Highland cows and thistles by artist Georgina McMaster, as an ode to her Scottish nationality.
Behind the counter you’ll find thick-cut sandwiches packed with cured meats and mozzarella; roast chicken with cos lettuce; pork belly and pickled carrot; or a stack of vegetables (a popular vegan option).
Middle Eastern-inspired salads change daily. Expect to see them piled high with turmeric cauliflower, green beans, caramelised pumpkin and grains such as freekeh or quinoa; then doused in tahini and decorated with fragrant herbs. Grab anything to go (along with any an intolerance-friendly sweet) and enjoy at Flagstaff Gardens nearby.
Or don’t. The warmth of exposed red brick and the scent of woodfired pizzas may entice you to dine in. The oven’s dying fire is ingeniously used to slow-cook meats overnight, to be ready the following morning, alongside smooth Rosso coffee and brunch dishes such as breakfast panna cotta and sous-vide peaches.
The Food Room stays open later than most in the area, becoming a wine bar on weeknights. Each of the wines has a story, and can be paired with some cheese or tapas. True to its name, The Workers’ is a great place for the legal district’s office population to wind down.