London’s best restaurant merchandise, from chic totes to cheeky tees

David Ellis
·4-min read
<p>Top tees: t-shirts from Yard Sale Pizza, with masks from Mama Shelter</p> (Yard Sale Pizza / Mamma Dough)

Top tees: t-shirts from Yard Sale Pizza, with masks from Mama Shelter

(Yard Sale Pizza / Mamma Dough)

Forget the faded Ramones tee — it’s time to come out in support of your favourite restaurant. Next week may mean hospitality can wiggle out from under lockdown, but it’s far from in the clear. After bossing takeaway and delivery, the industry has now turned its hand to retail; when every penny counts, merch is now a matter of make-or-break.

Every tribe has its own T-shirt; Pastaio have partnered with artists for theirs — our pick is the gnocchi number with Gucci branding (£29, pastaio.co.uk) — while Max’s Sandwich Shop has gone back to the Nineties for its Mutant Ninja Mega Sarnies shirt, and is printing more of its F*ck Sourdough and Saved By The Bell-inspired tees in time for Christmas (£25, maxssandwichshop.com). Trailer Happiness’s “We Rum Things” top takes inspiration from bottles of Lilt (£29, trailerh.com), and there’s more sandwich shop kit from Dom’s Subs (£25, impeccablesandwiches.co.uk) and Monty’s Deli (£15, montys-deli.com). If all that colour is a bit much, Tom Brown’s Cornerstone do a brand new black number that’s rather fetching. It’ll be released in December on cornerstonehackney.com.

Yard Sale Pizza’s range pays homage to their menu collaborations with Jessie Ware and Loyle Carner, among others, as well as their own cheeky sense of humour: “The Best 12 Inch Of All Time” number is one for someone with serious Big Dick Energy — more modest types may prefer the scarves (from £15, yardsalepizza.com), or the Sixties-style ASAP Pizza tee from the Flor boys, who also have a bag for fans of their first restaurant, Lyle’s (£15, lylesprovisions.com). Paddington hotel The Pilgrm have gone one further, offering unisex outfits made from offcuts; profits support homeless charity Centrepoint (from £65, thepilgrm.com).

Piglrm Hotel/Universal Works
Piglrm Hotel/Universal Works

If totes are your bag, east London bakery Cake Or Death do it best with their pink leopard print canvas carrier (£10, cakeordeath.net) while the Quality Chop House (£5, shop.thequalitychophouse.com), Bread Ahead (£10, breadahead.com), Luminary Bakery (£10, luminarybakery.com) and Chin Chin Ice Cream (£9.95, chinchinlabs.bigcartel.com) all lean into monochrome vibes. The Barbary in Seven Dials is the latest place to launch theirs, releasing their £8 tote yesterday (thebarbary.co.uk).

Other places are getting more creative. Islington’s Prawn On The Lawn do a range of baseball caps for seafood lovers (£20, prawnonthelawn.com); those more into their wine should hunt out headgear from Hackney’s Passione Vino (£25, shop.passionevino.co.uk). Of which, keep your bottles cool with Shop Cuvée’s wine sling (£16.99, shopcuvee.com). They also do t-shirts, wine glasses and sell copies of the Noble Rot magazine, which can also be bought on their official website.

Passione Vino
Passione Vino

No surprise St John thinks outside the box; besides aprons, tea towels, a tote and a T-shirt, they’ve also an ashtray painted with their famous pig logo — as well as a range of baby rompers. Expect a generation of babies to grow up with a taste for bone marrow on toast (from £13.50, stjohnrestaurant.com).

Mo Diner
Mo Diner

Kit out your kitchen as well as your wardrobe with Mo Diner, which has announced it will soon be selling plates, mugs, tea towels and matches with a coordinating ashtray (from £10, modiner.london), alongside earrings designed by Tatty Devine. Ottolenghi’s linen game is on point, with a range of napkins and tablecloths alongside plates and tumblers (from £18, ottolenghi.co.uk), and Levantine cooking from Ceru comes wrapped in a cloth designed to be reused as a small tablecloth — or better yet a scarf (kits from £40, cerurestaurants.com).

Still, if there’s one piece of restaurant merch to remember this year by, it’s the branded face mask. Imad Alarnab is selling his to help finance his forthcoming Syrian Kitchen (two for £25, imadssyriankitchen.co.uk), while hotel Mama Shelter has a playful range too, pictured at the top of this page (£10, mamalovesyou.com). Elsewhere, 50p from every mask Mamma Dough sell goes to the Movember charity (£6, mammadough.co.uk). Cover up for a good cause.