Pie n’ Mash – Its a London Thing

As a London boy i grew up on pie n’ mash and thought the rest of the world did as kid. There were plenty of these shops, and let us be clear they are Pie n’ Mash Shops and certainly not called Restaurants.

In recent years they have falling into decline due to them not be in fashion or the soaring London rents. Of course we still have a splatter of shops knocking about and in true evolution only the best have survived. They have of late become a little more en vogue it seems, which can only be a good thing.

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So what is pie and mash and what is all the fuss about. Well it does all sound simple but it is not. The mash, ok this is mashed potato but the pie is a different story. A minced meat pie made with a heavy pastry, a little soggy at the bottom and crispy on top. Sounds easy but near impossible to make at home. Then we move on to what is called the liquor. This is a pale almost white parsley sauce, not thick at all with only a hint of green coming from the fresh herb. So there you have it, sounds simple and yes it maybe but it has a very distinctive vibe about it and as i said earlier, impossible to replicate at home.

To order is very simple, approach the counter and for example say double double, this will get you two pies and two mash on one plate, no need to ask about liquor, this you will get. So you got it right Single Double, one pie two mash – Double Single gets you two pies and one mash, simple isn’t it.

Collect your plate and head over to a table and on the way grab your spoon and fork, never a knife. Sit yourself down and now take your choice, pepper, salt and or vinegar. The pepper should be white and the vinegar can be regular malt or a chilli version. Now i do not put salt on mine, many do, but pepper and loads of vinegar are for me pretty much a must. Now get stuck in.

Jellied Eels, now these are fairly popular but not for me, i cannot stand them. As a kid i remember old men and woman slurping on them and that as well as I’m not a fan of cold river snakes in jelly, has firmly stuck in my memory. I also recall the eels being alive in a bucket or vat and fished out and chopped up. Give it a go if you like that sort of thing.

So who eats pie and mash? Well it is for sure a very working class London affair, with a splash of Londons diverse population who have caught the bug.

The Shops – These are designed in a very plan sort of way. The tables are narrow and white marble with lots of cast iron and or wooden, chairs and table legs. Several shops are very Art Deco and have now been made listed buildings. They are for sure plain but in many cases very beautiful and are a look into the past of London.

Shops are mostly found outside of central London, meaning not right in the west end but a little further out in the boroughs. They can also be found out east in Essex and south into Kent as far down as the seaside towns. So a very East and South London thing mainly.

Shops i could recommend.

Tooting 2 Selkirk rd SW17 OER

Goddard of Greenwich
22 King William Walk Greenwich, London SE10 9HU

G. Kelly
526 Roman road, Bow E3 5ES

7 & 9 Westmoreland Road
Walworth, London SE17 2AX

Chrisp Street, London

Manzes – 3 Shops

87 Tower Bridge Road SE1 4TW
105 High Street, Peckham SE15 5RS
226 High Street, Sutton SM1 1NT

Robins – 3 Shops

Basildon – Romford – Southend – Wanstead

Eastbourne – 22 Seaside Road Eastbourne BN21 3PA


If you have not tried Pie n Mash then you really should, you will either hate it or love it for life. If you hate it at least you would have experienced a taste of London food and real London Culture.

David Beckham and many of celebs cannot get enough of it, Mr Beckham like me was brought up on it and is hooked, unlike me he is super talented and got loads of dosh in bank. I am of course much better looking.

A couple of pie n mash lovers check them out