spitalfields mkt is a brisk ten minutes walk from work for me, and i've been lunching there twice, sometimes thrice a week.
no, not at bubba's - whose from arkansas and grills up reasonably decent burgers. i found out about bubbas existence from this very site - where else - from another expatriate american, starving for the taste of home. but in the magic circle that is chowhound, i arrived one day too late for bubba, who closes by two thirty. hungry as all hell, i couldn't bring myself to eat at the vapid looking indonesian/hungarian etc food stalls in the market, so i resignedly went next door to bubbas, cafe medittaraneo.
god bless bubba's for being closed. cafe meditteraneo, run by syrians, is a FIND. they advertise themselves as organic, and the food doesn't come as cheap as you might think looking at the cramped stall and the hustling waiters. but it is excellent - even superb. for that part of the world, it is a small miracle.
get the chicken breast: wonderful slices, warm, moist and wonderfully flavoured; the accompanying garlic sauce ain't so bad either (but it isn't simply lebanese toom, its a lot more mayonnaisey). and the daily specials on the veggies leave me weak at the knees, two dishes especially: a)leeks and cauliflower b) spinach and chard
but you should go early, as they sometimes run out. and they'll cook whatever they can get fresh, so when the cauliflowers run out, for example, thats that.
seek these guys out - you won't be disappointed. theres someone making magic ... everythings got that feel of someone whose not just riffing by rote. london has plenty of lousy restaurants, but i'd put up our middle eastern restaurants against any other western city's. weird, huh? you'd have thought london would be the indian restaurant capital of the western world, but the middle eastern restaurants are unmatcheable here.
if you find this tip valuable - and i'm sure some of you will, given the coin you have to waste on most lunches in the city - then may i request you to buy a little goodwill? i'll match whatever you put up - not to be macho, but just to do my bit to keep this site going.