In neither leftie Islington nor the 'Little Italy' of Clerkenwell, Exmouth Market was long known as a fruit'n'veg, pots'n'dishcloth market, its ironmongers, bookies and enormous pubs serving the staff of London's main Royal Mail sorting office, Mount Pleasant, one of the world's largest. Not any more. This 300-metre pedestrian thoroughfare is now home to 30 restaurants, with Greek, Indian, Turkish, North African, Italian, modern and traditional British, Iberian, American, Thai and Caribbean cuisines all represented. Moro The genesis of the manor's renaissance, this light, spacious restaurant has served award-winning fare in understated swishness since 1997. The food hints at North Africa, with starters such as calves' kidneys with morel mushrooms, peppers and yoghurt (#6.50 or about $97), or charcoal-grilled quail breast in vine leaves with orange and wheatberry salad (#6). The menu changes weekly, but staples such as wood-roasted middle white pork with roasted vegetables and quince aioli (#16.50), or sea bass and clams cooked in anis, saffron, fennel and almonds with Moros y Cristianos (#17), entice media regulars. A languorous three-course meal for two with espresso costs #70. Booking is essential. Tapas are available at the bar. Moro, 34 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL, tel: (44) 0207 833 8336; www.moro.co.uk . Brindisa Brindisa is undoubtedly the best Spanish deli in town, selling prime fresh anchovies, jamon, pickled pimientos, manchego, chorizo and best of all, Atlantic salt cod. It is a magnet for finer restaurants, such as the famous Eagle gastropub nearby, in need of authentic ingredients. Brindisa also offers cookbooks and cookware. The market is becoming an Iberian food and drink mecca, with Cafe Kick, the fusbol bar chain, opposite. Brindisa, 32 Exmouth Market, tel: 0207 713 1666; www.brindisa.com . Medcalf This temple to modern British dining, known as Britscoff, is just a year old, and occupies an old butcher's shop. Long and slim, it's a fine example of a British bistro, with wooden panelling, a high ceiling with milk-shed lighting, scruffily painted tables and iron stools, and banquettes at the rear. Starters include rock oysters (#14 a dozen), duck terrine with red-onion marmalade (#5.50) and smoked eel with quail-egg salad (#6.50). For main courses try the Welsh lamb rump with mushy courgettes (#13.50) or pork chop with red cabbage and potato fondant (#10.50). There is no dining on Fridays or Saturdays, just drinking and dancing. Medcalf, 40 Exmouth Market, tel: 0207 833 3533. Clark & Sons' Pie'n'Mash Pie'n'mash: perhaps the most definitive London dish and its most uncelebrated. This family-run establishment offers freshly baked eel and steak and kidney pies, among many others, topped by mash and liquer (pea juice) and prices are low (about #3). There is little decor if you don't count the pew-style benches, white tiled walls and four shelves of vinegar bottles sitting on napkins. For old London with more finesse, try the Quality Chop House for 'progressive working-class catering', where corned beef hash topped with egg costs #10, and Irish jellied eels #4.25. The place is now managed by a Frenchman; how times change. For yet more sophisticated Britscoff try Exmouth Bar & Grill, modern, slinky and with prices to match: a 14oz rib-eye steak with Roquefort costs #14.25. Clarke & Sons' Pie'n'Mash, 46 Exmouth Market, tel: 020 7837 1974. The Quality Chop House, 4 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3EA, tel: 0207 837 5093. Exmouth Bar & Grill, 55 Exmouth Market, tel: 0207 837 5093. $ Formerly a pub called the Penny Black, this is where Royal Mail postmen used to drink at all hours. Now like that other former artist, Prince, it has been ludicrously rebranded with just a $ motif. Nevertheless, it gives good value for money, not least in the cellar cocktail bar with sofas spreading into dimly lit bricked alcoves (drinks #6). The food served among the loud photo montages, on shimmering stainless steel tables, is international. Hence the foie gras and duck liver (#5), and intimidating 8oz burgers topped with jack cheese or guacamole (#7.50). $, 2 Exmouth Market, tel: 0207 278 0077.