Between my nights of cooking Waitrose pasta trying to save money while studying abroad, I found myself incredibly intrigued by the food in London. I expected loads of shepherd’s pie and fish n chips but along with all the stereotypical British foods, I got an incredible variety of other foods from around the world.
The Markets – Camden, Portobello, Maltby, etc.
I plan on making an entire post about the different markets there, as there are loads. I couldn’t not put this option as number one on my list due to the incredible variety of food stalls you encounter with each different place. You absolutely cannot leave London without a trip to your local market. (my personal favorite is Camden)
In the heart of SoHo lives this tiny little slice of heaven. The portions are large and the prices are unbeatable, what more could you want? How this place works is you choose a flavor of mash and either sausages or a pie. My faves are the cheesy mash with the chicken, leek, and bacon pie. It’s all I have even wanted from comfort food, just plopped in my favorite part of the city.
I was blind to the world of Indian food before I was brought to this restaurant for a work party. If you want your typical, slightly cheaper and a little greasier Indian food, head to Brick Lane for loads of options, but if you’re looking for a bit more of an experience, there are several Dishooms across the city. I wish I could recommend a specific dish, but I let everyone order for me…although I clearly remember the stack of cheese naan I devoured! Their vegetarian dishes are absolutely delicious as well.
Come on, you didn’t think I’d make this list without a fish n chips place did you? Although my fave place for this dish is by the sea in Brighton, I would two million percent recommend Hook in the city. It is a little different than your average beer battered cod and fries, but that’s what I love about it. I happened to get the fish tacos (which is your avg fish & chips but cut up and combined with lots of other wonderful things) and a glass of their homemade raspberry lemonade with it. After returning to the USA, I happened to see this place on Food Network…so, it has to be good, right?!
One of the first places I went to eat in London on a little birthday date! One of the cutest atmospheres I’ve seen and also the place I first tried bangers & mash and fish pie. They have an extensive food and drink menu and it is located in such a beautiful part of the city. While waiting for our table we walked around saw plenty of beautiful architecture (and even my favorite, the gherkin!). I definitely recommend this one for a bit of a nicer dinner out.
As a Youtube and One Direction junkie, I had heard of this magical place called Nandos for years. I dragged a roommate with me one afternoon to see what this Portuguese chicken place was all about. Now I have a lot to owe to Nandos. It introduced me to the love of my life, halloumi cheese. Screw the delicious chicken and fries, you could find me ordering about 3 sides of it at each meal. In all seriousness though, I’d highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a quick place to eat that is a step above fast food but not quite fine dining. Love you long time Nandos.
This one holds a special place in my heart as it was where I spent my last Sunday morning in the city, all 5 of us crying over our coffee and eggs benny. The portions are outrageous and the atmosphere was just the best. If the line out the door for 30 minutes wasn’t a good enough sign, looking at the menu alone will surely convince you to stop in.
Any Pub on a Sunday Night
I feel like this is cheating again, but there are soooo many places in London to get a Sunday Roast. The one by me was called The Marquis Cornwallis and was always packed. Be sure to make a reservation in advance because as I learned, it will be near impossible if you stroll in at 6 o clock trying to be seated. My favorite part of the roast is always the yorkshire pudding, but it usually also comes with a choice of meat, veggies and potatoes. YUM!
How American of me is it to recommend a burger place on this list? This one is a chain all over London and I’m sure other cities but oh my god is it good. Their skinny rosemary fries and milkshakes are to die for and look, sometimes ya just need a good burger when it’s been 3 months without one. I almost hate myself for putting such a common place on this list but hey, I was trying to eat like the locals and I know they have takeout nights watching Come Dine With Me too.
Duck and Waffle (best brunch in the city)
The Eagle (in Farringdon)
Holborn Grind (for you coffee lovers)
Sketch (for tea & any lover of Instagram)
The Shard (if you’re going for a fancy dinner & touristy views of the city)
Wahaca or Tortilla (if you’d like a bit of Mexican)
One other thing I wish I knew about dining in London…takeaway is usually cheaper than dining in, something we aren’t used to in the US. You pay for the atmosphere and hardly ever see someone taking their food home in a doggy bag afterwards. I’d love to hear if you have any other places you would recommend someone in London! xx