A Guide to London’s Diverse Food Scene
You heard it here first…despite any preconceived notions about British food, London is one of the world’s best cities for food. Part of this is a revival of traditions and local flavors, and part is its embrace of authentic global cuisine.
On my most recent visit, I planned the larger part of my day around where I’d be eating. I sought out exemplary gastropubs, expanded my curry repertoire, and even sat down for my first formal English afternoon tea. What follows are my recommendations for where to eat whilst in London, tried, tasted, and true and sourced everywhere from food blogs and chefs to local Londoners.
As a general rule, you’ll want to make reservations (sometimes as little as a day in advance.) The formality of the reservations system is a bit more alive and well in the U.K. than elsewhere. It can’t hurt!
So without futher adieu…
Classic British Fare
Your first priority (in my opinion,) should be the places that are creating exceptional modern British cuisine rooted in local traditions. Whether an established favorite or a newly opened hot spot, there are plenty of options to taste the best of Britain today.
- Fish and chips at Rock and Sole Plaice (my favorite)
47 Endell St. (Covent Garden)
- Fine British dining at The Game Bird (best I’ve had in London)
The Stafford Hotel, 16-18 St James’s Place (Green Park)
- The tasting menu at The Clove Club (with wine pairings!)
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St (Shoreditch)
- Go old school at Rules (one of London’s oldest restaurants)
35 Maiden Ln (Covent Garden)
- Or go new and trendy at Pollen Street Social (more affordable at lunch)
8-10 Pollen St. (Mayfair)
Pictured: Haddock and chips with mushy peas and a side of curry sauce // The signature dish at The Game Bird at the Stafford Hotel
- Kitty Fisher’s
10 Shepherd Market (Mayfair)
- The Anchor & Hope
36 The Cut (Southwark)
- Harwood Arms
Walham Grove (Fulham)
- The Princess of Shoreditch
76 Paul St (Shoreditch)
- The Sands End
35-137 Stephendale Rd. (Fulham)
- Flemings Mayfair
7-12 Half Moon St. (Mayfair)
- Sketch London
9 Conduit St (Mayfair)
- The Ritz
150 Piccadilly (Green Park)
A Proper Curry
(Best Indian food I’ve eaten outside of India.)
- Meraz Cafe
56 Hanbury St. (Spitalfields – just moved)
Locations in Shoreditch, Covent Garden and King’s Cross (Shoreditch is my favorite.)
7 Boundary St (Shoreditch)
42 Albemarle St. (Mayfair)
- Hoppers (Sri Lankan)
49 Frith St (Soho)
- Muhib (Brick Lane)
73 Brick Lane
Dinner with a View
- Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden
20 Fenchurch St. (The City)
- Babylon at Kensington Roof Gardens
99 Kensington High St. (Kensington)
- Duck and Waffle
Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate (The City)
- Coffee @ Monmouth
Locations all over the city, my favorite is…
27 Monmouth St (Covent Garden)
- Drinks underground @ Freud
198 Shaftesbury Ave (Covent Garden)
- Snacks @ The Kati Roll Company
24 Poland St. (Soho)
- Drinks and the venison puffs (trust me) @ Yautacha
15-17 Broadwick St. (Soho)
- Wine and scene @ Gordon’s Wine Bar
47 Villiers St (Covent Garden)
I’ll leave you with the two rules of eating in London:
1) Don’t skip the markets – at a minimum, stuff your face at Borough.
2) Never, ever skip the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
For favorite pubs, refer to this post!
For where to stay, including a gin hotel you can roll upstairs to, refer here!
Happy London dining!!