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Similar to Paris and other major capital cities, London has 10,000+ restaurants to choose from. However, unlike Paris, food in central London is pretty expensive. Our recommendations below focus on being affordable (£10 per person or less) while exploring the cultural breadth of cuisines on offer.
Cocktails & Drinks
London is the cocktail capital of the world as seen from the World’s Top 50 Bars list. Each drink will knock you back 10-15 quid but who cares when they are that delicious. Great places to chill out with your significant other or with friends. Our pick is Nightjar (book a couple of weeks ahead). Of course, visiting a traditional pub for a pint is also in order when visiting London.
- A foodie trip to London is incomplete without visiting Borough Food Market near London Bridge station / The Shard for an extended lunch. Scores of food stalls both takeout as well as producers mean you will walk away stuffed. We have a bunch of recommendations but it’s best to explore on your own & find your own gems.
- Among the Borough market producers, we love Drunk Cheeses (Italian method of aging cheese in wine), Bath Soft Cheese, the Turkish Delight guys & the fruit stalls. If you have your own flat / AirBnb on holiday, we highly recommend cooking a meal at home with produce bought from the market (we made the mushrooms pictured in the featured image for breakfast, it was delicious).
- There are a few other food markets in London to checkout namely the Spitlafields Market & the Saturday Broadway Food Market.
Tea (includes Afternoon Tea)
- To UK’s other favourite drink, Tea. Buy some from Fortnum & Mason near Picadilly Circus / St. Pancras station. We just love the Smoked Earl Grey tea.
- Try having atleast one Afternoon Tea in London. All the 5* Hotels provide a fancy experience if you have the money to shell out. Our pick is The Montague on the Gardens near the British Museum, a superb & yet not pricey Afternoon Tea experience. The Devonshire clotted cream that come with the scones is so good, you should finish one helping & ask for another one. On summer days, this hotel opens up its Garden for Afternoon Tea. A very delightful place indeed.
East Asian Food (Chinese, Japanese & Korean)
- It’s no secret that we LOVE east asian food. An economical but exciting food hotspot is the Leicester Square Chinatown area. Dim Sum lunches are some of the best in England & even outside of East Asia. We had some of the best dimsum at this map reference (a line was snaking out, you’ll see which one it is).
- Another thing found with relative ease in Chinatown is good Bibimbap (Korean rice bowl). The restaurant with the same name in SoHo makes pretty good stonepot Bibimbap. We’ve also had decent bibimbap in Assa in Chinatown.
- Both Kanada-Ya & Ippudo near the British Museum provide an authentic Ramen experience (the real deal, not cup noodles) & help us ease the pain of not having access to Samurai Noodle in Seattle.
- Tip: Reach Kanada-Ya by 11:40 AM to be in line for the first seating at noon.
Indian / South Asian Food
- Based on the internet’s recommendation & our hunger for proper Indian food after just flying to the UK from the US, we went to Lahore Kebab House. We were not disappointed. It’s Nihari (a mutton shank dish that’s extremely rich) was our pick of the dishes.
- Brick Lane is famous in London for its Curry houses but we do not have a recommendation as we’ve had no meals there. But it is good for South Asian spice shopping.
Honourable Mention: Fish & Chips from North Sea, the takeout section (half the price of sit in) near Kings Cross station. Take your fish & eat at the Kings Cross food court. We had Skate there which is so hard to find elsewhere.