*Updated September 2015 due to receiving bad service at one previously nominated spot during a recent visit… so now there’s a new addition!
My favorite way to explore a city is by stuffing lots of food in my mouth. I’ve been successful at discovering London by eating-till-almost-barfing status since I’ve moved here and I have every intention on continuing (sorry wallet!) I get asked for food recommendations from readers all the time, so here’s a list of seven of my favorite food spots in London. I warn you that this list is always growing– check back in a few months and it will have increased in length, indefinitely…
1. Wahaca (Multiple locations)
I still can’t believe how many Londoners I’ve met that haven’t been to Wahaca before. It’s a chain of restaurants started by a MasterChef winner (the UK equivalent of Top Chef) which serves up tiny plates of Mexican cuisine. Order a few for yourself or to share, and dig in. The guac is SO, so fresh, the black bean quesadilla is probably my top choice, and if you have room, go for the churros for dessert. And don’t forget a drink– the Wahaca Mule is my go-to.
2. Borough Market (London Bridge)
It’s world-famous and worth fighting through the meal-time crowds if you can make it there. I love a good market and Borough has plenty of chose from no matter what you’re craving at the moment. I’ve tried a few different things, like a salted beef beigel (I must admit that I don’t think this one wasn’t as good as the one we tried on the Eating London Food Tour), some Pad Thai, and even a delish donut from a vendor who told us that just the day before his donuts made a Texan man cry. If I had to guess I’d probably say that story isn’t true, but it still tasted nice. Just don’t go on a Saturday because it’s just TOO CROWDED!
3. Refuel (Soho)
Located in the Soho Hotel, Tom and I ate at Refuel after we saw The Theory of Everything in their luxury cinema. We were happily stuffed after our three-course meal. The decor in the restaurant is fun, the staff are fantastic, and we loved every bit of the food. The menu seems to change so I can’t recommend what I tried but I’m pretty sure you’ll love whatever you order.
4. Bill’s (Multiple locations)
Another chain restaurant that’s so much more than Applebee’s. Bill’s is great for any meal, but I especially love walking down there on a Sunday, grabbing a table outside in the sun, and ordering up some brunch yums and a bottle of pink Prosecco. The menu offers up breakfast eats, burgers, and a mix of light and delish dishes. After my first visit in Brighton, I always go for the Halloumi burger, take my word for it, if you like this unique cheese then you won’t be disappointed.
5. Pizza East (Multiple locations)
Being from New York and having lived in Italy for a year, I’m picky with my pizza. The guys that run this joint were able to satisfy me though. Pizza East is a good lunch spot because, well, who doesn’t love pizza? If you’ve got a big group you’ll be easily accommodated because this place is pretty big. After your pizza you can opt for their rich salted caramel cake or hop over to BoxPark across the street for a doughnut from Dum Dums Donutterie.
6. Andina (Shoreditch)
The first time I went to Peruvian restaurant Andina, I was invited to learn how to make head chef’s Martin Morale’s legendary ceviche. I had never had it before and when I heard it involved raw fish, I almost didn’t give it a go, but even the one that I, this untalented chef, made was brill. After our class we had a three course meal that was so so SO good! And naturally I sucked down a few Pisco Sours which I think you’ll love too. Chef Martin also owns Ceviche, with locations in Soho and Shoreditch. Who wants to join me for a visit?
This lucky gal was treated to dinner at Benares for our second wedding anniversary. This Michelin-star restaurant in Mayfair serves gorgeous “modern Indian cuisine with a contemporary British twist”. For a special day or evening, this is the place to go.