Eating Well in London, Indoors or Out
15 January, 2015
The thing about London is that you can not only eat very well, but that you can eat almost anyplace, including the street, where food trucks and outdoor stalls abound. Take a stroll around the busy Brick Lanemarket in East London, especially on a Sunday, to glimpse and sniff the startling diversity of tempting dishes you can try in a city where you can snack 24/7 without repeating yourself. You might start with a good curry in Banglatown, an excellent Egyptian koshariin Boroughmarket, a mealy African ugali in Brixton Market, or a tasty Sri Lankan kothi-roti in the new Kerb Clubhouse in Hackney Wick, one of London’s best districts for “alternative” dining and shopping, where you can fill up on exotic food and drink for very little money in a very cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Why settle for a hot dog when you can have a wood-stove baked pizza at Fundi, traditional fish and chips at Proper Fish&Chips, or even an authentic Spanish paella at La Churrería, a Spanish restaurant on wheels you can usually find between Devonshire Square and Chapel Market on Angel street.
A must on Lexington street is the Asian restaurant Bao, specialising in a variety of steamed, stuffed pastries. There is often a queue outside, which says a lot.
The fashion for Latin cuisine is very much in evidence via the stands in street food markets where you can sample Mexican tacos and burritos, or tasty South American ceviche –marinated raw fish “cooked” in lime juice. For a more African experience and a huge variety of fresh foods you should visit the Ridley Street market in Dalton, especially on Saturdays, for unforgettable shopping and culinary experiences.
If you fancy sitting down indoors to enjoy good Spanish food in London, you should consider the Hispania, Ametsa, Ibérica,o r the new StreetXo.
You’ll have to book in advance to a chance to try London’s best gourmet hamburgers in Bar Boulud, a French-style basement bistro in the commercial district of Knightsbridge. The menu constantly changes to include the best foods in season, and it is famed for its sauces and puddings.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge.
New restaurants open every day in London and it’s hard to keep track, but a here are a few of the most promising:
The Attendant. The old public lavatories dating from the Victorian are now a hugely popular underground café, serving hot and cold dishes, both savoury and sweet. The atmosphere and the décor make it a unique spot to enjoy a drink, snack, or meal.
27A Foley St.
Cereal Killer Cafe. A unusual self-service café specialising in cereals served with different types of milk and toppings.
139 Brick Lane
Hixter. Great service, succulent steaks, artistic and imaginative décor, and a winning personality define this new restaurant near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre south of the Thames. It’s ideal for long conversations with friends over fine food and excellent coffee, and features its own bar.
16 Great Guildford Street
Jenius Social.Cooking and socialisation are a formidable combination at this unusual venue founded by Jennifer Yong, and “starring” chef Andrew Clements –a student of the legendary Jamie Oliver. It operates as a international cooking school, tapas bar, and delicatessen.
Studio 8, 6 Hornsey Street, Islington
Breakfast (with or without bed)
The Caesar. You can breakfast like a king (or queen) in Queens Gardens after a good night’s sleep in the eponymous hotel located near the Bayswater, Queensway, and Paddington tube stations. Functional, sober, elegant, and very attentive to guests, this is a wonderful venue for savouring a traditional British breakfast, though you can also choose a Spanish potato omelette (tortilla) or even more exotic items from the breakfast buffet.
26-33, Queens Gardens, Hyde Park
Your Afternoon Tea
Grand Café Villandry. This is where London’s cognoscenti do their people watching over tea behind the huge windows overlooking the busy street. For £18 per person on weekends you can have tea and a selection of sandwiches, biscuits and cakes, and pralines. And a glass of champagne!
12 Waterloo Place, St. James's
At The Shard you’ll have London literally at your feet, since you’ll be 309.6 meters above ground, Western Europe’s highest urban lookout point, with views in all directions. It’s especially impressive at night.
32 London Bridge Street
Report by Belén Parra. Gastronomistas.com
15 January, 2015