When most people think of London, they don’t necessarily think of good food. Tourists traveling to London tend to go for the sites and shopping rather than the good eats, but London now has an interesting burgeoning foodie scene. Aside from the typical pub grub, a number of hip spots have arisen, making London an interesting destination for the traveling foodie. My trip to London in fact, was filled with great eats and local foodie spots.
Here are a few of the top spots we were taken to or advised to go to while on our trip there last week.
Best Small Plates: Lupins
Hidden in the recently built up area of Flat Iron Square in London, Lupins is a quaint upstairs tapas (small plates) style experience. The restaurant is set in one of the beautiful brick railway arches near London Bridge, and we honestly never would have found it without being invited to dinner there by Matt’s cousins who are local Londoners.
Each small plate is exquisitely plated and has an interesting mix of flavors. Lupins doesn’t stick to one culinary style, but instead adds a bit of global inspiration to British fare. The highlight of our meal was the pigeon, which was definitely not your average city pigeon, but a slowly cooked and extremely succulent meat, unlike anything I have tasted. An added plus is the excellent wine list which includes wines from all over the world to accompany your meal.
Menu Highlights: Roast Pigeon, Ceviche
Best Breakfast: The Table Cafe
Many folks in the twitter realm have compared The Table Cafe to the famous and much more expensive River Cafe; however, The Table Cafe located on Southwark Street should really stand on its own. Matt and I stumbled into this small architecturally unassuming modern restaurant after hunting for an English breakfast spot in what felt like every pub in the area. Hungry and tired, we settled for what was definitely not a pub, but was still serving breakfast at 11 AM.
Everything from the coffee to the griddled haloumi on my benedict was perfection (I ordered the Eggs Fallow), and Matthew finally got his full English breakfast with a gourmet twist. The presentation was beautiful, which included our perfect cappuccinos, and led to tastefully plated eggs benedict with a twist for me and classic English brekkie for Matt.
Menu Highlights: Eggs Fallow, The Borough Full English
Best Market/Street Food: Brixton Village and Market
This is your go-to if your craving amazing eats from around the world during your stay in London. This market style area of Brixton is filled with amazing colorful and tasty stalls offering international eats and treats. It’s hip and affordable, making it a great stop for travelers on a budget.
Guided by my bestie, knowledgable foodie, and recent London transplant Citlali, we headed to relatively new spot, The Joint, where we enjoyed some of the best wings I’ve ever tasted, which is say something as I typically don’t like wings. The highlight was the 16 hour pulled pork burgers served on a succulent yellow bun. I’m just going to say that the homemade bun (I think it was potato tumeric) is the best bun I have ever tasted, and 16 hour pork roast with Asian slaw was also unbelievable. Who knew London did great BBQ?
Brixton Village has much more to offer, however, other spots to try include: Mama Lan’s Chinese, Elephant for Pakistani food, and Jalisco for some local £1 tacos.
Menu Highlights: The Asian pulled pork from The Joint is a must!
Best Historic Bar: Gordon’s Wine Bar
Tucked away beneath Covent garden, Gordon’s Wine Bar may be one of the oldest and most beautiful drink spots London has to offer. Gordon’s has been around since the late 1800s, and is located below street level in a series of tunnels and caves, which used to be the cellar of the 17th century house that was once inhabited by Samuel Pepys. The bar is still family run, featuring wooden tables with candles set in wine bottles to allow some light into the underground space.
The wine list includes a number of different options including quite a few varieties of sherry, port, and madeira. There are also some light lunch and snack options including salads, cured meats, cheese, and bread.
We went in the early afternoon for a late lunch, but apparently this spot gets pretty packed in the evening, so plan accordingly.
Menu Highlights: Cheese Platter, Excellent wine list