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Eating In London

Explore and enjoy the food options in London

Pro Tip

Don't get too hung up on making reservations every night.  London has plenty of delicious food choices all over the city.  You don't want to be enjoying the Tower of London but have to leave early to get to your dinner reservation in Kensington. There will be plenty of great places to eat around the Tower. 


Reserve at a few places you REALLY want to eat at and then leave the rest up to discovery.  Weekends are when you're most likely going to need a reservation. 

Fast Casual Dining and Take-Away

Ole & Steen - Danish food that is our favorite place from Denmark.  Open faced sandwiches, coffee, salads and pastries

Pret A Manger (known as Pret) - they are everywhere.  Great for a grabbing a sandwich, salad or drink on the run.  We get breakfast there a lot if the hotel doesn't offer it or it's not that good. 

M&S Food Halls - stand-alone or in their stores.  Lots of premade food for grabbing something quick. 

Five Guys - I know, but I like them and they are consistent when you just don't want to look for something else

Pizza Express - they have a fast lunch with a pizza pocket and salad

Grocery Stores - often have meal deals where you can get a sandwich, chips and a drink for a low price. 

Museum and Church cafes - The Cafe at the Crypt in St Martins off Trafalgar square is supposed to be really good

Nandos - peri-peri chicken dishes - I guess it's a bit African. 

Itsu and Wagamamma - Fast Asian - much of their menu is plant-based

Paul and Gail's - bakery cafe's 

Leon- healthy fast food with an attitude of sustainability.



London is a melting pot of cultures, and as a result, there is a diverse range of food available in the city. If there is a cuisine you want to try, you'll find it in London.  The choices are endless.  There are even quite a few culinary tours if you'd like to take a deep dive into London food.  And, of course, you can find a tour for Pub Crawls - always a popular London activity!   Here are some of the most popular types of food you can find in London:

British cuisine:

London is home to some of the best British cuisine, including classic dishes like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie. We love Mother Mash for traditional British Pie and Mash.  We eat there at least once on every trip.  The Ivy is also classic and upscale and has several locations.  And, for pub fare, check out the Nicholson's group of pubs.  They have purchased classic pubs around London like The Blackfriar and they serve consistently decent pub fare in cool places.  It's maybe not the best pub food, but it's some of the best pubs for ambiance.  If you want a unique experience, check out the dinner cruise on the Thames.  I'd say that's pretty British!  For those wanting a food tour, there is an East End walking food tour  and a traditional British food tour where you get the try a lot of different foods.  ​

Indian cuisine:

London has a large South Asian population, so you can find some of the best Indian food in the city. From curry houses in Brick Lane to fine dining Indian restaurants in Mayfair, London has something for everyone.  Dishoom and Veeraswamy are names that come up often  Dishoom is hard to get into - they take reservations until 5pm so go early. Otherwise, every location has a wait that can be up to 2 hours.  But, it's so good.  Veeraswamy is considered the oldest Indian restaurant in London and has a Michelin Star.  It's higher end and has a lovely view over Picadilly Circus.  If you want some delicious "street food", check out The Kati Roll Company on Poland Street.  I dream of their chicken tikka rolls with the green chutney.  The place is a hole in the wall with cool vintage Indian movie posters on the wall and is full of people from that region so you know it's good.  Be prepared to take it away if you can't get a seat at the few tables.  

Asian cuisine:

London has a vibrant Chinatown, and you can find some of the best Asian food in the city here. From dim sum to Szechuan-style hot pot, there's a wide range of Chinese cuisine available plus all the goodies from other regions like Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.  We haven't eaten a ton of Asian food in London.  But, our favorite restaurant has a branch there. Check out Din Tai Fung.  It's so delicious and higher end than some of the eateries in the area.

Italian cuisine:

London has a large Italian community, so you can find some of the best Italian food in the city. From classic pasta dishes to wood-fired pizza, there's no shortage of Italian cuisine in London. Check out La Mia Mamma for classic Italian dishes that rotate by region or our favorite pizza place, Arancina.  They are located in Notting Hill and they serve a mean Roman-style pizza.  Once piece is HUGE and we've actually shared one at times for a light lunch.  

Middle Eastern cuisine:

London has some of the best Middle Eastern food outside of the region, from Lebanese mezze to Turkish kebabs. DO check reviews because some of the restaurants are a bit run down to me.  But, there are lots of options nearly everywhere you go.  

Street food:

London has a vibrant street food scene, with food markets and pop-ups offering everything from burgers to tacos to jerk chicken.

Take a trip to Borough Market - a foodies paradise or the food stalls at Camden Market.  There are several food halls like Kingly Court where everyone can pop in and get what they like and meet in the middle at the tables to eat.  

Afternoon Tea:

Afternoon Tea (not High Tea - that's something not as fancy as it sounds) is not really something British people do very often.  It's an old-fashioned thing that is usually now reserved for special occasions.  It's largely become a tourist thing now, and therefore, comes at tourist prices.  You can go high end with Claridges (home of the original tea), Fortnum and Masons or The Ritz (dress accordingly  - some have a dress code or suggestions).  Or, you can go lower end with the walk-in version at many Cafe Concerto locations in London.  Expect to pay more than you normally would for a lunch.  You are paying for the experience more than the food.  Cream Tea will be less expensive and consists usually of just scones and tea - no sandwiches.  If you want a couple of unique tea experiences, check out Bridget's Tea Bus (I did it and it was so fun) or a tea on a boat. 

Here are some other suggestions for enjoying Afternoon Tea while in London.  It really is a fun experience!  

One of the reason I LOVE London is because it has a diverse range of delicious food and there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking for classic British cuisine or international flavors, you're sure to find something you'll love in London.  Wherever you are, check Google to see what's around you and then read the reviews to see if it's good.  We have discovered some delicious gems this way.  

Image by Tomas Anton Escobar

Tipping is optional in many cases but it's becoming more expected, though.  DO pay attention to your receipt.  Many restaurants are adding a "voluntary" service charge to every bill. If that's on the bill, don't bother to tip. Or, you can request that it be removed if service wasn't good or you want to make sure your server gets the bulk of the tip and want to give it to them directly.  It's sneaky and I don't like it because few will be bold enough to ask it to be removed if they notice it at all.  

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