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7 Foods You Must Try in London

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The first time I went to London was in 1992 and we popped into a pub somewhere to try "British Food" and ended up with a sandwich consisting of 2 slices of white bread, a few slices of roast beef lunch meat, a pale piece of sliced cheese and butter. I wish I remembered what pub it was because I'd like to go back and see if they have redeemed themselves from that monstrosity. It was flat and tasteless.

Not all British food is bad and London has become a foodie city for the most part with wonderful places to eat from street food stalls to food halls to fine dining restaurants.

But, here are 7 things you must try when you're in London:

Fish and Chips - Of course, you must. If you really don't like fish, then skip it. But, otherwise, find some. Pubs will usually have solid fish and chips. But, there are some super star places around, too. Wherever you are when you're hungry, pull out that phone and go to Google Maps and search for "Fish and Chips near me" and see what comes up. DO, get the mushy peas- you'll probably only want a taste, but it's part of the experience. And, for the most authentic way, have vinegar on your chips.

Fish and Chips

Sticky Toffee Pudding - I make this every Christmas Eve and on other occasions. It's kind of like gingerbread but not gingerbread. Its base is made with ground up and softened Medjool dates. Once a friend said, "I don't like dates" when I was making it. But, then she couldn't stop eating it when it was done. The dates make it super moist and dense. "Pudding" means dessert so it's not like traditional American pudding in a bowl. It's a cake that you bake and then serve with a sticky, thick toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. You can also find it on the menu at many pubs.

Sticky toffee pudding

Sunday Roast - Nearly every single pub will have "Sunday Roast". Some are better than others and there are a few restaurants in London dedicated to the Sunday Roast every day of the week. But it's so traditional that you really need a reservation wherever you go. You generally get slices of roast beef (chicken and vegan nut roast are almost always on the menu, too), roasted or mashed potatoes, gravy, yorkshire puddings (like a popover - a crispy, eggy roll-like thing) and some sort of vegetable. Again, wherever you are going to be on Sunday, use Google maps to find a good pub near you to make a reservation for it. Sometimes you can get in without one right when the pub opens (generally noon), but after about 2 or 3, you'll definitely need to have a booked table.

Sunday Roast

Indian Food- some have said Indian food IS British food, now. Good Indian restaurants are all over. Brick Lane has a large concentration of them and Dishoom is so popular that wait times are long for dinner since they don't take reservations in the evening. Try the many curries but be aware of the spice level on them.

Indian food

Pie and Mash - or, if you're super adventurous - Eel pie and mash. Yes, eel.... But, you don't have to get eel pie. Get the British beef or lamb pie. There are lots of places (including pubs) that have pie and mash. But, my favorite place for it is Mother Mash. You can also get bangers (sausages) and mash. It's a hearty, traditional British dish that is making a bit of a comeback.

Full English Breakfast (also known as a Fry Up) - I wonder how many English people eat this very often. It's probably one of the unhealthiest breakfasts you can have, but it's something a lot of people want to try. Eggs, beans, toast, sausages (sometimes blood sausage), potatoes, British bacon (like thin slices of over-fried ham with some fat on it) sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes is what you usually get. That's a lot for my digestive system to process any time of the day but especially in the morning. But, you need to try it once. Often, hotels will have the components of this in their breakfast buffet so you can try the parts you want. But, if you skip the beans, you didn't understand the assignment - LOL

Full English Breakfast

Afternoon Tea - Check out my post about Afternoon Tea HERE It's definitely one of those things that you must try and there are places you must book, places that have a dress code and places you can just walk in and order. Heck, there are even buses and boats you can have afternoon tea on. But, it's a good way to get a variety of British things from Coronation Chicken Sandwiches to Victoria Sponge cake.

Afternoon tea

Make it your goal to eat every one of these things during your visit and you will leave having given your stomach the London feast you gave your eyes.

If you use my itinerary and planning service, I give you restaurant suggestions for the areas you will be in each day. They are incorporated into your app and make it easy for you to decide where to eat! You can get to my services page HERE

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