As one of the world’s most expensive cities, nearly everything in London is seemingly designed to empty your pockets. However, those who live in London know better than to eat at the ridiculously overpriced, low quality restaurants that clog up the areas around tourist hotspots. So, where should you head for a true taste of local flavor? Here are my top three picks for where to chow down in London and get a taste of the city’s multicultural melting pot at the same time.
A time tested classic
Photo by Camille Blais
Winner of numerous awards and with two convenient locations, the iconic Poppie’s is the place in London to get your mandatory serving of fish and chips with flair. Decorated like an old diner, with waitresses dressed up in gorgeous costumes from the 1950s, Poppie’s is so good that it’s even featured on the Eating London food tour. Do as the locals do and douse your chips with vinegar, and order up a side of mushy peas, too. If you’re lucky, Poppie himself will be there to regale you with a few anecdotes as you devour your masterfully prepared haddock and chips with a smile beaming across your face. Seriously, it’s that good.
For a little spice and flavor
Photo by Robyn Lee
If you’re a curry fan who can’t make it over to the Indian subcontinent, then London’s Brick Lane is your next best bet for an authentic mouthful of the fiery food. Brick Lane is packed full of restaurants that serve up food from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and competition among the restaurateurs keeps prices cheap and quality high. Whether you’re craving a creamy korma, blazing hot chicken madras or a chana masala, you’ll find it on Brick Lane. This is one place where you should listen to the touts – they’re not exaggerating when they heartily extol the culinary credentials of their workplace as they try to hustle you in on a busy Friday night.
To find where variety thrives
Photo by Karsten Seiferlin
London is overflowing with markets that serve up fresh fare at decent prices, but Camden Lock Market is a cut above the rest. A trip there is like taking a trip around the world, with food from places as far-flung as Mexico, Japan, Iran and Greece on offer. Be sure to listen for the Bang-Bang chicken man’s nasal recitals of pop hits and sample some of his food, in between helpings of burritos, souvlaki and duck curry. Camden Lock Market is one tourist hotspot where the quality of the food hasn’t been hampered by the hype.
Which one of these suggestions makes you salivate the most?