After a fabulous trip to London with my ex boyfriend this past October, I may have ditched him but not the memories of my favorite eats along that trip!
England has such a bad rep when it comes to food, but after doing a ton of research and exploring more, I am here to correct that myth and give you a few must tries when visiting across the pond.
In no particular order…
Location: Chelsea, London
Type: Italian sit down
Scalini’s is one of the best hidden gems I have ever found… and when I say found, I mean when my wonderful Virgin Airways flight attendant recommended it to me. The fresh bruschetta waiting on the table for you is enough to hook you for life. Highly recommend starting with the Fiori di Zucchini Primavera and my two favorite pastas are the Rigatoni Perestroika and the Tortellini Gorgonzola. JUST GO. Reservations recommended.
2. Bob Bob Ricard
Location: SOHO, London
Type: English, sit down, elegant
Besides being a very instagramable spot with buttons at each table reading “press for champagne”, the food shocked me and was delicious. The menu is very limited but everything was delicious and dining here is an experience!! Besides the obvious must do of champagne, I highly recommend trying their Russian Distilled Vodka Shots at -18 degrees celsius. After eating an excessive amount of meat days prior, I opted for the vegetarian options and was not disappointed, so my non meat eaters take note! The waldorf salad, the crushed peppered sweet corn and truffled mashed potatoes were out of this world… and of course in between all of those don’t miss out on pressing your “press for champagne” button. Refills are necessary here. For dessert do not miss out on the flaming creme brûlée… yes it is really on fire and looks as good as it tastes.
3. BlackLock Soho
Location: SOHO, London with other locations as well
Type: Chops, appetizers, cocktails
This place has an amazing atmosphere and is in the basement of an old brothel.. how fun!! Start out and be adventurous with the Pre Chop bites. I am not going to lie, I am extremely picky and was very scared and borderline turned off by the idea of Pig’s head, but hey…when in London. You cannot go wrong with any of the chops and what is so fun is they list the size and availability of all of them on the walls so you can make your choice based on that. My favorite side was the kale and parmesan salad.. so much that I ordered two. Clearly I wasn’t getting my veggie fix on that trip. An honorable mention for sides is the beef dripping chips. The Short Stories cocktail was unreal, and I am an egg white lover so the mix of that tequila, aperol and grapefruit was a slam dunk in my world. Let us not forget about the most important part of any meal, dessert. From what I gathered they do not have a set dessert menu, so order whatever is made that day. We had some sort of a strawberry cake thing that I really don’t even know what it was, but if I wasn’t so full I would’ve had 5.
Location: Shoreditch, London
Type: Speakeasy with live music
Changing up the pace a little bit, Nightjar is a hidden gem in London! This speakeasy is so swanky and has live jazz and blues music nightly to pair with cocktails and spirits. Reservations are a must and so worth it!! I will not even bother to make any recommendations on cocktails as you cannot make a bad choice. My only recommendation is to go thirsty and with a designated driver or ride so you can enjoy all the amazing tastes thoroughly. Every drink is served in a super unique way with edible parts making it more than just a drink- more like a complete experience. For food, the menu is limited and made for tapas and bar snacks that pair perfectly with all the fun cocktails.
5. The Wolseley
Location: Mayfair, London
Type: European Cafe
I had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast at The Wolseley and fell in the love with atmosphere. I felt so spoiled and like I was I Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as an eccentric cafe society girl. The avocado toast was a must with english breakfast tea. A visit here and you will not be disappointed. Reservations recommended. Location is fantastic and there is a ton to do within walking distance from here.
6. Cutter & Squidge
Location: SOHO, London
Type: Bakery and Tea, Casual
My first visit to Cutter & Squidge was celebrated with a themed Genie Tea party. My first recommendation, is to keep an eye out for their “Afternoon Tea Parties”. They are so fun and put a fun spin on afternoon tea. If you are anything like me, traditional is cool and all but changing it up and doing something unique is a lot of fun and makes for a good story. If you do not make it to a tea party, make sure to stop in for some goodies.
7. Borough Market to Nana Fanny’s
Location: Near London Bridge
This market is absolutely fantastic and fun to walk through. I am pretty sure you can’t make a bad choice with trying things from each vendor. My favorite though was Nana Fanny’s for a salt beef beigel. Yes I spelled beigel that way 😉 and make sure to add cheese!!
So there you have it. No rhyme or reason for only 7, other than these all exceeded my expectations and are musts for your London culinary experience. Of course, I am sure you could find michelin star restaurants that are fancy and perfect, but for the everyday eater looking for a cool experience, good food and drank, then this is your list.