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London Restaurant Ideas

Hello all,

My family of 5 is traveling to London for the first time in April. We are pretty much all planned and just would like some restaurant suggestions. We are somewhat adventurous eaters but not too crazy. Looking mostly for lunch and dinner ideas.

Thank you very much!

Posted by
4303 posts

What is your budget and in which areas? Anything you don’t want to eat? Anything you really want to try?
London has a huge restaurant “scene” so you could get 100 recommendations and still not even start! :-)
As a start have look at some restaurant review sites. TimeOut London and Hot Dinners are both good places to start.

From this locals point of view
Indian- Dishoom, Roti Chai, Darjeeling Express, Masala Zone. If you have money to burn Cinnamon Club, Gymkana, Kricket
French(ish)- Brasserie Zedel, The Ivy, The Wolseley
Noodles- Shoryu Ramen
Chinese ( Szechuan) Baozi Inn
Meat- Blacklock, Flat Iron, Hawks moor, Montys Deli
Italian but more regional- Polpo, Tozi.

Lunches-Pret a Manger, Eat, Marks and Spencer food halls/supermarkets for prepared sandwiches and meal deals. Waitrose and Tesco also do good deals.

Don’t have fish and chips in a pub!

Posted by
722 posts

Locals may have other fish and chips recommendations. I enjoyed "non-pub" fish and chips at Golden Union on Poland Street http://www.goldenunion.co.uk/ and at Fish! Borough Market takeaway. https://www.fishboroughmarket.com/

Agree with Emma's suggestion of checking out the department store food halls or grocery stores. At Marks & Spencer you can cobble together a picnic lunch and eat it indoors at one of their tables or bag it to go if the weather is cooperative.

Posted by
7881 posts

We return to Punjab (Indian) in SOHO nearly every visit. Favorite gastro pub, so far, is The Queen’s Head near Piccadilly and Pret a Manger is often a lunch stop for us. Also love the cafeteria under St. Martin in the Fields.

Posted by
3118 posts

Real Fish and Chips are in their own places not pubs. Not far from Westminster Abbey is The Laughing Halibut, 38 Strutton Ground. The food is delicious but know that these fish and chip places are more like going to a simple luncheonette or a diner. We always stop by there when in London. Our grandkids loved it too.

Posted by
4205 posts

Mentioned already if you like Indian then Dishoom and Punjab.

If you like Spicey chicken then the Nandos chain.

I like pub grub and yes children are allowed, even dogs. You’ll see entire families dining in pubs.

I also am a huge fan of Pret a Mangers. Discovered their chicken salad salad last trip and ate at least 4 during my stay. Also like the chicken avocado sandwich with a packet of crisps. Easy to enjoy while sitting on a bench outside Kensington Palace people watching near the Round Pond. Or on the Jim Henson bench in the Hampstead Heath with a lovely view of London. My point? Easy to picnic with Pret A Manger offerings.

Food stalls at the West Yard Of Camden Market are fun.

Pizza Stop at Spitafields.

Another chain with good food is Bills.

If you really want to experience the ethnic ambience off the variety of food offerings you can enjoy in London then take a gander at this useful website:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.standard.co.uk/go/london/restaurants/cheap-eats-london-food-meals-dinner-under-ten-pounds-a3994566.html%3famp

You will not go hungry in London.

Posted by
319 posts

London has fast become a foodies destination and you can eat well at many different price points. You have already had some great recommendations. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Borough's Market: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/. One of Britian's most renowned food markets, it is a great place to pick up picnic supplies (amazing selection of local cheeses, meats, breads, ...). They also have stands with prepared food. Paella is fantastic as are the oysters. They are open Monday to Saturday, but the full market with all the local farmer stands are from Wednesday to Saturday. Check on their events as well. This is also a great place to buy souvenirs for the food lover in your lives.
  • Anything from Ottolenghi: https://ottolenghi.co.uk/. This chef specializes in fresh and local produce and has three locations with great salads, sandwiches, desserts to eat there or take away. He also has two restaurants. We went to Rovi for our anniversary, what a treat. Great casual vibe, delicious and flavorful vegetable and wood-fire led menu. I have several of his cookbooks and enjoy his food at home, but there is nothing like trying distinct flavor combinations at a restaurant. If you go to Rovi, book in advance as this place gets crowded.
  • Brick Lane, Beigel Bake: https://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/brick-lane-beigel-bake. They sever tasting and filling beigels 24 hours a day. They specialize in the salt-beef, carved from directly in front of you, slathered with spicy English mustard, it is filling, but so delicious, you might be tempted to order 2.
  • Poppies fish & chips (various locations in London, but love the Spitalfields location: http://poppiesfishandchips.co.uk/. They are a family-owned mini-chain serving delicious fish and chips served in newspaper (note it is not real newspaper, it is food safe wrapper that mimics real newspaper). My friend is a mushy pea connoisseur and these are his absolute favorite mushy peas in London (and he tries so many).
  • Bao: https://baolondon.com/. I have only eaten at the Soho location and they don't take reservations, so go early for some of the best buns London has to offer. They have a very affordable pre-fix lunch menu, so if you are near Soho at lunch, I would recommend making a stop. Dinner time is it super crowded and might not be worth it for a family of 5. They have a restaurant in Fitzrovia that does take reservations.
  • Beriut Express: off Old Brompton Road, just steps from the South Kensington tube, it is a great place for dinner if you are in the Knightsbridge/South Kensington area. Fresh and festive Lebanese that is meant to be share. Also very reasonably priced. Here is the link: http://www.maroush.com/restaurant/beirut-express-old-brompton-road/
  • St. John's Bread & Wine Spitalfields: https://stjohnrestaurant.com/a/restaurants/bread-and-wine. They are a nose-to-tail restaurant and a bit pricy for lunch/dinner, but breakfast is amazing. Their bacon sandwich was at one time voted the best in Britain and it is worth the trip to the East Side. Also, save room for their doughnuts. My dad was in the doughnut business and this is the only place that I have eaten doughnuts that come close to his. If you can't finish them, they are even good the next day (not greasy at all).
  • Tate Modern: I love their restaurant. It has a great view of the Thames and excellent food. I keep going back for the mussels, but even if you take a break for coffee and a sweet, it is worth a visit.

There are so many more. TimeOut and Eater London are my go to resources for recommendations. Eater London is great because you can search by location (lunch and dinner options), so often you want to eat where you are siteseeing. Also, I use Eater as a guide when I travel, I have found great restaurant and food ideas at different price points in cities all over the world.

Bon Appetit,
Sandy

Posted by
1283 posts

Tea for lunch or dinner? Our favorite is Fortnum and Mason, but it's pricey. I don't remember if anyone's mentioned it, but Harrods has lots of take-out choices, an ice cream parlor and a pizza place. Our 23 yr old daughter has been to London twice in the past 4 years and raves about Marks and Spencer sandwiches and the Harrod's establishments. Museums usually have places to eat-my favorite is the one at the Imperial War Museum(I like the food better than the museum!)

Posted by
3224 posts

I always visit The Wallace Collection nr Portsmouth Square for the museum collection and the fabulous restaurant cafe under the atrium. The museum has no entrance fee but a wonderful exhibit is a pleasure to see bef or afternoon a meal or tea. tea is a mere 22 GBP which is a gd value when compared to another places. Meals are vgd and well priced considering the quality and selection. It is my place to go
When in London. Maybe it will work for you.