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Favorite London Restaurants

I'm sure this topic has been done and been done, but I'm guessing the new format is making searching tough for me...I didn't find what I needed.

I'm looking for some restaurant recommendations in London. We're going in just over a week, and will be there for only 4 days.

We're staying in the Bayswater area. We tend to go for local/healthier/seasonal fare when possible. We enjoy ethnic food, but only to an extent. I'm not very brave (no organs for me!), and don't care for seafood, especially sushi. We love Indian food. We need affordable recommendations; no Gordon Ramsay dinners for us! :-) I'd say we're good for up to 25 pounds per person, but we would prefer to keep it below 20 pounds if possible. Not sure how reasonable that is for London?

Thanks for any suggestions you have!

Posted by
1888 posts

Look on Graffiti section of this site under food for England and Ireland and you might find some ideas, we found it very helpful.

Posted by
2716 posts

Mela on Shaftesbury Avenue, Covent Garden, for Indian food.

Posted by
26061 posts

When I'm in London for the day I tend to one of two favourites - both likely off the tourist radar.

More times than not we wind up at the Soho location of Wahaca, an Anglo-Mexican-Mexican chain which specializes in sort of Mexican (specifically Oaxaca - see how they changed the spelling) street food and tequila. We particularly like the Wardour Street (Soho) location because of the fun toilets downstairs, the window views onto a typical Georgian lane, the staff is always on, and the nosh is pretty tasty - especially for my Texan expat wife.

If we don't pop into Wahaca we usually find ourselves just around the corner at the New World for Dim Sum. It is on the corner of Shaftsbury Avenue and Gerrard Lane on the border between Chinatown and Soho. The dim sum is not the very best in the world, and maybe not even in London, but it comes on little trolleys so you can just point and try. Beside the New World there is only one other London dim sum place still using trolleys. The staff, some we have seen there for over 10 years, know what they are doing and the food is fresh and tasty. Service is fast.

Certainly if you have a couple of pound notes to rub together you should be able to find something tasty in Soho. Just on Wardour Street there's also Busaba Eathai for excellent long-table Thai, Princi for fabulous long-table Italian, the Swiss resaturant, several Jerk joints towards Oxford Street, and many more I haven't listed. Branch out a street or two on Deane Street, Frith Street and the rest of Soho there are hundreds of top-notch places I don't have room for. Don't forget Bar Italia. Gelupo's not far off either, quite close to the first suggestion by Claudia above.

Posted by
4671 posts

Try the buffet lunch at Diwana Bhel Poori in Drummond Street near Euston. The evening meals are a bit less interesting but the lunch buffet is really good vegetarian Indian and very good value for money.

Posted by
26061 posts

Diwana Bhel Poori

Thanks for that suggestion, Philip. I've never been there but it is so close to Euston so I would give it a go when I have time in London. But I always check places I don't know against the Scores on the Doors app to see what the Hygiene officers had to say about the kitchen. You can imagine deflated I was to see a score of one on the zero-to-5 scale from an inspection in August. I may let it go a couple of months and see if it goes up. And all the reviews were so upbeat, including Time-Out ;-(

Posted by
3319 posts

We really like Brown's in Covent Garden...nice place with reasonable prices! Really good afternoon tea. There is so much good Indian food in London - there's a really nice place just a block or two behind the National Gallery off Trafalgar Square. Walk behind the museum on the right and continue up past the big, free-standing ticket kiosk...it's on the left-hand side of the street. It's quite good and reasonable prices for that area.

Posted by
1540 posts

I always stop at one of the Wagamama restaurants - great noodle shops.

Posted by
175 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions! I've been so busy with Thanksgiving that I've been away from computer, but I'm now adding many of these suggestions to our list! I can't believe I leave next Monday. Better get to finalizing plans!

Posted by
338 posts

Try a restaurant called Bumpkin (http://www.bumpkinuk.com/). It's all local and seasonal food. There are three or four locations around London. I've eaten at the South Kensington location and would recommend it.

Posted by
175 posts

Nigel, thank you thank you for the rec for Wahaca. It was one of my favorite meals of the entire trip, and I'm trying to remember all the components of some of the dishes we had so I can attempt to recreate them.

Someone else mentioned Wagamamas...that was another amazing meal for us, it was actually our first in London. Thanks!

I just wanted to pop back and say thanks for those recommendations, I feel like we ate so much better in London than I expected to (not because the food is not good, just because I'm not always great at finding the good food). Thanks!

Posted by
980 posts

Nando's is a chain like Wagamama's that serves grilled chicken with lots of yummy sides to choose from and also several sauces to put on your chicken, depending on spice level. They have quite a few locations in London so if you find yourself hungry and spot one close by, I recommend it. I love Wagamama's as well.

Posted by
175 posts

Oh, and Nigel, we did go to Busaba Eathai, but I hadn't written it down from here. We took a gastronomic tour and the guide recommended that for Thai, so we went and loved it! I honestly didn't think I would feel this way, but I can't wait to go back to London for all the delicious food we had.

I noticed that there is a Wahaca cookbook out, presumably by the chef who started it. Does anyone here know if there are actual menu items in it? I had a hard time judging based on the Amazon preview.

Posted by
980 posts

Nigel, I wish I knew about the story to Wahaca's. We stayed right by it in Soho but thought that if they couldn't spell Oaxaca right, then the food must be bad Mexican imitation. Good to know there is a good Mexican place in London!

Posted by
861 posts

Hope you had a good time. If you go again I would recommend The Queen's Head & Artichoke as a good place for local/healthier/seasonal fare (http://www.theartichoke.net/). This used to be my local pub when I was at UCL many, many years ago and has been upgraded to a gastro pub about 10 years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see it had matured better than I have since my university days! The food is what I would term modern comfort food, lots of meats, starches and veggies but with upgraded options beyond just beef and potatoes.

As for price, the most expensive thing on the menu is the Welsh organic 28 day hung rib eye with sweet potato chips, portobello mushroom, and green peppercorn sauce at 18.50, so keeping under the £25 per head should be no problem especially if you stick to tapas.

DJ

Posted by
114 posts

I would like to find the London version of Rome's "Insalata Ricca"! Has anyone found a place like that? A whole menu of something like 30 different salads to "eat like a meal:.