Famous London Food What To Eat in London and Where To Eat It by JetSettingFools.com

Famous London Food: What To Eat in London (and Where To Eat It!)

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London food is as classic and diverse as the city itself. Travelers who seek out the best food in London will feast on a range of delectable culinary treats – which is a trip highlight for many visitors. From traditional roasts to exotic enticements, we have rounded up a list of the most famous London food.

Want to know the best places to eat in London? In addition to sharing our tips for what to eat in London, England, we also divulge which restaurants in London serve the famous foods.

 

Planning What To Eat in London on Your Trip

One of the things we like best about travel is tasting the local fare, as it gives us insight into the history and culture of a place – and it’s especially true in London. The nearly 2000-year-old city has a fascinating past, but today it’s a modern, multicultural metropolis.

Just as the city has evolved, so has the London food scene. London’s food reputation of being basic and bland (if not a little bizarre) has been replaced by a phenomenal melting pot of cuisines and some of the long beloved traditional eats have gotten a culinary upgrade.

As such, there is no shortage of good food to eat in London and getting a taste of the local London cuisine is a must for anyone visiting the city.

 

Making a Trip Plan for Where To Eat in London

With so many famous London foods, it is best to make a plan of what and where to eat in London, England on your trip.

Just like planning what to see and do, it is equally important to plan what to eat when in London. Our list of Must-Eat Food London will help point you in the right direction for the best things to eat, so that you can easily slot them into your trip itinerary.

In order to keep track of all the details as you plan your London trip, we recommend using a travel planner, like our Printable Travel Planner.

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com

 

London Travel Tips

Want more tips for traveling to London? Our guides our packed with our top travel advice!


 

Famous London Food FAQs

Before we get to our list of what to eat in London, UK, we want to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about dining in London.

 

What Do People in London Eat?

London is a massive city that is home to a variety of cultures and tastes – so there isn’t a simple answer to What do people eat in London? People in London eat many different things and some of the most famous foods in London aren’t native to the area.

The great diversity of London food is what makes it such a fabulous foodie city – but it does make it difficult to decide which things to eat in London, England during a trip.

Because not all London famous foods are traditional British eats, our list of London What To Eat features a wide variety of foods that local London people eat.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Eat in London?

The cost of eating in London will vary based on the types of meals you decide to eat during your trip.

That said, generally speaking, it is fairly expensive to eat in London. A traveler could easily spend upwards of $60 a day on food for fairly basic meals (and that’s not including drinks!). 

On our list of top places to eat in London, we include foods and restaurants that fit a range of budgets.

 

Are There Cheap Places to Eat in London?

Yes, you can absolutely eat cheap in London! Some of the most famous food in London is actually really affordable. Throughout our list, we highlight where to eat cheap in London – and offer even more tips for budget travelers at the end of the article.

 

What is the Tipping Culture in London?

Somewhat surprisingly, diners are now requested to tip about 10% at sit-down restaurants in London. However, tipping is not necessary at pubs (where you place your order at the bar) or at fast-food/take away establishments.

In many London restaurants, a service charge (usually around 10 to 12.5%) is automatically added to the bill, so either ask your waiter or look at the bill carefully before paying. Diners who wish to adjust (or remove) the tip must ask prior to paying, especially if using a contactless credit card.

 

What Is the Best Restaurant in London?

With more than 20,000 places to eat out in London, labeling just one London restaurant as the absolute best restaurant is an impossible task! The city boasts numerous excellent places to eat – in a broad range of prices and cuisines.

On our list, the restaurants that we highlight as the best places to eat in London are based on our personal experiences along with recommendations from locals.

 

Where are the Best Places to Eat at in London?

London is an enormous city – and when it comes to where to eat in London, the best restaurants are spread far and wide. To help fellow travelers pinpoint restaurant locations, we include a map at the end of the article that is marked with our London Famous Food top picks.   

 

Is There a London Food Tour?

Yes! There are several London food tours where guides lead the way to some of the most interesting places to eat in London. We feature a few of the top food tours in London later in the article – or you can find one for your trip on Viator.


 

FAMOUS FOOD OF LONDON

Now that we covered the need-to-know facts about eating in London, it’s time to jump into our list of Must-Eat in London Foods. Our rundown is separated into two categories – Traditional Classics and Modern Popular.

 

Traditional Food in London

There is an array of classic British food to eat in London – and we are highlighting the top local favorites.

 

#1 Fish and Chips

Must Eat London, Fish and Chips, Famous Food London, UK

Without a doubt, one of the top foods to try in London is a classic meal of Fish and Chips. The fried fish feast has long been a staple of the city’s cuisine. The dish dates to the mid-1800s when fresh fried fish and thick fried potatoes were sold together for the first time in London’s East End.

Soon after, chippies – the nickname for Fish and Chips restaurants – sprung up all around London. To this day, Londoner’s love of the fish and chip combo remains.

 

Best Place to Eat in London for Fish and Chips

Anyone looking for a plate of Fish and Chips can pop into the nearest pub, as the dish will surely be on the menu.

However, visitors who want a nostalgic chippy experience should go to Rock and Sole Plaice (the oldest chippy in London dating to 1871) or Poppies (a throwback diner with multiple locations).

 

#2 Afternoon Tea

High Tea, A must-do in London

A traditional meal of Afternoon Tea is one of the best things to eat in London during a trip – because it’s not just a meal, it’s a longstanding British custom. Served in the middle of the afternoon to stave off hunger between lunch and dinner, the meal consists of finger sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea…and it’s simply delightful!

Afternoon Tea can also be upgraded to include a glass of Champagne, as well.

Cream Tea is a lighter version of Afternoon Tea (and is offered at many places for a budget price). Rather than including finger sandwiches and cakes, Cream Tea is just tea, scones, clotted cream and jam.

 

Afternoon Tea Places to Eat in London, England

Afternoon Tea in London is served in several restaurants, hotels and tea houses. The mid-day ritual can be a fancy affair or a casual encounter – with prices to match.  

Travelers interested in a luxurious Afternoon Tea experience should book a table in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at the historic Fortnum and Mason, where they excel at providing an exceptional experience.

For something a little more casual and affordable – yet still superb – stop by The English Rose Café.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a unique trip experience, you can combine sightseeing and the famous meal on the Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. While riding the double-decker bus through London to top sights, passengers dine on sandwiches, cakes and scones and sip tea.

 

#3 Chicken Tikka Masala

Must Eat London: Chicken Tikka Masala, London Food

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the foods in London that perfectly exemplifies the melding of cultures through food.

Chicken Tikka originated as an Indian dish and is made of bite-sized pieces of chicken cooked in a tandoor oven. However, sometime in the 1960s, masala – a rich sauce of tomatoes, onions, butter and cream – was added to the dish to satisfy the gravy-loving English palate.

Today, Chicken Tikka Masala hails as the National Dish of England.

 

Where To Eat London Chicken Tikka Masala

A favorite London restaurant for Chicken Tikka Masala is Punjab. The Covent Garden eatery opened in 1947 and offers a range of Indian specialties. 

Visitors can also find Chicken Tikka Masala on many of the menus at the Curry Houses located on Brick Lane.

 

#4 Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding

Proper Sunday Roast, London, England, UK

One of the iconic foods to eat in London, Sunday Roast is a spectacular indulgence of traditional British fare. Typically only served on Sundays, the proper meal features a hearty meat, roasted potatoes and root vegetables – all doused in thick gravy.

The meal is always served with Yorkshire Pudding, which is similar to a popover dinner roll and is excellent at sopping up every last juicy bit of the feast.

 

Sunday Roast Good Places to Eat in London

Diners looking for posh places to eat in London for Sunday Roast should book ahead at one of the Hawksmoor restaurants. Known for their prime cuts of meat, the Sunday Roast at Hawksmoor is legendary (and is priced accordingly).

Pubs offer a less formal Sunday Roast experience at a reasonable price – and nearly every pub in London offers the classic meal. That said, one of the best pubs to eat in London for Sunday Roast is The Princess of Shoreditch.

 

#5 Full English Breakfast

Quintessentially British, a Full English Breakfast is one of the must-try London foods. Also called a Proper Fry Up, the sizeable meal includes a menagerie of breakfast favorites all squeezed onto a single plate.

While there isn’t one set standard for what is served in a Full English Breakfast, most often the dish includes bacon (but not American-style bacon), eggs (fried or scrambled), sausages (Cumberland or pork), black pudding (a pork blood sausage), baked beans (white beans in tomato sauce), fried potatoes, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and toast. When ordered at some restaurants in London, the meal sometimes also includes coffee or tea.

 

Where To Eat Popular London Food for Breakfast

Boasting the ‘Best English Breakfast in London’, Regency Café is a greasy spoon diner offering delicious breakfasts at budget prices. It is one of the fun places to eat in London and hungry diners flock to it throughout the day, so expect a queue (but don’t worry, it moves pretty fast).

The Ivy is another favorite breakfast restaurant in London that offers a completely different experience. Exuding a traditional English ambiance and serving an upscale Full English, it ranks as one of the cool places to eat in London (and, by the way, it’s a pretty hip spot for lunch and dinner, too).

 

#6 Sausage and Mash

Classic Sausage and Mash, London Food

Sausage and Mash – also known as Bangers and Mash – is one of the best foods to eat in London for travelers looking for a traditional English meal. The popular pub cuisine is utterly satisfying, especially on cool and drizzly London days.

The meat-and-potatoes dish is about as simple as it gets. The meal is constructed of 2 or 3 Cumberland sausages (aka Bangers) on top of a pile of mashed potatoes (aka Mash) and then drowned in onion gravy. And, it’s utterly delicious.

 

Best Places to Eat in London, UK for Sausage and Mash

Honestly, we think the best places for Bangers and Mash in London are pubs. While it’s hard to go wrong with Sausage and Mash, we particularly favor the food served at Nicholson’s Pubs (like The Blackfriar and The Horniman at Hays, which are two of our favorite pubs on the River Thames).

Alternatively, Mother Mash is a fun restaurant in London that specializes in the spud. They keep it simple – but with a lot of different flavor combinations – by letting you choose from a selection of potatoes, sausages (or pies) and gravies.

 

#7 Pie and Mash (and Jellied Eels)

British Pies, Famous Food London, England, UK

Another classic British food to try in London is Pie and Mash. The meal originated during the Victorian era and was popular with the working class in the East End. It is now a mainstay of London cuisine.

The savory pie, which is filled with minced beef, is served on a plate with a smear of mashed potatoes and covered with a parsley gravy, called liquor. Although it is far from elegant, it is incredibly satisfying.

Jellied Eels are often served alongside Pie and Mash – as was the tradition when the dish originated in the 18th century. The Eels are chopped, spiced and cooked in stock that forms to jelly once it cools and the side dish is served cold. To be completely honest, try as we might, we haven’t been able to summon the courage to eat Jellied Eels – so we’ll leave it up to you to let us know how they taste!

 

Where to Eat Pie in London

We think the best restaurants to eat in London for classic Pie and Mash are the old, historic Pie and Mash Shops. The shops, with counter service and white tiled walls, harken back to another time. We enjoyed a traditional Pie and Mash meal at M Manze Bermondsey – but Arments and Cockney’s Pie and Mash on Portobello Road get rave reviews, too.

Pieminister (which hails from Bristol), however, offers a modern and upgraded approach to the English Pie and Mash experience. Their award-winning pies are available at the Borough Market (we get to more markets later on) and at their restaurant on Leather Lane.

 

#8 Beef Wellington

Travelers searching for fine food to eat in London, England should turn their attention to the succulent and divine Beef Wellington. A luxurious dish said to have been created to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Waterloo, Beef Wellington is the epitome of fine dining in London, England.

The centerpiece dish is prepared by coating a tenderloin steak in a mixture of pate and a mushroom duxelles and then wrapping it in prosciutto and puff pastry before baking it. The result is tender and juicy – and it’s sublime.

 

Where To Eat the Best Beef Wellington in London

There is no doubt about it, the best place in London to eat Beef Wellington is at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill. The melt-in-your-mouth meal is truly an artform and an experience – but it comes at a price.

The Hemmingway is a local gastropub that also serves the glorious dish, and at a price that isn’t quiet as steep.

 

#9 Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a must-eat food in London – especially when craving comfort food. It’s unpretentious, hearty and satisfying.

Not really a pie at all, Shepherd’s Pie is similar to a casserole. It is made with a combination of ground lamb and vegetables mixed into a thick and rich gravy. Then it is topped with fluffy mashed potatoes and baked until golden.

The same dish can be made using ground beef instead of lamb, but then it is called Cottage Pie.  

 

Where To Eat London, England Shepherd’s Pie

Although The Ivy is one of the fancy places to eat in London, humble Shepherd’s Pie features on their menu – but as a decadent meal. The Ivy makes Shepherd’s Pie with a mixture of slow braised lamb and beef in a red wine sauce topped with cheddar mashed potatoes.

 

#10 Oysters

Oysters may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering what London foods to try during your trip, but they have been a prominent menu item for centuries.

In fact, during the 19th and 20th centuries oysters were one of the most popular foods in London. They were sold in restaurants, on street corners and at markets – and consumed by everyone from aristocrats to the lower class. Today, however, eating oysters in London is an extravagant indulgence.

 

Where To Eat Oysters London, UK

Rules Restaurant – claiming to be the oldest restaurant in London – opened in 1798 as an oyster bar…and oysters still feature as a starter on their menu today. Rules is one of the more expensive places to eat in London, but the old-fashioned elegance and exceptional menu make it worth the price.

On the other hand, Wright Brothers at Borough Market is a modern seafood restaurant that specializes in oysters – both raw and cooked (but it’s not a cheap place to eat in London, either).

 

#11 Ploughman’s Lunch and British Cheese

Neal's Yard Dairy, British Cheese, Must East London Foods, England, UK

Cheese is one of the things you must eat in London, UK. There are an astounding 400 different varieties of cheese produced in England – including favorites like Cheddar, Stilton, Red Leicester, Double Gloucester and Cheshire.

We think the best way to get a taste of the different English cheeses is in a Ploughman’s Lunch. The cold mid-day meal features cheese, bread, pickles and onions – and sometimes other items, such as ham, boiled eggs, apples and tomatoes.

Another cheesy dish popular in London is the unassuming and gooey toastie. Similar to a grilled cheese sandwich, toasties are traditionally baked in an oven – and they are heavenly.

 

Must Eat Places in London for British Cheese

There are many restaurants around London that offer cheesy goodness on their menus – but we are limiting our recommendations to just two: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and Kappacasein Dairy.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the iconic places to eat in London – and not just because of the fun name! The multi-level, historic bar has been around since 1538 (although the current establishment was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666). Patrons can order cheese plates with either 1, 3 or 5 different types of local British cheeses.

We also recommend heading to Kappacasein Dairy Cheese at the Borough Market. It is the place to eat in London for a fabulous Cheese Toastie – as evidenced by the long line that winds out the door. Just note their limited hours and plan accordingly!

 

#12 Scotch Eggs

A Scotch Egg Opened

Said to have been created in 1738 at Fortnum and Mason Department Store in London, the Scotch Egg is quintessential English food that visitors should definitely taste while in the city.

Scotch eggs are made by wrapping hard boiled eggs in crumbled sausage, covering them in breadcrumbs and then baking or deep frying them for a perfect finish. The egg medley is served cold – and can be served with dipping sauce.  

 

Scotch Egg Food Places to Eat in London, UK

For a classic Scotch Egg, there is nowhere better than the creator, Fortnum and Mason. That said, we were absolutely wowed by Scotch Eggs at The Ginger Pig (of which there are several locations around the city).

Want to have a picnic in a lovely London park? Pick up Scotch Eggs and other tasty picnic items (like cheese and wine!) at Marks and Spencer – the uber popular all-in-one London retailer.

 

#13 Sausage Rolls

The Best Sausage Roll, London Food, England, UK

The sausage roll – a puff pastry filled with seasoned ground pork – is the best food to try in London for an on-the-go snack.

Although England can’t take credit for creating the tasty meat pastry (France takes that honor), Sausage Rolls are, without a doubt, a beloved British staple. They are quick to grab, easy to eat and totally delicious – oh, and they are pretty cheap, too!

 

Where To Find Sausage Rolls in London

We have definitely indulged in our fair share of Sausage Rolls in London and our favorites, far and away, are the humungous Sausage Rolls from The Ginger Pig. In addition to the Traditional Sausage Roll, they also make an interesting Pork and Stilton Roll and a (not too spicy) Spicy Lamb Roll. One roll is enough to make a meal, but it pairs great with one of their Scotch Eggs!

Alternatively, Layla Bakery on Portobello Road makes a rave-worthy Sausage Roll, along with a selection of tantalizing sweet treats. 

 

#14 Salt Beef Beigels

Salt Beef Beigel is a famous London food that you can really sink your teeth into – and you can do it any time, day or night, at one of the 24/7 beigel shops.

A long time Jewish specialty, Salt Beef Beigels are savory and filling sandwiches. Constructed with a beigel (bagel) filled with Salt Beef (corned beef), gherkin (pickles) and mustard (English mustard, of course).

 

Where to Eat London Salt Beef Beigels

Beigels with Salted Beef are available in markets and shops all around the city, but the best place to get them is on Brick Lane at one of the two famous beigels shops – Beigel Bake and Beigel Shop. Both shops make insanely good Salted Beef Beigel Sandwiches. We recommend trying one from each shop and deciding for yourself which one reigns king!

 

#15 Bubble and Squeak

An old peasants’ meal that shines for its simplicity, Bubble and Squeak is a concoction of potatoes and cabbage that is skillet fried until golden brown. The funny name comes from the sound it makes as it is cooked in the frying pan.

Bubble and Squeak is often made using leftovers – and sometimes includes other vegetables, such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, swedes, turnips, onions and even meat. While it can be eaten for any meal, it is typically served as an accompaniment to breakfast.

 

Where To Order the London Famous Dish Bubble and Squeak

We think Bubble and Squeak is best with breakfast – and recommend ordering it at Terry’s Café (as part of The Works Fry Up) or as an addition to the Set Breakfast at Regency Café. Bubble and Squeak is also a potato option at Mother Mash.  

 

#16 Crumpets and Scones

Must Try British Scones, London Food to Eat

If you are wondering, What do you eat in London for a light breakfast? The answer is English Crumpets and Scones!

Crumpets are often assimilated to an English Muffin, but they are porous and spongy. Crumpets are best toasted and then smeared with butter that melts and seeps deep into the griddled bread. The result is a crisp exterior and soft and chewy interior, which goes marvelously well with a cup of tea.

Scones are another unique British bread – in that they aren’t quite a muffin or a biscuit and definitely not a cake, but something all of its own. Most often, Scones are plain and slightly sweet. Scones are almost always served with Afternoon Tea, but are eaten for breakfast, too.

There is a specific British etiquette to eating a Scone. First, start by cutting it horizontally or simply tearing off a small piece, then use a knife to spread the clotted cream and jam and enjoy a bite at a time. There is much debate regionally about which should be applied first – the cream or the jam – but in London it’s up to you! (However you eat it, just don’t make it into a sandwich, as that is considered to be poor form by all English standards.)

 

Where To Eat Crumpets and Scones in London, UK

Fresh Crumpets and Scones are often found in the same places you would look for where to eat breakfast in London – but not all cafes offer the breakfast breads. For a good selection of both tasty Crumpets and delectable Scones, we recommend dining for breakfast at The Muffin Man Tea Shop.

 

#17 English Tea

Twinings Famous English Tea, London, UK

The Tea culture in Britain is strong – and not to be missed! Brits are crazy about tea and have been for hundreds of years. In fact, Tea is the most common drink in Britain and consuming it is ingrained in people’s daily routines.

Black Tea is the most popular tea in Britain, but it is just one of many choices – from herbal to Oolong. Tea can be enhanced with lemon, sugar or milk.

 

Where To Drink Tea in London

Honestly, Tea is everywhere. You can get a proper cup of tea (or cuppa, for short) from just about any dining establishment.

However, travelers interested in tasting a few different teas in a historic setting should go to Twinings on Strand. Twinings opened a tea shop at 216 Strand in the year 1706 – and it’s still open for business today. Visitors can sample any of the teas for free, as well as learn about the history of Twinings in a small display.

 

#18 Desserts: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Trifle and Eton Mess

For visitors with a sweet tooth, classic British desserts are must-eat foods in London – and there is plenty of sugary sweetness to choose from!

Sticky Toffee Pudding is the ultimate English dessert. Not a pudding as Americans think of it, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a dense sponge cake with chopped dates that is doused in toffee sauce and topped with ice cream or custard. 

A Trifle is another decadent British dessert, which also includes sponge cake. But with a Trifle, the cake is soaked in liquor (usually brandy, sherry or even white wine), then layered with custard and jam and topped with whipped cream. Trifles are a popular holiday dessert, so they often appear on menus at Christmas in London.

Eton Mess is a dessert that was created at Eton College (a prestigious boarding school attended by Princes William and Harry). The sweet treat, which is popular in summertime, is a combination of strawberries, cream and meringue.

 

The Best Dessert Places to Eat in London

Hawksmoor and Bread Street Kitchen both get rave reviews for their Sticky Toffee Pudding. Cadogan Arms, a Chelsea institution, makes an indulgent and authentic English Trifle.

Eton Mess pops up on various London restaurant menus during the summer months. We recommend looking at the menus at gastropubs with outdoor space and rooftop eateries during the warm months if you want to try it.

For a range of cakes and desserts, go to Basement Sate for speakeasy style cocktails and lovely desserts – it’s one of the hip places to eat in London when it comes to sweets.

 

 

Popular Foods in London

The best food of London isn’t limited to British classics – there is a whole, wide range of culinary treasures that visitors might want to try on their trip. We are highlighting some of the most popular food in London that is internationally known.

 

#19 Indian Food

Dinner at Dishoom, Shoreditch, London Famous Food

We already mentioned Chicken Tikka Masala as a British classic food, but Indian food in general is a must-eat in London, UK. Spicy curries and exotic biryani burst with flavor and are served at Indian restaurants across the city.

 

Where To Eat Indian Food in London

Without a doubt, the most popular Indian restaurant in London is Dishoom, which serves spicy street food style Indian food that is made to share. Dishoom now has several locations in London (and even in other UK cities, like Edinburgh), but it’s best to make a reservation for the limited reserved spots – or you will end up waiting in a queue.

If you can’t make it to Dishoom, no worries; there is no shortage of places to eat really good Indian food in London, UK. In fact, Brick Lane is famous for the high number of curry houses. Try Sheba or Aladin (and book a reservation online for an extra in-restaurant discount). Tifinbox is also a good option for an Indian food cheap lunch in London.

 

#20 Chinese Food

15-Day London Paris Rome Itinerary London Soho Chinatown colorful lantern

London’s Chinatown is wedged in between Westminster, Soho and Theatreland – and it’s the place to go for the best food to eat in London when you are craving really good Chinese food.

 

Where To Eat Chinatown London

Marked by an ornamental gate and hanging lanterns, Chinatown is a fun part of London to see…but it’s an even better place to eat.

Lido, which opened in 1969, is an old school Chinese diner and a fun experience for dim sum. Go to Four Seasons on Gerrard Street for a taste of exceptional roasted duck. Dumplings’ Legend is legendary for, well, dumplings and Café TPT is a London Chinatown mainstay offering a variety of Asian dishes.

 

#21 Middle Eastern Food

Our go-to Pilpel Falafel for London Budget Eats

Full of flavor – and healthy, to boot – Middle Eastern food is a wildly popular cuisine in London. Middle Eastern fare can be found in London at both high-end restaurants and take-away kiosks.

 

Middle Eastern Upscale Eats

Middle Eastern fine dining in London is exceptional. The Palomar serves modern Jerusalem fare in an open kitchen concept space that manages to be both hip and inviting. Patrons can sit at the bar (the best seat in the house) and order dishes for sharing to get a little taste of everything.

Kebab Queen offers visitors a meal to remember with an exclusive and intimate dining experience that pushes the boundaries of the almighty kebab to an entirely different level. The multi-course tasting menu is the only item on offer and the limited reservations are snapped up in a hurry.

 

Kebabs

When it comes to casual dining and take away food in London that is cheap and affordable, the kebab is our go-to choice. We love the takeaway kebabs at Cyprus Mangal – but for a sit-down kebab meal, we recommend Le Bab (of which there are several locations).

 

Falafel

Falafel is classic Middle Eastern fare and it’s sold at shops around the city. That said, Pilpel is our favorite falafel shops and one of the best cheap places to eat in London, England. Their falafel wraps are affordable and are packed with veggies, too.

 

#22 Steak

Flat Iron Famous Steaks in London, England, UK

England isn’t exactly known for steak, but London is home to a slew of sensational steak houses. Travelers wondering where to eat in London on a budget might cross steak off their list of Things To Eat, but there are actually affordable steaks available in London!

 

Where To Get a Good Steak in London

Hands down, Hawksmoor is the place to go for any meat, but especially steak. They use British ingredients – from the grass-fed beef to the British cheeses to the in-season produce – and provide fantastic service from start to finish. (Just be sure to save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding!).

While Hawksmoor is the crème-de-la-crème of steak, Flat Iron is a good, solid option for a tasty steak at a decent price (just 13£ during our recent visit). The menu is simple – steak and burgers – with a few different selections for side dishes. Completely unpretentious, on arrival, patrons get a mug of popcorn and on the way out, they get an ice cream cone. It’s a fun experience all around!

 

#23 Burgers

Best Honest Burger, London, England, UK

Just like in cities around the world, visitors in London will have no problem finding a place selling good burgers. That said, there are a few places in London dedicated to making great burgers – and they are doing an incredibly fine job.

 

Best Burgers in London, UK

If we had to pick just one gourmet burger to eat in London, it would be the namesake Truffle Burger from Truffle Burger. With a beef and smoked bacon patty, raclette cheese, fig jam, crispy onions and truffle mayo, it’s divine. Seriously, skip the sides and just order two. It’s that good!

Of course, love for the Truffle Burger depends largely on a love of truffles. Those who are not a fan of the pungent fungus can still get a really good burger in London at Honest Burgers. All of the Honest British beef burgers come with homemade rosemary fries and there are multiple locations around London (each with their own special house burger).

 

#24 Pizza

It’s been said that everyone loves pizza – and when the hunger hits in London, there are several pizza places to cure the cravings. However, a few stand out above the rest.

 

Best Pizza in London

It is difficult to name just one place as the Best London Pizza, but we give the nod to Zia Lucia – and specifically to the Andrea Pirlo, which is topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola, apples and truffle oil. Perfection! Guests can choose from 4 types of dough before the pizza is topped up and then popped into the wood-fired oven.

Franco Manca is another UK pizzeria that specializes in sublime sourdough pizza – and they do it at affordable prices (the most basic pie is less than 7£). The pizza menu options are limited but somewhat inventive – and you don’t need a reservation.

Other pizza places in London that get great reviews (but we have yet to try) are Santa Maria and Homeslice.

 

#25 Pulled Pork

Honey Truffle Parmesan at The Black Pig at Borough Market

When we first made our list of Famous Food of London, we weren’t sure Pulled Pork should make the cut. Pulled Pork is a Southern US specialty, not a London Thing To Eat.

However, on our recent trip, as we were walking around the best London food markets, we noticed the tantalizing scent of pulled pork wafting through the air. Then we saw these masterpiece sandwiches being assembled in unusual ways. We ended up eating not one, not two, but three different Pulled Pork sandwiches and they were astonishingly good.

 

Where in London to Eat Pulled Pork

For a classic BBQ sandwich that tickles the taste buds, the Smoked Brisket sandwich from Hotbox at Victoria Markets fits the bill. The pork is tender and full of flavor.

Dirty Bagels at Old Spitalfields Market, however, takes it up a notch with juicy pulled pork in a sweet and tangy BBQ that is topped with cheese (melted by a blowtorch) and then piled high on a bagel or brioche bun.  

The most inventive Pulled Pork sandwich we ate was the Honey Truffle Parmesan at The Black Pig at Borough Market. Made without BBQ sauce, the slow roasted pork is topped with honey truffle mayo and a fennel and apple slaw, then sandwiched between ciabatta bread and sprinkled with aged parmesan. A creative combination that is intensely satisfying.

 

#26 Sushi

Sushi, Must Eat London Food, England, UK

London sushi is offered on a sliding chart from cheap and basic to elaborate and expensive – so there is something for everyone!

 

Where To Eat Sushi in London

On the affordable end of the scale, Eat Tokyo (established in Tokyo, Japan with branches in London and Dusseldorf, Germany) is a popular choice for not just sushi, but good Japanese food in general.

Sticks’n’Sushi, which also has multiple London restaurants, offers spectacular sushi platters along with a selection of innovative meat sticks – but tends to be a little bit pricier.

Endo at the Rotunda, Nobu London, Zuma and The Araki are some of the top luxury places to eat in London and are well known for their quality sushi and dining experience.

 

#27 Baked Goods, Breads and Donuts

Must Eat At The Best London Bakeries, England, UK

Whether looking for a small bite of food to eat in London, UK or a deliciously sweet breakfast, Bakeries are the go-to choice. Bakeries are often the best places to eat lunch in London, too – as the city’s best bakeries serve sandwiches, as well as sell pastries, donuts and breads.

 

Best London Bakeries

You don’t have to walk very far in London to find a bakery showcasing baked goods in a glass display case (and let me tell you, they are hard to resist!).

Our favorite place for fresh, right-out-of-the-oven donuts is Bread Ahead (plus, they have ready-made sandwiches and huge slices of pizza) – and they have several locations in London. The handcrafted doughnuts at Crosstown also provide a zippy, morning sugar rush.

The Dusty Knuckle and E5 Bakehouse are our top choices for sourdough bread sandwiches at lunchtime. Both are just a bit outside of central London, but worth the trek, in our opinion.

Bakeries, like Peggy Porschen and Ole & Steen, are also good spots in London for gourmet cupcakes and designer desserts.  

 

#28 Brunch in London

It’s not always a question of What do they eat in London, but rather When do they eat in London? And the answer – at least on the weekends – is mid-day for Brunch. From cozy pubs to posh rooftop restaurants, Brunch is a huge thing in London.

But it’s not just one thing. Brunch can be avocado on toast, pancakes and eggs…or it can be endless pizza and bottomless Aperol Spritz.

Just be aware that Brunch – especially a Boozy London Brunch – can evolve into a full day of eating and drinking, so plan your sightseeing accordingly! Visitors will also want to plan ahead for Bottomless Brunch Parties, as it is often required to book and pay ahead of time.

 

Where To Eat Brunch in London

There are so many London restaurants that excel of providing a superb brunch experience – but we are only going to mention one: Duck and Waffle.

It’s one of the best places to eat with a view in London – and the signature Duck and Waffle dish is a clear winner for a Brunch feast.

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More London Foodie Travel Tips

We have highlighted some of the top foods and best places to eat out in London, UK – but we have a few more tips about eating and drinking in London to help you plan your best trip.

 

London Market Halls

Many of the best foods in London are found at the markets that dot the landscape. The city boasts more than 150 markets, many of which are dedicated to London eats.

Old, new, day, night, sprawling, compact – the London food markets are varied, vibrant and fun. We are featuring a few of the best markets where you can find top things to eat in London.

 

Borough Market

Borough Market, London Foodie Heaven, Famous Eats, England, UK

Established in 1756 (but with origins that trace back as far as the year 1014), Borough Market is the oldest food market in London – and still one of the best. Located in Southwark, the market buzzes at lunchtime as traders dole out favorite London dishes (many of which are on our London Famous Food list).

 

Mercado Metropolitano Elephant and Castle

Housed in a former paper factory, Mercado Metropolitano is a sustainable community market with 40 independent traders under one roof (including a microbrewery). With a hopping vibe and an array of food options, it is an excellent London market for dinner and drinks.

In addition to the Elephant and Castle location, MM also has other markets, such as St. Mark’s Mayfair, MM Factory, Mercato Ilford and Wood Wharf.

 

Spitalfields Market

Must Visit Spitalfields Market, London Foodie Eats, England, UK

The East End Spitalfields Market is one of the oldest London markets – and a fabulous place to taste spectacular London food. Although not a dedicated food market (Spitalfields vendors sell everything from antiques to paintings to vintage clothes), the fare at Spitalfields is top notch.

 

Market Halls Victoria

Featuring street food specialties, Market Halls Victoria is a compact food hall that covers three floors – including a rooftop terrace – with bars on every level. Although the number of vendors is somewhat limited, the Market Halls Victoria atmosphere is buzzing.

Ambitious eaters can track down different vendors at other branded Market Halls on Oxford Street and Canary Wharf.

 

Harrods Food Halls

The classy food halls located within the renowned Harrods department store offer a refined London food market experience. Presenting delectable foods from around the world, patrons can peruse the handcrafted chocolates, tuck into a tasty cheese, inhale the smell of fresh baked bread, sip champagne and dine at one of the six on-site restaurants.

 

Pavilion Road in Chelsea

Shops on Pavilion Road in Chelsea, London Foodies, England Eats, UK

A picture-perfect pedestrian lane, Pavilion Road in Chelsea isn’t a food market – but it is a foodie destination. The quaint street is a mecca of fine food stores and restaurants that reminds us of Rue Cler in Paris. Visitors can shop on Pavilion Road to assemble a picnic or simply to stop for a tea and cake at one of the cafes.  

 

London Food Tours

Trying to sort out what and where to eat in London, UK during a trip can feel like a big task – especially for travelers short on time. Rather than making reservations and routing yourself to restaurants on your own, consider joining one of the immensely popular food tours in London. Professional guides lead the way to the most delicious dishes, sharing details behind the food and some history along the way.

 

Traditional English Food Walking Tour

On this half-day, small-group tour, sample 12 traditional English dishes – including favorites like Fish and Chips, Scones and Scotch Eggs – all while learning about the history of English food. Book it here!

 

London Tasting Tour

From pubs to Borough Market, follow your guide to some of the best bites in London on this fabulous London Tasting Tour. Try a Sausage Roll, British Cheese, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Real London Ale. Book your spot!

 

London Indian Food Tour

Join a professional guide for a tour of London’s best Indian food in the East End. Get a taste of 12 different Indian delicacies – including the best curries on Brick Lane. Book it now!

 

Vegetarian, Vegan and Dietary Needs

One of the great things about eating in London is that restaurants cater to special dietary needs. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free, most establishments are prepared to offer satisfying menu options – rather than subpar substitutions.

In fact, most waiters will inquire if there are dietary needs or allergies before taking orders and are happy to make suitable menu suggestions.

 

Drinking in London

We can’t talk about what to eat in London without also touching on the best drinks and places to imbibe in the capital of boozy Britain!

 

London Pubs

Classic Atmosphere at the Old Bank of England Pub, London, UK

The pubs in London are iconic. With wooden bars, professional barmen, cozy nooks and dimly lit spaces, the classic watering holes are a must-see on a London trip. We share a few of our favorite London pub locations in our blog post, A Pub Crawl on the River Thames – or you can join a guided tour of Historic London Pubs – Find out more!

 

London Ales

Thames River Pub Crawl #5: In the classic Town of Ramsgate pub, I selected a classic cask ale: London's Pride.

Cask Ale – also called Real Ale – is a must-try in London. The unpasteurized, unfiltered beer goes through a second fermentation process in a barrel (not a keg) – where it is naturally carbonized and then pumped into glasses by the barman.

 

Craft Beer London

Pretty Decent Beer Co, London, England, UK

We have tasted craft brew in locations around the globe and London has one of the best craft beer scenes anywhere in the world. Most pubs and bars offer at least one local craft beer on tap (or certainly in a bottle), but we recommend going straight to the source.

The craft beer revolution began in London in the brick archways under the train tracks in Bermondsey – and now it is a hub of local brewers. Visitors can use our guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile for tips on where to get the best sips.

Dedicated craft beer devotees might also want to check out the newest craft beer enclave, the Blackhorse Beer Mile (also known as the Walthamstow Beer Mile) that is nestled among riverside warehouses in East London.  

 

Gin and Cocktails

Known the world over for making fine gin, London is home to dozens of gin distilleries. Several of the local London distilleries are open for tastings and tours. Try the City of London Distillery or The Ginstitute.

On that same note, London often tops lists as The Cocktail Capital of the World and has mastered making innovative, handcrafted concoctions full of flair. Many London bars specialize in creating stylish cocktails – such as the Connaught Bar in Mayfair, Cahoots along with Swift in Soho and Upstairs at Rules in Covent Garden.

 

How To Eat Cheap in London

With all of the incredible things to eat and drink in London, there is no doubt that the costs can add up in a hurry. No need to worry – we have a few tips on how to eat in London on a budget.

First, make a trip budget (you can get started here). With a budget it is much easier to plan what and where to eat in London, UK.

Next, devise a plan and seek alternative ways to try typical London foods, without the hefty cost.

For example, if traveling as a couple or in a group, consider sharing items and splitting entrees. This way, you can try more of the best things to eat in London without racking up a big bill.

Rather than sit down restaurants, eat at pubs…or opt for the best takeaway food in London – like Salt Beef Beigels, Falafel and Sausage Rolls. If you are really on a tight budget, get a taste of Pies and Sausage Rolls from a chain bakery, like Gregg’s – or try Crumpets by buying Warburtons Crumpets from the grocery store.

Instead of ponying up for Afternoon Tea, go for the less expensive Cream Tea experience. Skip ordering Pie at a pub and go to an inexpensive Pie Shop instead.

Food stores – like Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – are great options for finding local eats (like Scotch Eggs and British Cheeses) that you can assemble into a picnic and eat in a beautiful London park.

Choosing London accommodations with access to a kitchen can also help keep your costs in check.


 

What To Eat London Map

Our map highlights the top places to eat in London that are featured on our list. Use this link to Google Maps for an online, interactive version of our Map of Restaurants in London, UK.

Map of London Restaurants by JetSettingFools.com


 

Recap Checklist of the Top Food and Best Places to Eat London

  • Fish and Chips – Pubs, Rock and Sole Plaice, Poppies
  • Afternoon Tea – Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum and Mason, The English Rose Café, the Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
  • Chicken Tikka Masala – Punjab, Brick Lane Curry Houses
  • Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding – Hawksmoor, The Princess of Shoreditch, Pubs
  • Full English Breakfast – Regency Café, The Ivy
  • Sausage and Mash – Pubs, Mother Mash
  • Pie and Mash – M Manze Bermondsey, Arments, Cockney’s Pie and Mash, Pieminister
  • Beef Wellington – Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, The Hemmingway
  • Shepherd’s Pie – The Ivy
  • Oysters – Rules Restaurant, Wright Brothers
  • Ploughman’s Lunch and British Cheese – Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Kappacasein Dairy
  • Scotch Eggs – Fortnum and Mason, The Ginger Pig, Marks and Spencer
  • Sausage Rolls – The Ginger Pig, Layla Bakery
  • Salt Beef Beigels – Beigel Bake, Beigel Shop
  • Bubble and Squeak – Terry’s Café, Regency Café, Mother Mash
  • Crumpets and Scones – The Muffin Man Tea Shop
  • English Tea – Twinings on Strand
  • Desserts: Sticky Toffee Pudding – Hawksmoor, Bread Street Kitchen; English Trifle – Cadogan Arms; Cakes – Basement Sate
  • Indian Food – Dishoom, Sheba, Aladin, Tifinbox
  • Chinese Food – Lido, Four Seasons on Gerrard, Dumplings’ Legend, Café TPT
  • Middle Eastern Food: Upscale – The Palomar, Kebab Queen; Kebabs – Cyprus Mangal, Le Bab; Falafel – Pilpel
  • Steak – Hawksmoor, Flat Iron
  • Burgers – Truffle Burger, Honest Burgers
  • Pizza – Zia Lucia, Franco Manca, Santa Maria, Homeslice
  • Pulled Pork – Hotbox, Dirty Bagels, The Black Pig
  • Sushi – Eat Tokyo, Sticks’n’Sushi, Endo at the Rotunda, Nobu London, Zuma, The Araki
  • Baked Goods – Bread Ahead, Crosstown Doughnuts, The Dusty Knuckle, E5 Bakehouse, Peggy Porschen, Ole & Steen
  • Brunch – Duck and Waffle

 

We Want To Know: What would you add to our list of Famous London Food? Tell us in the comments!

 

Start planning your trip to London! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

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