London is so much more than just fish and chips or tikka masala. The English capital is a diverse collection of high-quality cafes, markets and international options.
The best way to discover this is to eat like a local in some of London’s best neighborhoods.
To eat like a Londoner, you’ll need to live like a Londoner. Book an apartment for a week with London Connection to ensure you have the time and comfort to explore this sprawling city.
1. London’s Latest Revival In SoHo
In the past, locals flocked to SoHo for after-dark activities in strip clubs and raucous bars. While that hedonistic side to SoHo remains, it’s also a great example of London’s diverse food scene and ability for constant reinvention.
Start your day with a coffee and pastry at Damson & Co. This stylish espresso and wine bar is a sleek, modern addition to the area, and is also ideal for sharing plates and cocktails.
Want authentic Asian street food that tastes like the real thing? Soho’s got that covered too. Bibimbap Soho dishes up tasty Korean fare at affordable prices, and is a favorite among locals.
2. International Flavors In Notting Hill
A haven for book lovers and rom-com aficionados, Notting Hill is awash with pastel-colored townhouses, vintage markets and, of course, great food.
Notting Hill can be pricey, you’ll find some great budget options in markets or brick-and-mortar venues. Check out Falafel King, or go traditional at George’s Fish Bar.
Seasoned foodies need to seek out Ottolenghi. This celebrated restaurant takes Middle Eastern food to new levels, and has revolutionized vegetarian cuisine.
3. Old-World London in Fitzrovia
This old bohemian district in the heart of London is preferred by locals who want to experience yet another gastronomical hotspot in the city.
Lantana on Charlotte Place serves up Australian-inspired lunches and coffee in a relaxed setting – perfect for chilling out after a day of hectic sightseeing.
Budget travelers will love the Indian YMCA Restaurant, which offers delicious Indian classics at wallet-friendly prices.
4. Local Markets and Food Trucks in Spitalfields
Often dubbed “London’s most welcoming neighborhood”, the immigrant district of Spitalfields is quickly becoming a hive of activity for locals and visitors. However, it’s easy to avoid touristy areas and truly live like a Londoner here.
To start, wander through Spitalfields Market to pick up fresh local produce, perfect for creating your own delicious meal at home.
Food trucks are the best ways to explore local food scenes in cities, and this definitely applies to London! For a vast array of London food trucks, walk between the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street.
5. Traditional Comfort Food In Camden Town
Camden Town in North London has been a tourist hotspot for decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s a no-go area for locals. Many residents head here for a guilty pleasure in a proper “London chippie”.
Poppies is one of the best places for a plate of old-fashioned fish and chips. Nearby, Hook offers a modern twist on the English classic.
Bonus Tip: Where To Get The Perfect London Gin
London is a rapidly changing city, especially when it comes to post-meal drinks. Nowadays, it’s less about lager and more about quality gin.
Once referred to as “mother’s ruin”, this juniper-infused spirit has spawned numerous distilleries and trendy bars. The kitsch gin parlor above Mr Fogg’s Tavern near Leicester Square is good for old-fashioned tastes. For something more modern, head to the understated Graphic Bar in Soho.
To see how it’s made, check out the East London Liquor Company or Sipsmith.