An Ultimate Foodie's Guide to Exploring London
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An Ultimate Foodie’s Guide to Exploring London

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London, the vibrant capital city of England, is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and culinary experiences. From iconic landmarks to diverse neighborhoods, London offers a gastronomic adventure that promises to satisfy every food lover’s cravings. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you navigate the city’s food scene, discover hidden gems, and experience the best of London’s culinary delights.

Welcome to London, Where Food Dreams Come True

London is a city of sport, music, politics, and history, but it’s also a city where food takes center stage. Over the years, London has transformed from being one of the least imaginative culinary cities to being a global food destination. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the city’s most intriguing modern kitchens, Michelin-starred restaurants, natural wine bars, and small plate eateries. But we won’t stop there.

We’ll also explore the world of barbecue, from the jerk chicken of London’s Jamaican chefs to the tantalizing yaji-coated tozo suya of Nigerian and Ghanaian grills. Let’s not forget the plethora of Turkish ocakbaşi lining Green Lanes and the roads of north Dalston. London’s culinary landscape spans a wide range of cuisines, from bao and pho to pork pies, pica pollo, and burgers. We’ll help you navigate through iconic neighborhoods like Chinatown and Borough Market, and explore the vibrant food scenes in Soho, Shoreditch, and Brixton.

Where to Start: Eater London’s Best Maps

Preparing paté en croute at Cadet
Preparing paté en croute at Cadet, in Newington Green. Photo by Michaël Protin.

If you’re looking for the hottest restaurants in town, London’s dining scene is on fire. From traditional Trinidadian fare at Roti Joupa to the trendy TikTok sensation Straker’s in Notting Hill, there’s no shortage of exciting new places to try. For those seeking a taste of history, check out the city’s oldest (but still excellent) restaurants that have stood the test of time.

If you’re after essential dining experiences, head to 40 Maltby Street in Bermondsey for modern British cuisine, or Singburi in Leytonstone for the most exciting Thai food in the city. Michelin-starred restaurants like Lyle’s in Shoreditch and Gymkhana in Mayfair are perfect for those seeking culinary excellence with character and substance. And don’t miss the Eater London 38, a quarterly list that celebrates the restaurants defining the city’s food culture.

For the best value, venture beyond central London and explore the neighborhoods where locals dine. Tetote Factory in Ealing serves unmatched Japanese pan, Taste of Pakistan near Heathrow Airport delivers boldly spiced Pashtun chapli, and Imone in New Malden offers immaculate Korean banchan. For an authentic Canto-Malay experience, visit Chu Chin Chow in Barnet. These hidden gems represent the true taste of London without breaking the bank.

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![Malaysian fried chicken from Chu Chin Chow](×1067/320×0/filters:focal(0x0:1600×1067):format(webp):no_upscale()/
Malaysian fried chicken from Chu Chin Chow, in Barnet. Photo by Jessica Wang.

And let’s not forget about bakeries. London’s best bakeries have their own unique offerings, reflecting the surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole. Whether you’re craving Parisian-style pastries at Patisserie Sainte Anne in Hammersmith or indulging in the finest flatbread at Ararat Bread in Dalston, London’s bakeries are a treat for any food lover.

For wine enthusiasts, London has a vibrant wine bar scene. Whether you prefer French classics or adventurous skin-contact wines, you’ll find a place to satisfy your palate. P. Franco in Clapton offers low-intervention styles from small European producers alongside imaginative cuisine. Other notable spots include 40 Maltby Street, Winemakers Club, and Brawn. Don’t miss out on Cadet, Veraison, and Hector’s for newer additions to the wine bar scene.

When it comes to breakfast and brunch, London has it all. From the iconic full English breakfast to Pakistani halwa puri, French croissants, and Aussie-style brunches, there’s something to suit every taste. Start your day with a silky flat white or rich espresso from renowned coffee shops like Prufrock Coffee in Clerkenwell or Kaffeine in Fitzrovia.

![Pouring a flat white at Rosslyn Coffee on London Wall](×1067/320×0/filters:focal(0x0:1600×1067):no_upscale()/
Pouring a flat white at Rosslyn Coffee on London Wall in Moorgate. Photo by Michaël Protin.

And of course, no guide to London’s food scene would be complete without a mention of its iconic pubs. These establishments are an integral part of London’s drinking culture, offering a cozy atmosphere, traditional ales, and classic pub fare. From the Harp in the city center to the Auld Shillelagh in Stoke Newington, each pub has its unique charm. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor a pint of Guinness at the Cow in Notting Hill and indulge in a plate of oysters while you’re there.

London Cuisine Guides to Know and Follow

London is a city that celebrates diverse cuisines from around the world. Here are some culinary highlights that you shouldn’t miss:


London takes sandwiches to a whole new level. Experience the rich flavors of Ashkenazi tongue and brisket at B&K in Edgware, savor a London cheesesteak with an Iraqi twist in Park Royal, or enjoy a smoked eel, horseradish, and pickled onion masterpiece in Soho at Quo Vadis. London’s sandwiches are not to be missed, whether enjoyed as part of a food crawl or as a culinary event in their own right.


London’s A10 is a haven for Turkish cuisine. From Dalston to Green Lanes, the air is filled with the enticing aroma of ocakbaşi smoke. Indulge in flavorful ribs and adana kofte at Umut 2000 and 19 Numara Bos Cirrik II. For a modern take on Turkish traditions, Mangal II is a must-visit. And don’t forget to try Neco Tantuni for exceptional wraps and Bebek Baklava for light and crisp lahmacun.


Indian cuisine is synonymous with London, thanks to the influence of British colonialism and subsequent immigration. London offers a vast array of Indian cooking, reflecting regional flavors, traditions, and communities. Explore the city’s best Indian restaurants, including those that blend tradition with influences from London’s diverse cultures. Additionally, delve into the various regional cuisines, such as Eastern Indian, South Indian, Western Indian, and North Indian, to experience the full spectrum of flavors that make Indian cuisine so captivating.


London’s Chinese restaurant scene is a celebration of regional cuisines and diverse food types. In Chinatown, you’ll find exquisite jiaozi dumplings at Jen Cafe and exceptional dim sum at Orient. Venture north to discover Xi’an Impression for hand-pulled noodles and liang pi, or visit Etles for Uighur cuisine. In Pimlico, Hunan and A. Wong offer memorable tasting menus, while Four Seasons in Queensway serves mouthwatering Cantonese roast duck. Explore London’s best Chinese restaurants, along with dedicated guides to takeaway, noodles, dumplings, and the vibrant Chinatown itself.

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London is also home to outstanding Italian, Spanish, and Lebanese restaurants, each showcasing their unique flavors and culinary traditions.

London’s Food Neighborhoods to Know

London’s diverse neighborhoods offer distinct culinary experiences that reflect the rich tapestry of cultures in the city. Here are a few neighborhoods worth exploring:


Soho: A unique blend of history, excitement, and culinary charm.

Soho, located in the heart of London, is a compact yet vibrant area known for its historical charm and exciting food scene. In Soho, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, from Kiln’s fiery Thai cuisine to Brasserie Zédel’s Parisian delights. Quo Vadis is a must-visit for its culinary excellence, and Gelupo is the perfect spot to indulge in a cup of gelato or an espresso.


Peckham is a neighborhood that epitomizes London’s cultural diversity. From Pakistani butchers to dark kitchens and vibrant barbecue spots, Peckham offers a captivating food scene. Don’t miss JB’s Soul Food for mouthwatering jerk pork, Yada’s for delicious shawarma wraps, Yakoyo Spot for egusi soup, and Crossroads Cafe for an unforgettable escalope sandwich. Exploring Peckham’s culinary landscape is like experiencing a world tour through food.


Once a creative hub, Shoreditch is now a trendy destination for food enthusiasts. This East London neighborhood boasts a wide range of cuisines and price points. Burro e Salvia is a hidden gem for pasta lovers, while Smokestak offers some of the best American-style barbecue in town. Kêu Deli is renowned for its banh mi sandwiches, and Lyle’s, the Clove Club, Brat, and Leroy are Michelin-starred treasures. Shoreditch is a must-visit for those seeking culinary excellence in a vibrant and eclectic setting.


Chinatown: An abundance of flavors and aromas.

Located in the heart of the city, Chinatown is a haven for food lovers. Explore the diverse range of Chinese restaurants offering delicacies from Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan, Xi’an, and more. From exquisite dumplings at Jen Cafe to dim sum at Orient, Chinatown has something to satisfy every craving. Don’t miss the Hong Kong caffs, traditional Anglo-Chinese dining rooms, bubble tea shops, and ice cream parlors that add to the vibrant culture of Chinatown.

Green Lanes

Green Lanes is a street that embodies the multicultural essence of London. This vibrant stretch showcases cuisines from Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Kurdish regions, Bulgaria, Poland, and Albania. Take a leisurely stroll along Green Lanes and discover the rich flavors of Turkish ocakbaşi grills, lahmacun, adana, iskender, and much more. Experience the warm hospitality at Diyarbakir Restaurant, Hala, and Antepliler Kunefe as you immerse yourself in the diverse culinary traditions of this vibrant neighborhood.

Old Kent Road

Forget about the Monopoly board jokes; Old Kent Road offers a three-kilometer stretch of culinary delights. From Bolivian hand pies at Jenecheru to Hanoi blood sausage at Pho Thuy Tay, this South London artery is a testament to London’s multicultural food scene. Immerse yourself in the flavors of Salone-style gizzards at Mingles and Nigerian suya at Alhaji Suya. Old Kent Road showcases the diverse communities that have shaped London’s culinary landscape.

Borough Market and Bermondsey

![Borough Market](×1067/320×0/filters:focal(0x0:1600×1067):format(webp):no_upscale()/
Borough Market and Bermondsey: A culinary paradise.

Borough Market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary experiences. However, it’s essential to have backup options since some spots may not always live up to the hype. Just a short walk or cycle away is Bermondsey, a neighborhood that boasts outstanding food destinations like Spa Terminus and 40 Maltby Street. These areas are a treasure trove for food nerds and those seeking exceptional dining experiences.

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As an ambitious foodie, you might want to embark on the ultimate 24-hour London restaurant crawl. However, this adventure is nearly impossible to complete, considering the vast array of coffee shops, pastry shops, Michelin-starred dim sum, and late-night drink spots. But don’t let that stop you from indulging in the best of London’s culinary delights.

To avoid any mishaps while exploring Oxford Street, consult our guide to the best places to eat and drink in and around this famous shopping destination.

A London Food Glossary to Live By

London has a distinctive food vocabulary that you’ll encounter during your culinary adventures. Here are a few terms you should know:

St. John

St. John is a renowned restaurant founded by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver, known for its modern British cuisine. Don’t miss their signature dishes like bone marrow on toast, madeleines, sorbet with vodka, and a measure of Fernet Branca.

The River Cafe

The River Cafe, created by Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray, is a legendary Italian restaurant that continues to impress with its culinary excellence. Indulge in their Southern European-inspired dishes and savor the freshest ingredients.

Natural Wine

London’s wine bars are known for their selection of natural wines. These wines are low-intervention, allowing the true flavors of the grapes to shine. Visit establishments like 40 Maltby Street, P. Franco, Newcomer, Winemakers Club, or Brawn to experience the best of natural wine in London.

Sunday Roast

The Sunday roast is an iconic British tradition that shouldn’t be missed. Indulge in a hearty meal featuring roasted meat, such as beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, served alongside roasted potatoes, vegetables, and rich gravy. The Marksman, Blacklock, the Red Lion and Sun, and the Camberwell Arms are renowned for serving exceptional Sunday roasts.


Suya is a West African grill preparation that London has embraced wholeheartedly. Enjoy cubed, grilled beef, lamb, or chicken dusted with a vibrant spice rub called yaji. Experience the mouthwatering flavors of suya at Alhaji Suya in Peckham, where chef Aliyu Dantsoho serves this West African delicacy.


Ocakbaşi refers to Turkish barbecue or grill cuisine. London boasts some of the city’s best Turkish ocakbaşi restaurants, serving charred meats and smoky vegetables seasoned to perfection. Don’t miss the delicious offerings at Mangal II, Umut 2000, and 19 Numara Bos Cirrik II.

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is a classic British dish that should be experienced while in London. Indulge in a crispy battered cod or haddock served with thick-cut chipped potatoes. Visit renowned spots like the Fryer’s Delight, Fish Central, or Masters Superfish for a truly authentic fish and chips experience.

London Restaurant Reservations to Make in Advance

For those seeking a prime-time dinner spot or wishing to dine at highly sought-after restaurants, it’s best to book well in advance. Sessions Arts Club, Kol, A. Wong, Sushi Tetsu, Noble Rot, the River Cafe, the Clove Club, St. John’s suckling pig, Namak Mandi, Gymkhana, and Ikoyi are just a few of the top restaurants where reservations are highly recommended.

Follow the News

To stay up to date with the latest news, guides, and features about London’s food scene, here are a few ways to stay in the loop:

  • Keep an eye on the Eater London homepage for breaking news, features, and essential dining guides.
  • Subscribe to Eater London’s newsletter to receive daily updates and links to top stories.
  • Like and follow Eater London on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for real-time updates on news stories and more throughout the day.

Get in Touch

Have questions or want to share your foodie adventures in London? Feel free to get in touch with us:

  • Email us at
  • Send us a tip, which can be anonymous, at our tipline.
  • Interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Embark on an unforgettable culinary journey through London, where the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, diverse cuisines, and exciting food scene await. Discover the hidden gems, indulge in iconic dishes, and savor the flavors that make London a true food lover’s paradise. Start your adventure today with Ratingperson, your trusted guide to exploring the best of London’s culinary delights. Ratingperson

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