New to London and looking for good places to eat? I have compiled a list of my top 10 spots and go-to places to chow down! Read on to find out what my top favourite places to eat in the city are.
1. Shake Shack
Who doesn’t love burgers and fries? Shake Shack holds a special place in my heart because it serves simple but delicious food at an reasonable price. The American fast food chain has a varied menu offering burgers, chicken, hot dogs and even a menu for dogs!
Frozen custard is a specialty at the restaurant too as it is spun fresh daily in-house with unique as well as traditional flavours such as vanilla and chocolate. I recommend that you order cheese fries over the regular fries- it’s such a good pairing and they are really forgiving with their cheese!
I am a huge fan of Vietnamese food so I was very happy when I stumbled upon this gem when looking for a good Vietnamese place to eat at around Hoxton, Shoreditch.
BúnBúnBún has a variety of dishes on their menu and is inspired by authentic Vietnamese street food so they have items that not all London Vietnamese restaurants have. For example, Bánh Xèo (which is a crispy and savoury fried pancake that is filled with vegetables and meat); Bánh Mi (which is essentially a baguette and has many savoury fillings such as meat, herbs, pâté and pickled daikon).
The restaurant also has many rice and noodle dishes to choose from; my go-to is the rare beef pho- the broth is hearty, tastes authentic and the beef strips are thick and tender. This is definitely a popular spot within Shoreditch as it’s almost always packed with customers!
Chipotle is a good place if you want quick and easy Mexican food. The menu is simple and gives you freedom to customise how you want your food whether it be a salad, burrito, or tacos. I enjoy tacos the most, especially hard-shell tacos, because of the texture and crunch.
Hit up Chipotle if you’re looking for healthy and delicious food that won’t break the bank!
Hala is an authentic Turkish restaurant located in Harringay and I have nothing but good things to say about this place. The interior promotes a warm and comfortable vibe, the restaurant is filled with people and chatter, and the service is fast. The menu is like any other Turkish restaurant but the quality is in the food- the salad was fresh, the meat was tender, the sauces were flavourful and the rice was fluffy and buttery.
The complimentary bread and salad is topped up free of charge but try not to fill up on this! Complimentary tea and baklava (a popular rich and sweet dessert pastry) was also provided at the end and was the perfect way to finish such a meal. I recommend going as a group so that you can order the sharing platters as it’s normally cheaper and you get a variety of meats.
5. Old Spitalfields Market
I love street food- there’s a variety to choose from and it’s great for sharing. The market operates daily and there’s not only food and drink, but unique shops and stalls. The food market serves different types of foods from different cuisines: Japanese, Italian, Jamaican, Chinese and Ethiopian to name a few! I tried food from the Dumpling Shack, Yum Bun and Wheelcake Island. I enjoyed the Dumpling Shack’s signature shengjianbao the most which are soup dumplings with a crispy base.
If food markets are your type of thing, be sure to visit the Old Spitalfields Market!
Korean food is one of my favourite cuisines and it has become very popular in London over the years. Korean barbecue (kbbq) is a popular method of grilling meats at the table where you can cook various meats such as beef, pork, chicken and seafood. Arang located in Golden Square, Soho is one of the many restaurants that offer this. However, it is one of my top Korean restaurants to go to because the service is good, their food is reasonably priced, they give you complimentary side dishes (you’ll be surprised that not a lot of restaurants do this) and the portions are adequate.
Also, korean barbecue is great for when you are dining with a group of people and is great for sharing. If you’re a student on a budget but also a huge meat lover, I suggest having korean barbecue with your friends since it’s filling and it’s less expensive when split among you.
7. Stax Diner
At Stax Diner, you can get the classic ‘chicken and waffles’, a combination influenced by the traditions of soul food. The crispiness of the fried chicken paired with the soft and fluffiness of the waffle definitely creates a perfect mouthful of both texture and flavour. It also comes with a pot of maple syrup to drizzle all over; the sweetness against the saltiness of the chicken is an unusual surprise.
If you are a pickle lover like me, I suggest you order a side of battered pickles that comes with their special ranch dressing.
8. Kova Patisserie
Now, time for some dessert! Located in Soho, this Japanese cafe is popular for its specialty in mille crêpes (layered French crêpes with light custard cream filling between each layer). This type of cake creates a unique texture when cutting and eating and can be filling. The cafe offers several flavours which include coconut, chocolate, vanilla and matcha.
They also serve macaroons, tarts, cake rolls and other types of cakes such as tiramisu, shortcake and cheesecake. This place is a nice pit-stop after a meal, when you’re feeling something sweet or to pass time.
9. Soft Serve Society
Soft Serve Society resides in Box Park, Shoreditch and primarily sells premium soft serve ice cream and freakshakes. Their desserts are super instagrammable with enticing flavours, vibrant colours and interesting toppings.
Pictured above is the ‘Cloud 9’ which is vanilla ice cream topped with berry candyfloss, pocky, strawberry crunch, strawberry sauce and popping candy.
If you’re a major sweet tooth, Soft Serve Society is definitely the place for you!
Machiya is a Japanese restaurant that also serves matcha desserts. Here we have the matcha roll cake, matcha soft serve and matcha fondant. While I find the soft serve to be too strong in flavour, the fondant was more to my liking and had a soft and fluffy texture. The matcha filling inside the fondant was not overwhelming which I enjoyed but this may be because I am not much of a matcha/ green tea lover. The roll cake is a classic so you can’t go wrong with that, but on some days it can be quite dense which is off-putting.
The desserts are reasonably priced and great for sharing with others as well.
Thanks for reading this post and for more places to eat in London, check out my food Instagram account @foodiewudie.
Rachael's interest in food, beauty and travel has motivated her to start her own blog, inspired by creativity and content creation. Do take a look!