If there is one thing England is known for, it is likely not its food. The history is astounding; the theatre ranks among New York’s Broadway in quality and stature – even hotels in London can be incredible – but it’s food is pretty much universally panned. Having the reputation of being bland, greasy and not particularly imaginative, the food being sub-par is a common complaint among travellers and locals alike, with most preferring something from a different ethnicity. With this in mind though, there are some dishes that are quite memorable on any stop in London… and some that aren’t.
When you’re staying in a great hotel in London, you’re able to get a hearty breakfast that will get you off on the right foot for the rest of the day – provided you’re walking around. Unlike in continental Europe (hence the term continental breakfast), the British breakfast is heavy, greasy and full of all over goodness. If your hotel doesn’t offer a full English breakfast, don’t worry – there’s likely a pub or shop that will provide!
Can Miss: Roast Nuts
Almost everywhere you go on the streets from the bridges to beside the London Eye you will see vendors selling roast nuts that, if you’re hungry, will seem a horrible tease that you just have to try. Not only are they overpriced, but many of them are grossly overcooked and terrible for you – you’d be better off visiting a corner store and grabbing a bag of crisps or sweets.
Cannot Miss: Fish and Chips
Few foods are as English as fish and chips – finding the best is a matter of opinion and frustration. Some people will not be satisfied unless they can find them served on newspaper, like in the old days, but even those types are usually printed on fake paper (which is better than the real thing, which is super unhygienic) and can be overpriced for the novelty. Either way, you can’t go wrong with heavily deep-friend fish and a side of equally oil-laden potatoes. Mmmm.
Cannot Miss: Pub Food
Pub culture is every bit a part of the London identity as Tower Bridge and terrible teeth, and just like finding the perfect fish and chips, the perfect pub is all a matter of taste. Some are themed, like the Sherlock Holmes pub, while others are holes in the wall with barflies that seem older than time itself. Few things are as satisfying as the goodies served alongside your pint of ale and over good conversation with friends and locals, and regardless of the overall quality, a few pints in it all tastes the same!
General Dining Advice
Venture from here to Trafalgar Square and take in all the monuments and other familiar spots. If you haven’t already, try to find a place to eat for the evening or lunch from any number of the pubs and diners that line the streets, either here, SoHo or the various other areas. Resist the urge to dine in a chain restaurant like a TGI Fridays or McDonalds (ha!) and opt instead to try some of the local food – which can be a bit bland and not the best for you… but you’re in London – it’s a must.