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London Food Tour: Cultural & Food Adventures

City Guide September 20, 2023

 

London goes beyond the traditional fare of fish & chips and Sunday roast; it presents an extraordinary chance to savor flavors from around the world without ever stepping outside the city. The city has many multicultural neighborhoods, which can be doubled as an exciting culinary adventure for anyone curious about food and drink!

Whether you're a foodie looking for a food-related walking tour or a curious solo traveler doing a self-guided exploration to find lunch, there are plentiful options for all preferences. In the style of a local guide, in this article, we'll break down some of the biggest cultural hotspots and a few restaurant and food recommendations.

Remember, these are all recommendations, and we suggest you go off the beaten path and make your discoveries through places such as Borough Market. Our little food tour includes various delicious food choices that you should enjoy, with options for several dietary requirements.

Carrying your luggage around the streets of London can certainly build up an appetite, and while that can be necessary for this multicultural food expedition, you might want to find a safe place to store those bags. So check out Nannybag, your luggage storage for a day in London solution!

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Brick Lane (Shoreditch)

Let's start this with an East Food Tour through Brick Lane in Shoreditch, where you can savor the diverse culinary offerings from Indian food and Bangladeshi curry houses. Suppose you want to explore this area. In that case, we recommend booking a London Food Tour specializing in this area to immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors and cultural heritage fully and maybe even try something new.

 

Sheba

This acclaimed Indian restaurant was crowned the "Best Indian Restaurant in Brick Lane" by the UK Restaurant Guides in 2012. Renowned for its commitment to using only the finest quality ingredients.

They have a fully licensed bar, two floors for hosting, and a stellar reputation for catering to large and small groups. Sheba offers an unforgettable dining experience in the heart of Brick Lane. You can book online on Tuesdays and get 25% off your entire meal!

Location: 136 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU, Tube stations

Hours: Noon to midnight, Open 7 days, including Bank Holidays

Price: ££- £££

 

Graam Bangla

Experience the culinary excellence of Graam Bangla, where the very best ingredients are carefully selected and cooked to perfection using traditional recipes. Each sauce is crafted from scratch daily, with fresh ingredients, special herbs, and spices. The dedicated chefs at Graam Bangla ensure an authentic taste reminiscent of home-cooked Bangladeshi cuisine. Make sure to get here early, as the dishes might run out!

Location: 68 Brick Lane, London E1 6RL, UK

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 11:30 am - 11:30 pm

Price: £

 

Southall

For another authentic taste of Indian cuisine, include a visit to Southall. Unlike the name, this food haven is located west. Explore the bustling streets, browse spice markets, and indulge in aromatic curries and sweets.

If you're interested, there are food tours of London available in the area. These Food Tours often provide insights into the cultural heritage and history of the neighborhood.

 

 

Street vendors

Don't shy away from sampling all the delicacies from the street vendors. Make sure to try the Pani Puri, a popular street food delicacy. Each vendor adds a unique twist, from tangy and spicy to sweet and savory.

Location: Varies

Hours: Varies

Price: £- ££

 

Karwan

Karwan invites you to explore the rich tapestry of Afghan cuisine. Here, you can sample aromatic rice dishes and succulent kebabs to flavorful stews and mouthwatering desserts. Karwan showcases the diverse culinary heritage of Afghanistan in a truly remarkable way.

Location: 29-31 Featherstone Rd, Southall UB2 5AB, UK

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 12 pm-12 am

Price: ££- £££

 

Chinatown (Soho)

We now move west to explore the flavors of the Far East, where you can easily have a DIY Walking Tasting Tour of Chinatown. Sample a variety of delicious dim sum, and leave room for some peking duck. Take some time to learn a bit about the history and origins of the area, too!

 

 

Leong's Legend

The tantalizing tastes of Taiwan inspire this restaurant. Every bite is a taste of authentic Taiwanese cuisine, from Soup Dumplings to Oyster Omelette, Beef Noodle Soup to Chilli Crab, and the legendary Taiwanese Pork Buns. The entrance lies behind what seems to be a locked door. Just make sure to knock!

Location: 39 Gerrard St, London W1D 5QD

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12 pm - 9 pm

Price: ££- £££

 

Taiyaki

So teriyaki isn't a restaurant, but it certainly is a must-try dish. Traditionally, Taiyaki is filled with a sweet red bean paste. However, modern variations include many fillings such as custard, chocolate, matcha, and savory options like cheese or sausage.

If you're looking for a sweet snack, try one of the many Taiyaki treats in the area. If you're unsure where to find one, stop at Yaki Yaki. They have ice cream-filled Taiyaki that is perfect for the hot summer months!

Location: Varies

Hours: Varies

Price: £- ££

 

 

Dalston's Kingsland Road

Welcome to Dalston's Kingsland Road, filled with so much variety you won't know where to start. Here, Vietnamese cuisine takes center stage! As you stroll along this bustling street, prepare to embark on a culinary awakening.

Discover an array of Vietnamese restaurants serving mouthwatering pho, banh mi, and other diverse delicacies that will transport you elsewhere. So, if you're craving pho or feeling under the weather, stop into Dalston for some foolproof pho.

 

 

Supa ya Ramen

Dalston is home to the original Supa ya Ramen location. Now, this one might be a bit controversial due to the fact it proudly embraces its "inauthentic ramen" status. Supa ya Ramen offers a playful twist on traditional Japanese dishes by giving them some traditional English flare.

The menu might raise some brows with its offerings, like ham, egg, and chips mazemen, but lighten up and try. You're in for a super good meal!

Location: 191 Rye Lane, London SE15 4TP

Hours: Tues- Fri: 6-10, Sat: 12-3 & 6-10, Sun: 12-4

Price: ££

 

Ngopi

A hidden gem nestled in the heart of London. With its roots deeply grounded in Indonesian coffee culture, Ngopi is a haven for coffee and culture lovers. From earthy Sumatran blends to smooth and aromatic Javanese varieties, each sip will transport you. Pair your coffee with traditional Indonesian snacks, such as crispy pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) or savory martabak (stuffed pancake), to make the most of your experience.

Location: 78 Dalston Ln, E8 3AH

Hours: Mon-Sun: 8 am-4 pm

Price: £

 

Peckham

This South London neighborhood has transformed recently and become a hub for creative food and cultural experiences. Explore the scene in Peckham by visiting trendy cafes and international food markets. From West African cuisine to artisanal bakeries, Peckham offers a diverse range. It might be a bit of a trek, but we highly recommend this place.

 

 

Peckham Levels

Initially a parking lot, Peckham Levels now serves as a coworking, food hall, and community space. The food halls and cafes are located in the 5 & 6th levels and have a top-tier diverse selection of options. When you visit, check out Plantain Kitchen, a booth specializing in West African cuisine. Other must-tries include Boxwallah's Delhi-inspired chili cheese aloo tikki and butter chicken samosas or Ipanema Grill's Brazilian BBQ.

Location: 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Hours: Mon-Sun: Tues to Thurs: 9 am to 11 pm, Fri: 9 am to 1 am, Sat: 10 am to 1 am, Sun: 10 am to 9 pm

Price: £-££

 

Lolak Afrique Peckham

This is a family-owned restaurant that opened in 1996. The menu showcases a delightful array of dishes, each carefully crafted to reflect the rich culinary traditions of Africa, from West African favorites like jollof rice and suya to East African specialties Moi Moi Olele.

All the ingredients are specially sourced and imported from Nigeria and other countries in West Africa. If this is new to you, that is perfectly fine! The friendly team here will gladly guide you through the offerings.

Location: 38 Choumert Rd, London SE15 4SE

Hours: Open 7 days a week; 12 pm-10 pm

Price: ££

 

Brixton

Experience the Afro-Caribbean influence on a Secret Food Tour of Brixton. Discover the hidden culinary gems and local favorites, from mouthwatering Jamaican jerk chicken to authentic Caribbean street food. You can find many hidden gems here in Brixton.

 

 

Original Flava

Flava brothers Craig and Shaun established their first permanent restaurant residency at Market House Brixton. They attribute their remarkable culinary skills to their Jamaican Grandmother and Mother, who instilled in them the traditions of authentic Caribbean cooking. They host specialty days throughout the week, so you'll never get bored. Stop in on Mondays for meatless Mondays, Wednesdays for half-price, and Sundays for a Caribbean-inspired Sunday roast.

Location: 443 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LN

Working Hours: Mon: 3 pm-11 pm (food served from 6 pm), Tues-Thurs: 3 pm-11 pm, Fri & Sat: 12 pm-3 am, Sun: 12 pm-11 pm

Price: £-££

Please note that food is served until 10 pm every day. Some offerings are Halal. Make sure to ask which ones specifically!

 

Fish, Wings, and Tings

Brixton's cozy Caribbean restaurant features fresh seafood, finger-licking jerk chicken wings, and vegetarian options. The owner is from Trinidad and makes it a point to hire local talents and to purchase from local suppliers. Fish, Wings, and Tings is a staple to the community, and a must-visit when you're in the area.

Location: Granville Arcade, Unit 3, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PR

Working Hours: Tues-Sun: 12-22:30, Mon: Closed

Price: £

 

Little Portugal

Experience the vibrant flavors of Portuguese cuisine in Little Portugal, located in South Lambeth. Try traditional dishes like bacalhau (cod), piri-piri chicken, and pastéis de nata (custard tarts). Get a taste of Portugal without having to book a flight. It's a win-win.

 

 

Pinto's Portugal Tapas Bar & Restaurant

This restaurant and bar is the perfect solution to experience authentic Portuguese cuisine in a laid-back setting. Order some sangria or one of the many wines as you sample the shareable tapas. If you're hungrier, opt for a juicy picanha steak. And make sure to leave room for some of the sobremesa da casa (dessert).

Location: Victoria House, 5A-6A, S Lambeth Rd SW8 1QX, UK

Working Hours: Open 7 days: 10 am-11 pm

Price: ££- £££

 

A Toca

Located in Vauxhall, this Portuguese restaurant offers a remarkable dining experience. Led by a skilled Portuguese chef, the establishment boasts a diverse menu featuring exquisite dishes like the mouthwatering Grilled Sirloin Steak "Mirandesa Style."

The restaurant not only highlights the flavors of Portuguese cuisine but also caters to the established Portuguese community in London. So stop in for a meal and the opportunity to feel immersed. Desfrute de sua refeição!

Location: 343 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2JH

Working Hours: Open 7 days: 9 am-12 am

Price: £

 

When planning your food adventure, consider your sources, whether the New York Times or TikTok for my Gen-Z'ers. They might highlight hidden gems and the latest food trends. Whether you opt for a private food tour or create your gastronomic adventure, London's multicultural neighborhoods will satisfy you with many new memories for your taste buds.

Before you drop into the restaurants on this list, please drop off your bags in one of our many Nannybag locations. For only £6 per bag per day, you can rest easily so that your luggage is safe and cared for. So enjoy your stress-free, bag-free culinary journey through the vibrant streets of London. Oh! Pack your stretchy pants.

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