My favourite thing about London is food. Actually, one of my favourite things in life is food. When I think about what will I miss the most when I leave London, it’s definitely the restaurants. In terms of authenticity, variety of cuisines, and deliciousness, there are some real gems out there and they don’t always have to be the pricy options!
Almost all of my favourite restaurants were recommendations (let’s be honest, that’s how you find the real gems), so I’d love to share my recommendations with you!
Italian and Pizza
No question, this is (according to me) the best pizza in London! A gigantic size that’s screaming to be shared with someone you really like (don’t waste this delish pizza on someone who’s unworthy)! 20£ for a 20 inch pizza also fares really for the wallet, as it’s definitely a good feed for two!
Despite being a (pizza) chain, Franco Manca is absolutely delicious. The best pizza in terms of value for money! I’m also a big fan of the No Logo-drinks, but mostly the deliciousness and reasonable pricing has me hooked!
Delicious by Franco
A family-owned restaurant in Kentish Town where every bite blows your mind. Both pasta and pizza are amazing. The specialties from Venice together with the charming service almost make you feel as if you really are in Italy. With regard to price, you have to invest a little more (around 15£ for a main, pizzas are a little cheaper), but they have special lunch offers and also 2-for-1 pizza deals on certain days.
My favourite thing about Ciao Bella is that you can sit outside in any weather. Having an awning and heaters is what makes this possible, and honestly, it’s just so cool to sit outside in March and enjoy pizza and wine. Located in a quiet side road in the Bloomsbury area near Russell Square, Ciao Bella has a very bohemian and almost vacation-like vibe. It also simply has a special place in my heart, as my boyfriend and I went there on one of our dates in the first week after we had met. ❤
Another chain, but oh so delicious as well. This one specialises on food from Naples, and has a great pizza and pasta selection. They also offer cooking classes which sounds like a really cool thing, so if anyone has tried them, I’d love to hear about it!
Also a chain, one used to be near my old office, so it was a little bit of a lunch treat sometimes. They have a cool ‘healthy’ option, where you can opt for a smaller portion of your pasta or pizza and add a salad. It’s all about balance, right?
Ahhhh, Tayyabs. Pure deliciousness, very reasonable pricing and BYOB. What more can you ask for? Tayyabs makes Punjabi food, it has a fantastic atmosphere and is always, literally always, buzzling and full. Located in Whitechapel in a little side road near the East London Mosque.
This one is probably no surprise, neither is Tayyabs really, both are very popular in my circles (filled with SOAS people). Dishoom’s Bombay dishes are mouth-watering, great service (chai is served for you while you wait for your table), amazing cocktails (and mocktails) and beautiful interior design in all of its five restaurants in King’s Cross, Covent Garden, Carnaby, Shoreditch and Edinburgh.
Located not far from Tayyabs, in the Aldgate East/Whitechapel area, Lahore Kebab has fantastic Pakistani food. The interior design is a little more ‘plane’ compared to the other two, but the atmosphere doesn’t really suffer from that. It is a buzzling place with all kinds of different people enjoying delicious curries or grills!
I’m not even sure if I should put this one on the list, as it’s already difficult to get a table outside where you can enjoy a shisha (being warmed under heaters). Considering what London sells as summer these days, the importance of heaters should never be underestimated. Mandaloun is in Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, a Lebanese restaurant, one of the few places where you can also have a cocktail with your shisha. Many places in Edgware Road don’t serve alcohol and are definitely not as fancy as Mandaloun. I prefer their mezze selection over the mains, which are mostly meat/chicken with rice, but I prefer in general having a number of mezze to share! Cause sharing is caring, you know…
Authentic Palestinian food from Ramallah, need I say more? They also have verrrry tasty Lebanese wines. It’s family-run and has a lovely cozy atmosphere. Located in Westbourne Park. I can recommend the Musakhan, the Künafe and the Maqloubeh. But honestly, everything there tastes amazing!
A Moroccan oasis just of Regent’s Street. Momo has a restaurant and a cafe area. I actually like the cafe area even better. The food in the restaurant is super delicious, but portions are rather small and not exactly cheap. There’s nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon lounging with mint tea in the cafe area.
Another Moroccan restaurant, Sidi Maarouf makes bniiiiine (delicious in Darija, the Moroccan dialect) tajine and couscous. Located on Edgware Road, you almost feel like you’re in a Middle Eastern/North African city anyways. While not cheap at 15£ for a main, Sidi Maarouf has a special treat in for desert, namely a complimentary fruit platter! So good!
My latest discovery! After having a Surinamese Roti in Amsterdam and getting completely hooked, I’ve been searching for something comparable in London. Not with much success so far, Surinamese food seems to not have spread in London. However, I did find this amazing Malaysian street food place that has super delicious rotis! A chicken curry with two rotis is just 6,50£ and definitely filling, whereas the vegetarian dhaal with two rotis is even cheaper at just 5£. It’s located near Euston in the basement of a slightly dodgy Chinese place, but definitely worth it.
Steak & Fries (well, and Lobster)
Le Relais de Venise
As the title says, Le Relais de Venise serves steak and fries. No other options, but you don’t really need anything. Delicious, tender steak in a pepper sauce with loads of fries, Parisian style! There are three locations, one in Canary Wharf, one in Soho and one in Marylebone!
Steak & Lobster
Another one with a pretty straight forward menu, either steak or lobster with unlimited fries! It’s certainly a feast in a classy atmosphere. Three locations: Bloomsbury, Warren Street and Marble Arch!
This is probably the most expensive restaurant that I have been to in London, but it was absolutely worth the money. Every bite was fantastic, amazing food and drinks, as well as fantastic service in a very modern desing. Located near Liverpool Street.
Not only a tasty place for breakfast (their buttermilk chicken is kickass!!!), but they definitely made it onto my list of breakfast places. Wide range of options, both sweet and savoury is super delicious. While Bill’s has different locations across London, the one in St Martin’s Courtyard is probably my favourite!
The Breakfast Club
All I can say is yum! If you can ever make it through the always seemingly endless queue, it’ll be sooo worth it. I’ve probably had the best pancakes of my life at the Breakfast Club!
I would love to hear about your favourites, good food always gets me, so let me know in the comments!
* ‘best’ should be taken with a grain of salt in this case, as it’s of course based on my humble opinion and limited experience 😉