Here’s a roundup of places I’ve liked from my last few trips to London. When I’m in London, I’m always working, but I try hard to fit in good food!
This is a trendy Indian place located just up the street from Selfridge’s. I popped in here for a quick afternoon snack since I accidentally skipped lunch. I ate upstairs in the “Street Kitchen,” which serves food all day. There is also a restaurant downstairs that serves dinner.
My favorite thing I ordered was the bhel puri — puffed rice mixed with tamarind and spices. The samosas were huge, but not quite as good as the bhel puri. I wish I could have ordered more dishes but I was by myself!
Leon is a healthy fast food chain with around 20 of locations throughout London. There was one on my commute home in the Victoria Train Station so I decided to give it a try. I got a chicken superfood salad that included grilled chicken, quinoa, and peas. It was pretty good for a quick weeknight dinner. My only issue with it were the huge chunks of parsley stems mixed in.
Leon serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it’s a great option to get quick and healthy fresh food when you’re on the go. I really recommend this if you’re looking for a quick bite on a long day of sightseeing.
Chotto Matte is a restaurant in Soho that serves Nikkei cuisine, or Japanese-Peruvian fusion. I have to admit I was very skeptical, especially since I don’t care for sushi or nigiri. I was totally blown away — the food was that good.
In addition to my finickiness about sushi, we had a vegetarian with us. The menu is vast and we had no problem finding something for everyone to share. My favorite was the pollo del miso, pictured above (split by the omnivores at the table).
Little Social is designed as an upscale diner serving British food with a French influence. Got that? It’s well done and delicious. My coworker took Mr. P and I out and it was the perfect combination of a beautiful restaurant with fantastic food that wasn’t too pretentious. Mr. P and I split the cottage pie for two and it was to die for!
As seems to be the trend with some restaurants in London, when we booked we were told there was a time limit and we had to finish our dinner by a certain time (I think two hours?). Due to service that was a tad slow, we ended up leaving about 15 minutes after the deadline but no one said anything.
I popped into Muriel’s Kitchen in South Kensington for tea while I was waiting for my AirBNB host to let me into my flat. Muriel’s has three locations in London — the one I sat at in South Ken is right outside the tube station. The staff were super nice and helped me wheel my 50-pound suitcase into a side room so it wouldn’t get in the way.
I ordered a cup of tea and a scone — the waiter looked at me a bit weird because I wasn’t ordering more. Then I noticed everyone around me was digging into huge desserts! Muriel’s also serves lunch and other savory foods — it all looked fresh and delicious. My scone was huge and it and the tea were excellent!
If you’re looking for a place to try proper tea and scones without having to commit to an afternoon tea or high tea, put this on your list.
The Kati Roll Co.
With locations in Soho in London and New York City, this place is excellent for quick, delicious Indian food. Mr. P and I stopped here for dinner last December. They serve various kati rolls, both vegetarian and non. I thought they would be small but one was quite enough for a light dinner. I had the chicken tikka roll and it was fantastic!
Morada Brindisa Asador
London has a love affair with Spanish tapas. I loved this place because it was Spanish food but actually not tapas! My coworker and I split some cava and dinner. What we didn’t realize: even though it is not a tapas restaurant, the dishes are still served family style. We ordered a tad too much food!
I’m still having dreams about the jamón ibérico (hand carved right in front of us) and the roast pork. The pork was absurdly expensive (but makes sense when one realizes it’s to be shared) but totally worth it — it was charcoal-fired and crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. I’m taking Mr. P here next time we’re in town.
Dosa World is just off Brick Lane in East London and specializes in, yep, Dosas. Tourists tend to associate Brick Lane with Indian food. Actually, the restaurants tend to be Bangladeshi and while you can get a Bangladeshi curry, the curries tend to be a bit fruitier and sweeter.
Dosas are southern Indian, so a bit outside of the majority in the area. Mr. P and I ordered two dosas plus a lamb dish to split and it was fantastic. The restaurant was pretty empty, but they sure did a robust take out business (kind of feels like a Chinese food place in the US that does more take out than dine in).
My coworkers tell me that if I want “proper Indian food” I have to venture outside central London to Wembley. I still haven’t had time to do that, so I’m glad we were at least able to get southern Indian at Dosa World!