Food and drink in London
London is a place where you can eat delicious (albeit expensive). People from different parts of the world live in it, and you can choose any cuisine, from Georgian to Peruvian. Truly, London is home to some of the best Cantonese restaurants in all of Europe.
It is the center of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine and also has numerous French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Thai restaurants. Traditional and modern British food is everywhere, some of the best establishments are listed below.
Cafes and eateries in London
There are many cafes and small restaurants in London where you can eat up to £10, including tea and coffee. A huge number of such establishments are run by Anglo-Italians, which guarantees you excellent coffee and decent sandwiches.
Some of the establishments listed below are also open in the evening, but do not stay too long, as many have an appetite after a full night of entertainment. Keep in mind that pubs also offer food, and some of them take it quite seriously.
Whitehall, Westminster and Victoria
one). Cafe in the Crypt – The self-service diner is nothing special, but there are always vegetarian options, and the convenient location and good atmosphere make this place perfect. Location: Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Duncannon Street, WC2;
2). Jenny Lo’s Teahouse – Brilliant, simple and utilitarian, but somewhat classy and trendy, Jenny Lo’s serves good Chinese food at low prices. Don’t forget to order medicinal teas. Opening hours: closed on Sundays. Location: 14 Ecclestone Street, SW1.
St. James, Mayfair and Marylebone
one). Eat & Two Veg Restaurant – A lively and modern vegetarian restaurant with a selection of soy protein and vegan options. The menu is eclectic with Thai, Greek and Italian influences. Location: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1;
2). Momo Tearoom Restaurant – Mixed food, mostly Arabic. The adjoining restaurant is expensive, but the teahouse serves delicious snacks. Tables and hookahs spill onto the pavement of a small street behind Regent Street. Location: 25 Haddon Street, W1;
3). Patisserie Valerse at Sagne – Founded as the Swiss Maison Sagne in the 1920s and retaining its splendid décor, the café is now run by fabulous Soho pastry chefs and is without a doubt the best in Marylebone. Location: 105 Marylebone High Street, W1;
four). The Wolseley Café – Luxurious and stylish 1920s interiors at this café-restaurant (built as a showroom for Wolseley’s cars) are magnetic, service is thoughtful and free of arrogance. Considering the level of glamour, this place is surprisingly affordable, and the Viennese-inspired cuisine proves it. Great place to have breakfast and cream tea (£7.75). Location: 160 Pica dilly, W1.
Soho, Chinatown and Fitzrovia
one). Café Itaiia – Typical Soho, this tiny café has been in business since 1949. It serves coffee, croissants and sandwiches almost around the clock. Location: 22 Frith Street, W1;
2). Beatroot Café – A great little veggie café near the market offers delicious hot pastries, stews or fish with vegetables and rice, salads (plus delicious cakes) in boxes of various sizes, all for under £5. Location: 92 Berwick Street, W1;
3). Breakfast Club – A small, intimate Australian-style establishment with oversized toasted sandwiches, freshly squeezed juice and great coffee plus free Wi-Fi and two computer terminals. Opening hours: closed on Sundays. Location: 33 D’Arblay Street, W1;
four). Gaby’s Café – A lively food café open until late in the evening, with a wide selection of homemade vegan food and traditional Middle Eastern dishes. Has no rivals in price and choice, licensed. Opening hours: closed on Sundays. Location: 30 Charing Cross Road, WC2;
5). Indian YMCA – Ignore the warning that this cafeteria is for students only – it’s open to everyone; press the bell and enter. The entire menu is divided into portions in very small plates. Collect what you like and pay at the checkout.
Kopi-Tiam Cafe – A great, cheap Malaysian cafe serving curries, coconut rice, juices and “herbal soups” to local Malays, all for around £5. Location: 9 Wardour Street, W1;
7). Café Maison Bertaux – A long-running, old-fashioned and downright French café, with tables on two floors (and one or two outside) and a dedicated clientele that takes it very seriously. Location: 28 Greek Street, W1;
eight). Misato Café – A modern Japanese canteen-style café serving hearty rice and noodle dishes for around £5, plus miso soup, sushi and boxed bento. Location: 11 Wardour Street, W1;
9). Cafe Patisserie Valerie – A popular coffee, cake and croissant café that has been in business since the 1950s and attracts noisy and pretentious Soho clerks. Location: 44 Old Compton Street, W1;
ten). Tokyo Diner – A friendly diner on the edge of Chinatown that eschews fast food. The minimalist décor highlights the delicious sushi. Location: 2 Newport Place, WC2.
one). Food for Thought – A long-running but tiny vegetarian restaurant, and the food is good, the menu changes twice a day. You may have to stand in line, and you can’t expect to be able to sit up during rush hour. Location: 31 Neal Street, WC2;
2). Just Falafs – This convenience store is adjacent to the southeast corner of the piazza. Healthy falafels, organic salad, yogurt and sometimes beans wrapped in tortillas. Location: 27-b Covent Garden Piazza, WC2;
3). Rock & Sole Plaice – A rare survivor – a real (and expensive) traditional fish and chips shop in Central London. Location: 47 Endell Street, WC2;
four). Wagamama – Wagamama has many imitators and is the first of a litany of bleak, minimalist Chinese eateries. There are several branches in Central London. Location: 4 Streatham Street, WC1;
5). World Food Café – Vegetarian cafe on the ground floor that gets especially busy in the summer when the windows are wide open and you can stare at people and gobble up expensive but delicious meals from all over the world. Opening hours: closed on Sundays. Location: 14 Neal’s Yard, WC2.