Food in London – A Newcomer’s Guide

For any city, food is a huge part of what makes it special. From the time you step off the plane at Heathrow, you’ll be met with food carts selling everything from hot dogs to sushi to falafel, so it should come as no surprise that London is one of the best cities in the world for foodies. But if you’re new to the city, here’s a guide on how to make the most of your culinary experience!

English Breakfast

A traditional English breakfast is eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. The breakfast is often served with tea or coffee.
Scrambled eggs are made by whisking eggs together and cooking them on the stovetop with milk or water. The mixture is stirred continuously to create large curds which are cooked until they’re thick enough to form soft and creamy scrambled eggs.
Bacon is fried until crisp then crumbled over scrambled eggs, omelets or other dishes.
Sausages are cut into rounds before being browned on the grill and added to scrambled egg dishes.

Sunday Roast

London is known for its Sunday roasts and it does not disappoint. The classic Sunday lunch is a hearty meal that includes some form of meat or fish, vegetables, potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. The meat or fish will typically be roasted with vegetables and then served with the other ingredients on top. Yorkshire pudding is a savory bread made from flour, milk and eggs that are poured into a pan to cook and rise before they are served. You can usually find desserts such as apple pie, treacle tart or spotted dick.
There are many different dishes available depending on what part of London you go to. For instance, East London is famous for Indian food while West London serves up more European cuisine. For lunch, you can stop by one of the many sandwich shops and enjoy your lunch break outside in one of the many parks that line the streets. Many people take their snacks with them wherever they go as well so these little cafes offer everything from cookies to ice cream sandwiches so you never have an excuse to go hungry!

Afternoon Tea

If you like snacks and desserts, then afternoon tea is the perfect tradition for you. The first of this type of occasion was in late 1800s England when ladies would take a break from lunch to have an elegant (and calorie-packed) dessert. These days, it’s more of a social event than a meal. Join the British tradition with these steps Find a hotel or restaurant that offers it, such as The Ritz Hotel or Claridge’s.
Make your reservation at least two weeks ahead of time because demand is high for these types of venues during peak hours such as Saturday afternoons and Sundays before noon.
Dress up! You can always go back into your jeans and t-shirt later, but there’s no chance to change into something fancier once you arrive. Expect small sandwiches, pastries, scones with clotted cream and jam, mini fruit tartlets, chocolates and sweets; the portions are tiny so pace yourself if you plan on eating other meals throughout the day. Lastly – be patient! Afternoon Tea is not a quick affair so don’t let hunger get the best of you by waiting too long between courses; some places will serve them over three hours!

Pie and Mash

The dish itself is made from a mixture of mashed potato and meat, which may include beef, lamb or pork. These are then mixed with flour to form a dough. The dough is then cut into shapes, before being boiled in water to cook. Some people like to add some butter or gravy on top of their pie and mash. It is not uncommon for the dish to be served with peas and/or a fried egg on top too! We have also seen pies filled with ham and onion sauce or roast beef.
You can find this dish all over London but we found it most popular in east London and South East England.
The first time we had this was at Pie and Mash shop called ‘Belles Pies’ near Liverpool Street Station, as well as an amazing one at West Ham Lane Market.

Indian Food

Indians are known for their spicy food, which is made up of a variety of spices. The most commonly used are turmeric and cumin. Other spices include cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, red chilli, black pepper and coriander leaves. Indian cuisine includes a wide range of dishes such as curries (such as butter chicken or lamb rogan josh), dhal (split lentils) and vegetarian dishes like aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower). Naan breads and rotis are often eaten with curry, while rice is usually served alongside other dishes. For dessert there’s mango lassi or gulab jamun (deep fried milk balls soaked in syrup) to enjoy!

Chinese Food

London has a huge Chinese community and it is not hard to find great Chinese food here. You can find anything from local takeaway joints, to Michelin star restaurants. The best thing about eating Chinese food in London is that there are so many different varieties of cuisine and price points. If you’re looking for something cheaper, look for the dumpling joints on the street corners or try some of the noodle bars. For more upscale cuisine, try Hakkasan or Yauatcha if you have time. Unsurprisingly, one of the most well-known dishes that comes out of China is wonton soup. It can be found everywhere and its origins come from Guangdong province in China where it was created as an anti-malarial soup for laborers working outside.
The other famous dish is Peking duck which originates from Beijing with its history dating back to 11th century Song dynasty rule by Mongolian Khans. Duck was popular because it was a cheap way to feed large numbers of people since they could be raised quite easily on grasslands close to Beijing, whereas grain-fed beef would have been too expensive.

Lebanese Food

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it is difficult to go through a week in London without sampling the food of this vibrant city. Lebanese cuisine is often not as well-known as other cuisines but it has been brought to the forefront of multicultural fusion dishes by the British. Lebanese food centres around vegetable-based dishes such as tabbouleh and hummus and meat dishes such as shish kebab and kafta.

Turkish Food

Turkish cuisine is one of the most diverse and complex regional cuisines. Turkish people have a love for spices, so dishes may come with a range of different flavors depending on where they are from. The main staples of Turkish food are rice and vegetables, but there are also many meat-based dishes. Among these are Kofte (meatballs) which can be eaten with rice or wrapped up in pastry to make Baklava. One of the most popular snacks is Lahmacun which is made up of thin dough topped with minced meat and herbs, as well as vegetables such as onion, parsley and tomato paste.

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