Lili's Travel Diary #24: London Foodie Guide

In the beginning of my time in London, I severely budgeted myself when it came to eating out. About two months into my time there, I got sick of saying no to food invites. I decided that this was an area that I'd indulge myself in because I'm only here once. As a foodie, I did a lot of fun research looking for places to eat. This has resulted in this huge guide keeping track of all my memorable outings with my thoughts and recommendations! I hope any future world travelers or my British readers will use this foodie guide as a source of future food-related adventures!

It's not the fanciest thing to ever exist, but I sure as heck enjoyed eating my way through London and thought this would be kind of fun.

  • Balls & Co- This is a meatball restaurant, and I was really excited to go to it mostly because they had a vegetarian meatball dish made out of quinoa, beetroot, and feta! I really enjoyed them, though they're a bit overpriced so I do not see myself rushing back. This is a cute little destination perfect for a date night. Part of the appeal for me, really, was the whole vegetarian meatball thing. Make sure to request their complimentary parsnip crisps when you sit down because they are TO DIE FOR.
  • Borough Market- This is a market meant more for unique eats. I am a fan of the vegetarian Ethiopian stand, fresh fruit stand, home-made pasta stand that I can grab my spinach pasta from, the fresh cheese stands with all the free samples, and the Indian stand that has these fried onion things that are absolutely to die for. This is the market to go to if you want to stock up the kitchen or eat some street food that's a little more unique!
  • Camden Market- The best part about Camden Market is that if you want it, it is there whether it be food or clothing. I LOVE the pasta station here, but also the halloumi wraps, crepe pizza, and freshly squeezed orange juice. A little bit of everything, though it gets super packed on the weekends. 
  • Cereal Killer Cafe- This is a cafe that serves nothing but cereal. It was amazing for me because I went at my half way point here in London, so I was really craving the sugary goodness of American cereal. I noshed on the discontinued french toast crunch cereal and also some cinnamon toast crunch cereal. The best part about this adventure, though, was the stacked hot chocolate...coming in four different flavors, these gargantuan drinks will make any hot chocolate lover swoon. They cater to people with lactose intolerance and dairy allergies, which is a plus as well. If you manage to stop by, I recommend their Camden location over their Brick Lane location.
  • Chipotle- I am only putting this on here because I think UK chipotle is better than US chipotle. The guac is made with Spanish avocadoes so it is A+ and the food tastes so much fresher. I will never look at US chipotle the same again.  
  • Cutter and Squidge's Bakery- This bakery is famous for their biskies which is like a cupcake, cake, brownie, cookie combination. They're really expensive for a tiny desert and not that great. I would instead drop the money on the slightly more expensive but 100% delectable cakes because they are huge and absolutely delicious.  
  • Dishoom- This is a premiere Indian restaurant chain in London that I absolutely adored and it has a Bombay twist. The lines can get absolutely ridiculous and wrap around for blocks, so be sure to save yourself the hassle and make a reservation. I have gone for both brunch and dinner and I am all over it. This is the chain I miss the most.
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen- LOVE ME SOME GBK! One of the best veggie burgers I have ever had, the Californian, is here. It's a bean burger made up of three different kinds of whole beans with avocado, lettuce, onion, cheese, and a chipotle sauce. My mouth waters just thinking about it. They also have a falafel base for vegetarians and an exclusive summer vegetarian menu. Their non-vegetarian menu is incredibly extensive, and if one of their burger combinations sounds more enticing you can replace the patty with a veggie patty too! I miss this place. 
  • Holmes Fish & Chips- I know you can seek out many fish and chip shops in London, but this one is my favorite. It's on Baker Street, feeding into the Sherlock Holmes fame of it, and was within walking distance of my dorm. I don't eat fish, so I pretty much go for the fish. And for less than three dollars I could get a double size order of vinegar chips and mayo. The guys there loved me so much that they even gave me discounts sometimes, which was wonderful. It was fun to have my own place, you know?
  • Hummus Bros- Avoid the Soho location due to hiked prices, but it's a hummus restaurant. Wraps, bowls, chips and name it and they do it. They also introduced me to a hummus guac combo that I am now slightly obsessed with. 
  • Ma Pluckers- This is a fried chicken restaurant with crazy popular reviews for its meat-based products. Yeah, I know, what was a vegetarian doing at a fried chicken restaurant? Well, they had a vegetarian supplement for chicken and waffles: fried halloumi cheese and waffles. DELICIOUS and cheap at only 4.5 pounds. And because I am a macaroni and cheese lover, I also had to indulge in their crack'n'cheez: a fried ball of macaroni and cheesy goodness that could have, honestly, served as its own meal. Once again, this macaroni and cheese dish is among London's best according to Buzzfeed.  
  • Maxwell's Bar and Grill- I went to Maxwell's on a mission: have a freakshake. They did not disappoint! They switch up their flavors each week, so you always have to ask the waiter what are the current flavors. They'll set you back 7 pounds a piece, but they are so large they can act as a full meal. They also have Monday Madness where everything on the menu is half off! Wonderful for us broke uni students. 
  • Melt Room- Super cheap by London's standards, you can get a grilled cheese classic or with the works for 4-7 pounds. This is a grilled cheese shop owned be a New Yorker in the heart of London. I went hard and got a macaroni and cheese grilled cheese. Holy cow, my love for this sandwhich knows no bounds. 
  • Mestizo's- I chose this restaurant for my 21st birthday dinner because I have been seriously craving Mexican food. It satisfied my craving, but still can't measure up to the Mexican food I can find in the US. I will say it is among the best I have had since coming here, though. I also was unaware of their *ahem* birthday traditions when I picked this restaurant. Unfortunately, these videos will exist forever.
  • My Old Dutch- This is a British pancake house, meaning it is a creperie. On Mondays everything on the menu was only five pounds (less than 8 dollars!). The crepes are, like, seven times the size of your head, and super filling. I am a fan of both the savory and the sweet. I loved the apple and cinnamon sweet crepe with ice cream and the eggs Florentine savory crepe.
  • Nandos- The chicken restaurant that everyone seems to be obsessed with. I am obsessed with all their sides and I love their caesar salads. Their veggie burgers aren't terrible, but not the best. Either way, every time I stepped foot in here I had to grab myself an order of peri-salted chips. I couldn't not have them. They are literally addicting. I hear there are a few Nandos here in the states in the Washington DC area, but that they have nothing but chicken and no vegetarian options. SO SAD :(
  • Prezzo's- This is an Italian chain here in London. A wee bit expensive, but not terrible for uni students. I went here for a friend's birthday because she enjoys it! It is at this restaurant that I realized no matter what, Italian food here is not as good as in the states. And, seriously, I am struggling to find some properly done pesto! 
  • Rabot 1745- We went here for my friend's brithday brunch. It is a chocolate restaurant! It's a bit pricy because, well, they somehow manage to put chocolate into everything (my toast had chocolate nib butter and my house chips had cacao ketchup), but it's nice for a celebration. You must try a hot chocolate!
  • The Diner- This is an American-style diner chain in Central London that I adore. The prices aren't terrible, their macaroni and cheese is among some of the best in London (according to Buzzfeed), and they have a special line for hard milkshakes and hard teas for those of us that are 18 and over.
  • Tortilla- The UK version of Chipotle that is slightly cheaper. Some people tend to have a preference for one or the other, but I just ate at whichever one I was closer to in the moment. The food is relatively the same, to be honest. At least, in my opinion it is.
  • Wahaca- This is a Mexican chain in the UK created by an ex Top Chef contestant. IT IS SO GOOD! Mexican is hard to come by in the UK, so this is some of the best I found. You order in little the typical person has 2-4 different things depending on how hungry they are. They have a ridiculous number of vegetarian options that I was all over, which was wonderful. Mexican food isn't always conducive to vegetarianism. I am going to miss this place!
  • Whetherspoon's Pubs- Pitchers of mixed drinks for 6-8 pounds, meals for 4-6 pounds for the most part. Decent pub fare, not OMG worthy, but it's cheap and satisfactory and there are many of them. 
Have you ever eaten at any of these places? This list is making me miss London food! It is just so much healthier and yummier...minus the lack of salt! haha

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