London is one of those cities that you can keep visiting, yet the number of sites to see, foods to eat, and beers to drink just never diminishes. Luis and I had both been to London before our trip last weekend, but never together, so we wanted to go together for a food trip! You know, for ‘research’. We kept joking that it was a work trip, because our number one goal was to eat as much as we could, especially brunch and bagels. Writing this post, four days later, and I think I am still full from all of the treats we had. We had a great time eating in London, so I want to share our guide to eating in London. Now, where can I submit my receipts for reimbursement for this work trip?
First and foremost, our trip was built around trying London’s famous bagel shops, to see how they compare to Bruja’s Bakery. Anywhere you look on the internet, you will see the Beigel Bake is listed as the best place for bagels in London, and Beigel shop comes in a close second. On Brick Lane, you will find both of these shops, basically next door to each other. They essentially sell the same things, but it seems like Beigel Bake has all of the fame.
Both places are bare-bones and remind me of the typical neighborhood Jewish bakery. Between the two, I actually think I like Beigel Shop more, not only for the chewiness of their bagels, but also the staff is nicer. Beigel Bake, on the other hand, has more of your traditional Jewish bakery offering, and the authentic no-frills feel. Both places are extremely affordable, especially if you don’t get their salt beef bagel. A salmon and cream cheese bagel is just 2.20 pounds! Give them both a try and decide for yourself.
And for comparison…
Continuing with the food theme here, we tried a few places, but there were so many more we would have liked to try.
We found Ottelenghi because it was featured in a ‘best brunch places‘ article and my tastebuds and stomach were thrilled. Luis and I both agreed this was our favorite spot on the trip. From the beautiful presentation, bright colors, lovely staff, and delicious food. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and those beautifully made salads had me absolutely drooling. We decided to order one brunch dish (shakshuka) and order one of their salad plates, with a side of salmon (also, putting the food out on the counter was pricesely what sold us to try three salads instead of one or two. What a marketing plan!).
Honestly, we went to The Breakfast Club 3 times in 2.5 days, but only ate one of those times. We went twice to the one you see in the above picture- once to look at it and then once for dinner, but before ordering, they told us they were out of various things on the menu, so the next day we went back to another location. I wanted to try some of their butternut squash dishes, so after a morning run, we gave it a go.
We shared the Butternut Bubble, which was butternut squash, potato & spinach pancakewith mushrooms, asparagus & avocado hollandaise and their ‘Butternut Shakshuka’. Both were very good, but we are still trying to figure out what exactly the shakshuka part of it was.
Other London brunch places we wanted to try:
- Campania & Jones
- Brooks & Gao
- The Wolseley
- Daylesford (order the off-the-menu cheddar omelette)
- Burnt Toast Cafe
- Cafe Miami
For dinner, we ventured into more international territory and on each night, tried a different type of cuisine.
The first night, we tried Northern Chinese food from Baozilnn. We walked all around Chinatown until something caught our eye and had the perfect balance of asian people, and tourists. This fit the bill. Between the two of us we split their spicy brisket noodles, garlic bok choy, and vegetable dumplings in broth.
It was plenty of food for us and we left full and splashed with broth.
On the second night, we were feeling quite full from a day full of eating in Camden Market. I knew I wanted something light and fresh, so when we saw Comptoir, a Lebanese restaurant with 8 locations in London, we thought we would give it a try. I ordered their mezze plate, which had lots of goodies on it and was HUGE. Luis ordered their vegan set menu, which included hummus, toubouleh, cous cous tagine, and a yummy coconut dessert.
It would be a mistake (which I have made before!) to go to London and not visit the Camden Food Market. We went on Saturday afternoon and spent many hours trying various plates. We were on a tour, which gave us the opportunity to try just a bite of lots of food.
We tried halloumi fries from Oli Baba’s…
This brisket burger with bleu cheese from The Patate…
Two types of mac & cheese from The Mac Factory, including their mushroom and truffle mac, and their pesto mac…
Fish & Chips from Poppies…
This mushroom egg burger from Yolk Breaker…
Sunday roast wrapped up in a rollable yorkshire pudding from Yorkshire Burrito….
And to end, something sweet… Nitrogen ice cream (burnt butter flavor) and thick hot chocolate from Chin Chin
As you can see, it was a ton of food for just 2.5 days, but we are back in Madrid feeling inspired (and full) and ready to put some of the things we learned into action! I am off to go eat many green vegetables for the next 72 hours.