London is a food paradise! You get almost every kind of dish possible. But everyone has their favourites and so do I. Below are a list of my favourite dishes which I highly recommend. You must try these if you happen to visit the British capital this summer.
(Note: Missing No. 3 would be a cardinal sin)
In case you missed the first two parts in the Magic of London series read them – Part One here and Part Two here.
1. Portuguese style chicken @Nandos
The first dish on my list has to be this because it can be the sole reason I would go to London in a heartbeat. It is the very popular portuguese style peri peri chicken dish from the iconic chain Nandos which is widespread not just in the UK but all over the world. In fact it could get the award (and it might have even gotten who knows) for being one of the most delicious flame grilled chicken dishes you can ever eat.
Though it’s called Portuguese style, it has originated from an African chilli peri peri or ‘piri piri’ and has its roots in both Africa and Portugal as the dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived with chile peppers (known as piri-piri in Swahili).
For this dish you can pop in at any of the more than 100 Nandos outlets spread across the city.
The chain was started in South Africa. But is now a worldwide chain that has spread this dish across the globe. They have many options and levels of spiciness for all taste buds and you must try this dish to know how mind blowing it is. The Nandos outlets have a rating so do go to the top ten listed ones for the best experience. Link of best branches list.
2. Jacket Potatoes
When I think of English food the first thing which comes to my mind is jacket potatoes. Of course the fish and chips is more iconic. But what I prefer is a large potato baked to perfection, topped with a generous helping of baked beans and gooey melted cheese. Simply divine! Covent garden does some really good ones and so do the weekend markets. Even the Marks and Spencer on Soho does these English jewels to perfection. Another amazing place which I went to on my last trip was Posini’s. Their jacket potatoes were huge and very yummy. But unfortunately this place has closed now. Nevertheless the other options above are still good choices.
3. Melt in the mouth Cookies @Ben’s Cookies
I have a huge sweet tooth and I am a sucker for all things chocolate, cake and yes cookies. So when I discovered this place you can’t imagine my joy and grief. Joy because it is the best cookies I have ever had in my life and grief because that means I am going to be putting on some pounds very soon as I won’t be able to stop at one. And that’s exactly what happened.
But these cookies are so worth those extra pounds that you won’t regret it. Each cookie is huge and sinful and they just melt in the mouth at every bite. My favourites were the double chocolate chunk and triple chocolate chunk which had belgian chocolate chunks in them. But each flavour is very very inviting. I am already craving one now just thinking and writing about it. Don’t miss this delicious sin for anything in the world. It has nine outlets in and around London and more in other cities and countries. Check the list here.
4. Authentic French Macarons @Laduree
Another sweet delicacy worth indulging in are the delicious macarons of this famous French luxury bakery house. It has three outlets in London among many others across the world. If you want to savour authentic french macarons without going to Paris then Laduree is the destination for you! They have a huge range of flavours to choose from and the colourful rainbow on display is sure to make it difficult to pick just one. My favourite was the salted caramel flavour. Read more about it’s history here.
5. Authentic Italian Pizza @Da Michele London
I wanted to save the best for the last or in my case the “favourite for the last.”
Italian is my favourite cuisine and I can never have enough of pasta and pizza. I could eat it seven days in a row and not get bored. In fact I especially travelled to Italy too for their food on this trip. London also has a great selection of Italian restaurants which serve delicious pasta and pizzas (well London has that for most cuisines really).
But if you want one of the best pizza experiences ever and can’t travel to Naples (the birth place of pizza) all the way I have a solution for you. The very famous Da Michele which has its original restaurant in Naples, has opened a branch in London recently. And I highly highly recommend you check it out (I can’t wait to do this myself). They were featured in the Julia Roberts movie Eat, Pray, Love and have pizzas so good you will get a foodgasm. I visited their Naples outlet and it was some experience I must tell you. While I have not visited the London branch, it is equally good as recommended by a friend.
In case you are in the mood for pasta instead check out Spaghetti House in Soho. We made a quick stop while on our way to Tapas Brindisa (for Spanish). As they say a foodie can get lured by a good bowl of ‘aglio oglio’. This place has some really good pastas. Highly recommended!
These were a few of my favourite things that I would definitely eat every time I visit London. Some have nostalgia attached, some are new discoveries but all are beyond delicious. I would go so far to say that I would probably just visit London for these (and shopping of course).
A note of caution
Do note that though some of these are worldwide chains the quality may differ in other countries. And as I have not tried all countries thus I can’t vouch for those. Like for example London (and UK) Nandos outlets are very good. But the Nandos I tried in India disappointed in comparison. So proceed with caution elsewhere.
So tell me would you like to try the above foods? Or have you tried any of them? Which was your favourite one?
Do let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear your ‘food love’ stories!