The Olympics are about to commence and while the world’s top athletes have been honing their performances, I have been working on my own. Let’s call it a marathon? For three weeks this month, I have cycled far and wide in search of London’s exceptional food and drink.
What follows is a round-up of my favorite places to eat, drink, and shop for food in London. There are some old favorites and new arrivals and all are medal worthy.
Sushi Tetsu for amazing sushi.
St John Bread and Wine for British cuisine, natural wines, and bread.
Leila’s shop for breakfast, lunch, and groceries.
Prufrock, Kaffeine, Flat White, Tapped and Packed, Notes Music Coffee, Foxcroft & Ginger, E5 Bakehouse and about a zillion others serve excellent coffee.
Zedel’s Bar Americain for cocktails.
Dabbous for cocktails and bar food (cuz you won’t get a spot in the main dining room before May 2013)
Quo Vadis for anything really, especially cocktails, eel sandwiches at lunch, and desserts.
Hedone for stellar contemporary cuisine made from meticulously sourced British and French ingredients.
Rita’s for fried chicken rolls.
Brawn for small French-inspired plates and natural wines.
Mason & Taylor for craft beers. Closed
Southamton Arms for cask ales and ciders.
Jolly Butcher for craft beers.
259 Hackney Road for natural wines by the glass in a fun little shop.
Spa Terminus Saturday mornings for pastries at the Little Bread Pedlar, ice cream at La Grotta Ices, The Kernel for beer, and so much more.
40 Maltby Street for small plates and natural wines. Closed until Aug 17 for holiday.
Heron for super authentic Thai cuisine in a bizarre basement karaoke venue.
Silk Road in Camberwell for Uyghur cuisine from China’s Xinjiang region.
The Rake for craft beers.
Koya for Udon.
Pizarro for excellent Spanish food.
Mangal Lahmacun ve Pide Salonu for lahmacun.
Mangal II for mezes, salads, and grilled meat.
Racine is a satisfying French bistro.
Barrafina for top-notch Spanish tapas.
Goodman serves legit steak and burgers.
Antepliler for Turkish mezes, lahmacun, and kebabs. Their small corner restaurant next door specializes in grilled offal and künefe.
Mien Tay pretty great southwestern Vietnamese food in Battersea (there is another location in Shoreditch but it’s not as good). Don’t miss the stir-fried goat with galangal and chargrilled quail.
Lahore Kebab House is a no-nonsense Pakistani kebab house in East London known for its juicy seekh kebab, spiced lamb chops and fiery curries.
The vanilla custard donuts at St John Bakery on Druid St (Saturday only) are crazy good.
The Ledbury for contemporary European.
Stay tuned for a google map companion in the next few days.