5 "Can't Miss" Meals in London
For decades, those in the know have seen London as one of the world's most intriguing and wonderful culinary destinations. When living in England, I'd head to London nearly every weekend to indulge in some of the city's excellent offerings. Here is a small sample of what I'd say you can't miss when you are in London. Cheers!
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This meal is unceremoniously, unabashedly incredible. St. JOHN offers a joyful experience of true nose-to-tail dining in an environment where the food is the star. In fact, the dining area feels almost sterile, but it's not unwelcome. The meal is ever-changing, seasonal and natural. I personally enjoy everything they make here, and ordering enough for a tasting menu in your own style is not frowned upon. The dishes for two are truly grand in size and quality, as is the large list of magnums of wine. The madelines are a great take-away for later!
Core by Claire Smyth
The experience at Core is an experience for the ages. Clare Smyth is a genius (yeah, I said it,) and her team (not "staff," because when you see them work, it's like a championship team or a perfect ballet company) will put you at ease, welcoming you into something for which they are very proud (and rightly so.) If there's anything bad to say, it's that you will now judge every standard of service by this one, which is smooth, attentive and kind (even for larger groups.) The tasting menus are a level above, with care taken to each bit of the process. The kitchen brings out some of the finest, most balanced meals you'll ever have. Flavors and textures in every offering are perfectly complimentary. At the same time, nothing feels over the top, almost feeling perfectly, properly restrained. The wine flights are so expertly built that you will feel like they are not only perfectly complimentary to your meal, but just overall perfect. You wanna feel special? This is the place.
Beautiful, well-managed and affordable. Brasserie Zédel feels like a Parisian dreamscape pulled from the set of Moulin Rouge with its high ceilings and marble pillars that go for what feels like miles (at full capacity, the restaurant seats 450.) The feeling of being in 1930's Paris is thinly veiled, but quite acceptable. With a location like this, an extensive menu, beautiful decor and comfortable repeat dining status, this place is a wonderful pre- or post-theater eatery (Quick lunches are also pretty easily done here.) My favorite part: You think you're going to break the bank, but it's all very reasonably priced. You can go with a group and be fairly certain that everyone can afford a 3-course meal, which feels rare in London's nicer restaurants.
Sketch, The Lecture Room & Library
A real heavy-hitter in London cuisine, Sketch is pure joy wrapped in luxury. Organized, attentive service meets the elegance of modern French cuisine without a single misstep. Every dish is sent out with a few accompaniments that will elevate your already sky-high experience. The wine list and sommelier are among the best, and you will feel instantly better versed in your wine with just one brief conversation. This is a destination for more than a great meal, it's for a great, possibly life-changing experience.
Wonderful Indian food at a very approachable price. Indian cuisine has had a huge impact in British over hundreds of years, so when in London one must really get some Indian (South Asian) food. From astounding curries to the light-you-up Pondicherry spicy fried squid, this is a wonderful mix of South Asian dishes in a familiar, if not a little kitschy, environment. Of all of the (read: thousands) South Asian eateries in Greater London, this one is easily the most approachable offering when you don't want to spend a huge amount of money.
Need to Know
Looking for more adventure travel inspiration in England? Check out my guide to an An Extravagant Weekend in London, England, Relaxing & Active Jaunt through Scotland, A Whisky Lover's 12 Days in Scotland and more!
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