10 London Food Favorites (2023)

Are you wondering what to eat in London during your first visit to England’s exciting mega-city? Read on to discover ten must-eat London food favorites that you simply should not miss during your trip.

10 London Food Favorites (1)

Whenever London calls, we answer.

London has an outstanding culinary scene with thousands of restaurants and markets in neighborhoods throughout the city. Ironically, the food in London had a bad reputation for much of the 20th century.

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Well, that century is over and the secret is out about the quality of British food in general and London food in particular.

London is literally located in the center of the world with a food scene that reflects this position and makes it one of the world’s most exciting food cities.

Table of Contents

  • London Food Favorites
    • 2. Sunday Roast
    • 3. Full English Breakfast
    • 4. Beigels
    • 5. Indian Food
    • 6. Middle Eastern Food
    • 7. Scotch Eggs
    • 8. Afternoon Tea
    • 9. Beer
    • 10. Cocktails

London Food Favorites

10 London Food Favorites (3)

As one of the world’s true melting pots, London provides visitors the opportunity to eat every and any type of cuisine including Asian dishes, African delights and English specialties. Plus, those who prefer to drink their calories can imbibe from early afternoon until the pubs shut down at night.

With a little planning, you can eat well in London whether you have a day or week in the city. We recommend that you start your culinary exploration with the following London food favorites:

1. Fish & Chips

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Londoners have been eating Fish & Chips for centuries ever since Portuguese Jews fleeing the Inquisition introduced the food staple to Britain. Popular as a cheap lunch or late-night snack, this London food favorite is as relevant today as it was more than a hundred years ago.

Expect to eat battered, deep-fried cod, hake or haddock and chips (think french fries but bigger and more rectangular) when you eat Fish & Chips in London, though some chippies, as Londoners call them, offer other fish varieties like mackerel and halibut.

Insider Tip: Add an order of mushy peas for the complete Fish & Chips experience.

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Where to Eat Fish & Chips in London
Poppies in Soho, Spitalfields or Camden

2. Sunday Roast

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Sunday Roast is another London food favorite that spans the centuries. Traditionally eaten after church on a Sunday afternoon with family, traditional Sunday Roast includes a variety of roasted meats plus sides like roasted potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding.

Sunday Roasts tend to be hearty meals best shared with friends. Food travelers in London can enjoy a proper Sunday Roast experience at gastro pubs and restaurants throughout the city. The key is to arrive hungry for the carnivorous weekend feast.

Where to Eat Sunday Roast in London
Blacklock in Soho, City or Shoreditch

3. Full English Breakfast

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London is a great place to start the morning with a Full English Breakfast. Filled with tasty treats like bacon, fried eggs, fried mushrooms, baked beans and black pudding, the traditional morning meal isn’t appropriate for vegetarians or calorie counters.

London hotels often serve the components of a Full English Breakfast as part of their morning buffet spreads, However, there’s nothing like ordering the meal from a menu and getting a ‘Fry Up’ served on one heaping plate.

Where to Eat a Full English Breakfast in London
Blighty in Finsbury Park or Tottenham

4. Beigels

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Beigels have been popular in London since Jewish immigrants from Poland started baking them in the 19th century. Fast forward to the present and locals queue for beigels on Brick Lane at all hours of the day and night.

Boiled in water and baked at high temperatures, London beigels pair well with salt beef (think corned beef but sliced thicker) and smoked salmon. You can try both toppings since this London cheap eats meal won’t break your bank. Just don’t eat them on the same beigel.

Where to Eat Beigels in London
Beigel Bake on Brick Lane

5. Indian Food

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Outside of India, London may be the best place in the world to eat Indian food. The city is filled with Indian eateries from humble curry houses to fancy restaurants with options ranging from traditional Indian cuisine to dishes more commonly eaten in India’s neighbors, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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You may want to start your London Indian food journey on Brick Lane where you can follow your nose and pick a great restaurant serving traditional Indian/Bangladeshi food. Another option is to take a self-guided Indian Food Tour and eat all the food. Better yet, go to one of London’s best Indian restaurants for a truly special meal.

Where to Eat Indian Food in London
Darjeeling Express in Soho, Restaurants on Brick Lane and Iranian-Indian Fusion Cuisine at Dishoom‘s Multiple Locations Around the City

6. Middle Eastern Food

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London has restaurants serving all kinds of Middle Eastern food from countries like Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Iran. Fans of the cuisine can eat food like falafels, hummus and fatoush salad at all hours of the day and night.

Though traditionally a London cheap eats staple, Middle Eastern food is available at swanky restaurants as well as at street food stands. This is a city where you can start your day with trendy shakshuka and end it with a kebab.

Where to Eat Middle Eastern Food in London
Honey & Co. in Fitzrovia, Ottolenghi (multiple locations) and Berber & Q in Haggerston

7. Scotch Eggs

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What are Scotch Eggs? In a nutshell (or should we say eggshell?), cooks coat sausage-covered boiled eggs with breadcrumbs and then fry them to create a crispy exterior.

London’s Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented the popular to-go item back in 1738. True or not, the tony department store is a great spot to try a Scotch Egg or two during a busy day of sightseeing. You can also buy Scotch Eggs at London markets and convenience stores.

Where to Eat Scotch Eggs in London
Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly

8. Afternoon Tea

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Afternoon Tea is a highly civilized London tradition that dates back to the 19th century. The indulgent experience involves relaxing in style while enjoying silver pots of tea and tiered layers topped with dainty finger sandwiches and decadent desserts.

If your budget allows, splurge on afternoon tea at a fancy London hotel for the full experience. While you’re there, don’t skip eating scones with lemon curd and clotted cream. If you’re going to do afternoon tea in London, you might as well do it right.

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Where to Experience Afternoon Tea in London
The Ritz in Picadilly, Claridge’s in Mayfair and Sketch in Mayfair

9. Beer

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London is a beer drinker’s paradise. The city is filled with pubs serving traditional English beer classics like stouts, porters and brown ale. However, craft beer drinkers will find plenty of modern brews to wet their whistles.

For the full London beer experience, you’ll want to drink ales and lagers at historic public houses like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese as well as more eclectic options at craft breweries like Beavertown Brewery. Consider taking a pub crawl if you want to try the preponderance of beer in London.

Where to Drink Beer in London
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Beavertown Brewery and the Closest Pub

10. Cocktails

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As much as London is a beer city, it’s also a hub for drinkers who savor creative, sophisticated drinking experiences. London cocktail bars serve it all from classic drinks to cutting edge concoctions.

You’ll find some of the best London cocktail bars in swanky hotels and in former restrooms. For the full London cocktail experience, you can even take a London Cocktail Tour in Soho.

Where to Drink Cocktails in London
Nine Lives in London Bridge, Disrepute in Soho, Ladies and Gentlemen in Kentish Town and The Cocktail Trading Company in Shoreditch

Useful London Facts

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  • The capital of the United Kingdom, London is the country’s largest city.
  • The United Kingdom is in Europe. It is neither a member of the European Union nor a Schengen country.
  • The United Kingdom’s currency is the Pound Sterling.
  • English is the United Kingdom’s official language.
  • Service is typically included. If not, 10% gratuity is appropriate.

Planning Checklist

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Get a discounted quote fortravel insuranceto protect your trip from things like injuries, theft and cancelations. We never travel without protection!

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Hungry for More in London?

Check out our picks for the best markets in London.

View the latest Web Story.

10 London Food Favorites (16)

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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Original Publication Date: February 7, 2020


What is London's Favourite food? ›

1. Fish & Chips. There's nothing that says 'British Food' like Fish & Chips. Known the world over, this traditional British dish is on the top of any foodie list for visitors to London and the U.K.

What is the number 1 favorite food? ›

The Number 1 Most Popular Foods in America are Hamburgers!

What is London's National food? ›

The National Dishes of England

Number one on the list for many years has been roast beef and Yorkshire puddings followed closely by fish and chips.

What are 5 facts about London? ›

20 Interesting History Facts About London
  • Over 300 languages are spoken in London. ...
  • It is not illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. ...
  • Police never caught Jack the Ripper. ...
  • The Great Plague killed a third of Europe's population. ...
  • The Tower of London houses six ravens. ...
  • The London Underground could have been water-based.
Feb 23, 2018

What do people in London eat for dinner? ›

At dinner time one can expect to eat roast beef, pork bangers, roast chicken, stewed lamb or other animal parts such as stomach or intestines. To accompany the meats, most households will incorporate sides of mashed potatoes, peas, roasted potatoes, cauliflower and/or broccoli in cheese sauce, or baby carrots.

Is the food good in London? ›

London tops the list of 21 cities being named the "best food city in the world" followed by foodie destinations Tokyo and Seoul. See the top 10 rankings below.

What is London famous? ›

London is famous for Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, and Tower Bridge. London is also known for its rich history, double-decker buses, red phone booths, world-class museums and galleries, gigantic lush parks, financial districts, and cosmopolitan vibes.

What is the most popular food in England? ›

7 traditional British dishes you need to try
  • Fish and Chips.
  • Bangers and Mash.
  • Full English Breakfast.
  • Sunday Roast.
  • Toad in the Hole.
  • Shepherd's Pie/Cottage Pie.
  • Steak and Kidney Pie.

What is the main food of England? ›

The most common and typical foods eaten in Britain include the sandwich, fish and chips, pies like the cornish pasty, trifle and roasts dinners. Some of our main dishes have strange names like Bubble & Squeak and Toad-in-the-Hole. The staple foods of Britain are meat, fish, potatoes, flour, butter and eggs.

What is a typical breakfast in London? ›

Sometimes also called a 'fry-up', the full English breakfast consists of fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding (similar to bloodwurst). It is accompanied by tea or coffee and hot, buttered toast.

What is traditional English food? ›

Some traditional meals, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish have ancient origins.

What is the most eaten food in the UK? ›

Britain's favourite takeaway

Italian was the UK's favourite cuisine overall, with macaroni cheese and lasagne ranking as the top dishes.

What is the famous food in UK? ›

The Brits love their Sunday Roast dinners. This dish is made up of: roasted meat (beef, chicken, lamb or pork), roast potato, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables (usually a selection of: roast parsnips, Brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflower, not necessarily all) and gravy.

What is a typical London breakfast? ›

Sometimes also called a 'fry-up', the full English breakfast consists of fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding (similar to bloodwurst). It is accompanied by tea or coffee and hot, buttered toast.

What is Britain's Favourite dish? ›

A survey showed that in United Kingdom the most popular dish is'Chicken tikka masala' which has been popularly referred to as 'Britain's true national dish'. One in seven curries sold in the UK is chicken tikka masala.


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