London is rich in history and culture. As one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world, London is bustling, busy, and filled to the brim with things to do, see, and eat.
I’ve been to London enough that I’ve seen the landmarks, visited the buzzy spots, and carved out a few corners of the city to visit every time I’m there. But like with any city — even the ones you live in — it’s constantly changing and becoming brand new. And the most exciting new additions by my count? New restaurants.
I wouldn’t call myself a foodie — mostly because that word gives me the ick — but my favorite part of traveling is trying new food and going to all the coolest new restaurants. Which is why I always find myself going back to London.
From popular food markets to new restaurants, London’s food scene is always epic. So next time you hear someone say a bad word about English food, tell them to take a trip to London Town and change their minds.
This summer, if you find yourself in the English capital, these are the restaurants you should hit up:
St John Bread and Wine Restaurant
Anyone who loves food needs to go here. The simple, unpretentious atmosphere enhances the perfect plates. Like the decor, don’t underestimate this place. Everything you eat will blow you away. No wonder it’s a classic and a favorite of chefs and critics and lovers of a good meal all around.
Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch
A classic spot that’s gorgeous in the summer. Set in an eclectic location — the bike shed of a former school — it’s a bright, casual spot for breakfast and lunch in the heart of the hip neighborhood of East London. The menu changes daily, so go every day if you want. You won’t get tired of it.
Cafe Cecilia, Hackney
East London is on a roll. This Hackney institution is a hot ticket — so be sure to make a res. The menu is seasonal, so you’ll be seeing me there on each of my trips from now on.
Smoking Goat, Shoreditch
For a fun and delicious night out, try this Thai spot in Shoreditch. It’s sophisticated with a cool vibe and deliciously flavorful food.
GOLD, Notting Hill
Very trendy, but actually worth the hype. Go here to take an Instagram photo of the famous chicken, and cross it off your bucket list.
Another trending spot, but less ubiquitous than GOLD. You can’t go wrong with any dish here, but the halloumi with honey is the star of the menu.
Where all the cool kids go. The menu is meat-heavy, inspired by Basque cuisine. An instant favorite for everything from the side of bread to the desserts.
40 Maltby Street, Southwark
Super hip, super cool, super good food. Only open a few days a week, this natural wine bar and restaurant is a favorite of your favorite food connoisseurs (myself included).
Cadet, Newington Green
This one reminds me of some of the most refreshing restaurants in LA. It’s a natural wine bar, provisions shop, and restaurant in one, making it fit for a quick bite or a lingering meal.
Brawn, Bethnal Green
Some of the flashier Italian spots get all the credit in London these days (looking at you, Circolo Popolare). However, few are as delicious as this. Simple is better seems to be the motto here, where classic dishes reign and everything is unfussy but so so good.