London has a bamboozling mix of restaurants, food markets, bars and fine dining haunts that are dotted around our amazing city. With so many choices, I’ve always found it hard to pinpoint some favourite joints that are worthy of a visit…

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…Saying that, over the last 7 years of living in the big smoke, I’ve tried my fair share of gems and tasted quite a few duds.

With so many choices, I’ve always found it hard to pinpoint some favourite joints that are worthy of a visit – even living here, it’s hard to choose, let alone if you’re visiting. Saying that, over the last 7 years of living in the big smoke, I’ve tried my fair share of gems and tasted quite a few duds and thought I’d share some of my very favourite that’s scattered across our city.

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1.) Enjoy a special evening at the OXO Tower Restaurant 

The OXO Tower Restaurant is possibly one of the most iconic riverside restaurants on the Thames. Perched at the top of the OXO Tower building, the Resturant has an epic menu of modern and tasty British cuisine that is perfect for dinner and an evening treat in the city!

The restaurant has some epic views across the Thames and a great place to catch the sunset when an orangey glow transforms the view over the city.

When we visited, we had their yummy, fresh Lobster and salty fingers starter, followed by the incredible Rib-eye steak with bone marrow crust (which is best served medium-rare).

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Oh, and if you have room for pudding, go for the OXO Chocolate Plate – I nearly inhaled this when it arrived… it’s soooooooo good! The whole experience was incredible.

2.) Gorge on Tapas at Barrafina

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Barrafina is one of my favourite tapas restaurants in London. Now expanded to three sites (Drury Lane, Dean Street and Adelaide Street), it’s the perfect place to gorge on some delicious tapas with friends.

Although you can’t reserve a table here, arrive just before the midday crowd and I guarantee your wait won’t be too long. The genuinely make some of the tastiest tapas in the city. Make sure to try their fresh fish plates (which vary depending on what can be sourced).

An afternoon lunch in Barrafina will be a little pricier than other tapas joints but the food is well worth it. Once inside, you could be fooled into thinking you’d arrived in Spain. Love this place.

3.) Indulge at Clos Maggiore

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Clos Maggiore is one of my favourite restaurants in Covent Garden, Not only is the restaurant atrium gorgeously decorated, the food is incredible too! Close Maggiore creates some of the best contemporary French dishes in London.

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If you’re looking to eat at peak times, make sure you reserve your table well in advance (otherwise, head for dinner or lunch a tiny bit earlier than you normally would). Make sure to try their herb smoked Welsh lamb. Being Welsh myself, I can attest to how tasty this is! 🤣

Read more on things to see, do and eat in Covent Garden, here

4.) Eat Authentic Scottish cuisine at Mac & Wild

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Nestled within the streets of Fitzrovia, Mac & Wild is an amazing place to enjoy some of Scotland’s best meals. Imagine it like raiding the larder of your favourite (Scottish auntie)… this is what going to Mac & Wild is like! Make sure to try their steamed Scottish mussels and their venison tartare. Ohhhh, also, don’t forget to order a runny Scotch egg. Trust me, you won’t be

Ohhhh, also, don’t forget to order a runny Scotch egg. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! Also, try if you dare, their potent Buckie Royale, a mixture of Buckfast and Prosecco.

Want to try lots of Scottish food, make sure you eat these!

5.) Gorge on Tel-Aviv inspired food at Bala Baya

Just south of the river and about 10-minutes walk from Borough Market, Bala Baya is an awesome little joint in London. The Yemeni Ceviche, cured spiced salmon with rhubarb and their yummy cocktails (my favourite was ‘peach’) are too good to miss.

See more on visiting Bala Baya when we headed across with Rachel in her blog post, here.

6.) Enjoy Ethiopian food at Wolkite Kitfo

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Don’t expect any fancy decor or a la carte service, Wolkite Kitfo is not that type of place. One of the main reasons to visit here is the delicious Ethiopian food they create and warm hospitality!

Based in North London, Wolkite Kitfo is tucked away from Holloway road making this a little gem of a place to visit. They honestly serve some of the best Ethiopian food in the city!

7.) Keep hunger at bay at Protein Haus

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Traipsing around a city, walking for miles – determined to see everything in sight always works up a healthy appetite… which, If you’re anything like me, will turn you into an insatiable ‘hangry monster without due warning. If this sounds like you, head over to one of about 6 Protein Haus‘ in the city. My favourite is the one by St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Head inside and grab one of the Oreo shakes that are guaranteed to boost your energy for some more exploring around the city.

8.) Grab some bangers and mash at Dial Arch

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Perched south of the river In Woolwich, Dial Arch is quite a trek outside of the central areas of Covent Garden, Kings Cross or Notting Hill, though, if you’re already in the area, I’d definitely recommend grabbing a bite to eat at the historic Dial Arch.

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They create an amazing ‘Bangers and Mash’ (Spiced sausage, buttery mash, ale gravy and onions) and offer up some fresh fish sourced from Billingsgate Market (London’s most famous fish markets).

9.) Head to Fortnum and Mason’s tea salon

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Within St. Pancras station (in King’s Cross) is Fortnum and Mason’s Tea Salon. Make sure to grab one of their afternoon teas which are offered with their signature tea blends, fresh cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon and plenty of fluffy scones, jam and clotted cream.

Read more on things to see, do and eat in King’s Cross, here

10.) Head to Tramshed for a meaty feast

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Head inside Tramshed in East London and you’ll be whisked away into a world of Damien Hurst art, delicious food and an intimate gallery downstairs all created by the London-based chef, Mark Hix.

Their menu is meat heavy but they do have a vegetarian menu, too. Make sure to try their ‘bang bang’ chicken and their ‘cock and bull’ croquettes.

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I swear I gorged so much when we visited!

See more on places to eat and drink at in East London & Shoreditch, here

11.) Enjoy a Sunday Roast at the Harwood Arms 

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A Sunday roast is something of a British institution, just like these classic British eats. Typically, devoured on a Sunday afternoon it consists of mountains of vegetables, potatoes, beef, lamb, pork, chicken or veggie options that are piled with a yummy Yorkshire pud (especially with beef), mint sauce (with lamb) and lashings of gravy.

The Harwood Arms in the Fulham area of London makes an epic roast and one that you should book if you want to reserve a table.

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  • I wouldn’t even know where to start! These all look absolutely delicious =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! I’m blaming these for our weight gain. Lol. 🤣

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Samantha Kwiatkowski

    Woah! These all look absolutely delicious. I will need to save this post for when we make a trip to London for sure!

    http://www.coastalcuriosity.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’ll love them, Samantha – let us know if you ever need any tips, we are happy to help.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ahhh, I want to eat at Bala Baya again already! And thanks for linking me in x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yaaas! It was sooo good wasn’t it! No problem lovely lady x

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I had drinks at Oxo tower, but not a dinner:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a lovely place isn’t it, Tanja.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Yes! This is exactly what I need for my next visit! I’m definitely going to check out Mac & Wild and Barrafina! They both look and sound absolutely delicious *yum* Okay, all I need now is a post about bookish places in the UK (I’m a massive bookworm) – I bought a book last year called Book Lovers London and it showcases all the bookish hotspots in the city. I haven’t read through it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Anyway! Yeah! Hurray for great food!! Thanks for this great post xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      OMG! We should totally go to Mac and Wild together!!! It’s so amazing! You’ll love it!

      We’ll keep our eyes peeled for some bookish spot posts and forward them to you once we see them.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Yes please! I’d love to go there with you guys! I visited Scotland for the first time a couple years ago and totally fell in love with Scottish food – especially haggis! Dear God, I never imagined anything could taste THAT good (and sound so disgusting when it’s described to me lol).

        Thanks for keeping me in mind regarding the bookish posts xx

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Haha! Same for us… when we studied in Scotland it took a little while to take the ‘plunge’ into haggis. It’s so nice isn’t it.

          xx

  • Katrina Denise James

    These all look delicious! I travel to London fairly often and am always looking for good restaurant suggestions, so thanks for this post x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Katrina. Let us know if you ever need any more tips – always happy to help x

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Some I’ve never heard of here – Oxo Tower is always a good shout though!

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