What to Eat in London: 7 Iconic Dishes to Savour in the Capital

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Welcome to the vibrant and diverse culinary scene of London, where flavours from around the world converge to create a gastronomic paradise. I’m here to guide you through the city’s iconic dishes, steeped in history and bursting with delectable flavours.

Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable journey as we delve into the stories behind these must-try dishes and uncover why London is the ultimate destination to indulge in their delights.

From the best place in London to get traditional fish and chips, to the classiest spots for a special afternoon tea – here are all the top spots to satisfy your cravings.

1. Fish and Chips: A British Classic

Fried fish and chips served on the plate.
Traditional Fish and Chips

No trip to London would be complete without savouring the quintessential British dish of fish and chips. Dating back to the 19th century, this beloved culinary creation features succulent white fish, typically cod or haddock, coated in a crisp batter and served with golden chips.

Enjoy this comfort food staple at traditional fish and chip shops like The Golden Hind in Marylebone, or Poppies in Shoreditch. Pair it with malt vinegar, tartar sauce, plenty of salt and mushy peas for the full experience. You’ll soon understand why fish and chips remain an iconic British delight.

2. Pie and Mash: Traditional British Fare

Delve into London’s culinary heritage with a plate of pie and mash. This hearty dish originated in the working-class areas of East London and is a delicious combination of savoury meat pies, traditionally filled with minced beef and creamy mashed potatoes.

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Head to M. Manze’s in Tower Bridge or The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room to sample this traditional delicacy. The rich flavours, coupled with a good pour of gravy, provide a nostalgic taste of old London and a glimpse into the city’s history.

3. Full English Breakfast: Start Your Day Right

Breakfast consists of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, baked beans, black pudding, and toast served on the table.
Full English London

Kickstart your day with a hearty Full English Breakfast, a legendary morning feast that has become a British institution. This indulgent meal typically consists of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, black pudding, and toast. Seek out renowned breakfast spots like The Wolseley or Regency Café, where you can relish this iconic meal.

4. Beef Wellington: Fine Dining Classic

For a meaty dining experience, indulge in a Beef Wellington. This culinary masterpiece features tender beef fillet encased in puff pastry and cooked to perfection. Its origin dates back to the 19th century and is said to be named after the Duke of Wellington.

Treat yourself to this decadent delicacy at iconic restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill or Rules in Covent Garden, London’s oldest restaurant. The rich flavours and luxurious presentation of Beef Wellington make it a must-try dish for discerning food enthusiasts visiting the capital.

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5. Chicken Tikka Masala: A Global Fusion

Chicken Tikka masala served in a bowl.
Chicken Tikka Masala

London’s vibrant multicultural scene has given rise to a delightful fusion of flavours, and no dish better exemplifies this than Chicken Tikka Masala. This popular Indian-inspired dish features marinated grilled chicken in a creamy tomato-based sauce, fragrant with spices.

Taste the authentic rendition of Chicken Tikka Masala at renowned Indian restaurants like Dishoom or Tayyabs. London’s diverse culinary landscape has made it the perfect place to sample this global favourite, showcasing the city’s multicultural spirit and its ability to embrace international flavours. You can even find many vegan foodie spots in London.

6. Brick Lane Curry: A Spice-filled Adventure

Green and red meat curry served on a plate.
Brick Lane, London’s curry

Embark on a culinary journey to Brick Lane, London’s curry hotspot, and immerse yourself in the aromatic world of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.

This bustling street in the heart of East London is lined with countless curry houses, offering a plethora of dishes to choose from. Sample classics like Lamb Rogan Josh, and Vegetable Biryani at renowned establishments like Aladin or Sheba.

The vibrant flavours, intense spices, and vibrant atmosphere of Brick Lane make it an essential destination for curry lovers, guaranteeing a memorable and spice-filled experience.

7. Afternoon Tea: Indulge in British Elegance

Tea, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a tempting selection of pastries.
Elegant Afternoon Tea

No visit to London is complete without indulging in the timeless tradition of Afternoon Tea. Delight in an array of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a tempting selection of pastries and cakes.

Experience the elegance of this quintessential British ritual at iconic venues like The Ritz or Fortnum & Mason, where you’ll be transported back to an era of refined sophistication. Afternoon Tea in London offers a moment of respite from the bustling city, allowing you to savour the delicate flavours and embrace the elegance and charm of London’s culinary heritage.

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What to eat in London, England

London’s culinary landscape is a captivating tapestry of flavours, blending traditional British fare with international influences. Each dish carries a story, a taste of history, and an invitation to indulge in what London does best.

Bio: Victoria from Day Out in England

Victoria from Day Out In England
Victoria from Day Out In England

Whether you’re seeking comfort in the warmth of traditional British dishes or exploring the vibrant global fusion of flavours, London’s culinary scene promises to be a gastronomic adventure like no other. Embrace the diverse flavours, immerse yourself in the city’s rich culinary heritage, and savour the tantalising delights that make London a true culinary capital.

Headed up by top travel blogger, VickyFlipFlop, DayOutinEngland.com is filled with guides and itineraries to England’s best days out. They’re searchable by interests, counties, cities and areas – and definitely not just for the kids! Follow Victoria from Day Out in England on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

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Pinterest image of Full English Breakfast.
Pinterest images of Chicken Tikka Masala and afternoon tea platter.

1 thought on “What to Eat in London: 7 Iconic Dishes to Savour in the Capital”

  1. Hi,
    Fortnum and Mason, and the Ritz are very English but not in everyone’s budget!

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