We ate at quite a few restaurants while we were in London and rather than review all of them individually, here’s a quick summary review of everywhere we ate in London, how the food was and where it was located.
Location: All Over Central London
I usually get a lot of flak for even mentioning this restaurant – mostly because it’s a chain and a touristy chain at that. But this place has two things going for it: the food is familiar to an American palette and you don’t have to ask for ketchup. The food is what you would expect from your local TGI Fridays. It’s a little pricey. But it’s good. It’s really good if you’re starving after a 7 hour transatlantic flight. A small bonus is that there is one in all the tourist spots – so grab a table outside and watch the world walk by you.
Ye Olde Chesire Cheese
Location: 145 Fleet Street
The sign outside this pub proudly states that it was rebuilt in 1647. This place is old and is a warren of interesting subterranean rooms. You can’t replicate this kind of authenticity. I mean the place is older than the first colonies in America! It survived the great fire of London! And the food is all right as well. There’s an assortment of pub grub as well as fancier sit down dining. Well worth a stop if anything for the ambience.
Location: 2 More London Place
Apparently, this is a chain as well. It specializes in Italian cuisine. The food was very good and the service was decent. You couldn’t beat the view – we ate at the one in Southwark that has a view of the HMS Belfast, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Can’t beat that. I recommend the spaghetti and garlic bread. Delicious!
The Horniman’s Pub
Location: Hay’s Galleria
Located in Hay’s Galleria in Southwark (I spent a lot of time in this area), this pub is your standard British pub. The grub is good – I had a burger and it was one of the best I had on the trip. You can’t beat the views of the Thames while you’re eating. It’s a little on the pricey side – but what else can you expect from something in a tourist hotspot?
If you go there and are confused as to why there is no waitservice, you have to order at the bar with your table number and they bring your food to you.
The Larder Restaurant
Location: More London Development
This restaurant is located in Southwark in the Tower Bridge Hilton and is quite a fancy establishment. Not normally a place where we would eat – but we were eating with friends. The dining is Fine – with an interesting menu. The type of menu where you’re expected to order a starter, main and desert. The service was top notch and the food was pretty awesome. If you ask for chips, though, they bring you 4. Yes 4 chunky chips. They were good and it turns out just the right portions. I remember the company more than the food – but it was certainly a great night out and the food was top notch.
The George Inn
We didn’t eat here – this is where we met our Columnist Carl – A Pint of Bitter – for pints one night after hours. It was crowded. It was hot. But it couldn’t have been more authentic. Greatly enjoyed meeting Carl, drinking a cool beverage and sharing a few bags of crisps. The George Inn also happens to be the oldest ‘coaching inn’ still in existence in London. Fancy that.
HK Chinese Diner
I don’t like Chinese food. We were rambling through Leicester Square and found our way into Chinatown and Jackie loves Chinese so we stopped in to eat. I was feeling adventurous so I tried something new. I don’t remember what I tried, I just remember taking 2 bites and being quite content to watch my wife eat instead. Oh well. At least the location was nice and the pregnant wife was fed!
Phoenix Pub and Eating House
Location: 14 Palace Street
Located near Buckingham Palace – pub/grill had phenominal food. The only problem was that the service was godawful. It was so bad it was amusing. It didn’t matter as I was having lunch with some friends from Visit Britain – the conversation was good and it was nice and cool – a rare treat on hot London summer days. Definitely want to go back to this place!
Locaton: Tooley St – London Bridge Station
Located in one of the cellars below London Bridge train station – I wouldn’t really recommend this place. It certainly has atmosphere. It’s dark and nice and cool and aimed at Tourists. But the burger was expensive and to be desired. I don’t know why, but fancier pubs love to stuff crap into their burgers and I really couldn’t stand it. It was also not very cooked, despite the instruction of ‘well done.’ £12 for a burger and chips is highway robbery.
Location: Covent Garden
A touristy pub and grill chain. But the food was delicious, the drinks lovely and the atmosphere was fun and Londony. I had the sirloin steak and chips and I ate the whole thing. We had great company with us so it was a very enjoyable evening. It was certainly bustling on a Friday night – but there was no wait and it was relatively cool.
Location: Notting Hill off Portobello Road
This used to be the Lazy Dazy cafe in Notting Hill but they’ve since sold up and a chain called Charlie’s Cafe runs it now. It still has the charm it did a few years ago – the service is a little better and the food just as good. This is a great place to eat breakfast if you’re heading to the Portobello Road market on Saturday. It’s tucked away a bit – look for the Scottish Theme Shop – it’s down at the end of that alleyway.
Upper Deck Cafe at London Transport Museum
Location: London Transport Museum – Covent Garden
When you’re done exploring the London Transport Museum, the end of the line dumps you in the awesome Museum Shop and upstairs is a lovely little Tube themed cafe. It was a little warm due to the sun coming in the roof – but the food was good. I had a burdger and chips. The burger was OK. The chips were a little too… potatoey. It was a bit pricey – as to be expected from a tourist attraction – but it was a lovely meal.
Location: Southbank – Royal Festival Hall
We met our friends from Updown Cottage here for dinner. Located in the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon is an art deco themed masterpiece of a restuarant with a glaring view of the Thames. It’s certainly fine dining – with a menu to match. There were only 4 things to choose from on the menu. I ordered the steak and it was delicous – though not like any other steak I’ve ever had. It was great atmosphere with great people and by far the most enjoyable night out while we were in London.
Sloe Cafe in Paddington Station
Location: Paddington Station
As we headed out of London back to Heathrow – we stopped in Paddington Station for breakfast. I assumed there would be a decent cafe to have a quick breakfast. I should have done some research first. We stopped at the first cafe we found. Terrible mistake. The Sloe cafe was awful, the food was so terrible we barely ate it. The staff was difficult to communicate with as they were all foreigners and the service was crap. Totally not worth £15. Whatever you do, never eat at the Slow Cafe in Paddington Station.
What are your favorite restaurants in London?