The first time I went to London I was nine years old and sustained myself solely on Cadbury chocolates and fish and chips. I recently went back (twelve years later) to visit a friend who was studying abroad — this time, with a slightly more refined palate. I soon discovered how much more there is to London than pub food and the traditional Sunday roast (although Sunday roast is fucking delicious and included on this list). The food is fresh AF, the sights are gorgeous and… those accents! [I mean come on!]
So, if you’ve been pondering a hop over to the other side of the pond, check out these recs below! I am going back this fall for round three and believe me, I’m already counting down the days. And I may have already made a reservation or two…
The original location of Instagram Queen @DeliciouslyElla’s deli empire, Deliciously Ella at Seymour Place is one of three locations scattered throughout London. With a cookbook to boot as well as a line of protein balls and granola in supermarkets across the UK, it’s safe to say Ella Woodward is killing it. The staff at her uber popular cafes are trained to be accommodating to a vast variety of allergies and diets, and the menus offer something for everyone. Both vegans and carnivores alike are bound to be drooling with breakfast dishes of oat mylk porridge, seasonal fruit compote and fresh-baked banana bread with coconut yogurt. The vibes are cozy and casual, so stop on by if you are looking for a mellow meal or a golden milk latte to-go.
Dishoom is an ode to the once flourishing Parsi cafes that were opened by Iranian immigrants in Bombay. The fusion of Iranian and Indian cultures is reflected in both the food and ambience. With Zoroastrian symbols lining the wall and traditional Indian dishes like daal and biryani on the menu, Dishoom offers a totally-unique dining experience. Boasting five locations across the UK, you’re bound to stumble upon one while sightseeing. Protip: Locals and tourists alike are obsessed with Dishoom so it’s not uncommon to find people lined up outside waiting to get in, so call before to make a res. Also, the chai is unlimited, so keep it coming!
The brainchild of chef and restaurateur Bill Granger, Granger and Co. is an Aussie import that will transport you directly to Byron Bay. With restaurants already in Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo and Honolulu, Granger is taking the Brits by storm with over four locations in London. And it’s no wonder everyone is so captivated: the ambience gives off an urban take on coastal-cool, which makes it stand out amongst traditional London. And then there’s the food… it’s basically brunch goals on crack. Seriously, the eggs look like a cloud and the pancakes are fluffy as hell. Protip: Get here early, because they don’t take reservations and the line can take you for a tour around the block… but regardless, it’s #worthit.
If you’re looking for something nourishing and healthy, look no further than 26 Grains. Tucked away in Neal’s Yard, this cozy shop makes some bangin’ bowls. With more variants in porridge choices than the cereal aisle in an American grocery store, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. These bowls are hella-Instagrammable, which is a dream-come-true for any millennial… whether you admit it or not.
And lastly, you cannot travel to England without having a traditional Sunday roast. This weekly Sunday supper shared amongst family and friends will give you all the feels. A classic British dish consisting of roasted meat, potatoes, yorkshire pudding, stuffing, veggie and gravy I was originally far from enthused to partake. However, Hawksmoor really stepped to the plate and went above and beyond. Hawksmoor’s food is fresh, organic and locally sourced. We went to the Seven Dials location which was a pub from the early 1800’s and found the vibes to be authentic and the customers, local. You’ll leave stuffed, happy and dreaming for more.
*Photos of Granger & Co. by Petrina Tinslay.