Conversations on Studying Abroad

London Food Tour: Great Eats for Good Prices

Mar 5, 2023 3:00:00 PM / by Kathleen Gorman

Just when you thought London's food scene could not get any better, here's a top five list of standouts that are heavy on the deliciousness! London has all you want and more, so explore and sample the global tastes the city has to offer.

One thing I was very excited to get my hands on when arriving in London was the food—all the various cuisines. I have always heard about how London has everything you could think of, so I was excited to try everything from English classics to Asian, Italian, and everything in between. Making this list was hard given that everything I’ve had has been delicious, but I have managed to narrow it down to my five favorite restaurants I have been to while living here the last two months that I would want to immediately come back to when I visit again!

These are my standouts if you want to call them that! Here are my top five London eats you should try next time you are in London.

  1. Padella—Borough Market

Padella has two locations: one located near Borough Market by the London Bridge tube station, and the other in Shoreditch. Padella is home to some of the best pasta I've had since being here. With a small, limited menu (they only have eight pastas to choose from!), you know whatever you pick is going to be amazing. Both times I've been there I've gotten two different pastas, but they were both super fresh and absolutely delicious!

My top recommendation at Padella would be the Fettuccine with Cobble Lane cured nduja, mascarpone, and lemon. This lightly dressed and cheesy dish has a kick of flavor from the cured nduja, a type of pork, which gives you the ultimate taste in every bite. Padella doesn’t accept reservations and tables are limited, so there are always lines outside the restaurant with people waiting to get a seat for their delicious food!

Three white plates of pasta with sauce and cheese

Padella’s fettuccine with Cobble Lane cured nduja, mascarpone, and lemon pasta.
  1. Punch & Judy—Covent Garden

Now, it’s hard to go wrong with any pub food, but the Punch & Judy, located in the heart of Covent Garden, has it all! Location, decorations, history, and the yummy food and drinks, there is nothing to lose. This three-floor pub has all the classic dishes, but when at a pub you can never go wrong with an order offish and chips—the most English food of them all!

To be honest, before coming to London I had never had fish and chips before, but since being here it has become one of my favorites. After trying it at pubs all around the city, the Punch & Judy has become my top pick. I think there is also some bias here given that you can sit on the upstairs balcony and eat while you watch a street show happening in the square just the floor below! If you go during Christmastime as well, there is a huge Christmas tree out in Covent Garden right in front of the pub which is stunning to look at!

A plate of fish and chips with peas

Fish and chips from the Punch & Judy.
  1. Dulce—Aldgate East

Located right near the Aldgate East tube stop, and right around the corner from my flat, Dulce has some of the best breakfast and lunch food! They have a takeaway bakery right as you walk in, as well as a small dining room with an extensive brunch menu. They have fresh juices, smoothies, coffee, and all the pastries and sandwiches you can think of.

My favorite food here has to be the Turkey and Cheese Croque Monsieur. This is a common stop for me in the mornings and during my internship when I am in need of a quick coffee or snack. The staff is also very friendly and are quick to serve you and get you on your way so you can have a nice start to your day!

Turkey and cheese croque monsieur

Dulce’s turkey and cheese croque monsieur.
  1. Fatt Pundit—Covent Garden

This Asian fusion-style restaurant has a combination of all different kinds of yummy classics! A perfect spot for a pre-show dinner, or even quick appetizers with friends, the Fatt Pundit located between the Strand and Covent Garden has some great bites! Since this is a tapas-style restaurant, you get the best of both worlds when ordering from this menu! It’s a foodie's dream!

I am one to be very indecisive when it comes to what I want to order at restaurants, so going to tapas is always nice because you can order a little of everything. My favorite items that my friends and I ordered off their menu have to be the Sticky Sesame Vegetables, Lollipop Chicken, Vegetable Hakka Noodles, and the Tamarind Glazed Potatoes! My mouth is watering thinking about this meal again. The atmosphere around the restaurant is also great and perfect for a night out to eat and drink with friends, and given the location it is the perfect spot to start the night!

A plate of lollipop chicken and a plate of sesame vegetables

Fatt Pundit’s lollipop chicken and sesame sticky vegetables.
  1. Ristorante Taormina—Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park

You might see a little bit of a common theme here, but you could say I love Italian food! Ristorante Taormina is definitely a hidden gem—my mom, sister, and I stumbled upon this restaurant while walking back from the tube station when they came to visit me a few weeks ago. When we walked in, it immediately felt like we had stepped foot into a small Italian village. I got the Penne All'Arrabbiata, and it had the perfect combination of spice and cheesiness (given that they put a hunk of parm on top!). It was delicious! The restaurant also was on the quieter side, which gave us a nice break from the craziness London sometimes entails!

A white plate of penne pasta with sauce

Penne all'arrabbiata from Ristorante Taormina.

The London food scene is quite extensive, and I am excited to continue to explore it! Enjoy these eats!

Thanks, Kathleen!

Kathleen Gorman

Kathleen Gorman is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2022, sharing
her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at Providence College, she is studying and interning abroad in London this semester. All views expressed are her own and may or may not reflect the experiences of other students.

Kathleen's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

New Call-to-action

Topics: London, England, Food Abroad