Food & Drink

The 10 Best Dishes in London

Haley Forest Published On 02/03/2015 Published On 02/03/2015
Jason Allen/Thrillist

We understand the pressure you’re under: London is home to some of the best food in the world and you need to eat it all. And with such an incredible amount of delicious menu-fillers out there, we thought the humane thing to do would be to run down 10 of the best individual ones the city has to offer. So without further ado, and in no particular order...

Instagram/insatiableeater

Classic Tortilla

Barrafina (address and info)
Soho
If you grew up in the Basque region of Spain, this dish would be like home on a plate. Kind of like an omelet's far cooler older brother, this eggy/potato-y combination is exactly why Barrafina can't stop people from giving it awards. It's simple, just a little sweet, and deeply nourishing.

Flickr/Ewan Munro

Meat Fruit

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (address and info)
Knightsbridge
Combining all the things that made Heston one of the world's finest & most innovative chefs, Meat Fruit shows of theatricality (It looks exactly like a mandarin. Why? Because the restaurant is in the Mandarin Oriental.), taste (it's the best chicken liver parfait you've ever had, no question), and history (the recipe, believe it or not, is from c.1500) -- all in all, it's a combination that will make you go weak at the knees.

Flickr/ekkun

Salt beef bagel

Brick Lane Beigel Bake (address and info)
Brick Lane
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. This East End institution has been in the beigel (or bagel, whatever) game for decades now, providing some of the best salt beef in the city (world?) on fresh rings of doughy joy (they make 7k a day) and with just that right amount of shockingly hot mustard. It just hits the spot perfectly every time.

Duck & Waffle

Foie Gras Crème Brûlée

Duck & Waffle (address and info)
The City
Pretty much all this one had to do to be an incredible dish was to live up to its name. And we can thankfully report that it tastes exactly as amazing as Foie Gras Crème BrĂ»lĂ©e sounds like it should. And just in case it didn’t sound quite decadent enough, it’s topped off with buttered lobster and served with fresh brioche. If you happen to come up for air, be sure to take in the view, as well.

Hawksmoor

Ox Cheek French Dip

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar (address and info)
Spitalfields
It comes as no surprise that Hawksmoor does meat well, but it might be a surpriser to discover that its finest menu-filler isn't steak. Down in the bar at its Spitalfields spot, its special menu has a serious heavy hitter on it: slow-braised ox cheek, covered in melted cheese on a brioche roll and a jug of jus to dip it in.

The Clove Club

Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pine Salt

The Clove Club (address and info)
Shoreditch
Once you get past the slightly eyebrow-raising presentation (“locally foraged pine boughs”... oh-kaaay), and pop one in your mouth, the light, crispy, bite of chicken-y goodness will make everything else fade into the background. Shame it doesn't do them by the bucket.

Courtesy of Portside Parlour

Chargrilled Octopus & Chorizo

PortSide Parlour (address and info)
Shoreditch
Octopus can go one of two ways: like eating an old tire, or like eating a soft, melt-in-your-mouth buttery cloud. Considering the care and attention that goes into its drinks, it’s no surprise that its octopus dish falls into the later category, especially when it's added chorizo and a Pedro Ximénez reduction. You’ll be licking that thing clean and then ordering a second one.

Bone Daddies

Tonkotsu ramen

Bone Daddies Ramen Bar (address and info)
Soho
The sound of good food is happy silence. Upon eating the Tonkotsu ramen at Bone Daddies, this silence is only broken by the breathless mantra of “This is sooo good.” It starts with a 20-hour pork bone broth, then those ridiculously tasty eggs, and then the Chashu pork, and then the actual ramen itself.

Courtesy of Polpo

Bruschetta

Polpo (address and info)
Various locations
Sure, the menu changes every couple of months at this stalwart of small plates, but there is always some kind of bruschetta, and it's always the standout. On a base of light, fluffy focaccia, there are combinations like quince, chestnut & goat cheese; ricotta, broadbean & mint; or the classic goat cheese, roasted grape, and walnut. Ask if they're available, even if you don't see them on the menu...

Courtesy of Caravan

Avocado toast

Caravan King's Cross (address and info)
Kings Cross
Avocado, chilli, lemon, olive oil, and some bread. It sounds too simple. It sounds like the kind of thing you can just as easily make at home. Yet, when you actually try it, it becomes clear that, whether it's the sheer volume of perfectly ripe avocado, the soft gorgeous bread, and the perfectly rationed lemon & chili -- or whatever witchcraft they use to put it together, it's so, so much more than that.

Sign up here for our daily London email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the city.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Barrafina 54 Frith St, London, W1D 4SL (Soho)

Barrafina brings hearty, upscale Spanish cuisine to Soho. Expect a wait, but it's well worth it. Barrafina does all the traditional tapas well, and for reasonable prices (around ÂŁ8 per dish).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA (Knightsbridge)

Brought to you by Heston Blumenthal and Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, this classy Knightsbridge resto opened in 2011 and is considered one of the best on Earth, serving exquisite British dishes like their signature Meat Fruit (mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread), which earned it two Michelin stars.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Brick Lane Beigel Bake 159 Brick Ln, London, E1 6SB (Shoreditch)

Perhaps you're a bagel-for-breakfast-only person and that's ok. But when bagels are made into sandwiches this delicious 24hrs a day, you'll either change your philosophy or redefine "breakfast" to get as many of these wondrous creations as possible.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Duck & Waffle Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY (The City)

If you're not good with heights, you might want to request a table away from the windows. This classy establishment offers an incredible view of London, 40 stories above the ground in the Heron Tower. And regardless of when your hunger pangs pop up, Duck & Waffle has you covered 24/7.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar 157B Commercial St, London, E1 6BJ (Shoreditch)

Nestled in the basement of the Hawksmoor restaurant in Shoreditch, Spitalfields Bar serves up award-winning cocktails and bar fare. From old staples like Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew (gin, ginger, lemon, and London Pride) to more recent highlights like the Sunset Sazerac (strawberry cognac, coconut bourbon, pineapple bitters and absinthe), these impeccably mixed drinks don’t disappoint. Sip while you savor delicious snacks (short rib nuggets, anyone?), and enjoy the sultry coziness evoked by glazed brick walls, intimate alcove booths, and Art Deco-inspired copper countertops.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. The Clove Club 380 Old St, , London, EC1V 9LT (Shoreditch)

Set within set within Shoreditch Town Hall the Clove Club pulls off an elegant, rustic vibe with high ceilings, large windows, and an open kitchen in the back, serving up brilliantly crafted British fare and exquisite cocktails. The reservation system is a bit different—you buy tickets like you would for a show—because the name of the game here is a tasting menu; Block off a good chunk of time to get acquainted with Michelin star British cuisine like Cornish mackerel and Yorkshire suckling pig. Or, the bar menu features plenty of fantastic drinks and snacks—light and crispy buttermilk fried chicken is a must-try—you’ll wish you could order by the bucketful.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. PortSide Parlour 14 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3DU (Shoreditch)

What started as a pop-up under Broadway Market has turned into a fully fledged cocktail bar on the lower stretch of Rivington Street. PortSide knows a thing or two about concocting quality cocktails, with new ones popping up all the time. With a vaguely nautical theme and a banging soundtrack, the Parlour's a place to pop in for one drink and end up staying all night (well, until midnight, when it closes). Into rum? So are they -- their collection is pretty spot-on.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Bone Daddies Ramen Bar 31 Peter St, Soho, W1F 0AR (Soho)

Bone Daddies is a modern Japanese ramen bar with snacks like fried chicken and soft shell crab served with a stocked selection of sakes that even includes sparkling.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Polpo 126-128 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3QG (Notting Hill)

One of the restos in Russell Norman's empire, this Notting Hill spot dishes out small Venetian plates with all the Aperol Spritzes and Italian wine you can handle.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Caravan King's Cross Granary Building, 1 Granary Sq, , London, N1C 4AA (Kings Cross)

Caravan is home to a number of different reasons to go there, including their own coffee roastery, a menu loaded with small plates and pizzas, and cocktails and beer made with said roasted coffee.

Clickbait