London is one of the top cities in the world for entertainment and culinary experiences, so finding somewhere good to eat shouldn’t be a problem in the capital city. London is a complete melting pot of cultures; you can honestly find any kind of cuisine that you are looking for. So, with so much to choose from in the sprawling metropolis, where do you start?
Decide on your dish
Whatever type of cuisine you want, you’ll find it on a menu somewhere in London. If you have something specific in mind, then this is a good start. Whether you fancy Indian, Thai, Chinese, traditional British, family-friendly, Greek, Mexican or even something more obscure, there’s bound to be plenty of options to cover a variety of styles, tastes and budgets.
But if you don’t have something specific in mind this can be a dilemma and it can be hard to narrow down so many choices. Whether you just want to try something different, you’re looking for a unique atmosphere or for eating on a budget, if you don’t know where to go you might be missing out on some real gems that might be just the types of places you will love and enjoy.
Do your research
One of the best ways to find a restaurant of your choice is to ask around for recommendations. Somebody you know is bound to come up with a decent tip or two worth considering.
But if you’re not from the area, or don’t know any locals, then consider looking on the internet for reviews and recommendations. Websites such as TripAdvisor offer candid, no nonsense advice, which can help sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to restaurant choice in London.
Aside from website reviews, consider looking in local publications which list restaurants in particular areas. Newspaper supplements often give a guide or insight into what’s hot on the capital’s culinary scene.
Different communities or ethnic groups often live in certain parts of London, and it’s sometimes in these areas that you can find good food specific to that particular group.
If you’re looking for something that is perhaps a bit more exclusive, websites like Secret London give tips for the lesser known establishments that offer great food and service.
Consider your budget
In an ideal world money wouldn’t be an issue when it comes to dining out, but for most of us, it is an important factor. And London is no exception. If you decide to dine in the more affluent or touristy areas of London, then expect to pay higher prices. Often, you can find excellent, good-value food in areas the further away from zone one that you go, but that’s not to say you can’t find great places on a budget anywhere in London. With so much competition, restaurants need to attract customers.
Consider other options
As well as finding great food in restaurants, increasingly award-winning dishes are being served up in the capital in places such as hotels, pubs, bars and even within stores or shops. So, if you are looking for something specific, then consider other eating venues aside from restaurants.
One of the best things you can do is simply wander around different parts of London and get a feel for the vibe of each area. Check out the different eating venues – consider what they look like from the outside, what the interior is like, how busy the restaurant looks, etc. Stumbling upon a backstreet gem can be as rewarding as eating out somewhere on the basis of user reviews, so be open minded and adventurous in your search.
Philippa is often travelling to and from London and her life is pretty much on the go. As there is so much choice in London when it comes to dining out, she has decided to put together this guest post to help others. This article was written in consideration of the guys at Restaurant Choice.