Famous London Food: Top 5 Must-Try Dishes (& More)

Famous London Food

Food in London is famous for a reason: it’s just the nuts.

But aside from those sugared almonds being served outside Tower Hill tube station, if you’re visiting England’s capital for the first time and just so happen to be hungry, you might be wondering what famous food you should be eating.

Famous food in London naturally involves classic British dishes like the Full English Breakfast, Fish & Chips, Pie & Mash, Roast Dinner, and Afternoon Tea, although it also includes the many great restaurants, gastropubs, cafes and street food venues serving more modern international cuisine across the city.

In truth, there’s tons of ways that food in London can be classified as famous. It’s also the case that it’s virtually impossible to cover the lot of it in a single article. But let’s give it a jolly good old go…

Famous London Food (Dishes)

There’s clearly no other way to start than this. Here’s the top five must-try famous foods when in London:

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast

The Full English breakfast is famous for being the best way to start a day, especially when in London. It’s well known that the British Fry-Up is first on the list of must-try dishes when in London. Regency Cafe and E.Pellici’s are just two of the best places in London to eat your ‘full monty.’  

Consisting of sausages, bacon, black pudding, fried eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, bubble and squeak, tomatoes, and fried bread if you’re doing it right, there’s few things better than demolishing a Full English Breakfast after waking up in London.

Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips

It’s actually Britain’s seaside towns where the classic English dish that is fish and chips is most famous, but there’s also plenty of places in London that famously serve great fish and chips.

Whether you prefer yours with mushy peas, pickled eggs, tartare sauce, curry sauce, or just salt and vinegar, among the best fish and chips in London are Poppie’s, …. 

Pie & Mash

Pie and Mash in London

Famous for being a traditional east-end of London dish to be precise, Pie & Mash is not only just a well known staple of classic British cuisine, but also a must-eat meal when in London (alongside jellied eels if you’re brave enough).

London’s best Pie & Mash houses / shops / cafes (whichever you choose to call them), or top-notch London gastropubs, are clearly the places to go for your helping of Pie & Mash. Among the most famous are Manzes and… 

Roast Dinner

Roast Dinner

If you’re lucky enough to be in London at the end of the week, an absolute must is to eat a proper traditional and famous Sunday Roast, ideally in one of London’s top-notch gastropubs.

Not to fret, the classic British roast dinner is also available in certain places across London throughout the rest of the week; you just might have to look a tad harder. 

Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is perhaps the most famous London food tradition, if not the most popular. Invented by Queen Victoria following what was initially just an afternoon snack, it’s now a ritual that’s famously enjoyed by tourists and residents daily.

If you’re looking for the best Afternoon Tea in London, you’ll want to make sure it includes a good variety of teas, unlimited sandwiches, not to mention both sweet and savoury scones, plus a tongue-tingling array of cakes and pastries.

More Famous London Food…

While classic British dishes clearly form a large part of London’s famous food, believe it or not, there’s a tad more on offer than just the familiar Fry-Up, Afternoon Tea and all that tasty traditional stuff.

Famous London Restaurants

Famous London Food

When the words ‘famous,’ ‘London’ and ‘restaurant’ are said in the same breath, it’s only natural for the mind to wander to all those famous chefs with restaurants in London Town. Prime examples include:

  • Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
  • Core by Claire Smith
  • Tom Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
  • Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s Oyster Bar
  • Tom Brown’s Cornerstone

Plenty of these restaurants also just so happen to be famous because they’re simply top-notch, many of them holding the ultimate industry accolade, otherwise being known as London’s restaurants with Michelin stars.

Also among London’s most famous restaurants are the touristy places like Rules (the oldest restaurant in London), and Aqua and Oblix (being located in the UK’s tallest building, The Shard).

Famous London (Gastro)pubs

Best British Pub Food London UK

London’s restaurants are great and all, but some of the best food in town also comes from the many famous London pubs, or gastropubs. Just a few examples include:

Famous London Cafes

Regency Cafe London - How much does a Full English Breakfast cost?

Just as famous as the London pub are London’s best cafes. These are typically the places serving the most traditional British dishes like the Full English Breakfasts and Pie & Mash, as well as just being the perfect pit-stop for a top London cuppa Tea.

Free London Food Fact: The most famous and best cafes in London include Norman’s Cafe

Famous Street Food In London

Street Food London

Street food in London is probably what you’ll want to eat if you’re in a dash, or if you’d rather not spend a packet on those fancy-pants and often pricey London restaurants. 

The best and most famous place for top-notch street food in London is arguably Borough Market, but here’s a load more:

  • China Town, Covent Garden 
  • Camden Market
  • Spitalfields
  • Brick Lane Market

Famous London Food: In Summary

London is perhaps best known for several classic British dishes when it comes to food, including Fish & Chips and Pie & Mash, but is also famous for the top-notch standard of its restaurants, pub food, cafes and street food, both traditional and modern, not to mention the variety of cuisines available.

While it’s all very well knowing about famous London food, this isn’t necessarily the same as knowing what the best London food is for you. The real benefit lies in knowing how to find great places to eat in London.

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