So, after I posted my '10 London Restaurants and Cafes I Can't Wait To Eat At' in January (I had a really nostalgia meets excitement hit putting it together) I had such a great response from people who had enjoyed the list, and found it a really useful guide of where to try and eat in the city in lieu of my 'Places To Eat In London' being on hiatus until July when I get back from Los Angeles. Reader and fellow blogger Ashley has even decided to work through every restaurant on that list with her boyfriend, and documented her first visit from the list of Pizza East on her blog. Naturally I had to put another edition together, then!
Lets start this list off with another picture of a burger, shall we? Now Bill's is not actually specifically a burger joint, and while I have not actually eaten there yet I have attempted to a couple of times, but it has always been very full, and when you live in East London, and you've dragged yourself to Covent Garden for brunch on a Sunday morning you don't really want to be waiting until 2pm for a table, do you? However, this is not the fault of Bill's; I've heard amazing things about the food at every meal of the day, so no wonder it is always packed!
Now, Lily Vanilli's is a tricky one, as her Columbia Road bakery is only open on a Sunday which leaves a pretty small window for enjoying her delicious looking cakes. However, luckily the one day of the week she does open is a Sunday, because in her plum location on Columbia Road it provides East Londoners a haven to go for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee after browsing the famous flower market. That is one of my first Sundays when I move back to London at the end of the Summer sorted then! Who does not love flowers and cake in one place?
While Clapham is a bit South of the river than I usually venture, I do have a couple of friends who live there, which means I don't mind going down there when I know there is someone I can drag out of their house to go to lunch, or won't moan at me for having to get up really early to get on the Northern Line to go somewhere for brunch. I'm not actually sure where I heard about The Plough Bar & Kitchen, but their sumptuous food photos on their website, like the one above, have me very, very excited.
Do you follow anyone from the Nordic states on Instagram? If you do, you will have had the experience of scrolling through your feed each morning and getting an eyeful of other peoples delicious looking Nordic pasties and coffees they are enjoying for breakfast. From what I have heard about it so far, The Nordic Bakery in Marylebone is the perfect place to go in London if you are a looking for a slice of that action.
It seems the moment I left London so many new and exciting burger joints started popping up, mainly in Soho. In my last post I noted I wanted to eat at Honest Burgers, but also pretty near the top of the list is Patty & Bun. Living in Los Angeles and having several cult burger stand alones and chains all around me I have learnt that so many different things make a good burger, and I don't think it is possible for there for be a 'best' burger in any city. Knowing my luck I'll find I wish I could mix and match from different burger joints like I do here; I buy my burgers from In-N-Out and my fries from Five Guys!
There are two things which, when done well can never fail to satisfy. The first of these I just mentioned, the burger, and the second is obviously the pizza. Now, while I love making my own pizzas at home (my parents have told me over Skype numerous times they miss my pizza bases) nothing beats a well done pizza baked in a traditional pizza oven. Brooklyn Bite, obviously baking fresh New York style pizzas on the King's Road is something I've only recently heard about, but I think will make a great lunch while shopping in the area.
I have a thing about bakeries that have their own cake books. My favourite cupcakes in Los Angeles come from Georgetown Cupcake, but I have heard the proportions in their books don't really work. In London, my favourite bakery is the Primrose Bakery in Primrose Hill, but I've flicked through their books and they look rather uninspiring. On the other hand, while I adore and bake out of all the time Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery I think the cupcakes in the actual Hummingbird Bakery are good, but not as good as I can make from the book. I don't own the book from Peggy Porschen, nor have I visited her store (though I have seen some pretty amazing photos on peoples blogs) but I have made her Limencello Layer Cake from a recipe in The English Home magazine which was actually divine. This has made me want the book, but after my Hummingbird experience I've decided I need to try what the actual in store cakes are like before I buy it.
I don't really like Indian food. However, before I moved to America I did not like beef, before I learnt how to cook it well myself I did not like steak. While I was at boarding school I would have told you that I could not stand mashed potato, and I now like and eat vegetables too. My point is, is I think I don't like Indian food, but I'm also pretty sure I've never had real Indian food except for homemade traditional samosas, which I adore. See where I am going with this? I've heard great things about Dishoom and it has been around for quite a while, and it has a killer looking cocktail menu. I'm going to see if I like Indian food.
Honey & Co. is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Fitzrovia from a former Ottolenghi pastry chef. If that is not an automatic recommendation for the food, I don't know what is. Think fresh flavours, many small dishes and an alternative evening meal; I can't wait to go - they are also open for breakfasts. There is also apparently a massive bidding war going on for their first book, just in proposal form, and talks of television.
10. Koya, Soho
Koya is a Japanese Udon joint. Just like I am aware that I have never actually taste real, good Indian food I am also aware that the only Japanese food I have ever eaten has been from Wagamamas, and while there is nothing wrong with Wagamamas (have you tasted their sorbets?!) I know that this is totally unacceptable and needs to be rectified. I picked Koya out of a Refinery 29 piece on the best ramen in London; their London section is still pretty new, but judging by how useful I find the restaurant pieces in Refinery 29 Los Angeles, I'm sure that Koya will be a pretty good bet for a good, authentic Japanese meal.
All images in this post are from the restaurants websites (except from the Lili Vanilli shot which is from the Benetton London blog). Where in London are you the most excited to eat next? My actual full list currently has 75 entries my last count!