I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a really embarrassing dinner date when traveling. When we visit new restaurants in DC, I’m not usually compelled to take pictures of the food. When traveling, however, I’m maybe a little too comfortable with the notion that I’ll never see 99.99% of the people at a restaurant ever again so I have no shame whipping out my phone and snapping pictures during meals.
As a result, you’ll find most of these pictures are grainy at best with a few hidden details that really make me smile – like the woman on the brochure in the picture below or the gentleman looking into the camera who I cropped out of the photo from Aphrodite. In short, I might be shameless about whipping out my phone but not so much so that I have a small photoshoot before diving into a meal.
The following restaurants are the meals we loved the most, the ones I couldn’t bother with a taking more than a picture or two during, quality be damned, because the food looked too good to wait any longer! I hope you have the chance to visit some of these spots should you find yourself in London. I can say without a doubt we will revisit more than one next time we’re in town.
Honest Burger – We stumbled into Honest Burger after my cookie class on our first full day in London and didn’t wait more than five minutes before nabbing a table at the Portobello Road location. Overhearing all the different languages around us was a complete thrill, and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t both surprised when fries showed up on the plate instead of potato chips.
Dishoom – This was our favorite meal of the whole trip! Get the black daal and chai tea and make sure you check out the kitchen in the lower level where you can see all of the naan lined up like soldiers waiting to go in the oven. Funnily enough, Kevin and I got lost on the way there, and thanks to reading Google Maps wrong, I lead us into a closed strip club. Thankfully we didn’t just hang our heads and turn back. I would have loved to eat here more than once if only we hadn’t visited on our last day in town.
Harrod’s Food Halls – Kevin said that because of the sheer opulence in every corner and the absence of windows disorienting you at every turn, Harrod’s feels like a casino. To which I have to say it was the most luxurious casino I’ve ever seen!
We visited for the sole purpose of visiting the Food Halls and could have spent hours exploring the meals in each themed room. Pictured above is the produce room (couldn’t you tell from the grapes in the chandelier? 😉 ), but we also explored the dessert room, the meat room, the chocolate room (I repeat: the chocolate room), the seafood room, and a whole list of places we didn’t even see, like the ice cream parlour!
We made the mistake of buying some pies before realizing there is no place to eat them, and some stands won’t heat up the food. So if you drop by, grab a snack on the go or take a sandwich to the park! I highly recommend the chocolate dipped candied oranges from the chocolate room.
Aphrodite – Recommended by our Airbnb host as her favorite local spot, Aphrodite’s friendly staff, dim lighting, and tables so close you might elbow your neighbor all make you feel like you’re dining with friends. We ordered the meat mezze, per our host’s recommendation, and there were eleven plates on our table at one point. Eleven! I’ve never felt more like a gluttonous American than during that meal.
One of the waiters even warned us to lay off the (five) dips so we’d have room for all four courses. If it sounds decadent, it’s because it was. The first course was cold appetizers (hummus, baba ganoush, labneh, etc.) followed by warm appetizers (portobello mushrooms and grilled haloumi atop tomatoes). As if that wasn’t enough, we then tried at least five different kinds of meats and fish and ended the meal with a salad. Everything we tried left me at a loss for words because it was so delicious, but I especially liked the part about the salad last!
Duck and Waffle – Duck and Waffle is the highest restaurant in the city on the fortieth floor. I’m having a hard time finding a more perfect phrase to describe it other than “gastro-club.” We rode a glass elevator straight to the top and some seriously strong beats welcomed us when the doors opened. Stylish youths sat all around the high tops and poufs, and very few of them were taking pictures of the city around us. One can only assume that dining decadently at the top of the city is a regular occurrence for them.
We both ordered the duck and waffle – crispy fried duck breast on a fluffy belgian waffle topped with a fried egg, although I think the bacon wrapped dates were the real star of the show! Don’t let the 40-stories up (I’m afraid of elevators, but the trip seemed to last less than a minute) or the warnings on their site about certain outfits required scare you away. The food was fun to try once while taking in the view, but I think next time we’ll end the day there with just a cocktail.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing more from our trip! We had so much fun exploring new places, meeting new people, and trying new foods. I’m already looking forward to the next adventure, if nothing else so I can justify another four course meal 😉
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