One of the best things about traveling is experiencing new foods. Many of us have never been to London prior to this trip, and did not really know what to expect. Certainly we had heard of fish and chips, but what other tasty treats did London have to offer?
"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die."
Typical British Food
To an American, the word “toasty” might conjure up images of snuggling up by the fire, but in London, a “toastie” is another word to describe a sandwich. Throughout the week, we consumed many of these popular lunchtime meals that were often served with crisps (or chips). Of course, we also tried some delicious fish and chips throughout our trip, which we could purchase just about anywhere in the city.
After a long day of standing at the Changing of the Guard ceremony and walking through Hyde Park, a warm, buttery three-cheese toastie from the Brompton Food Market re-energized us.
Eating on the go? You can easily grab a quick bite of flaky, beer-battered fish and chips (a.ka. fries) nearly anywhere.
What is better than eating a panini-like toastie covered in fresh mozzarella, tomato, and pesto while overlooking a breathtaking view of the city at Sky Garden?
Something that was really surprising about London was that you could find ethnic food from places all over the world. Since we were in a busy city, there were many Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, and Hispanic restaurants nearly everywhere. We consumed all kinds of new foods such as chicken curry, authentic Mexican tapas, and even fried squid! Perhaps the best ethnic foods that we ate are shown in these pictures below:
If you are in the mood for a savory meal at an Asian fusion restaurant, look no further than the braised pork belly bao at Yuu. The tender pork sprinkled with pickled cucumber and crushed roasted peanuts served inside a soft, fluffy bao bun is sure to fill your hunger.
Who wouldn’t want to start their meal with fresh guacamole that smelled of limes and cilantro with crispy chips seasoned with sea salt? To make this appetizer even better, we paired it with a sweet, but strong margarita!
Not only was this Thai curry at the Balans Soho Society visually appealing with it’s bright orange sauce and bright red peppers, but it also had a hearty, spicy taste that lingered on your taste buds and made you want to take another bite until there was no more left.
A Taste of Europe
As we walked around the crowded city, we overhead a multitude of different accents and languages. One of the most common of which was French, which did not surprise us considering how many Parisian cafés and bakeries we encountered throughout the week. We frequently glanced at small fruit pies and pastries from these shop windows as we walked to our destinations, sometimes stopping to take a peak inside.
Another European spot that we found was a restaurant called Vicoli de Napoli, which served traditional Italian pizza from Naples. We were fortunate to go to this restaurant because at the beginning of the semester we read an excerpt about “the best pizza in the world” from the novel
Eat, Pray, Love, and with our luck, we were able to eat this same pizza because years ago, several Italians moved from Naples to London to start this very restaurant. It’s safe to say that after consuming this pizza, we will never enjoy American pizza the same way again.
They say the French are known for their fresh bread, and after eating a chicken and avocado sandwich on a large baguette from the Boulangerie-Patisserie Orée Kitchen-Café, I can certainly support this statement!
This pizza was so delicious that we were tempted to take the next flight out to Italy. Biting into this thin, chewy crust covered with fresh mozzarella, tangy tomato sauce, olive oil, and a basil garnish was an enlightening, almost spiritual experience.
If you have never eaten an omelette smothered in feta cheese and warm, baked tomatoes, you are missing out! With a side of toast and a spinach salad, you could have sworn that you were sitting at a café somewhere in France!
Was there room for dessert on this trip? Of course! The sweet treats that we consumed during our stay were the icing on the cake. I’m not sure if it was the inner American or inner-foodie in all of us, but no matter where we were, we were able to spot the sweets. Here are some of the best desserts of the trip:
Although some may not consider hot chocolate a dessert, this would prove the neighsayers wrong. Covered in marshmellows and topped with a large chunk of chocolate bark, this was the most decadent hot chocolate ever.
After a lunchtime meal at the Brompton Food Market, why wouldn’t we want to get some strawberry gelato across the street? There is something about eating this creamy goodness in a cone that makes you feel like a child again.
If you thought “bao” could only be eaten as a main course, you would be wrong! The contrast between the warm, deep-fried bao bun and the cold dulce de leche ice cream made our taste buds sing!
Page by: Sarah Goranson
Photos (from top left to bottom right) by: 1. Sarah Goranson, 2. Samantha Salvemini, 3. Kelly Schwager, 4. Bailey Rafter, 5. Lauren Jan, 6. Kelly Schwager, 7. Kelly Schwager, 8. Sarah Goranson, 9. Sarah Goranson, 10. Samantha Salvemini, 11. Bailey Rafter, and 12. Bailey Rafter.