Nosh your way through London at these five gastronomic gems.
Written by Michelle Lyn (Borough Market)| Photography courtesy of restaurants
In a bustling city with thousands of restaurants, it’s hard to find diamonds in the rough. The culinary scene in Central London, however, reflects its diverse constituents. Here, DIGS helps navigate the neighborhoods to make sure your next visit to London leaves you satisfied with “British” food.
Borough Market, Southwark
Build an appetite, fill your pockets with pounds, and head to Borough Market for incredible eating and drinking in London’s most renowned open-air market, a treat for all the senses. Dating to the 13th century, Borough Market was shut down by Parliament in 1755, but a band of locals pitched in to bring it back to life the next year, and it has been a gourmand’s delight ever since. Countless stalls of cheese, honey, produce, chocolate and more can easily overwhelm, so come hungry and take advantage of all the samples. Must visit stall: Alsop & Walker cheese stall for their award-winning Mayfield semi-hard cheese with a creamy, sweet, nutty flavor BoroughMarket.org.uk
The Goring, Belgravia
In the heart of fashionable Belgravia, The Goring is a quintessentially English luxury hotel that has been owned by the Goring family since 1910. Known for the best Afternoon Tea in town, this much-loved English tradition is served in multiple dining locations and, weather permitting, al fresco on The Veranda. Indulge in delicate pastries, scones and sandwiches served with the finest blended and first-flush teas from around the world—topped off with a glass of Bollinger Rosé Champagne and hand-picked strawberries while overlooking the bucolic gardens.
Tea service of choice: Bollinger Rosé Afternoon TeaeGoring.com
London’s cultural diversity shines through at this rooftop restaurant situated atop the Heron Tower in the financial district. A sexy sky bar where Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine come together 38 floors up, SUSHISAMBA boasts the highest outdoor dining terrace in Europe, with 360 degree views of London.
The dining room is encased in floor-to-ceiling windows, with strings of incandescent lights hanging at varying heights from an open bamboo ceiling. Views are impressive day or night, but sunset is not to be missed.
The music is loud and the food is delicious, making SUSHISAMBA an excellent choice for a night on the town.Dish to try: Yellowtail Taquitos SushiSamba.com
Berners Tavern, Fitzrovia
Known for art galleries and trendy cocktail bars, Fitzrovia is home to The London EDITION hotel, which hosts Berners Tavern, a glamorous art-deco space with vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling framed artwork. The opulent space was designed by Ian Schrager, and is perfectly complemented by the decadent food of Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, who cut his teeth under great chefs like Ferran Adrià and Gordon Ramsay.
The expansive dining room, with its ornate plasterwork ceiling, low, ambient lighting and vibrant bar area, make for a sultry date night. Must try dish: Chargrilled Chicken Paillard drenched in garlic chorizo butter and served with manchego and piquillo pepper BernersTavern.com
The Gallery at Sketch, Mayfair
The walls of the Gallery are adorned almost edge-to-edge with strange, funny and often satirical child-like drawings. Food can be seasoned with shakers, including “dirt” (pepper), “dust” (salt) or “nothing” (true to its label, it contains nothing).
Although the dining room is pink and playful, the menu is not to be dismissed. Drawing on influences from Japan, Italy, Spain and Britain, dishes, like Escargots Persillade with cauliflower cream and black garlic, are all underpinned by French cuisine and leave guests wanting more.
Save room for dessert: Sketch Chocolat consists of a Guanaja biscuit served with crushed black currants and crunchy chocolate paper Sketch.London