2024 European Food Crawl - London…….Pub Grub and more!!

No trip to the UK is complete without a visit to at least a traditional British pub or two……noshing on some hearty, rustic pub-grub and downing a few pints of Stout, Lager or Ale.
Today’s outing involved a visit to Borough Market and a few British Pubs to fulfill this culinary goal.
At award winning establishments like ‘The Ginger Pig’ ( Sausage Roll ),’Richard Haward’ ( Oysters and Shellfish), ‘The Windmill‘ ( Pies )…etc, we had but not limited to the following:

  • Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas
  • Scotch Eggs
  • Sausage Roll
  • Steak & Kidney Pie, Steak & Mushroom Pie
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Crumbl ( home-made English custard with mixed berries )
  • Local Colchester Oysters and Scottish Cherrystone clams ( Yes! I know! Taking
    a huge risk again after the oyster food-poisoning episode in Spain!..but
    Colchester is one of my most favorite ‘ flat ‘ oysters and……you
    only live once!! :yum::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::rofl: )

Afterwards, to walk off some of those excessive calories, we performed the ‘ touristy thing ‘ by doing long sight-seeing treks to Tower Bridge,The City……then tube to South Kensington ( Museums, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park & my Alma Mater - Imperial College ), Knightsbridge ( Harrods…food hall! )….etc.


A really good mix, Charles, although I never eat fish and chips anywhere but a local chippie. I really need to entice you further east where much of the more “daring” food lies but most likely there are years to plan my dastardly campaign moves


I stopped going to Borough Market a while back so I had no idea they’d glassed it in.

@calam1ty, I’m visiting in June and staying in Limehouse. What do you recommend further east?

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I’ve been gone a little while (desperate to return) but there are so many… Brat (Basque) either the Shoreditch (redchurch rd) or the Hackney location if you want a real neighborhood. Smoking Goat (northern Thai) Shoreditch high Street (corner where Brat is). Gunpowder (White’s Row) - modern Indian. I used to think ottolenghi, Artillery lane, but only for lunch. Rochelle’s canteen - British, playground gardens, book ahead and please enjoy the area. For a roast I like the marksman, hackney rd but this is super tough to get into (at Columbia rd flower market area which these days is soooo crowded), so I go to the Duke of Richmond in Dalston for Sunday roast (another real neighbourhood) where London chefs go. Most will recommend the original Dishoom in Spitalfields but I like only the black dhal which is glorious, the bhel puri and their great bottomless chai. Everything else is meh for me.

Limehouse - I don’t ever eat there but fascinating area. In Whitechapel I go to needo grill for their aubergine dhal and Punjabi tinda and their very good naan, and shalimar which is just a “caff” with great kebab - both close to tayyabs, which I never go to. In brick lane I only ever go to meraz on hanbury street, an area with great street art, the tandoori lamb chops, dhal, and saga aloo.

Can add URLs ( I’m not out of bed, can you tell from the typing) on demand or in replies. The Sunday brick lane food halls and stalls ( at hanbury st) are a really fun experience - packed and colourful.

I’m not a fan of the fancy Michelin star experience. I like local neighbourhood food places from pricey to dirt cheap. Somewhere the tourists haven’t discovered if possible, where I can see real people with ordinary lives. Where are you in Limehouse and I can ask further. Will you dare to get off the beaten path? Maybe, if you choose Limehouse! Hope others can join in the recos. I know a supper club or two that would dazzle you . I’ll probably add more and definitely follow you .


I’m staying right by Stepney City Farm, it may not actually be Limehouse. I haven’t stayed that far east (previous record was by Southwark Cathedral). Thanks for the recs! Some are already on my list. I’ve been to Gunpowder and there is now one in Lisbon (though I have not been to that one). Original Dishoom for black dhal (about all I ever order there) definitely. Partner is into Sunday roasts (can’t complain, it got us to the Harwood Arms before the Michelin star) but she’ll be on a work trip so I will eat fiery (ahem Kiln) and drink lots of beer. Definitely going to get up to Hackney and Dalston, and for the opposite pole, poke around Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf is my Canada fix - ha. I don’t eat there (other than Wagamama - guiltily) but people love that dim sum place - Royal China (https://www.royalchinagroup.co.uk) - My Toronto Chinese food experience has spoiled me for most of the UK Chinese offerings so I’ve never been. If you’re talking Stepney I don’t eat there either but you’re next to Whitechapel so wander over - much that’s there isn’t worth bothering with, though.
Guan Chua
is your foodie in east London, he’s in KL right now, but runs a glorious supper club - personally and for the Hackney Chinese Club. So which places are on your list? Have you started a thread yet?

After I dashed off that list I wondered if you meant only pub grub. Can’t help you there too much other than for The Marksman and Duke of Richmond (We’d go on Friday lunchtimes to the DOR when it was 50% off - menu not thrilling and probably not typical pub grub either but reliable.) If you’re in Dalston, you may like Little Duck - The Picklery and Angelina (Japanese-Italian fusion).

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I used to enjoy Toronto dim sum until I gave up my car in 2013. I’m sure UK offerings would be better than Lisbon, but I’m a solo diner, not ideal. That DOR discount is a good deal! I haven’t started a thread, because I looked through this category and it seemed very light on London discussion. I’ll have a transit pass and no fixed itinerary. I have some addresses in Peckham and Deptford, for example.

Wow Peckham and Deptford? You really are venturing out. That’s great. ( You have friends?) Did you read David Lebovitz’s London report? If you need me to forward it, I will. He dares to go to Dusty Knuckle bakery in Dalston and raves about it - he’s right! A good bakery review from a Parisien is gold. There are only so many days but if you go to Hackney/Dalston you could drop by and take something back to Limehouse for later IF you get there before it sells out. Hard to find but I’m your guide ( Wish it were in person.)

You’re right. The UK forum is light and very light for London, with Harters leading the way in the north.

Sounds silly of me but not sure we can DM on HO. Will check it out!

My one friend in London has just moved back to North America. TBH I hadn’t planned to stay so far east, but there was a great Airbnb opportunity (bedroom with private bathroom in a 2B flat, couple that seem very flexible and friendly, good price). I always struggled to get to Spitalfields and Whitechapel when I was staying in, say, Hammersmith. This way I get to turn more of these mythical destinations into personal realities. Not expecting great revelations, just some new nabes, with their own vibes.

My partner subscribes to the Lebovitz newsletter (she also has a few of his books) and periodically tells me what he thinks but has not mentioned London recently. Your Dusty Knuckle mention was the key – he has a Substack in addition to the newsletter and blog. Not sure of his strategy but I’ll always take a Lebovitz bakery recommendation.

If you feel the need to take parts of the convo private, my name and/or handle uniquely identify me online, and you will easily discover my only email (work) address, plragde@uwaterloo.ca .

When i moved to London I despaired at those who never left their area but guess what… If i never went anywhere but Whitechapel, spitalfields, hackney, hoxton and environs I’d never tire. I never did in over twenty years.


When I lived and worked in London years ago. I lived in Ealing as well as St. John’s Wood and Russell Square…but worked near Tooting and Wimbledon. Had some of the BEST curries in my life in Tooting!!


Too kind, Jan.

By the by, I’ve been to Tayyabs a couple of times, years back,having read that it was “THE” place to go for South Asian. I didnt think it anything special - but maybe the professional writers (of which I think Jay Rayner was one) were judging it against the Anglicised curry houses on Brick Lane.

A fave place in the area was Cafe Spice Namaste but have not been since its move to Docklands. I wonder if its still good. The dhansak was outstanding - chef’s wife ran front of house and told me that, for the Parsi community, dhansaak is as important as a traditional Sunday roast is in Britain.


Nice one, John. I too went to Tayyabs and thought the same. Went once and was pretty excited. We stayed excited as we watched those lamb chops come to tables around us. Underwhelmed and sad about it. The Meraz lamb chops are nicer. Maybe Needoo Grill’s are too, but with their vegetarian options being so nice, I’ve not bothered other than for their greasy but delicious lamb samosa. I’ve taken one of those and a mango lassi over to the statue at the London hospital and been very satisfied at lunch time.

PS Off topic: Oh, I actually found a decent Indian food place in Toronto. @Phoenikia - will post about it *BHKRoll (College Park food court).


I did Tayyabs on the strength of reccs about the “dry meat curry”. Underwhelmed was the word. Food is not a patch on that found relatively easily “oop norf”.