London, a city known for its rich history, architectural marvels, and bustling markets, also boasts a tantalizing street food scene. With influences from its diverse population, the streets of London offer a culinary world tour. If you’re strolling around London’s vibrant neighborhoods, here are the top 10 street foods you absolutely must indulge in.
1. Fish & Chips
Arguably the most iconic British street food, no visit is complete without tasting crispy battered fish paired with chunky chips. Best enjoyed with a dash of salt and vinegar.
Personal Anecdote: My first Fish & Chips experience was at a little stall near Camden Market. The crispy golden batter, tender fish, and the tang of malt vinegar made it unforgettable!
2. Pie & Mash
This traditional dish, served with a side of green liquor (a unique parsley sauce), is London comfort food at its best.
3. Bao Buns
A testament to London’s multicultural essence, these soft Taiwanese buns filled with an array of ingredients can be found in spots like Borough Market.
4. Eton Mess
Named after the famous Eton College, it’s a delicious mix of strawberries, broken meringue, and whipped cream. A sweet delight!
5. Lamb Doner Kebab
A favorite post-night-out snack, the juicy lamb slices in a pita, topped with veggies and sauce, is a Turkish delight that Londoners have wholeheartedly embraced.
6. Indian Samosas
The rich Indian community in London has introduced the city to these spicy, triangular pastries filled with meat or vegetables.
Personal Anecdote: At Brick Lane, a kind vendor handed me a piping hot samosa with tamarind chutney, introducing me to a spicy symphony of flavors!
7. Salt Beef Bagel
A Jewish classic, head over to the East End for this sumptuous beef-filled bagel, often layered with pickles and mustard.
8. Cockney Jellied Eels
While this might be an acquired taste, this traditional East London dish is worth a try for the adventurous foodie.
9. Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Thanks to the vibrant Caribbean community, you can find stalls grilling spicy jerk chicken, best enjoyed with rice and peas.
10. Vegan Burgers
With the rising trend of veganism, stalls across London, especially in Shoreditch, serve scrumptious plant-based burgers.
|Street Food||Origin||Best Place to Try|
|Fish & Chips||British||Camden Market|
|Pie & Mash||British||East End|
|Bao Buns||Taiwanese||Borough Market|
|Eton Mess||British||Street food festivals|
|Lamb Doner Kebab||Turkish||Soho|
|Indian Samosas||Indian||Brick Lane|
|Salt Beef Bagel||Jewish||East End|
|Cockney Jellied Eels||British (East London)||Traditional East End shops|
|Jamaican Jerk Chicken||Caribbean||Brixton|
|Vegan Burgers||Modern Vegan||Shoreditch|
Honorable Mentions: More Delights from London’s Streets
Beyond the top 10, London’s vast culinary landscape hides countless gems. If you’re an explorer at heart, venturing slightly off the beaten path can reward you with some delightful finds.
11. Halloumi Fries
A recent craze in London, these are slices of halloumi cheese, deep-fried till they’re golden and crispy, often drizzled with sauces and spices.
Personal Anecdote: In a small Covent Garden lane, a food truck’s aroma drew me in. One bite into those crispy, gooey halloumi fries, and I was hooked!
A beautiful fusion of croissants and doughnuts, these flaky, sugar-dusted pastries often come with various fillings and glazes.
13. Pho Noodle Soup
With a significant Vietnamese community in areas like Hackney, steaming bowls of pho – a fragrant noodle soup – are a must-try for those chilly London days.
14. Falafel Wraps
Middle Eastern delights packed with flavor, these deep-fried chickpea balls wrapped in flatbread, adorned with salad and tahini, are both delicious and fulfilling.
15. Scotch Eggs
A classic British snack, it’s a soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, breaded, and deep-fried. Perfect for a quick bite as you roam the markets.
Influenced by its Italian community, London has seen a surge in artisanal gelaterias. From classic to experimental flavors, a scoop (or two) is essential, especially in the summer.
Personal Experience: Near Notting Hill, I stumbled upon a gelateria where the creaminess of the pistachio gelato took me on a virtual trip to Italy!
17. African Bunny Chow
Originating from South Africa, this is a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It’s a hearty and flavorful dish that speaks volumes of the African influence in the city.
18. Spanish Churros
These deep-fried dough pastries, often sprinkled with sugar and served with a side of chocolate sauce, are perfect for satiating those sweet cravings.
19. Korean Kimchi Pancakes
A savory delight, these pancakes made from a batter mixed with kimchi and other ingredients offer a spicy and tangy flavor profile.
20. French Crêpes
Thin and delicate, these can be found in various markets, offering fillings ranging from Nutella and bananas to savory ham and cheese.
The culinary adventures in London are truly endless. Every visit can introduce you to a new flavor, a new story, and a new experience. While the above list gives you a comprehensive start, the real joy lies in wandering the streets, following your nose, and discovering your own personal favorites.
Embarked on your own culinary journey in London? We’d love to hear about the dishes that delighted your palate. Share your stories below, and let’s create a repository of London’s culinary delights together.