Before we left for London, we all expressed a few concerns over the food. My own concern stemmed from the fact that I’ve seen people commenting on how the food is bland. As for one of the two professors running the trip, she was happy to report that the food was wonderful and some of the best food she has ever consumed. We quickly learned not to trust her.
Breakfast was included at the hotel we stayed at, offering a full English breakfast for anyone who got down in time before we all had to meet before heading off for the day. It was gross. Everything was incredibly bland and, as much as I love oranges and grapefruits, not having access to other fruits made it somewhat worse. For the hashbrowns, the were without seasoning and almost creamy, if I had to pick a word, so that was an odd texture. The sausages seemed as though they had been so finely grounded the meat was slimy and smooth, once again not an appealing texture. Due to this, we were quick to find other options.
Pomme de Pain
Though the name is odd (Apple of Bread?), the food was amazing. The inside was very cute and cozy, a perfect coffee shop. I stuck with some mint tea and the nutella and banana crepes. As someone who doesn’t always like crepes, I could honestly eat these every day. A definite step up from the weird textured sausage.
Though the one pictured is from Joe & the Juice, the one we went back to multiple times was Planet Organic. Smoothies were easy to find, somewhat expensive, but always something good for a quick snack when we knew we were hungry but dinner was going to be something big. I was never disappointed by the smoothies (get green machine).
Speaking of Planet Organic, it was a spectacular place. They had an ordering station similar to that of Chipotle that offered a ton of vegan options, unique pizzas, and sushi. There was smoothies, coffees, pastries, as well as a whole other half of the store that was a mini sort of healthy supermarket. It was probably one of my favorite places. We don’t have any cute places to eat that make sure you and the enrivonment are healthy where I live and I would have spent so much more time there trying the options if I hadn’t only had a week.
As for vegan options, they were everywhere. We accidentally ended up eating at this one (accidentally as in we didn’t know it was vegan until we went to order. It was wonderful. I got avocado toast and matcha tea, which made me feel very basic white girl, but it was very good. The options were great, not just here but everywhere that had vegan options.
In a similar vein, we also found a vegan ice cream place. We went in purely because of the name and then discovered that it was incredibly cute. Naturally, we made sure we were seated on the swing. I got dark chocolate and cherry sorbet and it was incredible. It was also really busy, as it was near Covent Gardens, so clearly other people agree with me.
There are plenty of markets around and they all offer amazing foods. The Whitechapel market had incredible options. As for Borough Market, it’s an incredibly piece of history, and it has a bunch of olive oil places (my favorite thing ever). We purchased a pizza that we devoured. It was named “the tomato one”, which was quite amusing. But, most importantly, there’s a place called Bread Ahead that puts custard in their donuts. It’s a must try.
As for things that you think of when you hear the word London, the fish is amazing no matter where you buy it. It didn’t matter if you were at a market or in a pub, there was always somewhere selling them that some local could swear by and they were always right. Chips are a little plain as they seem to have something against salt. For drinking, I highly recommend the hard cider. It was everywhere and always good. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but those on the trip that were always seemed content.
There is also something referred to as a Sunday Roast. It’s some type of meat and typically potatoes. Most pubs offer this and it’s usually a cheap meal, which is why our professor’s highly recommended it. That being said, we already knew that the one has taste buds weird enough to appreciate the not great traditional British foods, so we wisely avoided this option. Maybe it’s better than we believed it to be.
Their lemonade is carbonated (not my favorite) so look out for that when you are ordering. Also, they will often give you sparkling water instead of still water, so be sure to be specific if you see both options are available, or at least check before you purchase it. You can find Freakshakes at Maxwell’s, a place also known for the cheesebomb burger (look it up). The one pictured above was the brownie sundae, which was vegan (!) and absolutely delicious.
One last warning, their burgers are kind of weird (see sausage complaint).
Honestly, you can find good food anywhere. There wasn’t a single day where I went hungry or was disappointed by what was offered. It’s a city and there are good options everywhere. And if you don’t like what you see, there’s always a Pret somewhere.