Food in London

Annotated list of websites about food, restaurants, cooking, and eating.

food submenu: food | des moines | london | toronto | venice


The economic and tourist powerhouse that is London drives one of the world's top collection of restaurants, cafés, markets, pubs, and culinary schools. From the Borough Market to Billingsgate Market, from the Ivy to local gastropubs, London's food scene is enormous and vibrant. The ongoing celebrity chef phenomenon has been especially apparent, with Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver - among so many others - opening venues across the capital. But London's not just about upmarket cuisine: there's also a rich variety of good-but-inexpensive venues dotting the city.

Major London Food Information Resources

Compared to Toronto, London is proving a hard nut to crack for finding good resources about the food scene here. Part of the problem is that the city is so large, so everything happens on a very large scale.
  • eGullet's United Kingdom and Ireland discussion board. eGullet in general is a fabulous place to read up on and discuss food online. A fair sampling of the world's great chefs and food critics hang out there too. From locals to celebrities, the people there care about their food. Chowhound also has a lively discussion board for London.
  • Time Out London offers the best all-purpose guide to London restaurants, with the added bonus of sections on cooking classes and food shops. They also run a very useful website on the subject.
  • The Good Food Guide to UK restaurants is a good up-market guide to, among other things, London restaurants. They offer limited free access to their reviews online. Other major guides to London restaurants includes Harden's, Zagat's, and Michelin. Harden's and Zagat's are compiled by polling the "general public". The Rough Guide used to publish a really good guide to London restaurants, but there's no current edition of the book out.
  • London hosts a number of large food-review websites. Square Meal collates reader comments with those of their own reviewers. London Eating lists all the basic factual information about each restaurant, and then open up reviews to anyone who wants to write one; many such reviews are, I must say, rather whiny. But the information the reviews offer collectively is still often useful. See also Top Table and Beer in the Evening which cover all of the UK as well.
  • I have yet to encounter a particularly thorough calendar of London or UK food events. Partial lists of forthcoming events can be found on the BBC's Food site and on Square Meal. I would love to see a more thorough site, given the bounty of London's (and the UK's) food events.
  • I don't know of any London-specific food magazines, but UK general ones usually regularly feature London eateries and food provisioners. These include Olive, Good Food, and Delicious. Restaurant is the UK's professional restaurant magazine.
  • Nick Robinson, food reviewer for The Financial Times, posts all of his reviews on his own website as well. He is particularly good at offering insight into larger food scene trends, with interviews with major chefs, restaurant owners, and provisioners.
  • The Passionate Cook is a weblog devoted to food. While the author particularly concentrates on recipes, especially Austrian-influenced ones, the blog also offers regular insights into aspects of the London food scene. Other London food bloggers include English Patis and Baking for Britain.

I first posted this information here in my weblog.

I have written about food in London frequently in the past. Read more of my writings about London food.