London's vibrant culinary scene is a unique blend of flavors from around the world, driven by the contributions of its incredible immigrant communities who share their cherished home-cooked traditions, as well as a thriving market culture (over 200 markets in Greater London!).
In this diverse city, you can start your day with a Latin-style breakfast, enjoy a Jamaican-inspired lunch, and indulge in exotic Asian delicacies for dinner. Here are 10 street dishes you absolutely shouldn't miss on your next visit to London.
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Suya (Nigeria): Suya is a West African street food sensation, featuring skewers or strips of beef coated in a tantalizing blend of crushed peanuts and spices, then grilled over open flames. You'll find this Nigerian street food gem, which has found a home in South London's Nigerian and Afro-Caribbean communities, particularly in Peckham, aptly nicknamed "Little Lagos."
Where to Eat It: For the most authentic suya experience, head to Suuyar's stall at 150C Rye Ln (usually open except on Sundays).
Beijus (Brazil): Beiju is a popular Brazilian street food, brought to London by enthusiastic Brazilian entrepreneurs. It's a type of crepe made from cassava root starch (tapioca), crisped up in a pan and then filled with your choice of ingredients. Try Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and a generous layer of melted cheddar cheese.
Where to Eat: Visit Whitecross Market, near Old Street station, during weekdays, and look for the Beijummy stall.
Ohn-no-Khao-Suey (Burma): This delightful coconut-based soup hails from neighboring Burma (now Myanmar) and offers a unique blend of soft and crispy noodles, roasted chicken, eggs, aromatic spices, herbs, and onions.
Where to Eat: Enjoy this Burmese dish at Lahpet restaurant in Shoreditch and Covent Garden, one of the few Burmese restaurants in London, and a personal favorite of ours.
Goat Curry (Jamaica): While jerk chicken is a Jamaican street food staple, let's shine the spotlight on another intriguing Jamaican dish – Goat Curry. Slow-cooked with vegetables and Scotch Bonnet peppers, it offers a distinct Caribbean twist..
Where to Eat: Experience the flavors of Goat Curry at Healthy Eaters in Brixton, which you can explore on our Brixton food tour.
Pide (Turkey): Pide is a delightful fusion of pizza and Khachapuri, a Turkish pastry baked in an oven and typically filled with cheese, ground meat, sauces, and various other ingredients, including vegetable, aubergine, and banana options.
Where to Eat: Head to Lala, a Turkish restaurant located on the second floor of Mercato Mayfair in central London's Mayfair neighborhood.
Taco El Pastor (Mexico): Vertical skewer laden with meat, often pork, and pineapple, shawarma style. As it grills, the pineapple juices infuse the meat, creating a mouthwatering combination. Served in tacos, it's a true must-try street food.
Where to Eat: Satisfy your Taco El Pastor cravings at various London locations, including Breddos in Clerkenwell and El Pastor in Bermondsey.
Chapli kebab (Pakistan/Afghanistan): Pakistani cuisine is on the rise in London, and the Chapli kebab is a great example. These large, flat patties made from lamb or beef, combined with herbs and spices, offer a delectable fusion of juicy kebab and pancake.
Where to Eat: Indulge in a flavorful Chapli kebab at Taste of Afghan in Peckham, where you can also enjoy other unique dishes like their chickpea stew.
Arepa (Venezuela/Colombia): Arepas are corn-based "pitas" filled with a variety of delicious ingredients, from meats and cheeses to avocado and plantains. London's thriving Colombian and Venezuelan communities have brought these treats to the city.
Where to Eat: For the ultimate arepa experience, try the Pabellón (pulled meat arepa) at Arepazo Bros in Camden or explore La Pepia in Maltby St Market for more options.
Cantonese Duck (Hong Kong): London offers a delightful array of duck-based dishes, ranging from the popular confit duck sandwiches found in numerous food markets across the city to soups and roast duck specialties. However, for duck enthusiasts seeking a street food experience, we highly recommend indulging in Cantonese duck, which, while quicker to prepare, boasts a juicier and spicier profile compared to its northern counterpart, Peking duck.
Where to eat: For an authentic Cantonese duck feast, head over to the remarkable Asian culinary hub known as Bang Bang Oriental. Nestled in the northern outskirts of London, specifically in the Edgware neighborhood, this food complex offers a gateway to Asia. Don't miss the opportunity to dine there at Four Seasons, alongside an entire world of surprises from the Far East.
Chicken & Waffle (USA): While London's culinary scene encompasses a highly eclectic mix of international foods, it's also home to the beloved American cuisine. One quintessential American creation worth exploring is the Chicken & Waffle, which originated in Harlem during the 1930s, when a group of late-night jazz musicians sought a post-performance meal at "Well's Supper Club." With only waffles and fried chicken left in the kitchen, the dish was born, and it has since become a cherished part of American culinary history.
Where to Savor It: For a complete experience, visit the Waffle On stall located in Maltby St Market. Here, they craft Belgian waffles adorned with delightfully decadent toppings, including the mouthwatering fried chicken complemented by an addictive parsley butter.
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