The often-told history of British beer styles is filled with myths and half-truths. Here's the real story on milds and bitters, IPAs and porters, plus a few more essential British brews.
'England' on Serious Eats
For centuries, London's pubs have served as meeting places, social spaces, rooms to relax and unwind, places to talk business, to eat and drink, to find comfort for an evening or solace for an hour. While many of the oldest pubs have been polished into new venues, some still retain their olde charms, giving visitors the chance to experience what a pub may have been like hundreds of years ago. Here are five of our favorites.
The Shake Shack team have managed to take the burgers that many Brits have become familiar with on their travels and transplanted them closer to home.
Today Shake Shack announced that they'll be opening in London's Covent Garden in mid-2013.
With a gas-fired oven built into the back of a little van, Pizza Pilgrims is a mobile pizza outfit based in London. For the money, you'd struggle to find a better pizza in Central London.
Here are 10 must-eat British foods for visitors to track down while in London, along with suggestions for finding them in the vicinity of Olympic venues and viewing areas. Put down that chicken burrito and go get a bacon butty!
Being one of the busiest tube stations and main tourist attractions in London means that the restaurant space around Leicester Square is, inevitably, snapped up by big rich chains with cash available to them. Two Aberdeen Angus Steakhouses flank the Square, with Strada, Garfunkels, McDonald's and KFC by their sides. For something decent to eat and so you don't feel like you've been wheeled in and churned out, you need to look a little harder. Here are our top five picks.
I was at Borough Market, walking around after I'd had my requisite chorizo sandwich at Brindisa, when I walked by a huge, steaming paella pot vat of shredded duck. When you see that much duck confit in one place, you've got to talk to someone about it, figure out what's going on, and decide how you can eat it immediately. Fullness should not be prohibitive.
It's always fun to watch food trends cross national lines. On my last visit to London two years ago, cupcake shops were opening everywhere; this year, it's the frozen yogurt shops I seem to see on every corner. By far the most attention-grabbing is SNOG.
It seems that "Where should I eat in London?" is a constant question in Talk, so in response, here are a few places for brunch, cheap lunch, grazing days, Michelin starred pub fare, and more. It's far from a comprehensive list, but it's my recommendations for visitors to the city. What are your favorite London eats? Chime in with more!
What can the Brits munch on that Americans can't at the Golden Arches? For the most part, the menu is quite similar. There's the Quarter Pounder, the McNuggets, and the fries are even called fries, not "chips." But there are a few things that you won't find in an American McDonald's—among them, a Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry and Mozzarella Sticks. (Actually, they're called "Mozzarella Dippers.")
Their menu is very similar to BK's menu in the States, but some of the special offerings caught my eye. "Melt 'n Middle? Cheese melted between two beef patties? Cool! Oh, the Texican Whopper! That'll be awesome." Sadly, the those two were far from awesome.
A good chain restaurant, in my mind, doesn't necessarily serve the best version of a given food, in a given city. (Though it might!) What it should do is serve a reasonably tasty version of said food, reliably and at a reasonable price. In London, there are quite a number of chains that I wish would make their way stateside. Here are just a few.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest, River Cottage Every Day highlights the simply prepared meals he serves to his family. The premise behind the book is that cooking from scratch using fresh, local ingredients is a possibility for everyone, pretty much everyday. Enter here to win a copy.
As crumb-wearing fans of McVitie's biscuits, we had to share this little news tidbit about the Royal Wedding dessert menu. Prince William and Kate Middleton announced the flavors of the two cakes they'll be serving at their April 29 wedding. They'll have a multi-tiered fruitcake and a McVitie's chocolate biscuit cake. Apparently William was a fan of the biscuits during teatime as a wee boy.
Last year AHT ran a feature on The Meatwagon, when owner Yianni Papoutsis was touring South East London cooking diner-style burgers to queues of people in pub gardens. Now the operation has moved to a semi-permanent location in New Cross called #Meateasy, after the wagon was stolen by some dastardly unknowns before Christmas. The small dining room above a disused pub features a small cocktail bar, dingy lighting, and menus chalked on the wall, and is jam packed five nights a week.
Because it rains a lot in England, it's not very common to find actual food carts here. Then again, it rains a lot in Portland, Oregon, where food carts are everywhere, so perhaps rain isn't the issue. But there is street food here, which I'm choosing to define as food for walking around, or for sitting on a promenade overlooking the ocean. Yes, that's it. Surely fish and chips is the classic British street food.
In their words, Lucky Seven Diner is a "tiny neighbourhood East Coast American Diner" with a "cult following." Opened nearly a decade ago by local restaurateur Tom Conran, Lucky Seven attempts to recreate the "All-American Diner" feel in decor—they have a poster of Barack Obama to ramp up the Americana—and on the menu, but it's the hamburgers that prove ever popular, if slightly overpriced.
In an industrial estate in South-East London, Yianni Papoutsis is serving up fantastic burgers from The Meatwagon. The half-Greek, half-Irish, carpenter/caterer has a desire to improve London's slowly blossoming street food scene. He's knowledgeable about burgers, having traveled around the US of A on a search for brilliant food at low prices in curb-side locations, sampling some of America's best hamburgers en route.