We ate our way from London to Paris to Zurich to Slovenia to Croatia to Serbia to Bulgaria to Istanbul. Here are the highlights from an epic train journey.
'London' 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.
Serious Eaters with a sense of nostalgia may want to "taste history" when visiting London, so we asked Steakcraft columnist and British National Nick Solares for his recommendations on where to find traditional British foods in the nation's capital.
What started off as a seasonal food cart selling American-style barbecue on the banks of the Thames a scant two years ago has evolved into a wildly popular Soho restaurant that is creating a uniquely British style of barbecue. See how their Dexter Rib Steak gets made in this special international edition of Steakcraft.
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.
When we visit London and a friend says, let's meet for afternoon tea, my first thought is not where, but what kind. As in what kind of afternoon tea service? This little intro to afternoon tea explains the differences between the three tiers, and where to go for each.
Today Shake Shack announced that they'll be opening in London's Covent Garden in mid-2013.
At the end of Brick Lane just beyond the Indian markets and restaurants you will find Beigel Bake, a 24-hour bakery that is known for Jewish style bagels as well as apple strudel and rye bread. The simple sandwich that puts this shop on the map is salt beef on a beigel. Salty, tender beef piled high on a perfectly cooked fresh bagel with smear of mustard. Hearty, filling and just what you need after a few too many pints.
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.
The eyes of the world are on the magnificent city of London right now. Being in London at the moment, I can tell you that much of the city is abuzz with talk of the Olympics. Also underway, albeit quietly, is an eating marathon around town, especially at the famed Borough Market. Look out for these bites when you get to the market!
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.
The Pizza Pilgrims are Thom and James Elliot, a couple of brothers from the UK who flew to the tip of Italy, picked up a Piaggio Ape (it's pronounced ah-peh, Italian for "bee"), and drove it back to London. On route, they stopped at various pizza destinations in Italy, from pizzerias to an olive farm, where they boosted their knowledge of the dish they would make back home.
Sure, the English might love their tea, but did you know they've long been coffee fanatics, too? Check out this little docu-short about the cafe life of London in the swingin' late '50s and early '60s.
The definition varies from person to person, but in general a raw foods diet consists of whole vegan foods that have not been heated over 115°F. Raw enthusiasts prefer these foods because their natural enzymes, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals have not been altered by cooking. I found myself allocating an entire weekend to the Raw Foods Masterclass at Saf Restaurant in London. Saf is often named among the best vegetarian restaurants in London, with a totally vegan menu and many raw options.
A London particular was the heavy blanket of Industrial revolution smog that piped out of London's chimneys, met with the natural mist from the Thames, which made it damn near impossible to see or breathe. By all accounts that fog was thick. As thick as pea soup, in fact. London fogs became known as pea soupers and, in time, ham and pea soup became known as London Particular. This menu is based around that pea soup, with a few other recipes you might have if you were sitting in a London pub one autumn night, patiently waiting for the fog to lift.
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!