Booked your London flights and now you're eager to start making plans to explore this amazing city in depth? From historic sites to popular attractions, London has a lot to offer. But getting beyond the touristy surface and experiencing the place like a local, can sometimes prove challenging. A smartly guided tour, especially if you're only in town for a short while, might be just the thing to help you get a good taste of London.
And speaking of getting a taste of London, exploring this culinary capital on a food tour could help you to avoid the tourist traps and eat like a true Londoner. Tripbod, Viator, Viable, Edible Experiences and a handful of other operators in the UK all offer foodie friendly tours of London, whether customized for your palate or more generalized.
A lot of folks visiting London from abroad are still stuck in the past with respect to what they expect to eat when they arrive. Oh sure, fish and chips, roast beef with all the trimmings, steak and kidney pie – it's all still here well worth a taste. But beyond all the old fashioned stodge, a visit to London is an invitation to savour world class cuisine from famous chefs competing on a global stage and to sample the “next big thing” from hard working entrepreneurs who think they've come up with an business plan that's delicious enough to make a reality.
Here are few tips for deciding which food tour operator might be best for you or to help you design your own foodie adventures around town.
Hit the Streets!
The street market and food truck scenes in London are massive at the moment. In fact, street food is a much more fashionable option than an ordinary sit-down restaurant for plenty of locals. Have a look at the London Street Foodie blog for up to date reviews on the hippest in al fresco dining.
London's East End is a cultural melting pot and a hot bed of ideas. It's a scrumptious slice of London living as well. The best perogies, bagels, jerk chicken, pizza, burgers, street markets, bahn mi, pie and mash – you're apt to find it all here. These days some of the city's top chefs and most celebrated eateries are on this side of town. A trip to London without at least heading east for a bite to eat might leave you longing. Though not exclusively an East London blog, London on the Inside pays particular attention to easterly trends.
Blink and You'll Miss it.
Pop-Ups are thriving in London. But as soon as you hear about one it might already be done and gone. Londonpopups.com is a handy resource for plotting a tour of flight-by-night dining delights.
Tried and True Traditions
Enjoying an afternoon tea, having a pint in the most historic pubs, knowing the best times to shop in the best markets – getting an edge of London's food and drink traditions requires a bit a research. A decent guide or well established tour helps clear away the excess and get to the meat of the matter. Have a look at afternoontea.co.uk, http://fancyapint.com/ and boroughmarket.com for local wisdom.
For any of you Londoners – did we miss any of your favorite spots? Tell us all about it on our Facebook page!
Photo Credit: Chris Osburn