It’s easy to find a great meal in London, and–with the exchange rate and soaring prices–easier yet to find a meal that is ruinously expensive. But what fun is that? Enter Elaine Louie, a New York Times staffer who writes on food, design, and style. What better person to suss out the spots where the most stylish of Londoners dine while staying solvent? Tracking down leads from architects, curators, designers, and other sources with discriminating taste and exacting palates, Louie profiles fifty venues that would be considered great finds at any price and where a meal (not counting tip and beverage) can be enjoyed for less than $25. The restaurants range across ethnicities, and include a substantial number of traditional British and Continental restaurants. They deliver on decor (cool, charming, and/or beautiful) and the food (not necessarily three-course meals, but sometimes more modern, light dining) is always memorable.
Follow the leads of fashionable epicures to:
- Baker & Spice, a chic spot favored by the impeccably dressed “yummy mummies,” young mothers who savor the best quiches in London and golden-crusted meat pies filled with baby veggies fresh from the British countryside
- the “darling and simple café” atop four floors of fashion in the hip Dover Street Market, centrally located near Bond Street
- Crazie Homies in hip Westbourne Grove, where the food is inspired by street vendors and taquerias found throughout Mexico and is freshly made from authentic recipes–try the potent yet refreshingly smoky margaritas
- Jin Kichi, the tiny Hampsted eatery, bedecked with red paper lanterns, where the delectable fare means the place is usually filled with Japanese expats
The venues are located in city-central locations and hip neighborhoods and a few of the best are even tucked away in museums and department stores, making this a highly practical guide for travelers who need to plan their time efficiently. In addition to the fifty restaurants with full profiles, the author has included short descriptions of another two dozen places worth visiting.