international tastes of london
one of the reasons we all love london is how international it is.
i’ve always felt that it is less like europe and more like a melting pot
between countries of the world. this is especially true for the soho
neighborhood, one of london’s oldest multicultural areas. since the
1600s it has been bustling with immigrants who brought their
incredible + diverse cuisines to london. it is the ideal neighborhood
to explore layer by layer (and taste by taste) in a food tour!to get the inside scoop of the best london has to offer
with international fare, i joined a soho international food tour
with london food lovers. from the name of this company alone i
knew they were my style, and the guide sarah proved to be the best!
this was the greatest food tour i’ve been on for so many reasons.
1) it was truly incredible food, and plenty of it at each stop.
you definitely get what you pay for. 2) the tour isn’t only about
food, but also incorporates a lot about the area and history of
soho. it makes the day more enjoyable to learn and taste together!
we had nine delicious food stops with a lot of walking and talking
in between. it was actually the longest food tour i’ve ever done
(at 4.5 hours) but with the history it was never boring and the time
allowed us to space out some of the eating without getting too full.
soho is the ideal place for an international food tour. it’s filled with
pubs, bakeries, bars, restaurants, and all different cuisine types.
this tiny, spunky borough bordering the fancy oxford & regent
streets has its own personality and is filled with the trendiest eateries.
our exploration began with breakfast at a very unique hawaiian
restaurant that has set up shop in london town. oahu’s kua aina is
famous for the lava-grilled burgers, but since it was morning we
went for the fluffy pancakes with coconut syrup and bacon.
after a delicious start we strolled through colorful soho and
learned about the oldest and most charming streets & sights.
i love that sarah had old historic photos of the same
streets we were walking on! it was fun to compare
the old black & white photos to the present day.
this colorful area has so much personality and history.
sarah walked us by the bag o’nails club, where
jimmy hendrix first played…along with paul mccartney!
we continued our sweet morning at the next stop:
an amazing italian chocolate shop called SAID.
this italian chocolate shop is what dreams are made of..
the finest chocolate, amazing design, and nicest people.
we did a hot chocolate tasting which was one of my favorite
parts of the entire tour. if you’ve ever had italian hot chocolate
you know that it is no “swiss miss” watery cocoa … it is the
thickest & creamiest drink that basically resembles a melted
down piece of high quality italian chocolate. we had a choice of
different flavors ranging from milk to dark, along with a hazelnut
flavor. once we chose those, we had a flavoring bar we could add in.
from seasalt to cayenne petter to cinnamon to black pepper, my taste
buds were opened up to a whole new world with these chocolatey combos!
we lingered & soaked in all of the chocolate smell,
then forced ourselves to go on to the next stop.
we continued on with the italian cuisine in the next stop,
lina store market. it’s a little dream italian market with
fresh handmade raviolis in the back that you MUST try.
fun spotting while here: emma thompson casually shopping alongside us! ^^
as we made our way along a little alleyway, our guide
told us it used to be the red-light district. sometimes
people still confuse the area for it, hence the funny
and unusual sign on an apartment door here:
haha! can you imagine having to put that on your front door?
i guess they had one too many people come knocking late at night!
next we carried on back to british fare for the classic:
fish and chips! the funny thing with this dish is, i either
really love it or really hate it. sarah knows her stuff, because
she picked the best spot and it was the lightest + yummiest
i’ve had in london at the historic dog & duck pub. (my very
favorite is still whale city cafe..see us there here and here ;)
this was our biggest meal of the tour and came right around
lunchtime, so we took a pretty long walk afterward before…
indian food! ANY food tour in london should probably
include indian food, but instead of curry on brick lane this
was a very unique and lovely café below a hindu place
of worship where the food is sold to fund the temple.
it is all vegetarian & all delicious, especially the samosas!
we stepped into korea next at bó drake:
this is the place i would most likely go back to on my own
from this food tour. it was i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. those korean
bbq ribs were the highlight for me, and the restaurant is
situated in the theatre district, so it’s great for a pre-show meal!
by now getting very very full, we sauntered through
the heart of chinatown for a quick walk-up order of:
leong’s legends dumplings! steaming hot + delicious.
we ended all of this with a stop for dessert at the cutest place.
just look at maison bertaux! instantly transported to france.
after eyeing the sweets, sarah picked out the best
dessert for the occasion: a soft cheesecake-like cake,
without all of the sweetness. it was perfect on its own,
or enjoyed at the final wine bar stop with a pairing.
i took mine to go and enjoy when i
had worked up an appetite again! :)
thank you to sarah for being the most darling tour guide
all through this day. she filled up our tummies + minds with
delicious food and interesting information. you will LOVE her!
here is a little food guide that you get at the end of this
tour, with some of their favorites and suggestions in
the area. you have to take a tour though to get the
inside scoop on what to order at each place!
i’ve done a lot of food tours, and trust me when i say
this one is worth it. it is just done so right and anyone
would love sarah and the entire experience. go go go!
it is £70 per person, and you get plenty of incredible
food, priority seating, + the best tour guide through the city.
i felt like a local walking around with sarah and it is one of
my favorite london experiences. now i know just where to
return to next time we’re back in amazing london town!