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Pick my "eats" in London

Old May 14th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
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Pick my "eats" in London

Wow. I've picked my hotel and my itinerary is set. This was a million times more difficult than I ever imagined. The only thing left is to pick my restaurants.

Here's the criteria and where I'll be. As for price, I don't want to spend a lot of money. I'm just not a food person. After all it's in and it's out. I'd rather save my food money and buy a a teabox or artwork that I can savor for the rest of my life. That said, I don't want McDonald's either. Are pubs the American equivalent of a sandwich deli? Maybe I need to eat all of my lunches in pubs. I will have one nice tea at the Orangery and one splurge dinner near the theatres, other than that I want a turkey or ham sandwich in a nice atmosphere.

After Westminster on Saturday afternoon I'll head to the V&A. Need lunch at either location.

Sunday I'll be in Greenwich for lunch.

Monday I'll be in the St. Paul's Cathedral area.

Monday night I need a lower end splurge dinner near Shaftesbury. Splurge for me means no more than 50 GBP per person.

The other night dinners I'm still thinking about but are pubs suitable for a causual night dinner?
vmcenroe is offline  
Old May 14th, 2004, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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We've found that when in London, you will tend to eat wherever you happen to be touring at the time. Pubs are always good for reasonably priced pub grub - not really what you'd call a sandwich deli, although they will often have sandwiches on the menu. One great think about London - all the pubs and restaurants post their menus outside so you can take a look before commiting yourself.

A nice pub around St. Pauls is Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. Lots of atmosphere, good food.

There is also a sandwich chain all over London called Pret a Manger ( It's a takeaway shop that sells very good pre-packaged sandwiches, crisps, fruit, etc... You can also pick up takeaway meals at Marks & Spencer food halls.

For reasonably priced English fare, try Porters in Covent Garden (

There aren't a whole lot of places to eat around Westminster, but the V&A has a nice cafeteria (as do many of the museums in London.)

There are also many inexpensive chain restaurants like Garfunkles, Bella Pasta, Pizza Express, Spaghetti House, ASK. And many, many etinic restaurants - Chinese, Thai, Indian...

Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Field is also a great inexpensive lunch stop.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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A teabox? Do you mean a tea caddy?

Pubs are not, and I repeat NOT delis. They are bars that serve mainly beer and traditional food, originally designed for the working classes.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old May 14th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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Oops...forgot one: Try the Goddard's Pie House in Greenwich (

Kayb95 is offline  
Old May 14th, 2004, 07:10 AM
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I'm one who thinks pub food is overrated, especially in London.

I like the cafe in the basement at the V&A. It's served cafeteria style but the seating area is well lit and comfortable. There's occasionally classical music.

There are a host of Indian restaurants clustered on Drummond Street and on Brick Lane. Excellent food if you enjoy the cuisine and very reasonably priced.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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There is a chain of noodle shops called Wagamama in different parts of london. you can check out their website. The food is great and really inexpensive. When I was in London I ate there 3 times just because it was so good and so cheap (at least for london standards).
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Old May 14th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Forgot the website :
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Old May 14th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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I thought I'd try Wagamama after reading rave reviews, I was very ill afterwards, needless to say I will never ever eat there again.

Assuming that my experience was a one off, there are some things that will never change. The seating is refectory style i.e. long tables and bench seats so that you have to sit next to other people, this affords no privacy whatsoever. It's cheap, so if you are after a quick, uncomfortable meal by all means try it.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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m_kingdom2 - I am sorry you had that experience. I stand by my wagamama suggestion and would go back in a heartbeat.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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Different wagamamas have different atmospheres I think - I certainly find the Harvey Nichols one to be my favourite. The shared tables are a constant though.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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The wagamama in Harvey Nichols is located in the menswear, the cooking smells spread around - the clothes smell, vile.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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A lot better than wagamama and just a little more expensive: Busaba Eathai! A great thai restaurant in 110,Wardour Street, Soho. You share big tables but the food is pretty delicious for a very decent price (according to London standards, that is...)
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Old May 16th, 2004, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree with the recommendation for pret a manger. Most of them have stools and tables so you can eat there. Even though many sandwiches are pre-wrapped, we have found them to be very fresh. We like to go there for breakfast - coffee and a pastry of some sort. Very reasonable, quite fresh, very easy.
Some restaurants we like ( all are quite reasonable) are:

1. Maroush, Beauchamp Place
Excellent food, pleasant atmosphere
7 in chain ?with different names

2. Porters English, Henrietta street
lamb and apricot pie, smoked haddock wrap very good

3.Melati Great Windmill street
malaysian, very good

4. Livebait?s fish café Rupert st
excellent kedgeree, good fish and chips

5. Daquise, Polish in Shepherds Market

6. Sofia Bistro, Shepherds market
epi is offline  
Old May 16th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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I found the best values were Indian food or a pub, which is bar & grill fare, not deli. My opinion, you are overthinking this - these questions usually come from a foodie. I agree, just eat wherever you find yourself. If you're on the run, you can often grab some great bread and cheese in a bakery.Pret a Manger is just fair, but not too expensive. The best part about the pub besides the hearty meal is the chance to chat with some locals.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 03:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Please be advised that it is Sofra not "Sofia" in Shepherds market, but it is a good cheap eat none the less.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old May 17th, 2004, 04:43 AM
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Sofra is a group (there's certainly another one in Covent Garden) of Turkish restaurants, and another in the same style is Tas (Borough High St and another one opposite the Young Vic - there may be more).
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