There is nothing that you are looking for that you cannot find in London. This overwhelming city will capture your heart with its creativity. No man or woman could ever cover its entirety, but having lived here for over 10 years I have carefully selected exceptional places for you to discover and dine.
You might even find some freebies thrown in along the way, so just read on and keep your eyes peeled and follow me on Instagram @im.nowhere for more travel tips.
whilst in Soho district explore Carnaby‘s 3-storey hidden courtyard offering a variety of independent cafes and concept restaurants and bars. This place is truly unique and full of dining choices, right around the corner from commercial Regent and Oxford Street. Go local!
Enjoy a peaceful walk by river Thames in this area of London known by few locals. A tourist-free area replenished with artisanal coffee and independent restaurants. The perfect spot for a Sunday brunch or evening walk.
WHERE TO DINE IN LONDON
MODERN-INDIAN CUISINE (CENTRAL LONDON)
Farzi Cafe has been founded by Zorawar Kalra, regarded as ‘The Prince of Indian cuisine’ who opened some of the most awarded restaurant concepts in India. The dishes were absolutely sublime and they had an entire cocktail menu based on your astrological signs. My sign: Capricorn (yummy)
SHARING PLATTERS (x2)
Seared scallops | wagyu beef kebab | seared duck breast and butter chicken bao.
Srikhand ‘air’ cheesecake (mango) and chocolate chai bubble.
EUROPE’S FIRST SANRIO CAFE’ (Japanese)
Tombo + Sanrio: Europe’s first EVER Sanrio café serving up lively dishes representing the Japanese characters of Gudetama, Badtz-Maru, My Melody, Kerropi & Pom Pom Purin and Hello Kitty. I have gotta admit, it was not easy to destroy these dishes, especially the egg ?
EXCLUSIVE DINING EXPERIENCE (ONLY IN LONDON)
Indulge yourself in an exquisite Latin American Tapas experience in Kensington, London. I had the opportunity to taste Zuaya’s newly launched Tapas menu. Trying their tapas dishes made me re-live fonds memories of my Latin American experience. The chef, who used to work at a Michelin star restaurant, delighted our senses with a wide selection of prime organically and ethically sourced produces, beautifully presented (pictures really speak for themselves). I wish I could convey their amazing flavours. My favourite dish is the albondigas (meatballs). Simply sublime!
But really it has truly been an overall experience. The concept behind this place is quite unique to London. Starting from the music; they had their own personal DJ producing authentic music live by mixing different sounds and rhythms from Latin American countries to entertain you whilst dining. The friendly and welcoming staff and owners (Spanish twins and Livio) looking after you. Above all, they ace at providing the perfect atmosphere inside with their exotic and stylish interior design to recreate the perfect ambient.
Have you ever tried Algarvian cuisine (South of Portugal)? Casa do Frango serves lemon herbs and traditional Piri Piri chicken over wood charcoal and other staple Portuguese dishes and wines (including the famous vinho verde).
Great selection of Portugues dishes and wines from all over the country. Besides the vinho verde to try whilst enjoying your chicken or seafood side dishes, I recommend a glass of Ruby and Sandeman wine to end your meal.
When they served us the chicken, it genuinely looked like a fish dish served to us. What would you have thought? See the picture on the left-hand side from the collection of pictures and find my menu recommendation below.
Grilled Chorizo |Chargrilled Cauliflower |Piri Piri Prawns |Octopus Rice
Lemon Herbs & Piri Piri chargrilled chicken
Pastel de Nata | Home-made Almond Cake
A GREEK FAVOURITE
If you love Souvlakis as much as I do, I highly recommend to check out a local Greek’s favourite in central London: Kalamaki Street Greek – See below to find out my favourite mouthwatering dishes. So fresh and tasty prepared on the spot!
Traditional Greek Sausage known as ”Loukaniko” as a starter |My 2AM Souvlaki (marinated chargrilled lamb) or alternatively The Achillies (Vegan) made with BBQ pulled Jackfruit (simply delicious) as a main|Calamari and Croquettes(courgette & feta balls) as a side|Ancient Grains as a salad.
JAPANESE CUISINE AND SAKE BAR
Dining experience to a whole new level. In the heart of Mayfair, London you can enjoy Japanese food @Sakaguraldn by cooking it your own way. Try their Yakiniku bbq menu where you can cook fine wagyu meat cuts on hot lava stone or table-grill.
My Menu Recommendations
Starters: Asian king prawns tempura, served with traditional matcha moshio and brown seaweed salt.
Nigiri: Aburi salmon, sea bream, otoru fatty tuna and tako octupus.
Sushi roll : Sunshine roll (fresh hamachi yellowtail sashimi.
Yakiniku dinner set: Australian Wagyu sirloin, prime USDA short rib and scallops. It comes with misu soup, white rice and wafu salad.
Mocktail : Innocent cherry (only for this season!)
Desert: Dark chocolate wasabi ice cream.
MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE + THE BEATLES ROOM
Can’t pick between Italian or Spanish cuisine, yet looking for some organic and freshly handmade food in central London? I highly recommend Beso Covent Garden for their ethically sourced produce and great ambience. Let yourself be guided by the knowledgeable friendly staff. I loved their recommendations from starters to deserts.
Top dishes: heart-shaped ravioli (V), Sicilian swordfish, black cod and affogato dessert (so yummy).
And after food, don’t forget to order one of their signature Beatles’ cocktails and check out their underground Beatles room. I won’t spoil it for you but if you are a Beatles fan, you are definitely gonna love it as I did.
Emilia’s Pasta – Nothing better than a weekday dinner by the St Katharine Docks. Especially if the food is freshly handmade Italian pasta ?Eating here made me feel more at home. Great authentic Italian food ??
STARTER: Burrata Salad and bresaola ham.
MAIN: Pancetta carbonara (bucatini) and 4hour slow cooked bolognese pappardelle.
DESSERT: Salted Caramel chocolate brownie and Emilia’s special
INDIAN AND SRI LANKAN FOOD + BEST CHAI TEA
Pam Ban – Indian and Sri Lankan food as your brunch option? Cannot think of anything better when around Camden Town Market.
Also, I have been hearing about this Beyond Meat products backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and they have it! I have to admit, it REALLY REALLY tastes like meat. Had a delicious burger (way better than most pubs or burger places I have been, to be honest)
You gotta try this ? and definitely CANNOT miss out on their iced chai and iced lattes.
Omega 3 avocado salmon toast
Sri Lankan Chinese rolls
Ultimate 4 cheese spiced toastie
Beyond meat vegan burger
Sri Lankan yoghurt honey pots
Iced chai original rose (genuinely THE BEST iced chai ever had!)
Faluda cold rose milk with chia seeds, nuts and Cornish vanilla ice cream (so so sooo yummy)
CHINESE FOOD WITH A VIEW
Hutong – looking to treat someone special or to celebrate a special occasion? Treat yourself and your loved ones to the Experience Lunch at Hutong @The Shard (tallest skyscraper in Europe). Beside experiencing breath-taking views from every dining table, the atmosphere is quite unique, recalling traditional interiors from Northern Chinese culture.
What I particularly loved about this place is their focus on serving dishes from Northern China and carefully explaining each and every dish; the preparation behind them it and what drink is best suited to accompany it.
Experience Lunch Menu
4 courses: £35.00 p/p OR 4 courses with a glass of bubbles: £39.00 p/p
UPGRADE YOUR STAY at the Chamberlain
The Chamberlain – Located minutes away from the iconic Tower of London and famous Tower Bridge, The Chamberlain is not only a central hotel but also a great venue to enjoy a delicious dinner and drinks with friends and loved ones. I particularly liked their dorset crab dish, venison meat and indeed their great lava cake dessert <3
STEAK AND SUSHI EXPERIENCE
Indulge yourself into a authentic Japanese cuisine whilst in London. Perfect venue to dine with friends or family. The chef will delight your senses with delicious and nicely presented dishes.
Try their HOT STONE and CHEF specials and go crazy with their wide selection of maki/rolls. Starter Ebi tempura roll with crab & avocado tartare Maki/Roll 9 Chapel Roll and seared butter-fish Mains Premium Japanese Wagyu (picture at the top-right corner) beef and/or Grilled Black Cod (picture at the bottom-right corner).
FRESHLY HOMEMADE PASTA AND GREAT WINE
If you are looking for some authentic and freshly homemade Italian food, Flour & Grape in Bermondsey (South London) has it ALL. Find below my menu choice and top recommendations. Absolutely delicious from starters to deserts. I felt just like being back home.
What I also love about this place (and was well impressed by) is its wide selection of Italian wines from different regions. I went for a good Sicilian one of course!
PAN ASIAN, SUSHI AND SASHIMI
OKA – Looking for a place to taste authentic handmade sushi and delicious sashimi? Treat yourself at Oka restaurant. Ask for The Phoenix dish (a new chef’s special not even on the menu yet!), pictured below on the left hand side. The best combination of fried salmon and prawn tempura rolls covered in a mayo and carrot sauce with a sprinkle of fish egg all over. It does not only look good but tastes SO good. What I absolutely and particularly liked about this place, is their dedication on freshly handmade food: from starters to desserts. And if you love chocolate, don’t leave this place without trying their best selling dessert: Cookie dough (pictured at the bottom right hand side below), served with either coconut or vanilla ice cream on top; I went for the vanilla one. Simply sublime!
BURGER + CIGAR + COCKTAILS
Tomtom Mess Hall – If you are looking for a right treat where you can enjoy a succulent burger whilst enjoying a Cuban cigar and a wide selection of cocktails, Tomtom Mess Hall, is the right place to go with a couple of friends for a relaxed evening with a friend. Their selection of prime Cuban cigars is impressive and authentic. It reminded me a lot of my time in Cuba. In terms of food make sure you try their AMAZING fried halloumi sticks served with smashed avocado and their signature burger: The Mess Hall burger.
TAIWANESE – BAO
Daddy Bao – Some of the most delicious and softer bao buns ever had in London. I could have easily gone through their entire selections of bao, and this would have only been for only 25 GBP. I went for the mushroom ones, prawn, shredded pork and tofu.
And it does end just with the bao buns. Daddy Bao delivers other quality Taiwanese dishes. Colourful, artistic and definitely SO tasty! Don’t miss out on their sesame aubergine starter, pork dumplings and deep fried bao bun dessert topped up with flavoured green tea ice cream. Even the flowers were edible. It does not only look good. it tastes SO GOOD.
Pizza Davalter – beside being a welcoming and friendly authentic Italian place, all the chefs are from Naples and Sicily (hence the finest ones from Italy :P) and above ALL the the ingredients are FRESH and IMPORTED from Italy. Additionally they have a wide variety of wine and prosecco selection (YES, Italian Prosecco!). Last but not least GREAT value for money (generous and delicious portions – not only for pizza… They have EVERYTHING).
Santore – Believe it or not they do METER-Long Pizza and… you can divide it with as many flavours as you please
Zia Lucia – Furnished with a variety of organic ingredients to please all dietary requirements and delight all crowds. Pizza doughs: unique vegetable charcoal, wholewheat, gluten FREE and traditional. Advance bookings recommended due to increasing popularity
BEST FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST
You cannot visit London and miss out on a traditional and carbs fueled dish such a Full English Breakfast. The Breakfast Club cafe serves the best in town at a reasonable price. Check out their menu here. Note: as this is a VERY popular local choice, it gets really busy at weekends so try to go during the week or be prepared to queue between 30-50mins.
TRY a cupcake
Beside going for the world-famous muffins and doughnuts (which by the way are DELICIOUS), you should also cannot miss out on a HummingBird cupcake. Try their authentic red-velvet cupcake and have a slice of their rainbow cake. If you are planning to visit Portobello Road/Notting Hill, @hummingbbakery has a store there. Direction: here.
Have a choco-coffee and/or choco-cocktail
At the heart of Spitafields Market you can treat yourself with a generous cup of authentic coffee filled with chunks of white/dark/milk chocolate at Dark Sugars. Uniquely they also do the same with their cocktails. If you are a chocolate lover, this is a MUST-TRY/HAVE coffee/cocktail. You might also want to check out their story: super interesting concept and journey of this ambitious woman who brought to life her ambitious and dream.
TYPICAL ENGLISH DISHES TO TRY
Bangers and Mash
Grilled sausages served with mash potato, green peas (sometimes) and a delicious sauce known as gravy (onion-based/flavoured). in London there is an English pub: The York specialised for this dish. They have a wide variety of sausages such as: wild boar and venison beside the standard pork and cumberland.
Best UDON NOODLE bar
Koya – Without a doubt the best udon noodle I have had in central London. Such a nice and warm dish to have with a tasty and light broth. If you love eggs, remember to add it or go for extra pork belly. So yummy!
Barrafina – authentic diner-style Spanish tapas bar in the heart of London. My favourite branch is the one near Charring Cross/Trafalgar Sq. Having lived in Spain and traveled around Latin America myself, I can guarantee you their cuisine is so traditional and as good as the one tried in Spain. Don’t forget to try the Spanish tortilla there: soooo good it melts as you cut it through.
El escudo de Cuba – Very generous food portions of Cuban/Spanish cuisine in an authentic Cuban atmosphere as for its interior deco. Try ‘ropa vieja’ or their tapas platter from their menu: delicious! Also combine an amazing meal experience with their happy hour cocktail deals. Check them out in the video below!
Treat yourself to a local dining experience in the city by choosing one of First Table‘s wide variety of cuisines. My first choice was a Korean restaurant, Bó Drake, nestled in the Soho neighborhood. All the lovely food you see below was for 50% off. Seize the opportunity while you can.
Enjoy 50% off with my promotional code ‘IMNOWHERE’: here.
MERGE WITH LOCALS
Born as a community project to support local start-ups and small business, now @popbrixton has began a popular destination for locals to enjoy good vibes, food and drinks. I absolutely love the casual, yet cool, structure of this place: made of ship’ containers turned into homes for 55 independent business including restaurants, retails, street food traders etc. The selection and variety of food/drinks is mind blowing. A proper village!
Borough Market – largest and oldest food market in London characterised by a sensational QUALITY selection of worldwide cuisines. This is where locals living (or working) in the neighborhood treat themselves for either a grocery shopping or take-away. Open Monday – Saturday
Vintage Market – whether you are looking for vintage clothing from 1920s onwards or not you might want to experience THE best (and biggest) Vintage Market in the heart of Brick Lane. The assortment is vast and very good quality pieces and atmosphere.
BEST SPEAK EASY BARS
Cahoots – More than just a bar, this place is an EXPERIENCE. Step back in time as you enter an ‘abandoned underground station’ during the Blitz of the 1940s. Live Jazz, unique cocktails and staff in character are just a few of the things that you can expect (beside the FREE popcorn). Plan your visit and reserve in advance here. Oh! and don’t forget to say that you are there ‘to see the captain’.
Call me mr lucky – hidden beneath a all-day brekkie venue, The Breakfast Club, there is a quirky underground cocktail venue featuring an epic ‘wheel of fortune’. As for all the mighty secret bars a password is required to get in. You can only do if you say loud and clear ‘I’m here to get lucky’. Once the magic words are pronounced you will be asked to walk through a Smeg fridge into a bunker-looking bar all to discover and enjoy.
The Churchill Arms – by far THE most colourful and flowery pub in town; they in fact invest over 25k pounds in exterior decoration per year. Impressive to say the least. It was the first London pub to server Thai Food (and it is STILL so delicious). Above all also an historic one as it is believed that Winston Churchill made wartime broadcasts from there once. Get a FREE drink here
Old Thameside Inn – the geographic location of this pub makes it conveniently GREAT. Perfect for your panoramic shots and/or sunset meals and drinks. And if the view of the river was not sufficient, turn around to appreciate the glorious Golden Hind: an historic galleon used for privateering circumnavigations of the seas by the end of the XVI century.
P R I M R O S E H I L L
Primrose Hill – You might have heard of Greenwich Hill/Observatory as your panoramic spot for London. However my favourite has to be Primrose hill. Just around the corner from Camden Town/Market. One of the nicest and wealthy neighborhood of London with a prime skyline view above a green park. Around the area you will also fine independent shops and refined restaurants.
THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD
Go-PRO and upgrade your visit to London by visiting The View from the Shard venue. This is the highest panoramic (and glamorous) point of view you can get to to admire the greatness of this city. What I particularly love about this place is the green open space at the very top equipped with bar facilities for you to order something whilst waiting for a spectacular view of the sunset. Book in advance here to SAVE 20%.
S K Y G A R D E N
Sky Garden – This is the view you can appreciate from the balcony/terrace of this exclusive place. I have highlighted icon sights in different colours for an easier identification (the blue one being the Shard mentioned above). Inside there is a whole garden to enjoy and a bar offering delicious food and cocktails. If you go before 10am you don’t have to have a reservation online or a dress code to enter. However past this time you need to book your visit here. Plan your visit and enjoy a FREE panoramic view of the city.
Gardens of London
S O C I A L D A R T S – Shoreditch
Try Demolition Darts: find tips here
Try Killer Darts: find tips here
B A L L P I T – Dalston
W O N D E R B A L L – Shoreditch
How to get there
Oyster Card -How to get around
Quick, easy and cheaper way to travel around London via underground/tram/train and iconic double-decker buses. Also this is the same cards locals use. No need to buy a weekly (or even daily) pass or a paper-travel-card if you are staying less than 7 actual full days as you will realise after 2-3 days that it is so easy and just nice to discover the city by walking around and getting lost in its traditional little alleys. Purchase it directly at any underground station or pre-order it here. Oyster cards cost £5 but should you wish to return it this amount will be fully refunded to you (or keep it as a souvenir!).