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Comfortable but really delicious London restaurants?

porceluna Dec 12, 2007 12:46 PM

My family (Mom, Dad, and 2 early-20s daughters) will be in London from Dec 27 to Jan 4. We realize that, unfortunately, it'll be hard to find somewhere to eat for New Years, but I'm hoping that our fellow Chowhounders might be able to give us some tips for other Days!

We're a family of huge foodies, willing to try almost anything. However, some of us would prefer restaurants that aren't super-duper fancy. In other words, those great, sometimes-hidden gems which have delicious food but which aren't overly pretentious--which knocks out many of the trendier places. They can be nice, of course, but we don't want to have to get completely gussied up every night just to eat. We're up for both lunch and dinner suggestions.

So: any great, not-*too*-fancy London gems?

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  1. foodie guide RE: porceluna Dec 13, 2007 04:41 AM

    I'm not sure what type of cuisine you're after, as you don't specify this. So I'll throw this into the pot to see if it's something you might be interested in. I like going to a large Greek restaurant called Vrisaki in north London, where you can have a six course meze for a really reasonable price - lots of seafood and meat after the initial numerous little dishes. It's down to earth and you don't have to dress up, but you'll have great food. The only thing is that it's not in central London. But I think it's worth the trip. Don't forget to book though.

    73 Myddleton Road
    London N22 8LZ
    Tel: 020 8889 8760

    Helen Yuet Ling Pang

    9 Replies
    1. re: foodie guide
      mmuch RE: foodie guide Dec 13, 2007 05:47 AM

      can you recommend a great italian restaurant by chance? staying in Mayfair area. Don't want to spend over 125 for 2ppl.

      1. re: mmuch
        foodie guide RE: mmuch Dec 13, 2007 05:54 AM

        Sorry I can't really be of much help here. I haven't eaten at many Italian restaurants in London, and the last one I went to I certainly wouldn't recommend! But a couple of years ago, I went to Sardo on Grafton Way near Warren Street - great Sardinian food. There is a new branch - Sardo Canale in Camden, which I've not been to, but hear it's nice too.

        Helen Yuet Ling Pang

        1. re: foodie guide
          rblack RE: foodie guide Dec 18, 2007 03:01 PM

          Id second the rec for Sardo. Excellent food and very relaxed place.

        2. re: mmuch
          zuriga1 RE: mmuch Dec 13, 2007 06:03 AM

          People seem to like the restaurants run by the Caldesi family. I'd definitely book a table in advance. Their London spot isn't far from Mayfair. Mr. Caldesi and his wife had a cooking program on TV here in the UK.

          If you want 'great,' then Locando Locatelli is superb but pricey.


          1. re: mmuch
            Will125 RE: mmuch Dec 13, 2007 06:59 AM

            I think the pizza at Spaccanapoli is probably the best in the West End. It's on Dean St, near Oxford St. Great antipasto as well. Ask for the special menu -- they serve pizzas by the 1/4 m -- so for 4 you can order 1m of pizza, which is a good way to share different types of pies.

            1. re: mmuch
              Brit on a Trip RE: mmuch Dec 19, 2007 05:45 AM

              Great Italian?

              Passione on Charlotte Street.


              For me, a 400 mile round trip by train and a hotel overnight. The second furthest I've ever travelled specifically for a meal. Worth every penny.


            2. re: foodie guide
              fifi RE: foodie guide Dec 14, 2007 07:04 AM

              Guisto's on Blandford St. Newly re-openend Italian. Food is great - the staff are attentive and complete foodie's too. Great prices.
              Try Tom's Kitchen in Chelsea too.

              1. re: fifi
                Simon Majumdar RE: fifi Dec 15, 2007 01:12 AM

                I have to disagree about Tom's Kitchen

                I had one of the worst meals I can remember there yesterday. Just awful, lazy food at nosebleed inducing prices.


                One place I have enjoyed while being back in London for a while was MARKET on Camden Parkway as sort of Hix Meets Henderson approach.



                1. re: Simon Majumdar
                  zuriga1 RE: Simon Majumdar Dec 15, 2007 02:40 AM

                  Sorry to be trite, but... a picture tells a thousand words. Yikes... even I make food that looks better than what you were served. Did you complain to the management? I hope everyone reads your blogs and peeks at the pics.

            3. zuriga1 RE: porceluna Dec 15, 2007 10:23 AM

              I just remembered Galvin Brothers - Baker St. I don't think you can go wrong eating there. French food - well prepared.

              1 Reply
              1. re: zuriga1
                foodie guide RE: zuriga1 Dec 16, 2007 02:29 AM

                Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with the Galvin Bistrot de Luxe recommendation - comforting and relaxing, great service, and most importantly, delicious simple food. I was really happy when I went there (as opposed to being stressed about something or other). I could have stayed there all evening...

                Helen Yuet Ling Pang

              2. t
                Theresa RE: porceluna Dec 19, 2007 02:16 AM

                I've only been once, but I really liked the Rivington Grill - it's not formal and does delicious food - it's traditional English food, fabulous bread and the best lamb chops I've ever tasted.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Theresa
                  DietStartsTomorrow RE: Theresa Dec 19, 2007 07:47 AM

                  go to barrafina in soho and have the suckling pig. (see seperate thread). Yum. And don't forget to head to the east end for a curry..Tayyab's seems to be the place to go.

                  1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
                    loobcom RE: DietStartsTomorrow Dec 19, 2007 12:47 PM

                    Steak Pie, The Guinea, Bruton Place

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