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Bagels and steaks in London

Hi London hounds,

I've lived here for 8 years now and have still failed to find (1) anywhere in central/West London that does really good bagels (no, I'm not going to travel to Golders Green or Hendon and yes, I do know about the Brick Lane Bakery), and (2) a really, really South African/NYC-class steak joint. I'd be very grateful for recommendations on either front. In particular, has anyone tried the Popeseye in Fulham?

PS: Any views on the new Cafe Anglais in Bayswater?
PPS: Any recs for Baltic/Scandi food now that Lundums is gone?

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  1. I've lived here 4 years and have never found a good bagel. I'm too far for travelling to Golders Green on a regular basis. I now make my own bagels with my trusty bread machine. My kids were amazed how good they are. If I was younger, I'd open a shop!

    1. popeseye is in brooks green, no? in any case, its a good - sometimes v. good - neighborhood steak place that serves steak, salad and fries with a moderately priced wine list. go early - the results are always better when the cook isn't harried.

      the best steak i've had in london has been at the cheyne walk brasserie - its cote de boeuf comes from belgium and is superb.

      in general, steak in the uk is very different tasting from that in the us - you can pretty much taste the grass the animal was fed on. the meat here isn't as marbled but i've grown to appreciate it a lot.

      for argentine meat, try el gaucho (put pls not the gaucho grill) just by south ken tube.

      1. If you're around West London, why would you discount Golders Green/Hendon - it's North West London?? Don't really know of any decent bagel places in central to be honest.

        For Scandinavian stuff, there's the Scandinavian Kitchen - 61 Great Titchfield St, W1W 7PP, or there's the new Swedish place called Fika on Brick Lane - 161a Brick Lane E1 6SB - haven't tried it yet, but it's on the list.

        Chakalaka - South African
        136 Upper Richmond road
        SW15 2SP

        I like it here, i haven't had the steak, but my friend had the Kudo steak which I sampled and it was delicious.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nii

          I'm in the south-west (Baron's Court/Fulham) so places in the NW like Golders Green are a fair old trek for brunch on a Sunday morning...or maybe I'm just lazy!
          Thanks for the tips about Scandi Kitchen and Fika - the latter looks very interesting. To continue the Scandi theme, a friend has just sent me an email alerting me to the Nordic Bakery (W1F 9JG, near Picc Circus) and saying that the cinnamon buns are amazing...

          1. re: Londoner27

            The Nordic Bakery has been around just under a year, I think and is not bad at all


            I was less taken with their Korvapuusti than your friend seems to be. They were too dense for my liking.

            The karelian pies were very good, however. Particularly with a rich egg butter on top of them

            I had an excellent meal at Upper Glas on Upper St when it opened back at the tail end of 2006. Since I have been out of the country for most of the last 12 months, I can't say how good it is now, but it may well be worth a try for a Swedish fix



            1. re: Simon Majumdar

              Forget the rec for Upper Glas.

              It is about to close, apparently. Redevelopment of the whole site by the landlord


        2. More along the lines of Parisian steak frites is Relais de Venise in Marylebone, which I really enjoy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: limster

            I've also never come across a place that does salt bagels (my favourite). I'm always surprised that there's not at least one place in London that offers a variety of bagels like a NY bagel shop. I'm sure there would enough demand for it to do well.

          2. I know you say you're not going to go to Golders Green, but I'm going to tell you what this gal from the Rockaways/Long Island did anyway...I did a taste test in GG one afternoon...I bought bagels from three of the main places, plus the BLBB. Carmelli's was the winner for me out of the four. BLBB was a close 2nd. Golders Green is only one stop past Hampstead...

            Regardless...none of them had salt bagels. I'm really dying for a salt bagel. And while Carmelli's was pretty good, it just wasn't the same as the ones I'd get back on the Island.

            I did not get to Daniels in GG which is supposed to be good. Also, I think there's another one around Swiss Cottage...that may be more geographically apt for you? If I can remember the name, I'll repost.

            You're sort of inspiring my weekend plans...

            1. I checked this out to see if someone actually wanted to eat bagels and steaks. In Ameica, people usually just buy a dozen or couple dozen or so some cream cheese and eat it at home. A single trip for a week or two . . . there is a bakery in the Harrow area that made excellent bagels, a Jewish bakery . . . I didn't really find too many bagel shops in London or it to even be a part of the diet of most people . . . a steak bagel sandwich does not sound appetizing . . .

              13 Replies
              1. re: apple7blue

                There are a lot of bagels around - albeit not what most Americans might be used to. I even see bagel vendors at railroad stations and at the Tube station at Bond St. I'm one who grew up on egg bagels - all they had in my town years ago. It was such a relief moving to NY. :-)

                1. re: zuriga1

                  Please, in London it is a 'Beigal' pronounced (buy-gel) NOT a BAY-Gel. The best ones in the East End come from Rinkoffs www.rinkoffbakery.co.uk

                  1. re: loobcom

                    Yes, lots of words are pronounced differently in England. It doesn't always mean it's the right way, just a different way. Kristainlondon will back me up on this. Not to brag, but my little grandmother began baking bagels professionally at the age of 12 - where people really knew what a bagel or bialy or real pumpernickel bread was all about. Beigal, schmagel... at long as they taste good!

                    1. re: loobcom

                      " in London it is a 'Beigal' pronounced (buy-gel) NOT a BAY-Gel"

                      Whereas "up north" we 'd pronounce Bay-gel. Not that it's easy to find them (apart from the supermarket variety) - and I'm not schlepping to the other side of the metropolitian area in search, either.

                      1. re: Harters

                        To be honest, John, I still laugh at how popular bagels have become around the world. For years they were purely a Jewish delicacy... at least in the States. Now there are bagel shops all over the place. I make my own. It's easy and they taste better than most I've found in my neck of the woods. I would even bet 50% of people don't know they originated in Eastern Europe.

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          Oy ve zmir! A maidel mit a beigel!

                          1. re: loobcom

                            Hmmm... bubbe would have said 'oy vey is mir .' Are you a wolf in sheep's clothing? Zei kisundt!

                          2. re: zuriga1

                            Yes. I think the sort of interesting thing is that many Brits will probably think of the bagel as being an American product (Sainsbury's stock "NY-style" bagels). Yet they've probably been made in my area since the latter part of the 19th century when there was large scale Jewish immigration from eastern Europe.

                            There's still a significant business community engaged in the garment industry to the north of the city centre but folk now live out in the suburbs of Prestwich (to the north) and Didsbury/Cheadle to the south. Prestwich has a small number of kosher restaurants but it's many many years since I've been to one. The Jewish Museum in Cheetham is always on my list of places I suggest tourists visit.

                            Local man, Joseph Hyman, survived the Titanic sinking and returned to Manchester to open a deli (called Titanics....surprise, surprise). Still in business just north of the city centre on Waterloo Road, Cheetham (which is where I'd have to traipse for "proper" bagels). http://www.titanics.co.uk/

                            1. re: Harters

                              Thanks... very interesting information! I still laugh at the products here tagged, 'American-style' or 'NY-style.' I just scratch my head and say, 'Why???' Watch out, we may take over one day. :-) I wonder what the cafe at the Jewish Museum serves for lunch.....

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                Unfortunately no cafe. It's in an old synagogue, BTW. And, oddly, bearing in mind the immigration patterns, Sephardic

                                1. re: Harters

                                  A couple of weekends ago I was in Manchester and went to a bakery near, I think, Broughton. Very decent fresh beigels.

                                  I much prefer a UK 'hand-rolled' beigel to an American style machine formed beigel. Perhaps I haven't been exposed to the best beigels on my US trips. I think the best I had were at Barney Greengrass, I know they are not baked out site.

                                  1. re: loobcom

                                    Broughton is the suburb of Salford that adjoins Manchester's Cheetham. Spot on geography for the chance of Jewish bakeries.


                                  2. re: Harters

                                    Sephardic... now that is interesting. Their food is quite different. Many of the UK Jewish population came through Holland and originally from Spain. I should study up on all this.

                    2. Hello -

                      Please help us steer this discussion back to where to find bagels (or beigels!) in the UK/Ireland. If you want to discuss how bagels differ in different countries or the historical origins of bagels, please start a thread on the General Topics board, so that we can keep the discussion here on locally available chow.

                      Thank you.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        Dear Chowhound Team,

                        When discussing a food item that has made a journey it can sometimes be difficult to restrict the conversation to one geographic area.

                        Thank you

                        1. re: loobcom

                          That is why the topic of "the food journey" is one appropriate for the General Topics board. Our regional boards, including this one, have a very narrow focus - where to find food in that region, regardless of where it originally came from. Off topic discussions on regional boards dilute the usefulness of that board for those looking for local chow tips, while topics such as where bagels originated are of interest to hounds from many regions. If you are interested in discussing "the journey" you are welcome, as we stated, to start a thread on the General Topics board.

                          For further information/discussion about why we divide subjects as we do, please see this thread on the Site Talk board:


                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                            So does anyone know the bakery I was talking about?

                      2. Hawksmoore has about the best steak I've eaten in London. I'm pretty excited to try Maze Grill.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: fatfoodie

                          I second the Hawksmoor rec. Went there last week, had the ribeye, and it was definitely the best piece of meat I've ever eaten. Similar price to the squashed Bee-Gee's place (Notting Grill) but infinitely superior food, atmosphere, and service. I thought Hawksmoor was actually quite good value for money, whereas I felt I'd been well and truly fleeced at Worrall-Thomson's gaff.