London: Best NON-Restaurant Places and Shops for a Foodie?
- webhund Nov 30, 2009 08:31 AM
What are great foodie sites, things to do, must-go shops, and other unique culinary-related places for a foodie in London that are NOT restaurants?
Leaving next week for 10 days in London and staying near Marble Arch; will go anywhere my Oyster Card will take me. Tell me what the best foodie-sites are that are not restaurants or pubs. I've searched the heck out of Chow and have my lists of places to eat/snack/drink ready to go. But now I need something to see and do between meals. Last year, we stumbled across the amazing Slow Food market next to the Southbank Centre, but we're missing it by one weekend this year, unfortunately. Will be in London December 11-18. So, what do you recommend?
To give an idea of what I'm looking for, currently on my list are: Portobello Road Spice Shop, Books for Cooks in Notting Hill, and, of course, Borough Market. Have also heard good things about Biggles Sausages and Divertimenti.
Finally, for Londonist foodies, which one of these markets do you recommend as "must-sees":
There's some interesting street food at the Camden Market - close to the exit to the Canal. I had delicious pierogies there one afternoon. You can walk through Regent's Park towards the zoo and down to the Canal... short walk to the exit for the Camden Passage.
Borough is fun but go on Friday and not Saturday which is a mob scene.
There is a a "Real Food Market" at Covent Garden going on with special festive treats. I've not yet been but hope to go soon.
Fortnum and Mason is quite impressive with a selection of high end and interesting food on offer. I go for the teas and biscuits.
I enjoy Biggles too. If you're in the Marylebone area, worth seeking out are cheeses at La Fromagerie (and killer ice cream; made by someone in Battersea according to the signs). From Marylebone, walk west to Cocomaya for outstanding chocolates (try the pistachio saffron or tonka bean). Also check out the attached bakery, lots of beautiful baked goods, the seed and cheese twists in particular are outstanding.
marylebone high st and its environs will keep you occupied for a few hours. if you go on a sunday you'll get the farmers market as well. 10 mins or so from marble arch.
There are always shops in the basement of the unbiquitous Mark's & Spencer's. They are very nice and provide great take away. Another oft overlooked option in London is eatting in museum restaurants. My fav is the V & A - the decor is amazing and the food is good!
Sounds like you know London fairly well, so you've probably heard of Harrods? Big brown building near Knightsbridge tube. You can't miss it. Sells food and foodie stuff.
Oh, also Harvey Nichols 5th. floor which is like a foodie toyshop. Near Horrids.
I don't know where you're from, but if you don't have a Whole Foods Market nearby, or even if you do, you might enjoy the one here. It has great carry out foods and lots and lots of goodies to admire. It lacks the atmosphere of the outdoor markets, but it can be a fun excursion.
The gelato at Scoop in Covent Garden is as good as any I've had in the Piemonte region of Italy - in fact, I think thats where they're from.
Even though they are both now in Borough market as well, Neals Yard cheese shop is here as well as is Monmouth roasted coffee. Nearby is also Ben's Cookies which people would trek out to Oxford for, but now have a small shop in Covent Garden.
The place to grab great coffee is also the Soho/Covent Garden area: Monmouth, Wild & Wood, Fernandez & Wells, Flat White, Lantana - are all here. A bit further East is The Espresso Room across from Great Ormond hospital, which is my favorite at the moment
The Camden Stables market and the Brick Lane market have the most diversity of prepared foods. They are also both really buzzing. A nice Sunday morning walk for us is to go to the Columbia Road Flower market, then walk down through the Brick Lane markets.