Foody stuff around Waterloo/County Hall? [London]
We're going to be staying a few days, almost certainly around Waterloo (as its close-ish for the Imperial War Museum where I'll be researching). My London geography is lousy but I'm looking to do some foody stuff on our final morning (a Saturday) before schlepping back to the frozen north.
Any interesting street markets or shops that are worth a wander round? And what about a nice lunch in the area (not top end but not hole-in-the-wall either)?
We enjoyed RSJ, too. But Saturdays before a matinee at the National can have that place quite busy and rushed, although the food doesn't suffer. The National itself has a very nice restaurant but one has to book.
Of course, there's always Master's Superfish - you can do a taste comparison. :-)
Lower Marsh for coffee at Scooterworks (good flatties and lattes, ok espressos. They have milk skills but their espresso often tastes slightly off. Maybe their beautiful machine needs a clean?) and tacos from the mexican guys up the top end stall during weekday lunches. Mani who has the veg stall outside Iceland is the only other guy on the stretch I go to, and he's amazing, better and cheaper than Borough in most cases, but I guess groceries aren't a priority for you if you're not cooking for yourself while visiting. Won't rec Master's since you're from North, and you guys have hard opinions when it comes to F&C, nevertheless it's probably the best in London. Dragon Castle in Elephant for dim sum, maybe not as good as when it first opened, still better than much of the rest in London. Catch the number 12 from outside Lambeth North tube station, 20 minute ride to Camberwell Green, to Silk Road for XinJiang goodness, see threads passim. Anchor & Hope is in purple form right now, best it's been in a while, their team must really be gunning. Otherwise our sides is weak for food. Perdoni's/Riverside 2 on Kennington Road is fine for an anglicised Italian caff and I do have a deep affection for the place, but to be perfectly honest, it's pretty average and overpriced. I loath Borough Market, it's an overpriced tourist trap (NB I acknowledge there is amazing produce on sale here, but besides items exclusively available from various stalls eg the raclette guy and so on, there's nothing on sale here which can't be found cheaper elsewhere in London. It's basically a food theme park.) and while I wouldn't want to put anyone else off going, I would never recommend it as one of London's greatest cultural experiences, quite the opposite, I find it positively depressing.
Ultimately SE1 sits on the protruding curve of the thames, jutting out into the centre of town. It's pretty much equidistant from a lot of more interesting places to eat. Tbh I'd maybe take the overground from waterloo to new malden for Korean, or the Jubilee out east (change at canning town) for a quick ride to East Ham to Thattukada. Also Franco Manca in Brixton market (busses 59, 159, 3 from next to war museum) for best (no hype, but yeah, it's definitely better than pizza east and donna margerita) pizza in London, as well as other Brixton stuff, again see threads passim for south american and caribbean recs. And welcome to K town!
I recommend a trip down Lower Marsh - used to be a busy market, less so now but excellent for food. Coffee at the scooter cafe (there's a Vespa in the window) is excellent as is their hot chocolate. Lots of interesting shops down that street too and plenty of places to eat. Greensmiths is definitely worth a try. I also second the Anchor and Hope, superb food. Borough Market is also worth a trip, but Saturday is a nightmare after about 10am. Monmouth Coffee another excellent coffee house, just next to the market.
If you want really good cake after eating any of this, go to Konditor and Cook at 22 Cornwall Road London SE1 8TW. And you are just a short bus ride away from the incredible Franco Manca pizzeria in Brixton Market. Weekday lunchtimes aren't too crazy either.