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5 days in London - where to go for some great meals?

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hi,
my boyfriend and i are planning a 5 day trip to london in the beginning of may. i have been several times before but this will be his first trip. i would love for him to experience something more beyond the tourist-y things, and get a full and well-rounded experience of all the ethnic cuisine that london has to offer.

i'm looking for affordable and quick lunch options (no pret if i can help it - too much money for not that great food). for dinner, we could do one really special dinner, and the other ones i would like to try some great pubs, maybe some sushi, and definitely thai and indian.

we're game for just about anything, and we are so excited to make this trip a really memorable one!
thanks in advance for your help!!

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  1. How far are you willing to travel for Thai and Indian?

    I don't know where you're staying but my favorite pub in central is probably The Champion on Eastcastle St. I haven't been there in a few years, though. Further afield I really like the Dog and Bell in Deptford. Super legit old school pub with a bar billiards table, an ever changing selection of good British beers on tap and a huge list of bottled Belgian beers.

    I'll list a few places that I personally regard as extremely central. These are all pretty dinner oriented unless you're doing Brick Lane and its surroundings when you go to Needoo. If you're by the British Museum you could go to Italia Uno on Charlotte St or grab a cheap takeaway lunch from Rasa Samundra.

    101 Thai Kitchen near Stamford Brook Tube. I don't know where you're traveling in from, but this is the best Thai food I've had in London by leaps and bounds. It's also quite reasonable.

    Needoo for Pakistani grilled items as well as "curries." The latter are not off the charts, but they're better than you'd get at most places this close to Central London, the cuisine is familiar and it's not Tayyabs.

    Indian Zing. I haven't been there, but it's quite close to 101 Thai and it is apparently fantastic. See Howler's posts regarding their veg. It was properly written up recently too.

    Neither Indian nor Thai, but I can't recommend Silk Road Restaurant in Camberwell more highly. It's the UK's only Xinjiang style Chinese restaurant (last I checked at least) and it's fantastic. Pretty cheap, not terribly hard to reach and the staff are great.

    If you're willing to trek further out than East Ham and other areas have amazing South Asian places.

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    Silk Road
    49 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, Greater London SE5 8, GB

    1 Reply
    1. re: JFores

      we're staying in the mayfair area, right on the edge of regent's park, but we are willing to travel for great food.

      thank you for your suggestions!

    2. Caravan in Exmouth Market - great atmosphere, great food, quite new, not too pricey.
      Salt Yard - Spanish/Italian tapas. Not too pricey but brilliant food and wine.
      Ottolenghi in Islington - absolutely ace food, very inspiring. (Or try one of his delis for lunch)
      Hawksmoor Sevendials for steak.
      The Wolseley for atmosphere (good brunch too). Such a glamorous room and food not too pricey, but a fun place to eat.

      Great Thai is not all that easy to find in London - for a cheapish try Busaba Eathai, shared tables but good for the money and a quick stop. Esearn Kheaw is way out West but meant to be worth the journey. Or the Patara mini-chain (there's one on Maddox St near where you're staying) is pretty decent.

      Indian - Amaya for a blow out meal, that's worth every penny. Glam Indian, inspired food. You'll find plenty of good curryhouses dotted around the place too.

      Lunch - go to Borough Market and look at all the lovely food (fri and sat only, then go to Tapas Brindisa. You'll have to queue but it's well worth the wait.
      Try the Tapa Rooms downstairs at Providores in Marylebone.

      Lots of the fancypants restaurants do great lunch deals, too. It's a good way to experience fine-dining without breaking the bank and waiting yonks for a reservation. Look at Hibiscus, Murano, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.

      Enjoy!

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      The Wolseley
      160 Piccadilly, London, Greater London W1J 9EB, United Kingdom

      Salt Yard
      54 Goodge St, Camden Town, Greater London W1T 4, GB

      Tapas Brindisa
      Southwark St, Camberwell, Greater London SE1 1, GB

      Hawksmoor
      157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, GB

      Sevendials
      1 Buckingham Place, Brighton BN1 3TD, GB

      1 Reply
      1. re: miss chicken wing

        Oh, and Anchor & Hope, the Eagle and Bull & Last are some of my favourite gastropubs.