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Dec 17, 2012 08:41 AM

Foodie walking tours

Foodie Walking Tours

Following on from dish of the month I wondered whether we could pool our experience to create some walking tours that visitors could follow for certain cuisines and areas. If it's a successful thread we could perhaps sticky it or create links to maps when the routes are agreed.

There are a number of areas in London that lend themselves to this sort of thing but any suggestions from other cities would be great.

Off the top of my head there's a good walk starting early at Borough Market with perhaps breakfast at Elliot's Cafe before it gets busy. Wander round the market and don't miss Wright Brothers then down Bermondsey Street via some iberico ham at Jose to Maltby Street for lunch and then doughnuts.

Equally a good weekday tapas and small plates crawl in Soho could take in Barrafina, 10 Greek Street, Duck Soup, Dehesa, Polpo, Spuntino and Ceviche or any combination of them.

And while a good stomach would be required I see no reason why a trip to Brick Lane market on a Sunday couldn't be bookended by a comparison of the naans and samosas at Needoo, Tayyabs and/or Lahore as Klyeoh and Limster undertook.

I would also recommend a fun walking tour of Clerkenwell, perhaps built around a visit to St Paul's. Start at Exmouth market with some of the best coffee in London from Caravan and a quick look and nibble on the usually excellent specials at Morito. Then head down the Farringdon Road for some cicchetti at Polpo Smithfield or some bar nibbles in St John HQ. As it's now past midday you are permitted a drink so take your pick between a pint in a wonderful old traditional pub the Jerusalem Tavern or the Fox and Anchor or a great selection of wines by the glass (and more food if needed) at Vinoteca.
Walk through the Smithfield meat market and after admiring the cathedral head a hundred yards east to Bea's of Bloomsbury for the best cupcakes going, or exceptional blondies.

Some of these will be time sensitive e.g. market ones while others such as Soho will clearly not be possible on a Saturday evening when each place is likely to have an hour plus queue.

But let's suggest routes and stops and see where we get to.

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  1. These all sound great. However, note that 'wonderful old traditional pub the Jerusalem Tavern' was fitted out from scratch about fifteen years ago. I agree it looks amazingly plausible, and is well worth a visit regardless.

    1. I'll focus on things I like to do as well as what would appeal to tourists. To start off with, here are some of the "rougher-diamond" areas I enjoy.

      Camberwell - FM Mangal for lunch. Spend a couple of hours in the awesome craft beer pub The Storm Bird to work up your appetite. Then dinner at Silk Road. Pop into the Turkish Food Centre to pick up some nice groceries to take home. Or, once it finally reopens, go to the crypt in St Giles church for the best jazz venue ever.

      Green Lanes - Lunch at Hala or Antepliler. Stop at one of the sweet shops to get some baklawa for later - there's one attached to Antepliler. Head to the bakery opposite Iceland, and grab some of the tahini bread for dessert (it looks a bit like a pain au raisin, but with tahini instead of sugar and raisins), or anything else that looks good. Get some nuts to nibble on from one of the several dedicated nut shops if that floats your boat, and stop off in one of the turkish grocery stores if you want to pick up any Turkish ingredients for home. Head to the Salisbury for an atmospheric drink (but if you're a tourist, walk up to the pretty middling pub on top of Alexandria Palace for a fantastic view of London, and while you're there look around the palace itself.)

      Deptford - this one is more a set of snacks. Start at Panda Panda - get a banh mi (and a che ba mau if you have a sweet tooth). Head across the road to the Cote d'Ivoire place and have some of the spring rolls. Then go up the high street to Chung Viet and enjoy their food and much-improved toilets. I think JFores can suggest a pub around here, otherwise Dog & Bell for some good ales and a very local feel. If the street market is on in the High Street while you're there, keep an eye out for where the market also forks off on a road to the west - there's an amusing collection of hipster brick-a-brac to browse in that section. Then catch the DLR to Maritime Greenwich and have a nice afternoon there doing touristy stuff.

      Tooting - grab a dosa at Chennai Dosa (the special masala has served me well), then a drink across the road at the Wheatsheaf, or for grander but noisier surrounds the Tooting Tram and Social. Drop by Pooja sweets to take home some great burfi and if you're still hungry they sell pretty good samosas. On the tube back, quickly hop off at Clapham North and grab some Hot Doubles at Roti Joupa.

      4 Replies
      1. re: deansa

        I can't get enough of Antepliler. I'm trying to move to the area to get within walking distance (and for some other reasons too...)

        I think the Deptford one is great as lots of people go to Greenwich and it's a great way to combine a day trip. I'm looking to do that myself in the next couple of weekeneds - is Chung Viet the best place for a meal there?

        I think it is worth distinguishing isn't it between tourist activies and everyday ones. I probably wouldn't send someone who was staying in South Ken for 4 nights to Antepliler unless they were seriously keen on Turkish food.

        1. re: deansa

          Silk Road - am addicted to their Homestyle aubergine and tomato dish. The Turkish Food Centre is gobsmackingly huge and does make for a nice wander. What about the Zeret Kitchn, Ethiopian restaurant on Camberwell New Road?

          1. re: cathodetube

            The TFC in Dalston (Ridley Road) is the best one I've seen in their chain, it's huge and you can often get bread straight out of the oven, as well as browse their huge olive/deli counter. The Camberwell one is still pretty darn good if you're in the area though.

            1. re: deansa

              Camberwell is closest to me. Didn't know they were a chain!

        2. As someone who only visits the capital as a tourist, I think this is a great idea.

          When last in New York, I used a walk someone on the Manhatten board had done for the Lower East Side. Found it a great way to explore a neighbourhood. It had proper starting and finishing points, with clear directions where to turn onto a new road and also included non-foody tourist stops en-route. Look up RGR's post on this thread -