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Apr 9, 2013 11:08 AM

London for 5 nights

Staying in Piccadilly, working in Hayes during the day.

Recommendations for great food, prefer not the fancy smancy types. Everything from street food to bistro, gastro pub, etc.

I can travel some via cab or train, especially for dinner.

Anyway, a variety of suggestions for all kinds of cuisines and great bars to get a pint. Nothing touristy. Just good food is important. And something representative of the local food scene.


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  1. Suggest that, in the first instance, you run a search on terms that might apply to the sort of place you're looking for. That should give you something of a working list which London-based users could comment on.
    Certainly perhaps a more useful start than me just reeling off the places in the Richmond/Brentford area which I tend to use when I visit the London area.

    Bearing in kind that this is our capital city and many folk staying in the central area will be tourists. In such circumstances, it will be difficult to avoid touristy places.

    1. Harters is quite correct. Do a bit of a search through previous threads here as it's the easiest way to spot something that may appeal to you.

      I never quite get the 'touristy' thing, but I know what you mean. Wherever I go in London, people assume I'm a tourist because I have an American accent despite having lived here for 9 years. Does that mean someone eating next to me will assume it's a 'touristy' restaurant?

      If you want the local food scene, try some of the better known and liked gastropubs - the Anchor and Hope is one, but there are lots others. If you want bistro - Bistrot Bruno Loubet is very good.

      8 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        And, of course, many tourists will not be foreigners - just folk visiting the capital from places like Devizes, Dolgellau or Dumfries.

        1. re: zuriga1

          "Does that mean someone eating next to me will assume it's a 'touristy' restaurant?"

          Only if you're wearing a fanny pack, have a camera hanging around your neck, and were taking pictures of yourself in front of the restaurant! ;-)

          For me, "touristy" restaurants are the ones that tourists flock to just to say they've eaten there (and to take pictures), while locals snicker about how mediocre the food is--eg, Pat's and Geno's for cheesesteaks, based on comments on the Philly board.

          1. re: msiangal

            You made me laugh. I always try to get to Pat's when I'm in Philly (my hometown). At least there, I fit right in with the right accent. :-)

            I keep my camera in my handbag.

            1. re: zuriga1

              We moved to lower Bucks county about 1.5 years ago and are still exploring the area and its restaurants. Haven't tried Pat's or Geno's yet, but we may well end up accompanying people who'll be taking pictures of themselves in front of those places later this year, when family/friends come to visit. :-)

            2. re: msiangal

              Interesting definition.
              If a restaurant is very good and is one tourists flock to would it still be considered "tourisity"?
              I'm thinking of Rules specifically. It;s the oldest restaurant in London and is quintessentially English. It attracts a lot of tourists but is one of my favourite restaurants in London.
              A lot of Londoners may not go as it's not "of the moment" and full of tourists. Their loss.

              As for the OP's original post they can do worse than look at this thread.


              For a good place to have a beer I always struggle make a recommendation as I rarely drink in central London and prefer my local sarf London boozer,

              1. re: Paprikaboy

                Last time I was Rules, I was on my own so, rather than having a conversation of my own, I listened in to other people's. My recollection is that no-one within earshot had a "dahn sarf" accent. Not all foreigners, of course. No doubt, like me, folk just think it's good food and a good experience. I have said before that it's probably my favourite restaurant in the capital and I've not changed my mind.

                1. re: Paprikaboy

                  No, I wouldn't consider a restaurant "touristy" if visitors flock there because it serves good food. And speaking of Rules, we'll be among the pesky tourists there in a couple of months--can't wait!

                  1. re: Paprikaboy

                    We love Rules and Le Gavroche. Yeah we are tourists when there. It has ever impeded our getting quality food or service. Often having American accents has provided us with some new friends. People at adjoining tables have struck up conversations with us and we've ended up pushing our tables closer together and enjoying each others company.

              2. Agree the comments below. However if you want specific suggestions near to Hayes I suspect people may be able to help more. But it might be worth clarifying which one. Confusingly, there are two Hayes in London! One's in West London, the other South East.

                1. Bocca Di Lupo is a great Italian in Soho/Piccadilly and very much reflective of the type of food popular in London at the minute.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: brokentelephone

                    I'm going there for the first time very soon... any special dishes to recommend?

                  2. I'm not sure if Langan's Brasserie falls under the "fancy smancy" or "touristy" categories for you, but I have fond memories of this place - it should be near where you're staying. I loved their spinach souffle with anchovy sauce - must have been on their menu for decades!