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Coming from Toronto to Edinburgh and London for a week - Not looking for grand dinners, but more unique treats I won't find at home

I have been following the board for a while now in preparation for an upcoming trip. My husband will be in Edinburgh on business, and we are tacking on a few days in London, hoping to squeeze in some touristy things, since my husband has never been to the UK. We don't have the budget for grand dinners out, and don't want to spend a lot of time in pursuit of what we eat, since we'd like to squeeze some touristy activities in.

We are hoping to find some special and unique food finds (things we don't have at home), whether from a bakery, take out counter, grocery store, or restaurant - especially if they are in reasonable proximity to sites we could walk by/visit.

My list is appallingly short, which is why I am posting.

So far, for Edinburgh:
- Konditormeister (Toronto has a shortage of German cakes, imo)
- The Tailend Restaurant

And for London:
- Sedap (I don't think we have something that compares here in Toronto)
- Bombay Brasserie lunch buffet

Thank you so much for any suggestions you have!

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  1. If you could be specific about which sites your'e visiting in London (there's a lot and I could hazard a guess but not being a tourist it's a bit difficult)
    Also I've no idea what's good in Toronto , I assume your poutine is better than it is in London but have no idea how good your Japanese,indian etc is?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Paprikaboy

      We have such limited time in London, but we are definitely going to the British Museum. We are staying in Brixton Hill, though. On the Saturday night, we have tickets to see "One Man, Two Guv'nors" at the National Theatre. We may get to the National Gallery, and it would be great to do a walk-by or bus ride past places like Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London.

      I suppose my question is ideal for those who know both Toronto and London, hahaha. From what I gather, Toronto's Indian options are poor compared to what's available in London, whereas I think we have quite a few quality Japanese restaurants.

      1. re: Full tummy

        There are a few good Japanese restuarants here but none worth going to if you're from Toronto.

        We have nothing like Hashimoto, and most of the upper-tier places cannot compare with a reasonably good spot in Toronto (sushi just isn't as much of a thing here, bar cheapo crap).

        1. re: Full tummy

          If your staying in Brixton Hill then as BrokenTelephone mentioned you could go to Brixton Village Market.
          Also you're not far from Tooting, which has loads of South Indian and Sri Lankan places. A bit ruff and ready but great food. My particular favourite is Apollo Banana Leaf.

          1. re: Paprikaboy

            The market sounds great, and I will look up Apollo Banana Leaf. Thanks!

      2. Whilst you're visiting the British Museum (you *can't* miss this), do pop across Great Russell St to the Museum Tavern for some pub fare and warm beer. Karl Marx and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were regulars.

        1 Reply
        1. re: klyeoh

          Thank you! That is a great suggestion!

        2. I always liked to browse the foodstuff at Fortnum & Masons (Piccadilly), or the food halls at Harrods and Selfridges. You'll always find something interesting.

          Try the afternoon tea at Fortnum & Masons (http://www.fortnumandmason.com/c-54-d...) - you need to book ahead though.

          The salt beef sandwich at the Brass Rail, Selfridges, is another classic:
          http://londonreviewofsandwiches.wordp...

          You'd probably visit Covent Garden - if so, don't miss London's oldest restaurant, Rules (http://www.rules.co.uk/), which has been oft-quoted by many London Chowhounds.

          1 Reply
          1. re: klyeoh

            Salt Beef Bar is ok if you're in Selfridges, but can't compare with Caplanskys or Moe Pancer's in Toronto -- Toronto is one of the remaining Jewish deli capitals of the world!

          2. The National Theatre has some nice restaurants for a pre-theatre meal. There's one called The Terrace Cafe that serves small plates sort of tapas style, and we really enjoyed that meal a lot, plus it doesn't break the bank.

            Museums here often have good eating choices.. I especially like the V&A's cafe which is beautiful besides having good choices of food. The National Gallery/Trafalgar Square area is teeming with decent chains such as Pret A Manger (good sandwiches), Eusaba Ethai (Thai), and there's the Crypt at St. Martin's in the Fields. There are free concerts there at lunchtime in the church.. one hour to rest your feet.

            1. Sedap isn't near any tourist attractions generally, though is probably about a 35-40 minute walk or 20 minute bus from British Museum and Sir John Soane Museum (which is small but very interesting former home filled to the brim with art, ancient curiosities, etc -- if you're in the area its def worth a look through).

              If you do go to Sedap ensure to order dishes recommended by klyeoh because much of what is on the menu is either bog-standard cantonese/malay and not great (i.e., I ate there and was more than unimpressed but I apparently ordered the wrong dishes). It is entirely devoid of any atmosphere, btw.

              Toronto does most Asian food (Asian to North Americans, not including Indian/Subcontinent) far better than London, esp Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese (generally), Thai, etc. so I wouldn't bother with any of those.

              Borough Market is always a great place to check out on a Friday/Sat morning. There are loads of stalls offering cheap bites; you could easily have a Fri/Sat lunch there if you're in town.

              If you're in Brixton Hill why not check out Brixton Village Market? It's an old food/drygoods market but has been gentrified by hipsters and has many food options and a really great vibe in the evening.