I will be in London for 3/4 days and need some feedback on my itinerary:
Sunday late lunch - burgers. Options include Shake Shack, Honest Burger, Byron and Meat Liquor. Favourites?
We'll be having a late dinner at Balthazar on the Sunday night. Any recommendations on what to order?
Monday morning breakfast at The Wolseley - what's best to order here in people's opinions?
Monday evening - pub/gastropub in Covent Garden area. Considering Angel & Crown, any other suggestions?
Tuesday evening - thinking about Bodean's BBQ, would welcome any feedback/alternatives. Looking for something casual for this night.
Wednesday - pre-theatre lunch - last time we went to Dehesa for a long lunch and really enjoyed it. Thinking about going there again but would appreciate any other suggestions. Budget is around £100 for two people for this lunch.
Last time we were in London we went to Hawksmoor Seven Dials, The Wolseley, Le Gavroche, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Dehesa. Our budget is considerably lower this time - other than the dinner at Balthazar and the Wednesday lunch, I'd like to keep the bill less than £100 including drinks (glass or two of wine each).
Of the burger places you've mentioned only been to Meat Liquor and Byron. Didn't like Meat Liquor odd texture on the burger and even odder service. I've always had a good burger at every Byron I've been to.
For Wolseley bfast I don't think it's worth having the full English as you can get that anywhere. i would suggest Kedgeree, Omelette Arnold Bennett or Haggis and Duck eggs.
The people behind Polpo have opened a gastro pub Ape and Bird on Shaftesbury Avenue. Not been but the menu looks good.
I'm sure you can do better than Bodeans for BBQ. I'm sure offers will chip in with suggestions.
If you liked Dehesa then how about it's sister restaurant Salt Yard? It's been great every time I've been. They have another restaurant, Opera Tavern ,which is in Covent Garden and so closer to most of the theatres (not sure which theatre your going to?) but not been myself.
For the Wednesday lunch I would suggest Green Man and French Horn or Terroirs. You'll eat well for<£100 and they have interesting wines by the glass
I've been to Balthazar several times (can't take the NY out of this 'girl') and everything I've eaten has been very good. My meals were lunches so I'm not too familiar with the dinner menu other than it appears to be very pricey, even for London.
Don't bother with Shake Shack for burgers. I'd aim for Patty and Bun or even Byron's, although the latter is not spectacular but it's quite edible. Meat Liquor is just too noisy for me.
Kopapa for a pre-theatre lunch is nice.. their soft-shell crab burger is delicious.
I happen to like Shake Shack a lot.
Byron is a chain and not worth going to, really.
The new Meat Liquor outpost in Shoreditch is supposed to be the best one yet. I prefer Meat Liquor to all others in London. Its juicy, fatty, messy and delicious, and the sides are great too.
Honest Burger has no balls. It's all artisinal bullshit but with a fair product, not too different from Gourmet Burger Company, but with lineups and COOL.
I like the Shake Shack fries, but I found the hamburger pretty tasteless and not to my liking. It's like art... we all like different things. :-) Is the Meat Liquor in Shoreditch as noisy as the one near Selfridge's? I rarely get to that part of London so probably won't be heading there any time soon.
I don't know where you live in the U.S. (assuming that is where you do live), but my guess is you can get better BBQ there than you can get in London. It is hard to see the point of going to Bodean's.
The burger I've enjoyed the most is probably the one at Goodman's (Mayfair Branch) -- great beefy flavour. Patty and Bun is also very good. Never really liked Meat Liquor -- somewhat over cooked burgers, more smoke than beef, the cheese a slight step up from MacDonalds.
definitely not worth bothering with bodeans. i wouldn't bother with bbq generally in london. it's not that you can't get a good one but it's just not bbq territory. i'm still pushing la chapelle (galvin) for their prix fixe menu. it's a great space with lovely food and fantastic service.
In the theatre district many restaurants offer a pre-theatre meal that is quite discounted. Banquette in the Savoy hotel comes to mind. You also might want to consider some cheaper meals that are London or Brit centered such as fish and chips (try Geales in Notting Hill Gate if you want to sit down) or Sweetings by the Monument if you want more of a lunchtime bar atmosphere. Another possibility is pie and mash and I would suggest Manzi on Tower Bridge Road. Good fish and shellfish are pretty darn cheap in Britain (I mean nowhere in the country is more than 70 miles from the sea) and in London. If you get some traditional Brit food it will be good and cheap and then you can use the money saved to splurge on places like La Gavroche
Covent Garden isn't the best for pubs. Ape & Bird is pretty good but I would recommend Great Queen Street over it - really good food and nice cosy atmosphere. They lack any kind of website but I think a few people have written it up on here. Same owners as Anchor and Hope which gets a bit more attention for some reason.
Balthazar is ok but I would personally seek out something a bit more interesting unless you particularly want french bistro food. Have you thought about adding in some chinese/indian/south american perhaps?
Dehesa is really good and the owner has just opened up Ember Yard in Soho which is getting good reviews. If you wanted to try something a little different I rate Bocca di Lupo and Barrafina very highly (both in Soho)
The Harp is a great pub nearby with many guest and hard to find ales and lagers.
Also near Covent Garden on William IV Street there are a few nice pubs.
Also, Lowlander for loads of Belgian beers. Great selection and v near CG.
Covent Gardens pubs aren't as bad as they're cracked up to be.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Ember Yard looks good, as does Patty&Bun.
No American style BBQ at all where I live, hence Bodeans - also liked the look of Pitt Cue but queues put me off as I won't be able to get there for opening time.
Plenty of good Chinese and Indian at home but interested in any South American suggestions?
Another couple that have cropped up over the past few days are Polpo and Berners Tavern - any thoughts on those for my Wednesday lunch?