Good bakeries and inexpensive eats in London?
I will be in London later this month and was trying to look up good bakeries in London, I found a few but they seemed to be way out far from anything else.I am particularly interested in bakeries around big tourist areas (Tower of London, British Museum,etc).
Also,what are some good inexpensive eats in London? Are there many street vendors or food trucks?
Day 1 we will be going to Churchill War rooms,National Gallery and Tate Britain so around those areas would be nice.
Day 2: The Tower of London. We were looking at going to Borough Market or the London Bridge farmers market,are either of those good?
Day 3: British Museum and British library,any suggestions are appreciated.
Day 4:Natural History Museum and Science musuem.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!!
The food halls at the major department stores are good places to find baked goods, sandwiches, salads and other relatively inexpensive snacks. There are a few department stores on Oxford Street that would be within a 15 minute walk of the British Museum, and you'll see Marks & Spencer Simply Food shops throughout the city.
Some of the packaged sandwiches and salads from Marks & Spencer Food Halls and Simply Food shops have been better than cheaper sandwiches and salads I've ordered at various restaurants in London. Some of the packaged sandwich shops, such as EAT, also have decent cheap sandwiches.
Two bakery chains I like, with many locations throughout London, are Paul and Patisserie Valerie. Patisserie Valerie also offers breakfasts that tend to be half the price of hotel breakfasts.
Here are some economical restaurants I dined at last time I was in London.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918810 Fratelli La Bufula on Villiers Street is a chain, but the food is good, and it's within a 15 minute walk of Tate Britain and the National Gallery.
Check out this recent bakery thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/970885
Sometimes, it's best to venture beyond the restaurants closest to a Museum. One disappointing meal in London was at a restaurant close to the British Museum, and I realized later that we had been less than a 15 minute walk away from another restaurant in Covent Garden Market frequently recommended on this Board (Moti Mahal motimahal-uk.com ), which would have been cheaper and better than what we got closer to the British Museum.
I'd also search the place names for the various museums and sites, to see what other Chowhounds have recommended. There are lots of threads on the Borough Market, Spitalfields, etc. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901074
I found the Borough Market overwhelming, and ended up eating at a nearby restaurant instead.
Here's a recent tenner a head thread:
For bakeries I really like Gails. There's one in South Kensington which is handy for Natural History and Science Museum and one off Tottenham Court road which is handy for the British Museum.
For cheap eats near the British Library, there's Kerb near Kings Cross station which has street food (can recommend Rib Man or Tongue and Cheek) also there's Ravi Kebab near Euston Station or North Sea for good fish and chips.
For the near the National Gallery I'd suggest Salt and Pepper a Pakistani place that does lunch specials for a tenner or Cafe TPT a Chinese place ( the beef flank hot pot is excellent)
Definitely Gail's as mentioned above. Another good option is Benugo's, a small chain of cafés which have branches in many of the museums, including the V&A (next door to the Science Museum), museum of Childhood, British Museum and others, and also have outlets at Waterloo and St Pancras Stations. They have good sandwiches, coffee and cakes.
Borough Market can indeed be overwhelming. Going early though, means you get the atmosphere and also can pick up some goodies. My current favourite of the bakery stalls is Bread Ahead. Then stroll along the river to Tower bridge and over to the Tower. It's a lovely walk.
I've been meaning to try this place, but haven't managed yet: the tea room at the London Review of Books cake shop is supposedly very good. It's near the British Museum.
There's a chain throughout London that might fill your soup/salad/sandwich needs call Pret a Manger. There are refrigerated cases holding pre-made salads and sandwiches but those items are made repeatedly throughout the day from a kitchen on premises rather than well in advance from a corporate kitchen "somewhere." Hot food items can be warmed for you just before you sit down to eat.
The food won't make culinary history, but it is well-priced, fresh, and offers lots of variety.
You'll probably enjoy the charm of a pub more or the uniqueness of many of the other recommendations more. However, the many Pret a Manger branches will offer a reliable and inexpensive option when you don't know any near-by alternatives.
Fernandez and Wells has a cafe on Exhibition Road (close to the Natural History Museum). They have a nice selection of interesting sandwiches and baked goods.