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Carry out/Deli choices in London


Preparing for a trip to London in September. I've been through all the posts I can find and now have a nice list of places go to but since we're renting an apartment with kitchen, one area that's been lacking is any suggestions for places to get good carryout? I'm sure some nights we'll just want to collapse for the evening. We will be based in the Sloane Square area, but don't feel confined to that.

Also, what's a good place to get a pizza that represents London? I always like to try the "indigenous" pizza wherever I travel. (Sweden is the most unusual winner so far.)

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  1. Oliveto on Elizabeth Street is not far at all from Sloane Square. They serve a pretty good pizza.

    For takeout, I would certainly stop in a Tesco Fresh & Easy shop and see if there is anything on offer that appeals to you.

    By the way, I am not sure there is an "indigenous" style of London pizza.

    5 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      Also note there are several Whole Foods Markets in London. In central London, there is one in Kensington and one near Piccadilly. They will certainly have prepared foods available.


      1. re: DavidT

        Maybe I should have said not trying to be an "authentic" Italian pizza. :)

        1. re: zebcook

          Jamie Oliver came out with a "flat bread" which he christened the british pizza - he had a chain of restaurants (Union Jack's) around the theme - they didn't last long...! (maybe one left). I also saw Jason Atherton does british flat breads in his new Hong Kong place (we didn't like it). Does he do similar ones in any of his London "Social's"...?

          The best pizza that represents the UK though is probably "Tandoori Chicken Pizza" - generally found in the worst chain pizza places so keep your eyes open.

          For carryout the tradition is a take-away curry from your local curry house (one on every high street). But Sloan Square is pretty upmarket so it maybe tricky to find (Haandi isn't far in Knightsbridge).

          The other option is the ready made made meals from a supermarket, on the Kings Road you will find a big Waitrose which is an up-market UK supermarket - their ready meals are very good, Marks & Spencer Food Halls are also good, both do a whole variety of heat and serve foods covering lots of cuisines. Waitrose is also probably your closest supermarket for basics etc. They do a good range of reliable British artisan foods as well, sausages, cheese etc.

          1. re: PhilD

            One very good option for take-away food is The Grocer on Kings Rd. (or their location in Notting Hill, the Elgin Grocer). They actually have very good pizza as well, though it is of the pre-made sitting out all day variety. Quite far down Kings Rd from Sloane Sq, maybe 12 minute walk?

            Partridges is the devil materialized into shop form.

            Al Dar v. good shwarma sandwiches, one of best in London (in my limited to Ranoush/Maroush opinion).

        2. re: DavidT

          Tesco doesn't call any of their shops "fresh and easy" in the UK. It was their US attempt before they sold them.
          We have Tesco and Tesco Metro, their smaller city offerings. Some of these are now not bad at all, re-branded with a market type feel. On the whole though Marks and Spencer do far better prepared and takeaway food when on the move.
          Good pizza in London includes Homeslice homeslicepizza.co.uk and pizzapilgrims.co.uk/ but in general the UK less refined choices would be Tandoori Chicken, kebab or Peking duck pizza!

        3. I'll second PhilD's suggestion of the supermarket carryout meals. It's one part of living in England that I really enjoy on occasion. I think Marks & Spencer's are among the best and the variety is immense. I even like their 'American' BBQ ribs and they have lower calorie options plus Italian, Chinese etc. I'd skip the Indian and try to get a good carryout as mentioned.

          Whole Foods has lots of good choices, too, and their breads are very nice.

          1. Al Dar is a good and not expensive Lebanese restaurant on Kings Road near Sloane Square. I'm pretty sure they do take-aways. There is also Partridges which will do food to take away. And there is a really fantastic open-air market on Duke of York's Square every Saturday - lots of delicious food from England and all over the world.

            1. Oh well for Pizza you can stroll over to Jak's which has brilliant pizzas. You are also very close to Good Life Eaterie which do carry out. But really you should just get things delivered to you - a good option is Deliveroo who deliver upscale restaurant food to you and both these places I mentioned are on their list.

              1. Also -- Poilane on Cadogan Gardens just near Sloane Square is a lovely place for a tartine, either breakfast or lunch.

                1. Thank you everyone for suggestions. I thought I should at least give a quick trip report.

                  Due to an unexpected lodging change and fact that we were visiting for a wedding, we didn't have the chance to try as much as I hoped. In fact, most of the time we were grabbing what we could as we rushed for trains (the wedding was out of the city) or just collapsed in heaps. That said, we did enjoy a few notable things.

                  La Cusine du Bar -- Just a little from Sloane Square, this quickly became our favorite breakfast stop before starting the day. Most of the time we stuck to coffee and croissant (with a pot of lemon curd!), but a shared spinach and nutmeg pate on rye tartine was a wise choice. Overall it was not too expensive, fresh, and convenient.

                  Atlantico (Pestana Hotel) -- Mostly chosen because we were exhausted the first night and it was close to where we were staying. The "tapas" table and main plates were a good value, though the tapas were more a selection olives, marinated vegetables, spreads and meats. The lamb was a bit more cooked than I prefer but was still flavorful and tender and the serving was generous. My wife, who normally does not care for fish, found the roast cod(?) quite good.

                  We were fortunate the weather was lovely so one day was cheeses, crackers and carryout salads from Harrods for an impromptu picnic in Green Park. This I would do again, weather permitting.

                  Kappacasein cart at the Borough Market: After dragging my wife around sightseeing she was desperate for something filling, while I wanted quick. We opted for grilled cheese sandwiches from these folks. Thick seed bread, a mixture of cheeses and sauteed leeks and onions, griddled nicely on both sides and served wrapped in paper, piping hot. It was cheap food that hit the spot. Followed with a couple of pints from nearby, we were good to keep going.

                  Greenwich Market was our stop while out for the tall ships. It was a great choice of cheap ethnic eats. I wound up with tikka massala plus a side and rice, while my wife got her chile craving satisfied from the Thai stand there.

                  Al Dar -- Thank you for suggesting this. We stopped for a early bite en route to other things. The falafel (my test of a good Middle Eastern place) was crispy outside, moist inside, light and very grease free and the hummus was likewise good. We were both impressed. The only down was the pitas were rather stale. I would like to come back and try a proper meal there.

                  My pizza hunt wasn't quite as planned, just never seemed to be at the right place as the right time for it. We did go to Elistano and had a nice salad of fig, argula, and parmesan, along with a simple pizza. We also ordered melon and proscuitto which came out at the same time as the pizza. We asked if they would hold it till a third course, but they insisted on remaking it fresh when we were ready. We left quite happy.

                  Butlers Wharf Chophouse wasn't a cheap eats, but they were doing a Blackout Dinner as part of the Thames Festival. It was a treacle-glazed smoked trout starter and beef Wellington main. Overall it wasn't exotic or trendy but was solidly prepared and well-cooked. The trout had very good flavor. The Wellington was a nice rare cut without turning the pastry into a sodden mass. The vegetables were simple and cooked to just the right firmness. Plus the view of the Thames with full moon was impossible not to enjoy.