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Where to eat near Wiltons Music Hall? (London)

Hi Jenny -- St Katharine's Dock is nearby to Wiltons and whenever I've gone to a performance there I've eaten at one of the restaurants before the show. There are mostly chain restaurants but it is convenient. Maybe someone can come up with something more adventurous.

May 02, 2011
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Jai Shri Krishna - Vegetarian Indian at Turnpike Lane

Chez Liline is down the road from Jai Krishna on Stroud Green Road. Jai Sri Krishna is on Turnpike Lane

Sep 20, 2009
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

London-Italian food supplies....where?

Gazzano's, on Faringdon Road in Clerkenwell is my number one choice and worth the trip. Camisa and Lina Sores in Soho are also very good but parking may be difficult.

Oct 05, 2008
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Montrealers in Finsbury park area for a month--please help!

word has it that a Vietnamese place is opening in the spot on Stroud Green Road where Symposium used to be.

Jul 09, 2008
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Montrealers in Finsbury park area for a month--please help!

Ah spli beat me to it! Welcome to Finsbury Park -- food options within walking distance depend on which side of the tube station you live on. You’ll be spoiled for choice in any direction. Though if you are a hankering for a great cup of espresso you may finding the choices on offer a bit underwhelming. There are no chains in Finsbury Park, which is a blessing as far as I’m concerned, so you won't be able to resort to them. Others may disagree but it’s hard to find a good coffee (and bread!) in London -- though it’s not impossible as noted in the previous post, you just have to travel to get it.

Blackstock Road is the high street south/east of the station and home to many Arabic and North African shops and cafes, though the all-male cafés feel intimidating to me. There’s one ‘fancy’ café called Good for Food that offers a decent breakfast and sandwiches in a nice setting -- with a large communal table in the back and tables out in the rear garden.

You’ll find a variety pubs and restaurants (including Small and Beautiful; PizzaDelique; T-Bird bar) as you travel south on Blackstock Road, which eventually becomes Highbury Park just after the Old Arsenal football stadium. At Highbury Barn, there’s a small parade of shops around the recently refurbished Highbury Barn pub including the cheese shop La Fromagerie, Italian deli Da Mario, legendary butcher Frank Godfrey, and a well-regarded Turkish restaurant Iznik.

A new [coffee/tea] café opened recently that looks inviting. I don’t know the name but it’s at the corner of Lucerne Road just before Highbury Barn and hope to check it out soon.

Stroud Green Road is the high street north/west of the train station. The lower end, as you walk from the station, is home to many Afro-Caribbean food shops and halal butchers, as well as Pak’s cosmetic and wig empire (on special this week: 3 wigs for 10 pounds if you’re in the market for synthetic hair).

On Stroud Green Road itself you find: Petek (Turkish); Los Guadales (Colombian); Pappagone (Pizza / pasta); La Porchetta (Pizza / pasta); Hummingbird (Jamaican / Caribbean); Miso (Japanese/ Chinese / Thai); Dream River Café; Jai Kirshna (Indian vegetarian) plus many others. Taste of Italy recently changed ownership and is called something else I think. The tables outside provide a nice setting, the coffee is fine. You’ll also find the main supermarket, Tesco.

Other restaurants of note off Stroud Green Road are The Front Room on Tollington Park; Arianne’s Café on the corner of Fontill and Lennox roads -- which is quite nice on a sunny day as they have outdoor seating I front. The Faltering Fullback pub (my local) is a must to visit at least once. It’s on Perth and Ennis Roads.

At the top end of Stroud Green Road you’ll find The Dairy pub and restaurant and The Noble a fancier gastro-pub plus other small shops and a butcher

If you continue on up the road, which becomes Crouch Hill, you’ll find the lovely village-like Crouch End on the other side. Crouch end is a neighborhood that almost everyone falls in love with on first sight. Too many places to mention in this post but worth the visit.

On busy, busy Seven Sisters, just outside the station there a Lidl, the German discount supermarket next to the park and a small Tesco Express convenience store .

If you’ll be close to the north side of the park, on Green Lanes, you’ll find a small shopping centre, which contains a large Sainsbury supermarket, continuing north on Green Lanes is a main parade of shops and chock-a-block with Cypriot and Turkish restaurants, cafes and shops, including Yaser Halim my favorite fruit and veg with bakery next door and definitely worth a visit.

To the east of Finsbury Park is another village-y neighborhood Stoke Newington more laid back and bohemian or what passes for it these days than Crouch End. Church Street east of Clissold Park is where you’ll find most of the genteel action. Stoke Newington High Street is a busy through road and home to just about every ethnic group in London.

Jun 07, 2008
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Anchovies in London?

Justin --
I think I've seen what you're looking for at Lina Stores on Brewer Street in Soho. If they don't have them go round the corner to Camisa on Old Compton Street

Oct 29, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

I know different people will have different experiences but the statistics I’ve found put the average salary in London at around £30K. In New York it’s almost £50K. Without converting, if I’m paying in units of currency roughly the same in London as I did in New York, which in my opinion I do – Ouch – it’s been a struggle to adjust, but hey that’s life. You just have to be creative and go out of your way to find good deals. All I say God help the people who have to convert dollars to pounds! I'm glad I don't have to.

Getting back to food: If anyone does indeed find escarole in the coming weeks let me know!

Oct 19, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

Jfores -- Welcome to London! You knew it wasn't going to be easy :-)

I agree with you that generally the quality of food in the average supermarket here is much better than you would find in New York.

But nothing is cheap, especially take-away -- even for those of us who are paid in Sterling. I'm a big beliver in adjusting to one's circumstances so that meant, for me, a big compromise in the number of times I'm able to go out to eat per month. You just have to get used to it.

I've become a big fan of Yaser Halim grocery and bakery on Green Lanes. I mentioned them before. The closest tube is Manor House where you can walk north or catch a bus. Went this weekend and bought a load of fruit, veg and bread for under twenty pounds -- this was more than enough to last the week for two people.

Babybat -- I have yet to find escarole in the 2+ years I've lived here, even at Borough Market, though maybe I'll try Turnips (again).

Do you really think Londoners earn more than New Yorkers? That hasn't been my experience, in fact, for me it's been quite the opposite. I find the cost of living here essentially the same as New York but what makes it so expensive are the miserable salaries.

Oct 18, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

I was up on Green Lanes in Haringay this weekend -- it may have already been mentioned but there's a Turkish grocery/fruit & veg/deli called Yaser Halim with a connected bakery next door, both excellent. (Piccadilly to Manor House. The parade of shops is about a 10-15 minute walk north of the Station; or you can hop on a bus.)

Oct 04, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

Ah Couch End! Another cute neighbourhood with a great high street and village-y feel. I live down the hill and shop there often.

In addition to Dunn’s, going north, as the high street spilts at the clocktower, there’s a good butcher, Freeman’s, that sells free-range and organic meat butcher, located on Park Road to the left and on the Tottenham Lane, the road to the right, there’s a new Polish deli replacing an Italian deli whose name I forget. Lots of other shops, pubs and restaurants too and makes a nice day out.

Aug 28, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

Aside from areas with a high concentration of South Asians, London just doesn’t have the variety of neighbourhoods where one ethnicity dominates like in New York. There are ethno-centred shops scattered all over the city so you’ll have your work cut out trying to find them all – but it will be fun and a great experience.

I can make one suggestion and that is discover the joys of GREEN LANES.

It starts in Islington at Newington Green and meanders northward to the suburbs at the edge of the city. Not well served by the Tube but you can make the journey by a combination of busses. And most of the neighbourhoods have an overland train stop that originates at King’s Cross. Or you could be adventurous and bike it.

Along it you will find an array of cafes, bakeries and restaurants such as:

Turkish – in Harringay – between Finsbury Park and Turnpike Lane.

Polish – in Wood Green though I don’t recall a specific concentration in one area.

Greek – in North Wood Green, before the north circular road and further north in Palmers Green

Italian – in Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill, where I found what I think is the only decent Italian bakery in London.

Detours off of Green Lanes:

Finsbury Park: Specifically at the top of Blackstock Road where you’ll find many Arabic/North African cafes and shops

Stoke Newington: A stretch of shops, cafes, restaurants off Green Lanes and Clissold Park on Stoke Newington Church Street. Not very ‘ethnic’ but the street has a very lovely ‘village-y’ feel. At the end of Church Street, where it meets the Stoke Newington High Street you’ll also find an array of ethnic food shops. To the north is Stamford Hill, home of London’s Orthodox Jewish community. To the south is another major concentration of Turkish stores, cafes and restaurants (and south of that is Dalston, see below)

Other areas, some that have been previously mentioned:

South Asian: Whitechapel, Brick Lane in the east and Southhall near Ealing in the west.

Polish: Ealing, Hammersmith but represented almost everywhere in London now. You can pretty much find a Polish store on most high streets.

Italian: A few very good Italian delis in Clerkenwell and Soho that I mentioned in a previous post -- and some to the north as mentioned above.

Golders Green: Jewish

Latin/South American: – There are a couple of shops on Holloway Road between Holloway Rd and Highbury& Islington tubes. There’s also a Latin American restaurant on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park but don’t know much about it. London doesn’t have a huge population of South Americans like New York does, but it’s growing and I’ve noticed more shops here and there.

Dalston: The Stoke Newington High Street becomes the Dalston-Kingsland High Street as you travel south. Turkish shops continue mixing with Carribbean shops especially at the Ridley Road street market.

Shoreditch: Continuing south from Dalston, there’s a concentration of Vietnamese restaurants south of the Geffrye Museum and then just beyond you’ll enter the centre of all things considered hip in London: the Old Street/Brick Lane/Shoreditch vortex.

Hope that helps

And as far as safety is concerned -- in general I would say most people consider East London and some areas south less safe than West London and north. It's all relative but aside from late night drunks London is on average is much safer than New York in many respects. I don't think you'll have a problem..

Aug 24, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

I'm moving from NYC to London for univ...

Jfores --
BB rightly points out that London and New York both offer great food – it’s the difference in cost that’s poses a problem.

As an alternate to the big supermarkets I also suggest Lidl and Aldi -- European chains that offer products from the continent especially Germany and eastern Europe that are a cut above (in my opinion) especially the tortellini, sausages / wurst and some cheeses (plus cheap booze).

There are several good Italian markets/delis in central London Gazzano’s in Clerkenwell on Farringdon Road and Camisa’s and Lina Stores in Soho. I especially like Gazzano’s – it reminds me of some my favorite places in Brooklyn and Queens

For fish, I use Steve Hatt Fishmongers on Essex Road in Islington (Off Upper Street, not far from Angel).

You probably already know about Borough Market and you can just about find anything you need there. There are several other street markets such as Broadway Market that caters to hipsters, offering a mixtures of food and merchanise and Ridley Road market in Dalston which has many Asian, Greek, Turkish and West Indian stalls. You'll find bargains here and on Kingsland Road in Dalston in general -- though you may have to look harder for quality.

On the weekends -- there are smaller farmer's markets at Alexandra Palace in North London and another in Islington.

Italian cafs are the equivalent to Greek diners. They may not all offer the highest quality food but they're good for basics -- breakfasts/fry-ups and sandwiches. Find one that you like and it should see you through your stay here

And, if I may, no one here will be impressed that you’re from Brooklyn or that you can order in Bangla (given the number of South Asian people living in London it’s not that uncommon). Your superior ‘tude won’t win you any friends and unless you adjust it you may just find yourself cooking for one…and at 5-nights a week it could get pretty lonely.

Aug 15, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

What do you do when a favorite restaurant slaps you in the face?

If you consider Pearl Oyster Bar an 'old friend' do your friend a favor and get over yourself. You both caught each other on a bad day and leave it at that. Someone was a bit brusque with you. It happens. What exactly has been bothering you all these weeks? From what you wrote your exchange with the waiter/bartender/counterperson consisted of three words -- "No, no tables' -- how 'nasty' could his tone have been? Or was it perhaps that as a self-described semi-regular you weren't given your due? I'm sorry for being blunt but if something like this sets you off how do you survive in this city?

And to everyone else...was this such an outrage? I'm all for marching on city hall when need be but really, write letters for a minor incident that happened weeks ago? Maybe we should start a picket as well.

Jun 19, 2007
qnseats in Not About Food

London Cravings

I'm a big fan of Gazzanos on Farringdon Road -- for me it's as close to a New York Italian deli in London that I've found so far. Their selection of meats and cheeses is tops and their sausages are good but not quite right --the texture of the meat is still ground a bit too fine for my taste. I read that Harvey Nichols sells fennel sausages, where the meat is minced instead of ground to a paste, but haven't mamnaged to go there to buy some.

Feb 06, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Affordable But Good Food in London?

Granted, Wagamama may not be to your liking but I’ve always enjoyed the meals I’ve eaten there particularly the noodle dishes and the duck gyoza dumplings, which are fried and were never greasy in my experience.

And what’s on offer is generally good, especially for the price. The restaurants are modern and stylish with family-style/communal seating with long tables and benches. The service is no nonsense and I’ve had few problems other than each dish is served as it comes out of the kitchen -- meaning the first to get served often has to start before the last person is.

Plus – it’s a great ‘London’ thing to do given that they haven’t expanded into the States (yet).

I’ve been to Busaba Thai (in Soho) a couple of times but never really took a liking to it, which is funny since it’s owned by the same guy who created Wagmama and has a similar vibe. The food is decent but didn't seem worth the wait (and I have two favourites in N. London that are a hard to beat).

Jan 26, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Affordable But Good Food in London?

Hi Susie--It's not that restaurants in London charge twice as much as in the U.S. it's that pound to dollar the prices are comparable. Generally, if something costs $10 in say, New York, the same item is usually about £10 in London -- meaning at almost $2 to the pound you end up paying double.

And yes, Chinese take-out could run as much as £25 for a small family -- and unlike in the States, I've found its not really a cheap option here (and not very good either, at least I haven't found a decent place).

As Howard V says above you find that many South Asian/Indian places offer a good value, espceially in South London.

Some of the chains are very good especially Wagamama where main dishes run about £6-10 per pp.

Jan 23, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

Wholefoods Supermarket in Ken High St

Whole Foods owns Fresh n Wild stores and was wondering how the two stores will be different other than size.

Jan 22, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland

ISO Good bakery in Astoria for ciabatta/focaccia

Try GianPieros on 30th Avenue and 45th Street for ciabiatta and generally good bread (and pastries).

Rose & Joe's under the el at Ditmars usually has decent foccacia and some of the best bakery pizza ever!

Jan 18, 2007
qnseats in Outer Boroughs

olives & good bread in London, help!

If you're in Soho, as suggested above, Berwick St. market is a possibility and there are also two Italian delis nearby that have a decent selection of olives (among other items of course) and also sell some decent bread (though not baked on premises)

One is Lina Stores on Brewer Street and the other is Camisa on Old Compton Street. There's also a fancy bakery (the name escapes me) with good (but not cheap bread) a few doors down from Camisa.

My favorite shop though is Gazzano & Sons on Farringdon Rd in Clerkenwell for olives, meats, and more and its very convenient to the new Exmouth Farmer's market on Fridays and Saturdays.

Jan 02, 2007
qnseats in U.K./Ireland