Monday, 15 September 2014

Finding your local cuisine in London

Our latest guest blogger, Steph Hutchinson, shares her tips on finding your local cuisine in London as an expat…

Whilst one of the joys of living in a new country is getting to experience the local food, every now and again it can be very comforting to indulge in a meal that reminds you of home. For expats like me living in London, tracking down somewhere that serves home cuisine is not a particularly challenging task, especially once you know where to look (it’s probably easier than finding a restaurant serving bangers and mash). To help those of you with homesick stomachs, I’ve created a guide to some of many international cuisine hotspots I’ve come across since living in London:

Brixton is particularly known for its Afro-Caribbean food, including the low-key but delicious Eritrean Asmara (famous for its traditional coffee), popular jerk-chicken takeaway Refill and legendary Caribbean restaurant Negril. However, in recent years it has become a haven for all cuisines, with the very popular no-reservations Neapolitan restaurant Franco Manca, Osakan Okan and the cheap and authentic Thai KaoSarn. Wander round Brixton Village and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
 Image source: Flickr/ itsbruce

Brick Lane:
Famous for its Indian restaurants, the difficulty with Brick Lane is often deciding which one to go to! Do some research beforehand or have a wander and see which takes your fancy – however, don’t be pressurised by the people outside the restaurants trying to tempt you in! Also keep an eye out for Beigel Bake which does some of the best bagels in London and, a few minutes’ walk from Brick Lane in Whitechapel, the much-loved Tayyabs (be prepared for a bit of a wait). Finally, as a Canadian, I have to recommend poutine purveyor The Poutinerie for all Canucks missing home – their stall is currently located in Brick Lane Food Market! 

Image source: Flickr/ James Cridland
There are few cuisines you can’t find in higgledy-piggledy streets of Soho: goulash galore at the Hungarian restaurant The Gay Hussar, Lebanese street food at Yalla Yalla, udon noodles at Japanese Koya and Italian restaurants left, right and centre. The stalls at Berwick Street Market serve a world of street food and you’ll also find an overflow of Chinese restaurants from nearby Chinatown. However, as an expat I have developed a taste for British cuisine and perhaps my favourite restaurant in London is 10 Greek Street for classic British fare done right.

Image source: Wikimedia/Spolloman
These are just a smattering of the many restaurants, cafes and street food stalls serving international food in London. 

About the author:
Steph Hutchinson has lived in London for nearly three years but is originally from Toronto, Canada. She misses her family, friends and the outdoor lifestyle and pursuits back home, but certainly doesn’t miss the winter weather.  London is a hotspot of activity and Steph never fails to find something fun to do – day or night, Monday or Saturday.  Often found eating her way through Brixton Village, it’s hard to imagine returning to the great north anytime soon (except for visits of course!).

Are you an expat living in London? Let us know your favourite places in London serving your home cuisine by tweeting us @expatexplorer 

The content of this post is the opinion of the guest blogger and not of HSBC. We cannot check and verify any information contained in the blog post, nor accept any responsibility for it.

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