Sometimes it’s good to stick to your strengths. Since the dawn of hipster culture, specialist shops, cafés and restaurants have been popping up around London. These are the best kind of one trick ponies out there – the kind that have perfected the pony way of life. They may only have one trick, but it’s a triple-somersault. Here are five London food spots that are worth venturing out to, to experience the best _________ the city has to offer.
The best ice cream sandwich – Blu-top Ice Cream
A quick glimpse at the Blu-top instagram will tell you more than words ever could: delicious and decadent ice-cream and cookie sandwiches hand-made before your eyes, and they’re as good as they look.The guys at blu-top take their little blue van to three food markets each week; setting up shop at Kerb market on Thursdays, West India Quay on Fridays and Druid Street on Saturdays – but keep an eye on the ‘gram for updates and unique locations.
Where: Thursdays at Kerb Market, King’s Cross, King’s Blvd, London N1C 4AA
Fridays at Kerb West India Quay
Saturdays at Druid Street Market, 126 Druid St, Bermondsey, London SE1 2HH
Nearest Tube: King’s Cross/ West India Quay/ London Bridge
The best burrito – Wahaca Mexican Street Kitchen, Southbank/Canary Wharf
Burritos, as simple as they may initially seem, are an art to get right. How flavoursome are the sauces? How tender is the meat? We can all whack some rice and beans into a wrap, but it’s the little touches that make the difference. Spicing the meat, adding a little bit of lime juice; at MSK, this goes a long way. Wahaca is one of London’s most popular Mexican restaurant chains for good reason; and here they’ve set up a stall to serve their produce at street-food prices.
When: Mon-Sun 12pm-10am
Where: Southbank, SE1
Nearest Tube: Waterloo
The best chicken wings – Randy’s Wing Bar, Hackney
As far as Buffalo wings go, the UK still has some catching up to do on its freedom-loving pals across the Atlantic. Enter Rob and Andy from Randy’s Wing Bar, the first foreign wing-meisters to be invited to the National Buffalo Wing Festival in, you guessed it, Buffalo, NY. They didn’t win, but they went the distance, which, as we’ve all learned from Rocky 1, is just as good. One trip out to Hackney Wick and you’ll know exactly why. Their staple wing is the spicy and rich buffalo sauce drizzled in truffled blue cheese, a classic, perfected.
Where: Randy’s Wing Bar, 28 East Bay Lane, The Press Centre, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E15 2GW
Nearest public transport: Hackney Wick
The best steamed buns – Yum Bun
A first Yum Bun is an experience of unparallelled joy. How could one go all of their years on this earth without knowing this texture, this fluffy, delightful bun wrapping your choice of fillings, including slow-roasted pork belly, Japanese fried chicken and portobello mushrooms with a miso glaze. A permanent fixture at the fantastic Street Feast markets, they are best enjoyed with a lively crowd, good tunes and a delicious craft beer.
Where: Dinerama, 19 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3EJ
When: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Free before 7pm, £3 after
Nearest public transport: Shoreditch High Street
The best grilled cheese – The Cheese Truck
The grilled cheese sandwich, when done right, is greasy, soft and warm; comfort food at its best. No one in London is doing it better than The Cheese Truck, offering a range of British cheeses and home-baked bread, toasted to golden, gooey perfection. They’re gluttonous, sure, but everyone needs a cheat day every now and then. Since launching in 2013, The Cheese Truck has catered an event for Alexander McQueen. Imagine Kate Middleton elegantly chowing down on a greasy sanger and free yourself of all guilt. Find them on Saturdays and Sundays at Maltby Street Market, which is coincidentally right around the corner from where Blu-top posts up on Saturdays. Try ‘em both in the same day at your own peril.
Where: Maltby Street Market, Ropewalk, London SE1 3PA
Nearest Tube: London Bridge