How To Eat Around Europe Without Ever Leaving London

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Eat around Europe

To eat around Europe is to travel from Mount Goulash to Tapas Central, and Secret London has your food trip all worked out.

With over forty countries and an impressive range of cultural cuisines, who wouldn’t want to take a food tour around Europe? Quite frankly, sampling every delicacy from the fromage of France to the gyros of Greece sounds quite wonderful. If only you could taste them all… Well, fortunately for us, London has a whole host of continental eateries that mean you can eat around Europe with without ever having to leave the capital! So without further ado, here are the top places to experience fantastic European food in London…

Spain – Camino

Eat around Europe
Photo: @caminolondon

Self-acclaimed as ‘The Home of Spanish Tapas in London,’ you’re definitely in for a treat at this stylish and delicious chain of London Spanish tapas restaurants. Camino invites you to feast on an array of meats, cheeses, seafood and pastries and we recommend the paleta iberica black label, which is said to be one of the finest hams on earth. Camino also boasts an impressive cocktail menu and any Ginthusiasts will soon be won over by their list of premium G&Ts. Trust us, it’s muy bien! 

Camino has multiple locations across the capital, find your closest one here.

Sweden – Garlic & Shots

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Photo: @jrmanawa

The name tells you all you need to know about this utterly bonkers place. Everything on the menu – and we do mean everything – has garlic in it. Apparently, you can always ask for extra garlic, but you can never order anything with less of the stuff, and that includes the garlic beer. There are also 101 shots at the bar to work your way through, but don’t try and do it in one night. It may not be the best spot for a date (particularly if you’re aiming for a goodnight kiss), but on the plus side, you won’t need to worry about vampires bothering you!

14 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4RD. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.

Hungary – Pasta ‘n’ Goulash

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Having read this far, you’re probably feeling pretty Hungary by now. Oh come on, don’t tell us you didn’t see that joke coming! Anyway, our old favourites Pasta ‘n’ Goulash are back at Cambridge Heath, serving up meaty, cheesy, hearty goodness. The range of proper Hungarian foods is breathtakingly good, but you can’t overlook the traditional goulash, served in a bread bowl for the ultimate winter comfort food.

299 Railway Arches, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9HA. Nearest station is Cambridge Heath.

Italy – Radio Alice

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Photo: @radioalicepizzeria

Reviewed by Annabel Usher

Choosing one restaurant to represent Italy is like trying to choose your favourite child, so we don’t list this one lightly. Named after a pirate radio station broadcast in Bologna in the 1970s, Radio Alice has two cracking pizzerias in Hoxton and Clapham. Think prosciutto, gorgonzola, orange-infused oils and an entire restaurant filled with wonderfully fresh and innovative flavours. Crispy yet fluffy dough meets rich tomato sauce and authentic yet original toppings to create slices of pure heaven.

The Hoxton branch is at 16 Hoxton Square, N1 6NT, and the nearest station is Old Street. Their Clapham joint is at 67 Venn Street, Clapham, SW4 0BD, and the nearest station is Clapham Common. 

Iceland – Texture

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If your mum shopped here, you would never have left home, because this place does some cracking food with strong Icelandic influences. Head chef Agnar Sverrisson cut his teeth working for names like Raymond Blanc and Marcus Wareing, and his solo venture boasts a Michelin star. With dishes such as the lightly salted Icelandic cod, or the sika deer saddle, it isn’t hard to see why.

34 Portman St, Marylebone, W1H 7BY. Nearest station is Marble Arch.

Germany – German Gymnasium

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Reviewed by Annabel Usher

Don’t panic, you won’t be doing cartwheels to earn your dinner here! Offering a 4 course menu for £45 (and a wine pairing for £20 which of course you’re going to do), German Gymnasium is a long-running sophisticated restaurant in Kings Cross. The stunning building was once England’s first purpose-built gymnasium but is now an up-market eatery specialising in German cuisine. The restaurant itself breaths grandeur and the food is wunderbar, so get yourself there schnell!

King’s Boulevard, Kings Cross, N1C 4BU. Nearest station is King Cross St Pancras.

Austria – Kipferl

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Photo: @onedietcoke

Reviewed by Annabel Usher

With locations in Islington and Ladbroke Grove, these charming Austrian coffee houses and kitchens are favourites among locals. We suggest you indulge in a Wiener schnitzel served with buttery potatoes and follow it up with kaiserschmarren, a traditional dessert of pancakes with raisin and apple compote. If this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry – with an extensive menu and an entire section dedicated to ‘soups and sausages’ you’re sure to find something to fill you up!

Multiple locations, find your nearest one here.

Portugal – Taberna do Mercado

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Photo: @lefooding

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Nando’s anymore… Chef Nuno Mendes is aiming to change the way we think about Portuguese food and show that it’s about more than peri-peri and custard tarts (although they do serve custard tarts here). The showstopper dish is a whole roasted suckling pig that is supposed to be out of this world, so if you can’t muster a trip to Lisbon, this should be your next choice.

Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial Street, E1 6BG. Nearest station is Liverpool Street.

Denmark – Aquavit

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The London branch of the New York mainstay offer a range of Scandinavia cuisine, but the Danish elements definitely stand out. Smorrebrod is plentiful here, and if you’ve got some loose change lying around, the venison loin with celeriac and kale sounds like a winner. You musn’t leave without getting a taste of aquavit, which Aquavit – unsurprisingly – offers a lot of.

St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 4QQ. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.

The Netherlands – De Hems

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Once used as the unofficial headquarters of the Dutch WW2 resistance movement, De Hems now enjoys a quieter life as London’s only authentic Dutch pub, serving up some Dutch-inspired grub and continental beers. Since you don’t need to contemplate how to win your country back from the Nazis, you can relax with a beer and some bitterballen, and plan your next trip to Amsterdam.

11 Macclesfield Street, W1D 5BW. Nearest station Leicester Square.

France – Bleeding Heart Bistro

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Reviewed by Annabel Usher

This wonderful authentic French restaurant is nestled just off a busy Farringdon street, and it comes equipped with a bistro and tavern too. The buzzy bistro itself exudes classic French charm which creates the dreamiest ambiance (the French accent is mandatory). The rather delightful wine list offers over 450 bottles, and the delectable braised rabbit, petit pois à la Française and mustard jus is just the ticket to eat around Europe! Are you feeling fancy yet?

3 Bleeding Heart Yard, EC1N 8SJ. Nearest station is Farringdon.

Ireland – Green Pea

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Photo: @robharmonuk

Out in Greenwich sits a simple, unassuming little eatery known as Green Pea, owned and run by local legend Tom O’Connor. An unfathomably good cook and fantastically exuberant Irishman, Tom specialises in honest food which looks simple, but was still delicious enough to land Green Pea next to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in a recent Trip Advisor list. The steak and Guinness pie is divine, and the relaxed, familial atmosphere and low prices make this a worthy stop on your quest to eat around Europe.

92 Trafalgar Rd, Greenwich, SE10 9UW. Nearest station is Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich.

Belgium – Belgo

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Photo: @belgorestaurants

Moules, frites, and bieres is the motto of Belgo, and whilst they do all three of them pretty well, its the lattermost that provides the main draw. For a main, you can’t go wrong with the chicken smothered in Belgo beer gravy and a side of frites, or the Liege meatballs. Dessert HAS to be a Belgian waffle, and the whole meal can be washed down with one of their innumerable Belgian beers.

They have several locations around London, check the website for your nearest branch.

Finland – The Harcourt

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Photo: @certifiednosh

Only badasses go to Finland in November, so we’ve picked out a place in Marylebone for those who aren’t as stout of heart. The Harcourt is housed in a stunning Georgian townhouse, with a menu that’s just as impressive. You’ll wind up Finnishing anything you order, unless you have moral objections to eating the Nordic reindeer with smashed swede, wild mushrooms, and lingonberry. Hmm, with Christmas just around the corner, maybe ’tis not the season to be eating Rudolph – even if he does sound delicious…

32 Harcourt Street, Marylebone, W1H 4HX. Nearest station is Edgware Road.

Poland – Ognisko

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Photo: @ogniskorestaurant

Authenticity is the beginning and end of the story for Ognisko, who bring some truly great Polish food to Knightsbridge. First things first, they have pierogis, and they’re bloody delicious to boot. And when it comes to the main course, there are almost too many options to choose from. Lamb with smoked aubergine and garlic yoghurt? Rabbit leg braised in cider? Or the golonka (honey mustard ham hock with apple and kohlrabi)? Aw hell, just get them all and then figure the diet out later!

55 Prince’s Gate, Exhibition Road, Knightsbridge, SW7 2PG. Nearest station is South Kensington.

Greece – OPSO

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Photo: @fabcooking

Reviewed by Annabel Usher

This lovely restaurant towers over the rest in the contest for London’s best Greek food! The warm lights and classic wooden tables set a sparkling mood, so why not take it to the next level with a traditional Greek cocktail… Ouzos all round?! Order yourself a divine lamb shank giouvetsi (slow cooked for fifteen hours) or the pastitsio with pulled beef and bechamel sauce. OPSO also offer a fantastic weekend brunch menu served until 5pm… because apparently the word ‘brunch’ has lost all meaning in London!

10 Paddington St, Marylebone, London W1U 5QL. Nearest station is Baker Street.

Switzerland – St Moritz

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Photo: @marcellaina

Reviewed by Annabel Usher

Did anyone say fondue? Warm, crusty bread, wild mushrooms, cubes of prime beef, all dipped lovingly into bubbling gruyere and emmental cheese… Did you read that in the voice of the lady from the M&S Christmas adverts? Because that’s totally what we were going for! Of course there are other delicious dishes on the menu, but we all know you’re here for the cheese porn!

161 Wardour Street, W1F 8WJ. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.

Malta – Pretty F*cking Good Toast

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Photo: @pfgtoast

Toast has never had it this good. Maltese chef David Darmanin has been popping up all over East London to delight people with his gourmet toast, and recently he branched out into serving Maltese Sunday roasts. Until December 17th, they’re hosting a weekend brunch residency at Stour Space next to Olympic Park, so get out there if you want to try the scintillating sourdough creations for yourself.

Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram feeds to see where they’ll be heading next.


Also published on Medium.

Tags: eating, europe
Food & Drink