An East End Food Tour in London

The day started with the best bacon sandwich I've ever had at St John Bread and Wine - an award winning restaurant known for using every part of the animal in their delicious dishes.

The day started with the best bacon sandwich I’ve ever had at St John Bread and Wine – an award winning restaurant known for using every part of the animal in their delicious dishes.

London: A foodie adventure through East London with Eating London Food Tours

They say the best way to get to know a country is through its food. Seeing how people eat and learning about the history of their food gives you a whole new insight into a country or city that you will never learn about by reading a history book.

Lots of people don’t associate the UK with good food but, as both a proud Brit and a food lover, I can assure you that we have more than our fair share! OK, I’ll admit, you may need to dig a little deeper to find a hidden gem than you would in Italy or Thailand, but they’re there, honest!

I spent the weekend discovering the best places to eat in East London with Eating London food tours and found a few new hidden gems to add to my list of favourites.

I may have lived in London for two years now but I’m nowhere near achieving the status of a local, there’s just so much to see! If you’re not familiar with London then you should know that each area has its own unique culture and history. If you travel from south London to east London, for example, it can feel like you’re in a whole different country, never mind the same city.

In some ways I love this because it means I can visit a new area of London and feel like I’m a tourist once again.

This was the first food tour I’ve ever taken and I honestly can’t think of a better way to discover a new area.

Today, East London is known as the place where the cool kids hang out and this is due to the constant change in the area. Back in Roman times, it was just outside the city walls so it attracted immigrants who weren’t welcomed into the city. This is how it became such an interesting and diverse area and this is well and truly reflected in the food.

It began with French immigrants followed by the Irish, then the Jewish and finally the Bangladeshis. It’s always been a poor area so it has also attracted striving artists and their tag-along hipsters who are attracted by the cheaper house prices.

This old house may be an old wreck but it's on a gorgeous street of pristine Georgian houses. The reason it's never been renovated is because it's frequently used for TV adverts and films!

This old house may be an old wreck but it’s on a gorgeous street of pristine Georgian houses. The reason it’s never been renovated is because it’s frequently used for TV adverts and films!

So what does all this history mean?

It means amazing food, interesting stories and super stylish restaurants, bars and cafes that are unlike anywhere else in the world.

Nicole was our brilliant guide for the day who led is through the narrow streets, describing historic tales with dramatic flare and revealing her inner foodie with every new discovery. Nicole spent months visiting restaurants and cafes in the area to find the best food, the best drinks and unique places with an interesting story.

There are so many cool places to eat in the area that the best places have a little story to tell.

Nicole also revealed snippets of history about Jack the Ripper, the old buildings that once provided food and shelter for the poor and homeless, where the local celebrities live and the treasures that lie behind the doors of seemingly normal buildings.

During the day we ate:

  • The best bacon butties I’ve ever had in my life
  • Banana Bread pudding with custard sauce with vanilla pods and rum
  • 3 samples of the best local cheeses
  • Fish and chips with mushy peas
  • Local beer and cider
  • Curry (England’s national dish)
  • Bagels with cream cheese and salmon or beef and pickles
  • Salted caramel tart

Banana bread pudding at the english restaurant

Beef Beigal at Beigel Bake Brick Lane

Curry at Aladin on Brick Lane

Beer tasting at Pride of Spitalfields

Fish and chips at Poppies in London

Androuet cheese shop London

Cheese tasting at Androuet London

salted caramel tart

Massive thanks to for such a great day out!

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27 Comments

  1. August 19, 2013 / 1:13 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! This looks like great fun and is great to prove that we do actually have pretty decent food in the UK 😉

    • August 19, 2013 / 3:07 pm

      We do indeed! our guide was saying that lots of tourists who come to London are really surprised by what we have an offer. You’ve just got to know where to find it.

  2. August 19, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    “Banana Bread pudding with custard sauce with vanilla pods and rum” – I actually think my heart stopped beating for a few seconds after reading this! x

    • August 19, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Haha, reading that again has made me want it all over again. It was so delicious!

  3. August 19, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    This looks like such a fun time and that food looks DELICIOUS. All of it. Can you have it shipped to the States, please? Thanks.

    • August 19, 2013 / 9:41 pm

      Haha, I’m sure I could but I’m not sure what kind of state it would arrive in!

    • August 23, 2013 / 1:30 pm

      Sam for me, it was great to meet you guys too! Was a great day out 🙂

  4. August 20, 2013 / 4:38 pm

    Mmm yummy!! I love that old house, how beautiful!

    Katie <3

    • August 23, 2013 / 1:31 pm

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it. I love finding hidden places like that in London.

  5. August 20, 2013 / 9:15 pm

    Hey Monica,

    Such a nice review and lovely pictures 🙂 We went for the same tour last month and absolutely loved it. Nicole was brilliant. What was your favourite dish? I loved the salted caramel tart the best (I know it’s difficult and unfair to pick one) and Savi’s favourite was the Banana Bread Pudding 🙂

    Cheers

    Vid

    • August 23, 2013 / 1:32 pm

      Ooo it’s so hard to pick a favourite. The salted caramel and the banana bread were delish but I think the bacon sandwich has to be my favourite. I don’t understand why my bacon sarnies aren’t that delicious!

  6. August 21, 2013 / 7:35 am

    We had great food when we were in London years ago. Everything looks delicious!

    • August 23, 2013 / 1:33 pm

      The food in the UK is amazing and there’s such a huge variety!

  7. August 22, 2013 / 2:40 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic way to get to know this part of London. I agree that the food in the UK can be pretty darned incredible and it’s great that visitors can get to sample the best of the best with experiences like this one.

    • August 23, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      Definitely. It’s so tough as a tourist to find good places to eat. I quite often find that you end up following an outdated guidebook and never find those hidden gems!

  8. August 26, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    Drool! Looks and sounds amazing!

    You are right, us Brits get a bit of stick for our food but there is so many tasty treats we do well. Cheese for one, not sure how I am going to cope with out a regular dose of strong cheddar on my travels 😉

    • August 26, 2013 / 7:50 pm

      Where are you going travelling Rob? While I was in Asia I missed cheese so much! Actually I missed all dairy products; cheese and milk and yoghurt especially.

  9. August 27, 2013 / 2:19 pm

    I liked your post but still not sure if I will consider the UK as a food attraction! I’ve been to London and loved it but when it comes to london all I can think about is the fish & chips 🙂

    The photos are great and btw looks delicious 🙂

    • August 28, 2013 / 10:26 am

      No, I don’t think it’s a food attraction either but we do have some great food! That’s why this tour is so great, it shows tourists that there’s much more to eat than just fish and chips.

  10. August 29, 2013 / 1:13 pm

    I went on this on Monday and was really impressed, they definitely knew where the coolest places were! I love all your photos by the way!

    • August 29, 2013 / 1:29 pm

      Thanks Becky. It’s great to hear you had a good time too. I now want to try food tours all over the world!

  11. October 4, 2013 / 11:45 am

    This article is useful for my next trip to WTM in London! I like East London, what it used to be a rough and rundown area in the 80s, has turned into a lovely area with a relaxed atmosphere, fancy cafès and interesting places to discover. Thanks for sharing!

  12. November 15, 2014 / 7:41 pm

    Everyone seems to rave about these tours – I have found several write-ups about them in the last few months as I’ve started traveling to London for work on semi-regular basis – and I feel better about trying one out on my next trip 2 weeks from now. They are pretty pricey but seem worth it – I just hope I get to carve out the 4 hours that I’ll need!

    • November 16, 2014 / 10:00 pm

      It’s definitely worth squeezing it in if you get chance. It’s such a fun way to learn more about the area.

  13. Hoang Tran
    July 14, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    The old house you’re standing in front looks really rugged. Do you know where is it?

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