Nicole will personally buy you a pizza if you’re still hungry, and she means it 😉 There is NO way you’re going to be hungry after The East End Eating London Food Tour!
The East End Eating London Food Tour covers a four-hour gastronomy tour through the East End neighbourhood, including “food breaks”with entertaining history lessons and unique street art discoveries .
We stopped by 8 places in total. Plus, a 9th unplanned stop at Dark Sugars Cocoa House after catching a powerful whiff of chocolate. Because let’s be honest, who can resist that?
Experience East End London with Eating London Food Tour
We started at Old Spitalfields Market with a brief introduction about East End’s prospering food scene and gastronomic heritage by our lovely guide, Nicole.
Stop #1 – St John Bread and Wine
Our first stop was St John Bread and Wine, which was just across the road from the market, to try their legendary award-winning Bacon Sandwich voted as “London’s Best Bacon Sandwich”. I didn’t really enjoy it. The bread was too thick and the bacon itself was too salty; the homemade sauce with apples was delicious though. The venue itself was ridden with smoke and I felt desperate to leave.
Stop #2 – The English Restaurant
We moved on to a 17th century traditional English restaurant called “The English Restaurant”.
The English Restaurant, part of East End heritage, is a gorgeous family-owned restaurant with an interior just as charming as its exterior.
We enjoyed a classic British Bread and Butter Pudding served with delicious creamy custard after hearing an entertaining story about how this delightful pudding was first created.
East End History Break
After that sweet treat, we toured the area discovering more of the neighbourhood’s history including the famous Gun Street and East End’s old soup kitchen, as well as some pretty informative facts including the story behind the frequently-encountered bricked up windows (a tactic to avoid taxes).
STOP #3 – THE HOUSE OF ANDROUET
We then paid a visit to one of London’s top cheese establishments, The House of Androuet, founded by master cheese mongers, Leo and Alex Guarneri. The Italian brothers brought their expert knowledge (and passion) from the original Androuet founded in 1909 by Mr. Androuet in Paris, France.
Our group sampled delicious sharp Somerset cheddar, matured for 14 months, as well as blue cheese, which I stayed well away from! I only would have added wine to enhance the experience.
Stop #4 – Poppies Fish & Chips
Our next stop was the renowned Poppies Fish & Chips. The venue recreates the scene and ambiance of a 1940s seaside town, complete with gorgeous over-sized headband bows for the ladies!
The fish and chips to-go at Poppies are wrapped in a newspaper just like the old days, but these newspapers are marked with edible ink! Tradition with a twist 😉
Fish and chips are a MUST when visiting UK, and these are highly recommended, including the mushy peas!
Another Food BREAK
On our East End walking tour, we encountered some actors in front of the old Talbot House.
We also learned about the different symbols on the metal plaques of the cobbled pavement; for example, some symbols stood for certain trades in the region.
Stop #5 – Pride of Spitalfields
The local pub we visited next, Pride of Spitalfields, is a “free house” which means it’s owned independently (i.e. not a chain pub) and serves some of the best English beer and cider. I still believe cider tastes like fizzy apple juice; with a hint of alcohol. It’s good.
The Pride of Spitalfields pub was a fun atmosphere and we got to meet Lenny the pub cat who was happily perched in front of the warm fireplace (until he met me).
Street Art in East End London
We wandered around Shoreditch exploring some of its awesome colourful street art and graffiti. Street art ranges from political and environmental art to freehand painting and sculptural art, and more! There’s even a Shoreditch Street Art Tour if interested.
Stop #6 – Aladin
Brick Lane is famous for curry. Curry also happens to be Britain’s number 1 dish, and it’s not even British!
Situated in the busy curry street is Aladin, an award-winning Indian restaurant particularly renowned for its spicy curries. I found the rice to be strangely colourful with specks of green, pink, and orange. The curries were delicious, and I’m not a huge fan of spice. Here’s where the diverse individual palates are revealed. We all had different opinions and preferred one dish over the other depending on amount of spice.
Stop #7 – Dark Sugars (Unplanned)
As I mentioned earlier, Dark Sugars couldn’t be avoided. We were walking to our next stop until some of us were seduced by a strong whiff of chocolate from one of the shops along the street. Dark Sugars was packed! Well, naturally if this is what they’re offering:
You’ll try some free samples before you very willingly splurge.
Stop #8 – Beigel Bake
This was my favourite stop of the East End Eating London Food Tour: Beigel Bake. The Salt Beef Bagel (i.e. the best beef bagel in the world) also made it to Time Out London’s “100 Best Dishes in London” and that’s a spot well deserved! It was so good that I came back the next day before making my way through Brick Lane’s busy Sunday market.
A fresh soft bagel encasing a generous portion of salt beef, a dollop of hot English mustard, and a sweet gherkin; the combination is simple, yet MIND BLOWING! This place is open 24/7, therefore making it the perfect spot for a tasty bite to eat after a long night of partying in East End London.
Stop #9 – Pizza East
Our final stop was a beautiful restaurant, Pizza East in Shoreditch. Strangely enough, we weren’t here for their pizza, but their award-winning Salted Caramel Tart and a cuppa tea. The tea was a gift from the heavens and a great digestion aid after all that food! Many of us found the tart too sweet; perhaps due to the super thick caramel layer. I very much prefer the best chocolate tart in Lebanon.
I had a blast! Our group was promised a wide range of English cuisine and the Eating London Food Tour definitely fulfilled that promise. (and no one wanted pizza)
We had 3 out of the 100 best dishes in London according to Timeout: (1) Beef Bagel from Beigel Bake, (2) Salted Caramel Tart from Pizza East, and (3) Fish and Chips from Poppies!
Please do yourself a favour and get a salt beef bagel from Beigel Bake next time you’re in the neighbourhood. If you’re not, plan a trip to East End.
Our experience was not “touristy”. On the contrary, it was very different from typical tours. Eating London Food Tour was undeniably an enjoyable culinary adventure through the historic East End of London rarely discovered by tourists. From the diverse culture and cuisine to the distinctive architecture, history, and street art, this district in London has a lot to offer!
If you decide to go on this Eating London Food Tour, use “NICOLE” for a 10% discount when purchasing your ticket online!
The Eating London Food Tour is priced at £69 and I’d recommend it to any food lovers visiting London (and residents too!). These gastronomic tours aren’t just offered in London! Eating Europe Tours also offers culinary tours in Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, and Rome. Their diverse food tours are recommended by the New York Times, Lonely Planet, The Huffington Post, and more.
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I was a guest on this Eating London Food Tour, and as always, all opinions are my own.