London is a city infamous for many things, ridiculously high real estate prices, eccentric high street fashion, and its somewhat bleak food. The food scene is evolving and while bangers and mash and Cornish pastries are still bountiful, international flavours, such as Thai and Indian have become quickly become entrenched in the country's cuisine. However, London's reputation as an expensive place to live definitely extends to its dining scene where a forgettable mid range meal for two could easily run you £100.
While I have yet to be convinced that the food scene here rivals that of NYC, I am determined to seek out all of its hidden gems. Here's what I've found so far:
Brixton Market - For me this is the next best thing to Brooklyn, because it has the same spirit. This is a neighbourhood, that is evolving, where people believe in the community, in entrepreneurship, in community and delicious food. It was maybe the first place in London, where I was really excited to eat AND it didn't break the bank.
In the ambling Brixton arcades, you will see fishmongers, butchers, and product stands alongside gourmet pizza shops, artisan coffee shops, and authentic restaurants from Thai, to Columbia, to Pakistani, to Japanese street food.
The restaurants are tiny, but incredibly charming. Mismatching tables and chairs line the arcade lanes, where passersby can ogle the food on their plates.
Honest Burger http://www.honestburgers.co.uk;
KaoSarn - FYI, you need reservations here, this place gets packed 020 7095 8922;
Franco Manca (http://francomanca.co.uk) and Agile Rabbit - are great pizza options at either end of the pizza crust spectrum (doughy crust vs thin crust);
The Brick Box (http://thebrickbox.co.uk) - my idea of a prefect light breakfast. Strong coffee, warm bread, and a retro toaster on your table to boot. Just enough food and fuel to help be barter with the fishmongers and butchers. Check out more: http://brixtonmarket.net/info/brixton-village/