2 Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
It can be surprisingly hard to find a healthy breakfast or lunch to-go in London, which is why places like 26 Grains are a godsend. The concept is pretty simple—choose a grain (of which there are 26, duh), a few spices, and a couple of toppings and you are good to go. Plus, you sit for a meal at their communal table, which is a lovely experience, complete with beautiful, handmade ceramic dishes. At breakfast, you'll find porridge and bircher muesli and at lunch, it's more like quinoa, rice, and the like. Don't miss the turmeric almond milk latte.
Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough
Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia
The tea sommelier at The Lanesborough is there to guide you through your experience and selection of teas, many of which have been purchased at auctions. Traditional tea, served with all the beloved trimmings including freshly baked scones, thick clotted cream, and homemade preserves, is taken in the hotel's opulent Céleste restaurant or The Withdrawing Room.
Albion at the Boundary Project
2-4 Boundary St., Shoreditch
This is yet another Terence Conran establishment, where you'll find enticingly-presented ingredients that are both basic and hard-to-come-by. You won't get all your shopping done here, but if you're looking to indulge in a little something special—a fair-trade coffee, a perfectly fudgy brownie, or a focaccia to include with dinner, stop here. There's a café where you can enjoy your buys, or takeaway for a picnic.
55 Dalston Ln, Dalston
One of our favorite coffee spots in East London for the killer cold brew, natural light that pours through the windows, and brick-lined interiors. This is a spot to hunker down with your laptop or book for the morning with an almond milk latte and housemade croissant. There's definitely a laidback vibe here, which can be attributed to the backstory: Founder–New Zealand-native Michael Allpress–was so inspired by the 1980's coffee scene in Seattle, he started the first coffee cart in his home country, which led him open a roastery in his garage and ultimately several cafés and roasting locations across the globe.
55 Dalston Ln., Dalston
One of our favorite coffee spots in East London for the killer cold brew, natural light, and brick-lined interiors. This is a spot to hunker down with your laptop or book for the morning with an almond milk latte and house-made croissant. There's definitely a laid-back vibe here, which can be attributed to the backstory: Founder and New Zealand native Michael Allpress was so inspired by the 1980s coffee scene in Seattle that he started the first coffee cart in his home country, which led him to open a roastery in his garage and, ultimately, several cafés and roasteries around the world
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
88 Old Brompton Rd., Kensington
Aux Merveilleux de Fred specializes in delicious concoctions of delightfully light, soft cream and crystallized meringue. These cakes come in six different flavors—all amazing—but the Merveilleux and the Incroyable are probably our favorites. The brioche is also noteworthy.
8 Southwark St., Southwark
Borough Market is London’s oldest market and offers a dizzying expanse of food options, most of them organic and fresh from the farm. For kids, weaving through the stalls (the baked goods and sweets offering is particularly on point) and taking in the sites and smells is a total blast. Since it's a covered space, it makes for a great rainy day excursion.
59 Old Brompton Rd., Kensington
Locals come here for chicken shawarma with garlic paste and cabbage and a bit of lemon squeezed over the chili sauce. They wrap it in a special way so it’s basically like an ice cream—you unwrap the paper slowly and work your way down to the bottom. Word to the wise: It can get a bit messy when you get to the bottom (make sure to have plenty of napkins on hand).
Brahms & Liszt
10 Chatsworth Road, Clapton
Nothing pairs better with tacos than mezcal, and for the best selection in London, look no further than Brahms & Liszt. Owner Melanie Symonds has amassed a collection of bottles for the most discerning tastes after years traveling through Mexico—where she found a mezcal maestro to work with and produce her own distinctive variety, Quiquiriqui—so she's a veritable fountain of knowledge on the subject. While it's worth going in just to browse, a tasting session here takes the experience to a whole new level.
110 Holland Park Ave., Notting Hill
C. Lidgate is a family-run business in its 5th generation, meaning they've been around for about 150 years. Their meats are sourced from local farms, and father/son pair David and Danny Ludgate travel across the English countryside to source it. As a result, their homemade sausages and meat pies (made with exclusively organic and grass-fed meat) are award-winning.
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