In spite of Great Britain’s recent departure from the European Union, London as the melting pot of races, religions, cultures, lifestyles and foods is expected to remain one of the continent’s top tourist draws. Unlike what other people think, London is not as expensive as how it is portrayed in the media. As long as you have an idea of where to stay, how to go around and where to eat ahead of time, the city can be a haven for the usually budget-conscious backpacker.
Your backpacking adventure to one of the busiest cities in the world would not be complete without trying some of its famous and affordable gastro treats. Below are some of the backpacker must try’s while in London.
Bao of Central London
Located along Lexington in Central London’s SOHO community, this Asian fusion restaurant used to operate along the streets of the business district until its popularity amongst locals and travelers prompted owners to open a casual service restaurant.
The name was derived from the Taiwanese “gua bao”, which means white and fluffy buns. One must not underestimate Bao’s signature slider dishes though. These soft Asian breads are stuffed with some of the most well-loved Asian favorites like braised pork with peanut powder. Other of Bao’s famous sliders include chicken marinated in soymilk, wrapped with burger baps with kimchi and Sichuan mayonnaise.
For as low as $5, you can have a serving of these deli buns to get you through lunch or dinner.
Up north, you can head down to Franks Canteen in Highbury Park. The best time to go is during breakfast and lunch when you can try their kedgeree, a spiced rice served with smoked haddock and poached egg.
In East London, Chick ‘n’ Sours is making a name for being a party place for locals and travelers. The best time to go is during the weekends after sunset. Their famous Southern style, buttermilk-marinated fried chicken is easy on the pocket, you can even order one cocktail drink to complete your night’s fill.
If you are in the mood for affordable yet filling street food, you can head on to the South at the Brockley market. With more or less $10, you can either have Luardo’s meat burritos, Spit and Roast’s fried chicken or Van Dough’s authentic Italian pizza. Most travelers are advised to visit right before closing time at two in the afternoon to get a good bargain on full meals.
Your London experience would not be complete without engaging in the country’s favorite pastime – tea drinking. While there are probably hundreds of tea rooms in London, you would want to try a lazy afternoon at the Highness Café and Tea Room while sipping a hot tea and a dessert for your side.
Located in Highbury Park, you have the option of having your tea at the cozy and quiet mezzanine level of the café, or you can head downstairs to experience the amiable buzz of Englishmen drinking their favorite tea. An herb-infused tea and a slice of a traditional carrot cake would only cost a little over $6.