Great Bites in Great Britain

There's more to London than just crumpets and tea.

After going up three pant sizes since graduating high school, I have come to the sad realization that I have become somewhat of a glutton since starting college. During my freshman and sophomore years, I found true happiness by eating my way through Marshall Street and downtown Syracuse. This past summer, in New York City, I ate my way through Little Italy and Chinatown on a weekly basis, and even journeyed on weekend ventures to find the best cupcakes and macaroons in the city (and for those of you who are interested, Two Little Red Hens has the best cupcakes, especially their red velvet, and Bisous Ciao has the best macaroons, especially the Blood Orange.)

Since coming to London, I have felt the constant urge to eat my way through this city, as well. There is one problem, however (and no, I am not referring to how I am putting myself at risk of becoming a 200-pound sumo-woman.) Due to the London exchange rate, eating out on a daily basis just frankly couldn't fit into my budget. Over the past few weeks, however, passing by mouthwatering store fronts and smelling incredible scents through every street I pass, I have made a compromise to eat out every so often at reasonably priced restaurants. I have been lucky enough to find several places that are truly delicious, and priced extremely well. Below I have mentioned four of my favorites.

Cinnamon Tree: For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that despite the fact that I’m Sicilian, my favorite cuisine is Indian. Whenever I'm home, my Dad spoils me by taking me on regular father/daughter dates to various Indian restaurants in the metro-D.C. area. In London, the largest minority group is Indian, so I knew that I had to try out at least one Indian restaurant while I'm here. My friends and I ended up finding a hidden gem right around the corner of our flat that serves all of my favorites: naan, chicken tikka masala, yellow curries, buttered chicken, you name it. The best part was that it tasted just as delicious as every place I have gone to in D.C. After paying only 10 pounds, I left the restaurant feeling like one happy woman.

Hummus Bros: For those of you who know me will also know that when I’m asked what my favorite food is, I answer “hummus,” without giving it a second thought. London has created the most amazing restaurant chain that offers various types of hummus and mix-ins. On my first day here, I found this restaurant only a few feet away from the Farraday house, and it is honestly my greatest indulgence. I get hummus with chicken and guacamole and a side of pita for only six pounds, and it never disappoints.

Wasabi: My favorite restaurant on Marshall (next to Chipotle, obviously) is Bleu Monkey. I have proudly tried every type of sushi on their menu, despite the fact that most people think this is something I shouldn’t be bragging about. This past week, I had the most intense cravings for my favorite Bleu Monkey item, teriyaki salmon rolls, so one day, after I stepped off the Holborn tube station and saw a sushi place right across the street, I sprinted into the store. Literally. Wasabi offers a selection of variety boxes, each starting at only seven pounds, all of which include most of my favorite types of rolls!

Wafflemeister: After an entire day of exploring the science and natural history museums in South Kensington this Sunday, my friends and I got so hungry to a point that we were about to resort to cannibalism and eat each other. Just kidding. But we found a “Wafflemeister” on our way back home, and we had to stop in because it smelled too ridiculously good. For only four pounds, I had a warm waffle covered in whipped cream and drizzled in milk chocolate, and it truly was the best dessert item that I’ve had since this summer in the Big Apple.

It’s important to learn how to balance, especially when you’re abroad: balance your eating; balance your budget, etc. But at the same time, there is no shame in indulging every so often — just make sure it’s within reason.

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