TNT London Food guide: Spring 2013 edition

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London weather this year lived up to its bad reputation and it seems that springtime decided to start only now, giving us a brief glimpse in April. Is this important? In the city where people’s heads are hacked off on the street, not to speak about the greater global tragedies (tornadoes! falling bridges! massacres! poverty!), maybe not. But for the lucky few, whose wider anxieties (job security! loneliness! family! rent!)  allow for such trifling problems as weather to have a bit of concern, I bring a little guide to food places that I found especially note-worthy in my last 8 months living in London and which would make you feel a bit better (because food always does that, right?). After all, my wise father always tells me that the best way of making one’s life better is by making one’s day better, and these places will hopefully do just that.

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Notting Hill:

Electric Cinema donut shop (Portobello road; http://www.electricdonuts.com/) – best donuts in London, with old-style irregularity and tastiness. The menu changes often so you’re always up for a treat.

Ottolenghi (http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/) the original deli/brunch shop of the chef extraordinaire that is Ottolenghi is on Ledbury road, which on weekends is the place for people watching. I suggest grabbing a large salad box (butternut squash salad is amazing), a pastry (he was a pastry chef first!) and sitting outside to enjoy the weather.

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Marylebone

Blandford cafe (Chiltern Street) – best cappucino and super charismatic service, great to while away your time in the Paddington grads while reading your latest purchase from Daunt books.

Monocle cafe (Chiltern Street) – overpriced (3 pounds for coffee!), but good this outlet conforms to Tyler Brulee’s aesthetic, and has great cinnamon and cardamom buns.  May be wise to get your issue of Monocle there as you get a free coffee with it.

Patty and Bun (James street) – a tad overhyped (why would anybody in their sane mind wait for an hour for a burger?) but great joint, whose USP are good brioches and sauces. I do still miss Tommi’s burgers whose meat was much better, but this is a worthy replacement.

Ginger Pig (Moxon street) – If P&B is not good enough to spoil your beach body, then GP will do the trick whith their amazing roast sandwiches which at 5 pounds give you all the calories you need to run a marathon…and feel good as they are organic and local.

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Soho and Holborn 

Gelupo (Archer street) – best ice cream in London (Oddono’s is second), however there will be tourists queuing to get their scoop of ricotta flavoured goodness.

Princi (Wardour street) – Well priced food and amazing cakes. The atmosphere is always buzzing which goes well with an aperol spritz to cool you down.

Lantana (Charlotte street) – Great aussie breakfast place, albeit with the signature hipster hype and attitude. Plenty to love (cakes, eggs and the buzz), but be there super early as there is a large queue.

Thai Dream (New North street) – tucked away this is a great inexpensive thai place that will bring the flavours, but not burn your mouth (like, say, the Heron), or you wallet.

Life Godess (Store street) – Greek deli/restaurant which is always full of Greeks and has good food. Salads are not what they should be (suffering from the Northern European deficit of good tomatoes), but pitas are amazing and they do the instant coffee frappes which would make all the snotty baristas roll their eyes in disgust. And that is a good thing.

Wild and wood (Holborn) – small coffee place with great coffee for takeaway. The cakes also look tempting.

Meat Market (Covent garden) – Above the market, this burger joint has all the good sides of Meat liquor (burgers and booze) and none of the disadvantages (queue). Dead hippy for the win, and I would avoid the Philly cheese-steak.

Frevd’s (Shaftesbury avenue) – Same atmosphere like in Jericho minus the church. Great cocktails, and cool crowd, although it does get crowded.

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Other

Aglio e Olio (Fulham road) – Cheap Italian eatery with great seafood pasta, minus the snobbery and a local feel.

La Creperie de Hampstead (Hampstead, duh) – great place to power up for a trek around  the heath. Again, it is popular (expect to wait for 15 mins min on weekends) but the crepes are worth it (real chocolate!), although they are on the greasy side. I also marvel at their technological improvements in packaging.

Three Kings Pub (Farringdon) – my favourite hangout – quirky decor, great music and a rhino on the wall. What more can you want?

Baker and Spice (Belgravia, Maida Vale, Chelsea, Selfridges) – Although it is too expensive for what it is, the Avocado salad is amazing and pastries (especially apricot danish and chocolate and vanilla danish) are to die for.

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