While London may be more famous for dishes of the rib-sticking variety, its food scene has evolved to include a variety of influences—from Australian to Indian—that offer less caloric options. These are the healthiest eats in what has become a destination for foodies.
There’s more to London’s food scene than the beloved Sunday roast—especially when it comes to options for the health-conscious. If you are taking an active trip to England’s cultural center, you’ll be able to fuel up in London without filling up so much that an afternoon of activities is out of the question. The options are endless, but these are the five we are digging (and digging into!) right now.
Brown’s Hotel’s English Tea Room
The “afternoon tea” experience can be, well, caloric: it's often a multi-tiered presentation of savories and sweets that just keep coming. But, it doesn’t have to be. The Brown’s Hotel’s English Tea Room—in collaboration with the notable health coach Madeleine Shaw—presents Tea-tox, a “cleaner” version of the custom. The health-centric menu includes a choice of teas as well as vegetable-focused savories, like feta cheese, mint, and tomato on gluten-free bread, and fruit-focused sweets, like a raw apricot and lemon bar. The “afternoon tea” experience is a must—and one that is, now, guilt-free.
London is a destination that has, for centuries, embraced other cultures and their cuisines. And so, Comptoir Libanais presents the tastes of the Middle East to their customers: shareable mezzes like baba ghanouj, Lebanese hummus, and muhammara (red pepper and walnut spread) that are followed by salads and tagines. “It’s food that’s affordable and easy to know—healthy, light, and you can enjoy it every day of the week,” says owner Tony Kitous. This “Lebanese canteen” boasts several locations in the city, from Shepard’s Bush to Liverpool Street.
There’s buzz around this boîte, which debuted in 2016. Situated in Notting Hill, Farmacy caters to the health-conscious with better versions of common cheat meals. For example, the “Farmacy burger” is a black-bean, millet, and mushroom patty on a whole-meal bun with avocado, garlic aioli, goji ketchup, pickles, and tomatoes. There are also plant-based sundaes as well as “potions” (ok, juices) that promise to address wellness-related concerns. Order a Farmacuetical Syringe Shot, a collection of five choices that includes: “Beautify” (with aloe vera, goji berries, shizandra berries, and silica) and “Melt Away” (with cucumber, garcinia, ginkgo, gotu kola, milk thistle, and turmeric).
Granger & Co.
This Australian restaurant is “sunny, easygoing, and generous”— the owner, Bill Granger’s, idea of the Australian spirit. The Granger & Co. menu is extensive and does, indeed, have an “avocado toast” on the menu. It also features the “fresh Aussie” (jasmine tea–smoked salmon and poached eggs with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and greens) and an assortment of delicious—and nutritious—salads, including one with courgette (or, zucchini) fritters plus buckwheat, halloumi cheese, quinoa, shredded kale, and Zhou (an Asian dish where rice is boiled down with water). These eats can be experienced at one of Granger & Co.’s London locations in Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross, or Notting Hill.
This chain of affordable sushi restaurants, established in 2003, is the choice for fast food that isn’t, well, “fast food.” Wasabi customers are invited to create their own boxes from individual pieces of sushi—which include basics like California rolls to more adventurous combos like spicy salmon gunkan. Other items that are available for purchase at Wasabi: hot dishes (including bento boxes and soups) and salads. There are about 50 Wasabi locations around London, so you're sure to find one wherever your plans take you for the day.
London’s clean food scene is more delicious—and more eclectic—than it’s ever been. And it’s become as clear as aloe-infused water: London is a destination to be experienced with your eyes and with your mouth at these stomach-satisfying eateries.
Planning a trip to London? Check out our activity recommendations and packing tips in parts one and two of this series.
Related Links (from the Eagle Creek blog):
7 Ways to Stay Healthy When Traveling
How to Eat Better on the Road
Bleisure Travel: Work and Play on the Same Trip