From scotch eggs and creamed violets to jellied eels and exceptional ales, traditional British food can be a mystery for most visitors to London. On this 3-hour London Food Tour, led by a local chef or food writer, we will cover a wide swath of the city using our stomachs to guide us. Along the way we'll meet shop owners, taste artisanal products, and learn how London has become a culinary mecca that never fails to surprise.
- London Food Tour led by food anthropologists and chefs
- Visits Fortnum & Mason, Soho, and Neal's Yard
- Small groups—max 6 people
- Includes tastings
London Food Tour
This walk is a great way to see some of the most famous neighborhoods of London from a different perspective—your belly's! In the company of a food historian, chef, or other expert in gastronomy we generally start out near Green Park and the quintessential British food oasis: Fortnum & Mason. This is a great place to begin as English gastronomic tradition abounds inside Fortnum's hallowed walls. We will pay extra attention to the artistry of the cuisine and the aesthetics of the display, while taking in the history of this institution—all while tasting some local favorites, like scotch eggs and violet creams (the Queen’s favorite!).
Cheesemongers of London
From there, we will pay visits to the nearby Paxton & Whitfield's cheese shop, the oldest in London. Here we'll delight our palates with local cheeses specifically selected for us, while one of Paxton and Whitfield’s trained cheesemongers explains the history of British cheese and the variety of regional cheeses. From here we may proceed to one of London's historic chocolate shop, inspiration for Roald Dahl's Chocolate Factory, or discover the new generation of chocolatiers and their alchemic inventions.
We will then weave up to Soho and the lovely, family-run Lina Stores deli with beautifully displayed cured meats, cheeses, and fresh pastas on Brewer Street, before heading to Old Compton Street to pass by the overwhelming Gerry's Alcohol Emporium, piled high with rare and exotic spirits, and the aromatic Algerian Coffee Store, with an astounding variety of coffees and teas.
International Cuisine in London
In the 20th century, Soho was populated by newly settled immigrants and inexpensive ethnic restaurants that catered to a diverse Bohemian population, made up of artists and musicians, as well as notorious gangsters, prostitutes, and others. While the area is now one of the most fashionable in London, you still witness remnants of its past intermingled with the diversity of small restaurants from all over the world…some of which we will visit during our walk.
Dipping down into Chinatown, we discuss London's international cuisine, while tasting freshly made dumplings or authentic Sri Lankan Pol Sambol. We may brave Leicester Square and make our way into Covent Garden, where we will discuss the area's history as a fruit and vegetable market. Alternatively, we might pop in for some gelato at Gelupo our way to the Seven Dials area of London, where we can find some hidden treasures like Monmouth Coffee, Homeslice, and Neal’s Yard Dairy, with an unexpected Bohemian-inspired courtyard.
Whether you are a serious foodie or just like to eat, this walk will help you discover the secret corners of London and the coexistence of a centuries-old culinary tradition with an incredibly international food scene. Most importantly, it will help you debunk the myth that London as a culinary wasteland.
Thirsty? Try our beer and brewery tour
, led by a food anthropologist with ample experience in the brewing industry.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a semi-private tour?
Our semi-private tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our semi-private tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The walk begins in the Piccadilly neighborhood and typically ends in Covent Garden. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and emergency phone number.
Can I participate in your small group food walks if I have food allergies?
Yes. If you have any specific allergies/intolerances please indicate these in the Travel Notes section when your booking and your docent will do his or her best to accommodate. If you are booking privately, we can customize a route that will avoid such items, something that we cannot fully do on our small group walks.
Is this walk good for kids?
Yes. Children love trying new food and they really enjoy learning about the city through food. If your kids are under 13, we strongly recommend booking the walk privately, so we can better adjust the walk to their taste and interests.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Is this a walking intensive tour?
This walk covers about 1 mile overall.