In this article, I’ll share with you the most popular international cuisines in London and my top restaurants for each of these cuisines in London!
London is one of the best cities for trying international food – you can try almost all the international cuisines that exist worldwide without leaving London. London is a huge city and incredibly multicultural, with each culture trying to bring their comfort food with them to the capital and share it with the others. Consequently, London has many small and very authentic places, preparing food how they used to prepare it back home! I’ve tried Eritrean, Brazilian and Persian food for the first time in London and absolutely loved it! I brought my friends to try Georgian, Russian and Mexican food for the first time and was so happy that I was able to show them these fantastic cuisines and let them try some of my favourite dishes.
Of course, living in one of the best-connected cities in the world, Londoners also love to travel all around the world and try international food in the countries of their origin. However, during the pandemic, when many international borders got closed, travel was out of option. Londoners couldn’t’ travel as much as they wanted to and, well, started becoming even more adventurous in their eating habits and started eating out more, visiting international restaurants even more frequently when they opened after the lockdown.
This post's overview:
- 1 Are all international cuisines equally popular in London after the pandemic?
- 2 Top 5 most popular international cuisines in London
- 3 The best international restaurants in London by cuisine
- 4 Summary of the top 5 international cuisines in London and the best restaurants for each of these cuisines
- 5 Here are some articles that you might find helpful:
Are all international cuisines equally popular in London after the pandemic?
However, despite the number of different International cuisines you can try in London, a lot of people prefer to stick to the cuisines they love and visit various restaurants of these cuisines. So the question is, what are London’s most popular international cuisines? Which food is more popular, Japanese, Italian or maybe American, or perhaps it’s Korean, Spanish or Chinese?
The tastecard team came up with a fascinating infographic about interest in international cuisines in London and how the pandemic affected the interest in different cuisines! They analysed Google searches for different cuisines in London between 2019 and 2022 and came up with a few exciting conclusions.
Top 5 most popular international cuisines in London
First of all, Indian restaurants are the most searched for in London, and the interest in Indian restaurants in London has doubled in 2022!
Around a quarter of all people are looking for Chinese restaurants in London – also super popular international cuisine in the capital. However, only 30% more people were looking for Chinese food in London in 2022 compared to 2019.
In third place is Italian food. In 2022 it received 204% more searches compared to 2019! However, the volume is almost twice lower compared to Chinese restaurants in London.
Just slightly behind, with over 25k searches, there is Japanese food! Despite being 4th most popular cuisine in London, it is actually number one when it comes to organic search growth! Interest in Japanese food compared to 2019 has more than doubled – 222% more people looked for Japanese restaurants in London this year.
Finally, in the last place, there are French restaurants in London. Despite being last in this top 5 international cuisines in London, it’s still an amazing result compared to all other cuisines that didn’t make it to the top 5. Over 50% more people are searching for French restaurants in London this year than last year!
Now that you know which cuisines are the most popular in London based on Google searches let’s chat about the best restaurants in London from each of these cuisines, from the best Indian restaurants to the best French restaurants! You can find some of these restaurants on Tastecard, which will save you a lot of money and give you substantial restaurant discounts! Read more about the tips on how to save money in London in this post >>>
The best international restaurants in London by cuisine
The best Indian restaurants in London
Since London has a substantial Indian community, you can find many different Indian restaurants in London, from some very posh ones, awarded Michelin stars to small authentic local spots. If you’re looking for something fancy, I recommend visiting the famous Gymkhana with one Michelin star (booking in advance is essential).
If you’re up for something very popular and loved among Londoners and don’t mind standing in the queue for an hour or so, head to Dishoom.
Another amazing Indian restaurant I would recommend is Kriket; however, I must warn you that it’s very, very spicy.
I also really liked the food and the atmosphere in the Farsi cafe near Piccadilly circus.
Finally, if you’re interested in one of the most popular and down-to-earth Indian restaurants in London, that would be the famous Aladdin on Brick Lane.
The best Chinese restaurants in London
The Chinese community in London is also quite sizeable, although, of course, it’s not as large as the Indian community. However, there are many excellent Chinese restaurants in London, and not all are located in China Town.
Looking for something very fancy? Try A. Wong which has two amazing Michelin stars! Tasting menus there are incredibly expensive, but if you have a special occasion or just want to try spectacular Chinese food, then why not?
Try Four Seasons or Imperial China if you want to go somewhere not so fancy but equally good.
If you want to try Hot Pot, then Happy Lamb is the best option! Another of my favourite places is Pleasant Lady in Spitalfields – you can try a Chinese crepe there.
One of my favourite places to eat Dim Sum is Dragon Castle in Elephant & Castle.
Finally, if you’re looking for exceptional and cheap noodles and don’t care about how the place looks, try Lanzhou near Leicester Square tube station – the hand-pulled noodle soups are fantastic there.
The best Italian restaurants in London
There are many amazing Italian restaurants in London, specialising in different things.
Fancy something with a Michelin star? Then head to Locanda Locatelli!
Would you love to try an amazing restaurant for a date? Gloria it is!
Not sure where to find great pasta? Al Dente is an excellent option. Some people also love Padella, but for us, it was a hit-and-miss (I loved it, but Jose didn’t).
Do you love pizza? We do, too! Our favourite pizza places are La Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, La Antica, Pizza Pilgrims, Homeslice and Franco Manca!
The best Japanese restaurants in London
Umu London has one Michelin star and is a perfect place to go to for a special occasion. However, there are so many unique and not-so-pricy Japanese restaurants in London. Sushi Atelier in Fitzrovia has amazing fish, and Kampai in Highgate is a great option if you’re looking for something in North London.
If you’re on a budget, then Dozo and EatTokyo would be the best Japanese restaurants to try in London.
The best French restaurants in London
Le Gavroche will be a go-to option if you’re interested in visiting a fabulous French restaurant with 2 Michelin stars.
However, if you’re looking for something less fancy, try Blanchette Shoreditch!
If you’re interested in stunning surroundings and very moderate prices, then Brasserie Zedel is the place to go!
Summary of the top 5 international cuisines in London and the best restaurants for each of these cuisines
I hope you found this article about Londoners’ favourite restaurants interesting and perhaps you were even surprised by the most popular international cuisines in London. When I saw the infographics for the first time, I was certainly surprised, as I expected Italian restaurants to be the most searched for by Londoners. I hope my top of the best international restaurants in London by cuisine also gave you ideas on what to visit next and which restaurants to add to your list.
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