Eating the world…in London

The idea is simple. I got the list of countries from Wikipedia, and I’m trying to visit a restaurant for each country…in London. The idea is not to find the “best country”, nor are the restaurants in here the best representative for each country. I have a strong East London bias so keep that in mind.

21 out of 200+ countries “visited” so far

Finally, this is a multi-year project, so please bear with me.

  1. China: Can’t recall the name, but my to go place in the corner of Newport Court. The Mao inspired decoration sets the difference.
  2. India: You can’t go right in Bricklane…but you also can’t go too wrong. In any case it is a London must to be harassed by the restaurant owners as you cross the street.
  3. United States: I’m long due a visit to a proper “American”, but still I want’t to say that McDonald’s is way underrated. Particularly by “my kind” of left-wing intelligensia. I’m long due an essay on how amazing McDonald’s is. 
  4. Indonesia
  5. Pakistan: Tayabbs, basically London’s worst kept secret. I have lost count the amount of times that someone tried to tell me about this amazing place near Whitechappel. Once, it even happened to me. I was in a Starbucks in central London when some french tourists asked for some restaurant recommendations, when I said Tayabbs they started laughing while showing me in their notebook that I wasn’t the first person with the same “secret tip”. To visit Tayabbs, buy your beers from a local supermarket, actually buy a couple more because even with a reservation you will experience a long and animated queue. Once there it doesn’t really matter what you order…given that you don’t forget to try the lamb chops.
  6. Brazil: Not sure about the location…but I do recall a dinner party in a Rodizio.
  7. Nigeria
  8. Bangladesh
  9. Russia: Sawmill in Stratford/West Ham park. One of the first gentrified places in the West Ham park area that refuses to be gentrified. Russian restaurant/hipster cafe with a wide selection cakes and deserts. Is a solid choice to spend your day with your laptop (I’m actually doing it right now!).
  10. Japan: A common fixture for a “a little thing above average” on my weekday lunch is Japanese Canteen.
  11. Mexico: Wahaca is not worth it, I need to find a better place for this list.
  12. Philippines:
  13. Ethiopia:
  14. Vietnam: My first meal in London was Vietnamese. My first street in London (Kingsland Road) still is the Vietnamese cluster in London. I still have too many restaurants to try, for the time being the first love continues the best. Que Viet.
  15. Egypt: I would like to have something better here. But I do go to Borough Market for lunch and the Egyptian stall has received some (disappointing for the most part) visits.
  16. Germany
  17. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  18. Iran: Ariana in Mile end. Easy to miss stuck by the dark park entrance. A mix of Persian & Afghani dishes worth the visit. Indulge in some Shisha if that’s your thing.
  19. Turkey: Somine is my favourite restaurant in London. Cheap and open 24 hours a day with a great view to the street. I love it because it reminds me simultaneously of Hopper’s Nighthawks and  in a way Orwell’s essay about the perfect pub. Try any of the daily stews and the lentil soup.
  20. Thailand: One would imagine that working close to Covent Garden would be a good thing for the lunchtime. But for the year or so that I worked in the area it was very disappointing. Siam Eatery was one of the few bright spots that I managed to find. 
  21. France
  22. United Kingdom:To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day,” said the writer William Somerset Maugham. That’s no longer the case, but it still is a safe choice with british cuisine. The (toasted) sausage&egg sandwich has been one of the highlight points of my british education. You can get it (most likely done by a polish or asian cook) in almost every corner, but a classical and worth a visit is Regency Cafe in Westminster. 
  23. Italy: Shoot me, but I do think that pizza is the most overrated dish ever. Still, if you are in Stoke Newington you can have a good (and cheap) smell of Naples at L’Antica Pizzaria da Michele.
  24. Tanzania
  25. South Africa
  26. Myanmar
  27. South Korea
  28. Kenya
  29. Colombia
  30. Spain: With some family based in Spain, my needs for Spanish food are usually met with a quick trip to Madrid. However, Galicia in Ladbroke grove does a good job of translating the ambience of a local Spanish restaurant to London. For some reason I have heard tons of good things about the (similar) Centro Gallego but haven’t tried yet. 
  31. Argentina: A good Argentinian is a simple restaurant – good grilled meat. But a good Argentinian is hard (and expensive) to find. Buen Ayre in the middle of Broadway market was a great experience (booking required).
  32. Ukraine
  33. Algeria
  34. Sudan
  35. Poland: Londek in Stratford is one of my weekly spots each time that I lived in the area. Good for a cheap meal, something fancier, or just somewhere to land with your laptop with some coffee and cake. Alcohol is not sold in the restaurant/cafe, but you can buy it from the same name delicatesse next door. 
  36. Uganda
  37. Iraq
  38. Canada
  39. Morocco: When I moved to Stratford for the first time the availability of restaurants was very…very limited. Das Marrakech was one of the exceptions, with a good and interesting garden (that we were not always allowed to visit). 
  40. Saudi Arabia
  41. Uzbekistan
  42. Malaysia
  43. Peru
  44. Venezuela
  45. Afghanistan: Afghan Kitchen in Angel became one of my first regular places back when I moved in 2010. Getting table usually requires a reservation, some wait and sharing communal tables. However, this tiny place is one of my favourite yummy meals in London.
  46. Ghana
  47. Nepal
  48. Angola
  49. Yemen
  50. Mozambique
  51. Madagascar
  52. North Korea
  53. Australia
  54. Ivory Coast
  55. Taiwan
  56. Cameroon
  57. Niger
  58. Sri Lanka
  59. Romania
  60. Burkina Faso
  61. Malawi
  62. Mali
  63. Chile
  64. Syria
  65. Kazakhstan
  66. Netherlands
  67. Ecuador
  68. Zambia
  69. Guatemala
  70. Cambodia
  71. Senegal
  72. Chad
  73. Somalia
  74. Zimbabwe
  75. Guinea
  76. South Sudan
  77. Rwanda
  78. Belgium
  79. Tunisia
  80. Haiti
  81. Cuba
  82. Bolivia
  83. Greece: A recent find (July 2017), GReat is a great fast food/gyros place next to Shoreditch. For less than a tenner you get a platter of fresh ingredients in a very authentic experience. 
  84. Benin
  85. Czech Republic
  86. Burundi
  87. Portugal: I have to admit that Portuguese food travels quite badly, as “our” strong suit is fish (and essentially not doing to much to it) and it is really dependent on the local environment. Still over the years Grelha D’ouro has become my go to Portuguese place for the experience of my local restaurant. Be aware, that the concept of local restaurant is not necessarily of a great restaurant, it’s the place where you go to see football matches (thus tons of televisions are required), you know the staff (so that the beer keeps coming at regular intervals) and with reasonable prices (so you can enjoy some seafood). If you are looking to try the blockbuster dishes of Portuguese cuisine then Cantinho de Portugal is the place to go. 
  88. Dominican Republic
  89. Sweden
  90. Jordan
  91. Azerbaijan
  92. Hungary
  93. Belarus
  94. United Arab Emirates
  95. Honduras
  96. Austria
  97. Tajikistan
  98. Israel
  99. Switzerland
  100. Papua New Guinea
  101. Hong Kong 
  102. Togo
  103. Bulgaria: Black Sea next to West Ham park. Once I moved to this neighborhood was the first place to catch my eye. Maybe not worth a special visit, but located in a (what looks like) a traditional British pub with an amazing beer garden is definitely a great alternative to a Sunday roast.
  104. Sierra Leone
  105. Serbia
  106. Paraguay
  107. El Salvador
  108. Laos
  109. Libya
  110. Nicaragua
  111. Kyrgyzstan
  112. Lebanon
  113. Denmark
  114. Turkmenistan
  115. Singapore
  116. Finland
  117. Slovakia
  118. Norway
  119. Republic of the Congo
  120. Central African Republic
  121. Eritrea
  122. Costa Rica
  123. Palestine
  124. New Zealand
  125. Ireland
  126. Oman
  127. Croatia
  128. Kuwait
  129. Liberia
  130. Panama
  131. Mauritania
  132. Georgia
  133. Moldova
  134. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  135. Uruguay
  136. Puerto Rico (U.S.)
  137. Mongolia
  138. Armenia
  139. Albania
  140. Lithuania
  141. Jamaica
  142. Qatar
  143. Namibia
  144. Botswana
  145. Lesotho
  146. The Gambia
  147. Macedonia
  148. Slovenia
  149. Latvia
  150. Kosovo
  151. Gabon
  152. Guinea-Bissau
  153. Bahrain
  154. Trinidad and Tobago
  155. Estonia
  156. Mauritius
  157. Equatorial Guinea
  158. East Timor
  159. Swaziland
  160. Djibouti
  161. Fiji
  162. Cyprus
  163. Comoros
  164. Bhutan
  165. Guyana
  166. Macau (China)
  167. Solomon Islands
  168. Montenegro
  169. Western Sahara[Note 17]
  170. Luxembourg
  171. Suriname
  172. Cape Verde
  173. Transnistria[Note 18]
  174. Malta
  175. Brunei
  176. Belize
  177. Bahamas
  178. Maldives
  179. Iceland
  180. Northern Cyprus[Note 19]
  181. Barbados
  182. Vanuatu
  183. French Polynesia (France)
  184. New Caledonia (France)
  185. Abkhazia[Note 20]
  186. Samoa
  187. São Tomé and Príncipe
  188. Saint Lucia
  189. Guam (U.S.)
  190. Curaçao (Netherlands)
    Nagorno-Karabakh Republic[Note 21]
    Kiribati
    Aruba (Netherlands)
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    United States Virgin Islands (U.S.)
    Jersey (UK)
    Grenada
    Tonga
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Seychelles
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Isle of Man (UK)
    Andorra
    Dominica
    Guernsey (UK)
    Bermuda (UK)
    Cayman Islands (UK)
    American Samoa (U.S.)
    Northern Mariana Islands (U.S.)
    Greenland (Denmark)
    Marshall Islands
    South Ossetia[Note 22]
    Faroe Islands (Denmark)
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Sint Maarten (Netherlands)
    Liechtenstein
    Monaco
    Saint-Martin (France)
    San Marino
    Gibraltar (UK)
    Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)
    British Virgin Islands (UK)
    Bonaire (Netherlands)
    Cook Islands (NZ)
    Palau
    Anguilla (UK)
    Wallis and Futuna (France)
    Tuvalu
    Nauru
    Saint Barthélemy (France)
    Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)
    Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK)
    Montserrat (UK)
    Sint Eustatius (Netherlands)
    Falkland Islands (UK)
    Norfolk Island (Australia)
    Christmas Island (Australia)
    Saba (Netherlands)
    Niue (NZ)
    Tokelau (NZ)
    Vatican City
    Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)
    Pitcairn Islands (UK)

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