We need to talk about something very dear to my heart.
This topic can often be overlooked, but today we won’t miss what’s on everyone’s mind. Food.
The culinary delights I’ve experienced in London will go down in my mind as some of the most impeccable meals I’ve ever had. Before I delve into explaining the importance of trying new food abroad, let me explain my mindset upon arriving in London.
Right away I developed a strict game plan when it came to how I would spend my money. Since one U.S. dollar comes out to about 65 pence, money goes quick. Just to put that into perspective that means one hundred U.S. dollars comes out to only 65 pounds in the U.K. Therefore, it’s important to set guidelines or else I’d be living off microwavable rice the last month of my trip.
Since we were given a decent meal plan through the university, I decided I would be spending little to no money on food while abroad. As you will soon understand, this decision has not held up very well and, frankly, I am so glad.
In a city of 8.6 million, almost every culture has made their mark in the culinary world of London. Local friends claim Drummond Street houses some of the best Indian restaurants in London, so last week I took myself to a lunchtime buffet at Diwana Bhel Puri, where I was shocked by the amount of vegetarian options.
Stevens Point is more vegetarian friendly than most small towns, but I don’t think I would ever find sweet and sour mock duck at Green Tea.
Once I had a taste of the food London had to offer, I could not be stopped. Next I visited Chinatown, which I found was filled with authentic sit-down restaurants, but also multiple street carts that served moon cakes and hot vegetable buns.
To stray from ethnic food, I also discovered a place called Franco Manca in central London, which serves fresh sourdough pizza that will leave you dreaming of fresh basil and halloumi for days.
Let’s move onto the most vital part of the day. Dessert. I haven’t yet indulged in Belgium chocolate (stay tuned), but in England has Cadbury, which might spark some childhood memories. In the states, Cadbury is known for its chocolate egg assortment around Easter time, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Cadbury chocolate comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors and has proved superior to any other chocolate I’ve ever had.
The best food I’ve had while abroad has been because of recommendations from co-workers and friends who already know the area. Seeking out advice from a shop owner, bartender or even a stranger in a coffee shop is an easy way to find the best food joints in the neighborhood.