Ah, the joys of lunching in Central London! The crowds are thick, queues are long, and real Londoners never look at the menu. You should walk in and fire off your order, like a round from a machine gun, as soon as any person behind the counter makes first eye contact with you. Don’t wait to be asked if you want salad on your sandwich, soldier! Have your money ready to throw (think grenade-style toss and dash) at the site of your napkin being slipped in the bag. Ok, ok… I admit it’s not quite like that; ordering lunch in London just felt to me – upon first arrival at least – like entering a war zone.
We’ve now slipped into a more comfortable dining routine. It is also the case that we have come across some great places to eat and meet. If you find yourself in the smack dab center of the city for lunch, dive off the high street for a real experience.
If you are a vegetarian in the mood for something like traditional fast food, Soho’s Red Veg has a creative menu to please your palate. Vegans (and most omnivores) can also enjoy a burger wrapped in paper like everyone else. Check out the menu on the website and give Red Veg a try the next time you are in the neighborhood. I have already decided what I will have the next time I meet friends for lunch!
Just minutes away, Govinda’s boasts a buffet full of curries, veggie comfort food, salads, and teas – all made without meat, fish, eggs, onions, mushrooms, or garlic. If your taste buds appreciate international cuisine, you’ll want to become a regular here. Choosing your meal is the hardest part. Enjoying it is easy. Invite a friend to lunch and share one of the great desserts from the sweet dish counter! And then go back again tomorrow.
South of Leicester Square and a stone’s throw from the National Gallery or Trafalgar Square is the cavernous but cozy Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin’s In the Field Church. It’s a great place to find an affordable English lunch, to meet friends for afternoon tea, or to people watch over an Apple Crumble. You won’t be the only one who knows about this place, so avoid the lunch rush by arriving a little early or a little late.