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The Best London Food Tours

by | Feb 22, 2019

Take your taste buds on an adventure in the capital with one of these popular London food tours. London is brimming with rich culinary influences from delicious street food to iconic London restaurants, specialist artisan food shops and bustling food markets.

The thriving London food scene has given rise to a multitude of specialist food tour companies, each one offering visitors a unique taste of the city. We’ve researched some of London’s best foodie tours so you can start exploring and discovering new tastes and flavours on your next visit.

 

Food stalls Borough Market London

 

Borough Market Food Tour

Borough Market in Southwark is the epicentre of foodie London. Over the past twenty years, it’s grown from a fruit and veg market to a must-visit eating and shopping destination for London’s food lovers.

The market is jam-packed with gastronomic delights with over 100 food stalls plus vibrant cafes, wine bars and eateries. Last year, it released The Borough Market Cook Book so you can shop for produce at the market and cook the recipes back at home.

Of course, you can wander around the market and browse the stalls by yourself and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. But, if you want delve in to its unique history and discover stories about its traders and their wonderful produce, it’s best to take a guided food tour. There are two recommended tour options.

 

Borough Market London England

 

 

A Taste of Borough Market Tour With Celia Brooks

TV chef, Celia Brooks, is the official Borough Market Guide. She runs small group tours of the market. On one of her tours you’ll get to taste a bounty of Borough Market treats and enjoy a tutored wine tasting. (All diets can be catered for, where possible). This tour would also make a wonderful gift for foodie friends and family.

When:

  • Tours take place two or more Fridays per month from 10.00am-1.00pm
  • Duration of the tour is 3 hours
  • Nearest Tube: London Bridge or Borough

Cost:

 

 

Secret Food Tours: Borough Market and London Bridge Tour

This is a fun food tour if you want to explore Borough Market but also the area around London Bridge. The walking tour will take you to local pubs and past famous London landmarks including Tower Bridge and the battleship ‘HMS Belfast’. Arrive with an empty stomach as there are several tastings along the way including traditional fish ‘n’ chips, British cheese and treacle sponge pudding.

When:

  • Monday to Saturday
  • Duration is 3hrs 18 mins
  • Nearest Tube: London Bridge or Borough

Cost:

 

Food stalls Borough Market London

East London Food Tours

History of Street Food Walking Tour

A relaxing and fun way to while away a couple of hours on a Sunday is to take this East London food tourOn this walking tour you’ll stop off for a coffee in one of London’s best coffee houses, sample a delicious bagel, and taste a number of other East End favourites, too.

When:

  • Sundays
  • Duration is 2 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street Station

Cost:

 

Indian Secret Food Tour of London’s East End

Ever tried a Ruby Murray, cockney rhyming slang for a curry? On this London foodie tour you will explore the exotic eateries along London’s Brick Lane renowned for its Indian cuisine. Taste curries and both savoury and sweet dishes originating from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and learn about London’s cosmopolitan culinary culture. More than ten dishes and two drinks are included on this food tour, limited to 12 food lovers.

When:

  • Tuesday to Saturday
  • Duration is 3 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Whitechapel

Cost:

 

Soho Food Tours

Soho is one of London’s most colourful districts. Famous for its nightlife, clubs and gay scene, it’s also home to iconic Soho restaurants including L’Escargot and Quo Vadis, 

 

Chinese lanterns China Town Soho London

 

Evening Food Tour of Soho

Venture into London’s vibrant Soho district for an evening food tour. Get a taste for its international cuisine with tastings in Soho’s diverse eateries. Taste Chinese dumplings in Chinatown, try Spanish Jamon, sip a delicious cocktail and enjoy the perfect G&T. This is a fun way to get to know Soho and experience its nightlife. If you’re staying in London for a few days, it will give you plenty of inspiration for eating out during your stay. 

When:

  • Tuesday-Friday
  • Duration is 3.5 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

Cost:

 

 

Dessert and Chocolate Tours

Sweet-toothed visitors to London can sink their teeth into sugary delights on these London food tours aimed at chocolate lovers and dessert fans.  

 

The Mayfair Chocolate Tour

Chocolate lovers will be in chocolate heaven on the Mayfair Chocolate Tour. London’s elegant shopping district is home to renowned chocolatiers and luxury chocolate shops. This is an entertaining and informative chocolate tour that will take you through the streets of St. James’s, Piccadilly and Soho. Expect to eat lots of chocolate!

When:

  • Almost every Monday, Friday and Saturday
  • Duration is 3 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

 Cost:

 

Ice-Cream Tour of Soho and Covent Garden

The perfect dessert tour for a hot summer’s day in London. But if you love ice-cream who cares about the weather? Your guide will take you to some of London’s best gelaterias and ice cream parlours for scoops, cones, cups and spoons. Try over twenty flavours of frozen delights including some very unusual ones.

When:

  • Most Saturdays and some weekdays
  • Duration is 2.5 hours
  • Nearest Tube Stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square

Cost:

 

Sweet Treats Tour of Chelsea

Chocolate Ecstasy Tours have added more sweet treats to their original Chelsea Chocolate Tour. This is a wonderful way to explore one of London’s most upmarket neighbourhoods. Bordering Buckingham Palace, the area is rich in both history, chocolate and sweet treats. Visit gourmet bakers, chocolatiers, patisseries and a gelateria and taste along the way.

When:

  • Every Sunday and some weekdays
  • Duration is 3.5 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Sloane Square

Cost:

 

Afternoon Tea Tours

Afternoon tea is one of our favourite pastimes in Britain. We love it. Give us a pot of tea, fingers sandwiches, cakes and scones served with jam and a generous dollop of cream and we’re happy. Add a glass of fizz and we’re in celebratory mood. There many unique afternoon tea experiences to be enjoyed in London. A winning combination for tourists is afternoon tea combined with a London sight-seeing tour.

 

Cake selection on afternoon tea London bus tour

 

BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

One of the most popular tours for visitors to London is BB Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. You get to whizz around London on a vintage RouteMaster bus and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at the same time. See the sights including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, as you sip tea and sink your teeth into delicious pastries, dainty finger sandwiches and scones.

When:

  • Daily with several departures
  • Duration is approx. 1.5 hours
  • Pick up points at Victoria Coach Station and Northumberland Avenue (off Trafalgar Square)
  • Nearest Tube Stations: Victoria Station for the Victoria Coach Station pick-up. Charing Cross and Leicester Square for the Northumberland Avenue pick-up

 

Cost:

 

London Drink Tours

 

Drink London! Historical London Pubs Tour

This popular afternoon London pub crawl explores some of the city’s most historic pubs, taverns and alehouses. Follow in the footsteps of Wiiliam Shakespeare and Charles Dickens as you drink some of London’s finest ales on a walk from historic Southwark to the bright lights of the West End.

When:

  • Daily (except Mon)
  • Duration is 3 hours
  • Nearest Tube: St Paul’s Underground

Cost:

 

 

 

History of London in 4 Drinks Tour

Take this historical walking tour of London and learn how 4 drinks changed the landscape of the city. Explore Fleet Street, the Strand and the City and learn about 18th century coffee houses, gin palaces and beer houses. The tour includes tea or coffee on arrival, a taster of gin and a small beer or soft drink en route.

When:

  • Fortnightly (on Saturdays)
  • Duration is 2 hours
  • Nearest Tube: St Paul’s Station

 

Cost:

 

 

Fuller’s Brewery Tour

Fuller’s brewery tour is one of the world’s top ten brewery tours. It’s a mecca for beer explorers who flock to west London for a guided tour of the famous Griffin brewery building followed by a tasting session in the Hock Cellar. In fact, over 18,000 people make the visit each year. The brewery is located next to the River Thames. If it’s a sunny day, follow your visit with a pub crawl stopping at one of the historic riverside pubs as you walk towards Hammersmith bridge.

When:

  • Daily (except Sunday)
  • Duration is 2.5 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Stamford Green and Turnham Brook

 

Cost:

 

Fortnum & Mason Tour

It’s really worth planning ahead to reserve a place on this unique London food tour. Fortnum & Mason, London’s iconic food store, offers its Delicious History tour on select dates throughout the year. These small group tours are led by the store’s archivist, Dr Andrea Tanner.

She’ll tell you about the history of this royal grocer and reveal its many wonderful stories as you visit each floor of the Piccadilly store. You can peek behind the scenes and take a look at the elegant fifth floor Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon where afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason is served. There are food tastings and at the end, a delicious surprise. We highly recommend it. Buy a copy of the Fortnum & Mason Cook Book while you are there so you can re-create some of their classic dishes such as the much-loved Scotch egg in your own kitchen.

When:

  • Tours take place on select dates throughout the year
  • Nearest Tube: Green Park or Piccadilly

Cost:

Display of Fortnum & Mason fine teas

Historic Market London Food Tours

Smithfield, Billingsgate and Leadenhall markets were all built for the City of London. These historic London food markets are rich in tradition. Stories are woven into their sights, smells and flavours.

 

Smithfield Market Tour

If you’re an early bird, why not sign up to a tour of London’s Smithfield Market? Discover the turbulent stories behind London’s historic meat market. This early morning tour of Smithfield Market takes place once a month so grab a place if you can.

When:

  • Monthly
  • Duration 1.5 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Farringdon and Barbican

Cost:

 

 

Leadenhall Market Tour

Harry Potter fans may know Leadenhall Market from the film ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. The market, with its beautiful Victorian arches, dates back to 1881 (although there has been a market on the site for over 2,000 years). The arcades still provide fresh meat, cheese shops, wine merchants and delicatessens, and create a destination hub for fine dining and shopping in the City of London

When:

  • Wednesdays
  • Duration 1.15 hours
  • Nearest Tube: Monument and Bank

Cost:

 

Billingsgate Fish Market Tour

Billingsgate Fish Market is the UK’s largest inland fish market. It first started on the Banks of the River Thames in the sixteenth century and relocated from its historic home to a new site at Canary Wharf in 1982. There are no official tours of the market but if you take a course at the excellent Billingsgate Seafood School a tour of the market is included. The Catch of the Day courses are very popular. The Billingsgate Market Fish & Shellfish Cookbook includes handy techniques and inspirational recipes.

  • Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf

 

 

London Food Tours With a Cookery Class

Serious food lovers can combine a food tasting tour with a cookery class and learn new skills in the kitchen.

 

Chinatown Food Tour and Asian Cookery Class

This is a full day experience that starts in the morning with a guided food tasting tour of London’s Chinatown. Discover where to shop, what produce to buy and how to prepare the ingredients. In the afternoon you get hands on in the kitchen at the School of Wok which is located in nearby Covent Garden.

When:

  • Duration is 5 1/2 hours including tour, cooking class, and eating time
  • Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

Cost:

 

Marylebone Farmer’s Market Tour and Italian Cookery Class

La Cucina Caldesi is London’s only dedicated Italian cookery school. On Sundays, they will take you on a guided food tour of Marylebone Farmer’s Market (one of the best in London). You meet the producers, source the ingredients and then take a cookery class at the school where you prepare your lunch. Everyone then sits down to a delicious communal lunch with a glass of wine.

When:

  • Selected Sundays throughout the year
  • Duration is 5 hours
  • Minimum age is 18
  • Nearest Tube:  Hyde Park Corner or Baker Street

  Cost:

 

Self-Guided London Food Tours

If joining a group tour isn’t your thing, a self-guided food tour is a good alternative. Taste Tripper offer a choice of self-guided London tasting tours. They’re a quick way to familiarise yourself with London’s top foodie spots without having to spend hours researching beforehand. They also make a great gift for students and young people living in London.

Find out more about the Central London Taste Explorer a self-guided tasting adventure which includes stops for tea, coffee and chocolate and comes with a map, fun facts and recipes.

 

Tips For Booking a London Food Tour

  • If you have any special dietary requirements, do notify the tour operator in advance. Some companies are able to cater for special requirements
  • Some food tours have a minimum age requirement usually where alcohol is consumed as part of the tour
  • Many of the tours are on foot so make sure you wear comfy shoes and are prepared for all weather. They usually operate come rain or come shine
  • Arrive with an empty stomach and bring a water bottle with you just in case
  • Food tours make excellent gifts for foodie friends. Why not print off a voucher and present it with a card?

 

All dates, times and prices are correct at time of publication. However, the London food tour companies featured in this article many make changes to their tour schedules and programmes at any time. Always check the details when booking a tour.

 

 

The Foodie Travel Guide

The Foodie Travel Guide

Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures. 

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