London’s best foodie spots for ingredients

Whether you’re a foodie looking to source the finest spices, breads, plantain, Portuguese nata and artisan cheeses, or simply fancy a culinary adventure in London – these recommendations from food bloggers What Dad Cooked are for you…

Earlier in the week, foodie brothers Pete and Leo Williamson – who run What Dad Cooked blog – shared some top blogging/food blogging tips. Today, they tell us the best spots in London to pick up the finest ingredients – including spices, meats, bread and world food…

Even though the major retailers have filled their shelves with just about every exotic and obscure ingredient, we’ve has always enjoyed exploring and experiencing new flavours and ingredients for ourselves – it’s one of the joys and pleasures of cooking.

Foodie hotspots in London…

Borough Market
Borough Market is a foodie’s destination of choice. There’s Turnips for unmatched varieties of vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and fruit, and Brindisa for Spanish jamón, chorizo and saffron.

Cool Chile Company has the best Mexican ingredients – including poblano chillies when they’re in season – The Fresh Olive Company for olive oil; Spice Mountain for spices and powdered onion (for homemade ranch and southern fried chicken).

You can eat great fish at Jarvis Fish! but we prefer to buy fish fresh from their shop in Norbiton.

Brixton Market
Brixton Market is on the up (and up and up…) but the long-standing traders still sell traditional Afro-Caribbean food including plantains, chillies, yams and good value salt cod. After shopping, stop at Brixton Food Court to sample authentic South American specialties including Jalisico-style Mexican food at Pacifico Mx.

Lower Marsh
When you’re near Waterloo at lunchtime pick-up a real Cubana sandwich at Cubana at the top of Lower Marsh. Then wander down to Greensmiths for bread, veg and Ginger Pig meat. And whilst in the area stop for coffee in any of the street’s excellent independent coffee shops.

West End
We used to work in Soho so know its famous culinary establishments well: Bar Italia for a real Italian cappuccino; Lina Stores and I Camisa & Sons for Italian fresh pasta, charcuterie and delicatessen favourites as well as other store cupboard essentials (once the only place one could buy DeCecco pasta).

Maison Bertaux for birthday cakes; Canton in Chinatown for take away roast duck and char siu pork and any of the nearby grocers for essential Oriental larder ingredients.

Go to 7 Dials for Fabrique’s Nordic bread and famous cinnamon buns; I Love Nata for the best nata and Neal’s Yard Dairy for artisan cheese. Go to the Japan Centre on Shaftsbury Avenue to stock-up on superior soy sauce, fresh shiso and other select ingredients.

Finally, browsing in Fortnum & Mason’s food hall is a real treat and indulgence. Buy one of their many specialty jars of marmalade– it’s worth it – if only for the bag!

Pete, Leo and their dad Bill (who designs all the recipes for their blog) will be appearing at the Waterloo Food Festival on 5th July.