Eating in London used to be much more of a challenge. But it’s now possible to find healthy, delicious, affordable food all around the city and I’ve been really pleased the past few times I’ve been there to see some of the great new chains and the gastropubs that offer family-friendly meals at reasonable prices. One favorite of mine is the Asian noodle chain Wagamama which offers a wide range of noodle and rice dishes all cooked to order. The boys and I lunched there on the day that we visited the British Museum (it’s right around the corner at 4 Streatham Street). A sleek aesthetic, relatively low prices, communal tables, and super-fast service make this a great place for both kids and grownups.
Travel-with-kids tip: Wagamama prides itself on quick service, but it can get busy and you might have to wait in line for table. But I’ve found that in Europe most people tend to lunch on the later side, so if you show up right at noon when the restaurant opens, you shouldn’t have any trouble. We did this and were initially the only people in the place other than the staff.
After fighting the crowds in the Egyptian exhibit all morning, the boys were ravenous so we ordered some ebi gyoza (shrimp and veggie dumplings) to “share.” I think I got exactly one.
Tommy had salmon ramen, which were noodles in a miso soup topped with grilled salmon and veggies. My choice was the itame, a spicy coconut curry noodle dish redolent of lemongrass and full of tofu and vegetables. Both our meals tasted fresh and delicious.
Teddy ordered off of the children’s menu and was thrilled with his Grilled Chicken Noodle. He’s a slightly pickier eater than his brother but not once he saw his charming plate with its piles of shredded carrot, cucumber, corn, chicken, and noodles all with a slightly sweet citrus sauce for dipping.
There wasn’t anything left on his plate at the end of the meal.
Another plus is that Wagamama has a number of restaurants near tourist attractions in London and its environs including one in Convent Garden, one near the Tower of London, and another across the street from Windsor Castle. You’ll also find them in other British cities like Bristol and Oxford. They are open for lunch and dinner and also offer take-out meals. (And if you want to try Wagamama in the United States, check them out the next time you’re in Boston.)