clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A Restaurant Crawl Fit for Taylor Swift’s ‘London Boy’

New, 2 comments

A listicle song needs listicle content

Taylor Swift’s new song London Boy, inspiring a restaurant crawl Album art: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s new song, “London Boy,” comes from her new album, Lover. She enjoys Camden Market in the afternoon, which is an experience not a single Londoner can identify with. Highgate rhymes with best mates. Shoreditch in the afternoon — which is a weird pre-post-work-drink hinterland. Brixton, Hackney, Bond Street — it’s a hopscotch whistlestop tour of the capital, heavily reliant on public transport, or that scooter from the intro voiceover. Any London tour needs sustenance, and so, in the spirit of a song that is basically a listicle, here’s where to eat and also not eat according to the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s “London Boy.”


I enjoy walking Camden Market in the afternoon

First, this is a lie. All the pubs are full. London boys (small kids, not, like, your London Boy) are running amok. It’s deadly. You don’t have to pretend, Taylor.

Second, Camden’s restaurants offer all kinds of options for pop stars and their London boys. There’s grilled cheese at The Cheese Bar, superb Cambodian food at Lemongrass, and the crucially Instagram-ready liquid nitrogen ice cream from Chin Chin. If forced to actually walk down Camden Market, consider Burger and Beyond, or meander down to the excellent Seto for impeccable ramen.

Took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates

The romantic way to do this would be to meander up to Hampstead, perhaps stopping for Set B at the fantastic Jin Kichi, or a London slice of Neapolitan pizza at the Italian restaurant Antica. But Swift’s on a scooter with her London boy, so straight to Highgate it is. No time for food at all. If they’re stopping anywhere with rugby mates, it’s probably the Red Lion and Sun.

And now I love high tea, stories from Uni, and the West End

Taylor’s definitely referring to afternoon tea here. But high tea is not afternoon tea. High tea is ... Tea. Dinner. Substantial meal. So, dinner in the West End, with droning university stories, but also tea. Pret a Manger. London Boy. Sold.

I enjoy nights in Brixton / Shoreditch in the afternoon

Ah, she’s cribbing lyrics from dating profiles everywhere. But: Brixton has some outstanding restaurants: the brilliant Caribbean cafe Fish, Wings and Tings; wines and plates at Naughty Piglets; slowdown seafood at Little Ochi down Herne Hill. Going by Camden Market though, what Taylor’s really enjoying is getting stamped for pubs and eating mediocre street food at Pop Brixton, ignoring the potential glory of Smoke and Salt. Shoreditch in the afternoon though? Could be a bizarre pre-pub hinterland, but wait! Pasta at Campania With My London Boy! Coffee and incredible desserts at Lyle’s With My London Boy! Turbot at Brat With My London Boy! Wings at Smoking Goat With My London Boy! And have you heard about our monopoly on food in shipping containers With My London Boy?!

Took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates

DONE THAT.

So please show me Hackney

That’s a whole-ass borough, Taylor. Start with this crawl.

Doesn’t have to be Louis V up on Bond Street

Round the corner from Wild Honey (Rest In Peace) and Flavour Bastard (Really, It Persisted). Sketch probably suits the vibe of this song’s Places No One Really Goes With Their London Boy But Taylor Swift Has Heard Of; top central London value liang pi at Murger Hanhan better suit the vibe of Yes, I Shall Genuinely Enjoy Eating Here With My London Boy, but it’s eight minutes away, so just stop into The Araki, for What-Was-Once-Three-Michelin-Starred Omakase With My London Boy.

You know I love a London boy, I enjoy walking Soho / Drinking in the afternoon (Yeah)

Why does everything take place in an eternal afternoon? Drinking all afternoon: The French House, for artistic drinking in the afternoon. Bob Bob Ricard, for glitzy drinking in the afternoon. Quo Vadis, for martini drinking in the afternoon. Koya, for udon broth drinking in the afternoon. Bar Bruno, for builders’ tea drinking in the afternoon.

Took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates

His mates are getting resurrected every chorus. Are they dead? Is this Highgate Cemetery??Are his mates Karl Marx and George Michael??? Um, Red Lion and Sun or The Flask then, or a visit to the newly reopened The Bull and Last, when you next visit Your London Boy, and his best mates, in Highgate.


An entirely infeasible London restaurant crawl inspired by “London Boy”

  • The Cheesebar, Camden
  • Lemongrass, Camden
  • Seto, Camden
  • Jin Kichi, Hampstead
  • Antica, Hampstead
  • The Bull and Last, Highgate
  • The Red Lion and Sun, Highgate
  • The Flask, Highgate
  • Pret a Manger, West End
  • Fish, Wings and Tings, Brixton
  • Naughty Piglets, Brixton
  • Little Ochi, Herne Hill
  • Campania, Shoreditch
  • Lyle’s, Shoreditch
  • Brat, Shoreditch
  • Smoking Goat, Shoreditch
  • All of Boxpark Shoreditch, Shoreditch
  • Every restaurant in Hackney, Hackney
  • Sketch, Mayfair
  • Murger Hanhan, Mayfair
  • The Araki, Mayfair
  • The French House, Soho
  • Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
  • Quo Vadis, Soho
  • Koya, Soho
  • Bar Bruno, Soho

BRAT

4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Bar Bruno

101 Wardour Street, , England W1F 0UG 020 7734 3750

Swift

12 Old Compton Street, , England W1D 4TQ 020 7437 7820 Visit Website

Seto

5-6 Plender Street, , England NW1 0JN 020 7387 8530 Visit Website

Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean Street, , England W1D 3LL 020 7437 9585 Visit Website

London

, , England Visit Website

Flavour Bastard

63-64 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 3JW, London,

The Cheese Bar

Chalk Farm Road, , England NW1 8AH 020 7428 6441 Visit Website

Naughty Piglets

28 Brixton Water Lane, , England SW2 1PE Visit Website

Sketch

9 Conduit Street, , England W1S 2XG 020 7659 4500 Visit Website

Wings

5 - 7 Old Fishmarket Close, , Scotland EH1 1RW 0131 629 1234 Visit Website

Bob Bob Ricard

1 Upper James Street, , England W1F 9DF 020 3145 1000 Visit Website

Campania

23 Ezra Street, , England E2 7RH 020 7613 0015 Visit Website

Pop Brixton

49 Brixton Station Road, , England SW9 8PQ 020 3879 8410 Visit Website

Burger and Beyond

West Yard, , England NW1 8AF 07741 630935 Visit Website

The French House

49 Dean Street, , England W1D 5BG 020 7437 2477 Visit Website

Shimogamo

108 Parkway, , England NW1 7AN 020 7424 9560 Visit Website

Smoking Goat

64 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ

Brilliant

72-76 Western Road, Southall , Middlesex , UB2 5DZ Visit Website

Jin Kichi

73 Heath Street, , England NW3 6UG 020 7794 6158 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world