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London's gold medal calorific meals
Depressed by all the beach volleyball talent? Swallow your misery at these unapologetically carbed-up restaurants
Healthy athletic types are inescapable in London right now.
Fresh-faced folks in gaudy official tracksuits swanning around Olympic venues, each with the kind of glow only conferred on those who spend their days working out and eating meals designed by sports nutritionists.
But you’ve come to London to watch the games, not take part in them.
So you can chow down on whatever you fancy.
Fortunately, London is full of places to grab delicious, unhealthy treats.
At these joints you can indulge in the kind of grub those smug Olympians can only dream about.
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Suffering from bodily self-loathing after seeing ultra-fit beach volleyball types strut their stuff at Horse Guards Parade?
After just a short tube ride to MEATliqour, you can gorge yourself with a calorific blowout that would make even Michael Phelps balk.
The emphasis here is on top quality ingredients, but this is most definitely not a "gourmet" experience.
Sloppy cheeseburgers, doughnut-sized onion rings and chili-cheese fries that will leave you gleaming with meat sweats all come with just kitchen roll for company.
Perfect for those left traumatized just by watching sport.
74 Welbeck St., London W1G 0BA; +44 20 7224 4239; www.meatliquor.com
So, all that gut-busting Olympic effort has finally convinced you to get healthy.
Good. But let’s just take baby steps for now, OK?
Maybe by adding some lettuce to a burger at one of premium burger chain Byron’s 23 London joints.
The gratifying gourmet patties come topped with heaps of salad, so you can at least pay lip service to your health kick while tearing through that delectable meat in an attempt to finish it faster than Usain Bolt runs 100 meters.
And if you succeed, the extensive craft beer list, including the excellent Camden Hell’s Lager, means you can toast your record-breaking success with a local brew.
23 locations across London; www.byronhamburgers.com
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Like unswerving cynicism and an enduring love affair with plucky losers, Scotch eggs are a peculiarly British phenomenon.
Trinity Stores, in south London’s foodie haven of Balham, makes the best in the city.
The size of tennis balls, the classic version offers a perfectly boiled egg swaddled in succulent sausage meat and coated in chunky breadcrumbs.
There’s a healthier chick pea-based veggie option, but seeing as you’re meant to be letting the athletes get on with the healthy stuff while you attempt to make eating an Olympic sport, we say go with the meaty number.
5-6 Balham Station Road, Balham, London SW12 9SG; +44 20 8673 3773; www.trinitystores.co.uk
The coffee here is the only way you’ll ever get close to replicating the kind of buzz that Sir Chris Hoy gets after smashing world records in the Velodrome.
But the caffeine rush is not the only reason to head to Federation.
The array of baked treats is every glutton’s dream and just glimpsing them can induce a hefty food coma.
The bacon and egg pie, with flaky pastry and béchamel sauce, is best followed by the gooiest brownie you’re likely ever to eat.
No Olympic athlete could eat this tasty nosh and be able to rouse themselves for competition.
77-78 Brixton Village Market, London SW9 8PS; www.federationcoffee.com
Burger & Lobster
"Surf and turf" certainly has the ring of an Olympic event.
One for which the only training required is an acquaintance with "Man vs. Food" and an appetite for an abundance of meat and seafood.
And Burger & Lobster is the ideal venue to put all that training into practice.
Its new Soho spot (there’s a sister restaurant for posh types in Mayfair), serves a burger so big there's a risk of dislocating your jaw as you try to get it down.
Add a lobster on the side and you’ll experience Olympian levels of achievement come the end of dinner.
36 Dean St., Soho, London W1D 4PS; +44 20 7432 4800; www.burgerandlobster.com
While the Olympic village café serves up an unending array of balanced meals for the globe’s premier health fanatics, Hawksmoor is focused on one thing and one thing only: meat.
This is the hottest place in town to get a steak the size of your face, burgers taller than The Shard (possibly) and meaty breakfasts that’ll leave you ready for a return to bed.
Its sausage and egg muffin is far tastier than a certain Olympic sponsor’s budget version, while the bone marrow that comes with the shared Full English is for cholesterol-lovers only.
10 Basinghall St., Guildhall, London, EC2V 5BQ; +44 20 7397 8120
11 Langley St., Seven Dials, London WC2H 9JG; +44 20 7420 9390
157 Commercial St., Spitalfields, London E1 6BJ; +44 20 7426 4850
This classy boozer doesn’t deal in your average pub fodder.
Rather, The Lansdowne is all about life-changing pizzas, ones you should bypass every greasy takeaway on the nearby Camden High Street for.
Each one has a super-thin, crusty base, with topping options including the super-filling "Turkish" with lamb, chili and feta and the classic, artery-troubling Parma ham, which at least includes a sprinkling of rocket to offset all that gorgeous marbled meat.
Chuck in a few pints of warm ale and you’re looking at London’s best place for pizza.
90 Gloucester Ave., Primrose Hill, London NW1 8HX; +44 20 7483 0409; www.thelansdownepub.co.uk
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