Foreign food

If you come to London, what are you going to eat?

If you are the kind of person who decides, before you leave, you will only have what you know, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, Arby’s, KFC, Taco Bell, then we have some words for you.

Ah yes, McDonald’s, Starbucks, something you know, something safe. We do have these places, but so do so many cities. To a large extent, all cities around the world look similar. There’s a McD’s on every corner.

But there are several USA chains that never succeeded here. Arby’s didn’t, Taco Bell has a handful of outlets in the whole country, there is a Burger King in places. Wendy’s? Nope… If that’s all you are willing to eat, you will have some troubles.

But there are some things you should know:

  • they are not the same as you know them. Sure, McD’s has a ‘Big Mac’, but stricter and different food laws, other raw materials and local tastes means it’s probably very different from your expectations. The prices will be different, too, more expensive over here probably. The range will be different, more restricted. The sizes may be more sensible. Asking for off-menu things and customisation is not really done here.
  • Starbucks is everywhere. Oh no, was, then COVID hit and so many branches closed. We have met Americans who like UK Starbucks coffee because it is “less bitter” than the USA. So it’s definitely different. Starbucks is relatively down market here and there are much nicer small and local coffee places you can try.

We could go on but find it depressing…

If this is all you will eat, then good luck, but it’s not the same as you might expect and it’s mostly not nice.

Why not try local equivalents, and not cheap and nasty places either?

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