By: Lena Gahwi
I am known to be very particular about restaurants – I like a good aesthetic, I need to feel good vibes when I walk in, and I need good food, obviously. When it comes to international food, you can rarely go wrong if the majority of the staff are from the country or region that that food originates from. I generally trust that if a lot of Latin people are at a Latin restaurant, it probably tastes pretty close to what it’s supposed to! It’s cliché, but food really does have the power to bring people together, and it is one of the first steps we can take towards becoming more open-minded and understanding differences. What I find most important about trying new food is being open to try new things and possibly hating them. I work at a non-profit here in London, called Growing Chefs! Ontario, and we focus on delivering food education programing to school-aged kids, and what we always remind kids of is that your tongue needs time to warm up! Trying new things and hating them is an amazing exercise, and you never know when you might fall in love with something you never thought you would. Without boring you too much with my pseudo-inspiring words, here is a list of some of my favourite international food joints in London in no particular order.
Ichiban Sushi House – 489 Wellington Rd, London, ON N6C 4R3
This is not an all you can eat sushi restaurant, but that is what makes the quality and taste so impeccable. This is a small and cozy restaurant with some of the best sushi in London! Ichiban Sushi House is perfect if you love good quality sushi, and makes a perfect date spot, too.
Kenzo Ramen – 192 Dundas St, London, ON N6A 1G7
Ramen is the definition of university food, but it doesn’t have to come in a paper cup and be cooked in a microwave! Kenzo is a highly rated ramen place in London, and it totally deserves the hype. I found this to be the perfect study break during December exams, so treat yourself and warm your soul here during the winter months.
Chinese Noodle – (Foodland Plaza) 530 Oxford St W, London, ON N6H 1T6
My little brother is the main reason this restaurant is on the list, because he loves it and won’t stop talking about how delicious the noodles are. He comes here because most of the menu is in Chinese, and the food is fairly authentic – he learned properly from his sister. This place is perfect for quick take-out on busy nights when you have no idea what to eat and you can’t even think about cooking at home.
So Inviting – 876 Dundas St, London, ON N5W 3A1
Want delicious dumplings? This is your place. Best dumplings in town, great service, wonderful and kind humans working, please go here. I feel like that was a sufficient analysis, nothing else to add.
Sugar marmalade – 735 Wonderland RD N Unit 14, LONDON, ON N6H 4L2
Now I’ve mentioned how much I love a good aesthetic, the desserts here are perfectly instagramable, and so so delicious. I would definitely recommend sharing the desserts because they are pretty heavy, unless you have a serious sweet tooth, (then you go girl, I won’t tell you how to live). Also, the drinks are a must try! This is also a great date spot… maybe my next article should just be about date spots.
Thuan Kieu – 1275 Highbury Ave N Unit 116, London, ON N5Y 1A8
Thuan Kieu easily has one of the best tasting pho broths I’ve ever had, and they serve crazy amounts of food for a really great price. This is the best place to get a filling meal, which also doubles as the perfect study food. My advice is to go and try it for yourself, because you will love it.
Mai’s Café & Bistro – 142 Wortley Rd, London, ON N6C 4Y7
Wortley village is full of great food spots, and this is one of the best. Mai’s is a cozy Thai restaurant right at the heart of the village, with some really great flavours. I didn’t even realize this is a Thai place until a friend told me, because of the name ‘Café’, but I am so glad I’ve found it. One of my favourite dishes to order is the Pineapple Curry.
Momos at the Market – 2 locations: London Food Incubator, 630 Dundas Street, London Ontario, N5W 2Y8 AND (Western fair market) 900 King Street
I take dumplings really seriously. Momos, which are Nepalese style dumplings, are exceptionally delicious. These momos are hand made with fresh ingredients. This is a great option for healthy, hearty, and filling food, served by kind, and dedicated people. Their smoothies are amazing, and make sure to ask the head chef for his recommendations, because he has never let me down! Get yourself down to Momos and get some momos, because you love yourself, and you deserve it.
Frank & Gus Pizza Restaurant – 682 Adelaide St N, London, ON N5Y 2L5
This wonderful little pizzeria has a cozy old school aesthetic inside, and serves some of the best pizza I’ve ever tried. They make all their pizza with real mozzarella, which makes a world of a difference. They also have an almost intimidating list of toppings, which means there is something to please the whole family (…or squad)!
Tehran-Karoon Restaurant –500 Oxford St W #5, London, ON N6H 1T5
It is almost a joke how often my family and I eat here, we should get a family discount at this point. They offer some of the best kebabs in town, so take a bunch of friends, get a shared platter so you can try all the grilled meats, and you’re set. If you’re vegetarian, this place has lots of veg options, too!
Latin and Mexican Food:
Casa Blanca – 1487 Dundas St London, ON N5W 3B8
I have been going here since high school, and you know it’s good because most of my friends were Latin and they always wanted to come here! Casa Blanca is a cozy restaurant owned and operated by a family, and the quality is always great. The food is really good and there is a wide variety of things to try! They’ve got the classic Latin food like tacos or fajitas, but also some more adventurous options. I always get one of their juices, as they are some of the best.
Mythic Grill – 179 Albert St, London, ON N6A 1L9
Really delicious food, and the ambiance is so on point. The outdoor patio is small and cozy, and the inside of the restaurant is beautiful! I would highly recommend Mythic Grill, just because of their fresh-tasting and great-quality food!