Weekends are for fun. Weekends are for friends. Weekends are for fitting in as many activities as you can possibly cram in over such a brief – but enjoyable – period of time. Our favourite way to spend our days off is, of course, by eating great food and drinking great drinks. Living in a city like London, you'll never be lacking for a range of ace and tasty events running over the weekend. But choosing which ones are worth your precious presence (and, moreover, worth the Google Calendar invite) is a bit more difficult.
After all, there's nothing worse than spending your Saturday and Sunday at an event with limp burgers and weak cocktails. To help you make the most of your time off work and away from your glass office, we've created this handy little weekend round-up of the best food and drink events going on across the city. Anything you think we missed out? Well, feel free to be in touch with the events that you think we should be covering next week!
From gin festivals to half-price Indian food, here are the events that you should be pencilling into your calendar and putting on your radar this weekend.
11 things to do in London this weekend
1. Try everything at Taste of London
19-23 June; Regent's Park, NW1 4NR
Returning bigger and better than ever for its 2019 iteration, Taste of London is turning Regent's Park into the largest alfresco summer feast you've ever seen. If you like food, you'll like Taste of London. It's as simple as that. The five-day festival – taking place from 19-23 June – does exactly what it says on the tin by offering you the chance to sample food from London's best restaurants and chefs, all in one convenient (and sunny) place. The resto roster at this year's iteration will feature more than 40 restaurants, including the likes of Rovi, Brigadiers, Smokestak, Som Saa, Dumplings' Legend, Bun House, Bodega Rita's, Berenjak, Lina Stores, Hoppers, Bao and more. So. Many. More.
2. Take a tastebud tour of the world at the Streatham Food Tour
20-23 June; Streatham Green, High Road, SW16 6HE
The tenth annual Streatham Food Festival will be taking place from 20-23 June. With cuisines ranging from British and Thai to Mexican and Venezuelan, this year's iteration promises to be a real feast for the intrepid eater. The Streatham Food Tour offers the chance to take a culinary tour of all those different countries. Around forty restaurants will offer mini plates allowing visitors to taste a range of cuisines as they visit some of the best eateries Streatham has on offer. Participating restaurants include Café Barcelona, Saigon Bistro, Vegan Express, Talay Thai, Pratts and Payne, Blackbird Bakery, The Mere Scribbler, Batch & Co, Fish Tale and many more. The Streatham Food Fair will also be bringing together some of the best local food traders (including Wren Cakes, Chocolates by Eloise, Fish Tale, Surrey Ices, Bun Kabab and local businesses Streatham Wine House and Chalkpit) alongside music and entertainment to Streatham Green on the Saturday.
3. Eat Oli Brown's prawn toast bap at Bodega Rita's
21 June; Unit 114 Lower Stable Street, N1C 4DR
Get yourself to down to Coal Drops Yard this Friday for a meal deal you won't forget.
As part of Bodega Rita's ongoing guest sandwich series, Oli Brown – chef of Cantonese restaurant Duck Duck Goose – will be gracing the deli with his bready presence and a special prawn toast bap. Consisting of a pork and prawn patty coated in sesame seeds, shallow fried in a soft bap, the sandwich is topped off with curly endive, pickled kohlrabi dressed kewpie mayo, tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes. As part of the meal deal, guests will also be able to enjoy salt pepper crisps and a refreshing Iced Tea.
4. Test out BaoziInn's new menu
21 June; 24 Romilly Street, W1D 5AH
Get ready to dim sum yourself up this weekend because Baozilnn's Romily Street restaurant has just launched a brand-new menu of chef specials, dumplings, wontons, noodles, rice and more tantalising options. Standout additions include the shredded chicken in red oil, crispy fried tofu, a banging ocean selection platter and a new variety of BaoziInn's signature xiao long bao. The new XLB contains minced pork and scallop in a rich broth and comes in a vibrant lavender colour thanks to the red cabbage dye used.
5. Fill your boots with Caribbean cooking at the Generation Get Up! Festival
21-23 June; Strand, WC2R 1LA
Somerset House is being transformed into a real hub of culture this weekend. The Generation Get Up! Festival celebrates the cultural contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants and will be bringing music, screenings, artist talks and workshops with some fascinating intergenerational pioneers. And food. Lots of food. KERB are bringing a variety of British Caribbean and African-inspired food vendors – including Only Jerkin, Cally Munchy, Shellybelly's, The Garden of Edun, and Zoe's Ghana Kitchen, and more – to Somerset House's courtyard all weekend long.
6. Demolish an Isle of Wight pizza at Pizza Pilgrims
21-23 June; Various locations
Warmer weather and longer days mean that summer is finally here, and Pizza Pilgrims are seeing that you celebrate these balmier months in the best way possible: with pizza, of course. Specifically the pizza place's new June guest pizza. Featuring Isle of Wight tomatoes – known to be Britain's very best, this June edition is an ode to summer, featuring fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and fragrant garlic olive oil. And because the IOW tomatoes are the star of the show – the June special is served with a side salad of sweet and tangy tomatoes sourced straight from The Tomato Stall on the Isle of Wight. The IOW Tomato Pizza is available at all 10 Pizza Pilgrims locations until 12 July for the price of £12.
7. Get your street food on at the launch of Solomons' Yard
22 June; Middle & West Yard, Camden Market, NW1 8AF
Weekends at Camden Market just got a whole lot more exciting. From 5pm till late, every Friday and Saturday, live music and tasty food can be found joining hands at Solomons' Yard. This Saturday will see the venue open for its debut evening of entertainment. Eton Messy will provide the sunset soundtrack while you chow down on a global street-food line-up of of London's finest street food traders. From Baba G's and Burger & Beyond to Maize Blaze and The Cheese Wheel, the line up will showcase 28 of Camden Market's best street food vendors on rotation throughout the ten week residency. Expect Venezuelan stuffed fried cornbread from Arepazo Bros, Szechuan fried chicken from Bill or Beak's and even entire roast dinners wrapped in a Yorkshire Pudding from Yorkshire Burrito. The list goes on. And on. And on. Tickets cost £5.
8. Experience culture at the Migration Museum's Caribbean Takeaway Takeover
22 June; 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1 7AG
The Caribbean Takeaway Takeover is an interactive pop-up art and sound installation showcasing the stories of Windrush generation elders created by artist EVEWRIGHT. As anyone who's ever caught jonesing for a double will be able to tell you, the takeaway is an important cultural meeting place in the Caribbean community. It's a place where meals are prepared with love and affection and stories are exchanged with similar zeal. For one month, the Breathing Space Café at the Migration Museum will be taken over, repurposed and transformed into an art installation to replicate one of those takeaways, featuring limited-edition photo etchings of 12 Windrush generation elders produced by EVEWRIGHT, along with audio interviews and sound recordings of these Windrush Pioneers compiled by his team at Evewright Arts Foundation (EAF).
9. Sample some nifty brews at the Strongroom Beer Fest
22 June; 120-124 Curtain Road, EC2A 3SQ
The very first Strongroom Beer Fest is going to be an event that beer lovers won't want to miss. A celebration of cracking beers that you can find around the UK and Europe, this hops-forward festival will feature over 15 breweries inside and out including some core beers and a few special releases. Big players in the beer scene such as Siren Craft Beer Co, Wild beer, Bullfinch Brewery, Redchurch Urban Farmhouse, and more will all be in attendance. If you're not a fan of beer, this probably isn't the place for you. But, that being said, live music and a smokin' BBQ in the yard will provide some non-beer related enjoyment. Apologies to the vegan teetotallers out there.
10. Dine on handsome tapas at the Portobello Spanish Festival
23 June; Portobello Road, W11 1LT
A proper feast for all senses, the Portobello Spanish Festival is the closest you're going to get to a Spanish weekend away without hopping on the next EasyJet flight to Madrid. Portobello Road and the Westway will be lined with Spanish coloured stalls and fiesta lanterns. Food lovers will be spoiled for choice with an array of authentic street food vendors serving up delicious Spanish tapas and paella with plenty of regional wines, beer and cocktails. Croquetas? Yes. Iberico Ham? Yes. Tortillas? Yes. Pimientos de Padron? Yes. Churros? Oh God yes. A murder of Spanish food experts and producers will also be around to provide special tastings. Sounds delicioso to us.