Useful shops in the UK (and London)

With all the disruption caused by “the thing that shall not be named”, we’ve all had to figure out how to get groceries to cook and eat the food we like. Sometimes the usual shops aren’t open, or they don’t have what we want.

I’ve done more online food shopping in the last year than ever before, so I now have opinions about both physical and online shops.

I recognise that this list is slightly London-centric because that’s where I live! Some shops might not offer a nationwide service or the range of items that can be sent might be limited (e.g. no fresh stuff outside of the M25), but I hope you find something useful.

Specialised Spanish food shops

StockistBest for…Online?Comments
R. García and Sons
248 – 250 Portobello Road
London W11 1LL
http://rgarciaandsons.com/

– shaped pasta such as fideos, letras
– spices (such as paella colouring)
– Christmas sweets (and other sweets): polvorones, turrón, mazapanes…
Yes, sometimes (they take it offline if they have too much demand) (but I haven’t tried it)Great food cupboard and fresh cheese and meats selection (I think those aren’t available if buying online).

Lots of imported Spanish products. It truly feels like a traditional Spanish grocery shop.
Brindisa
https://brindisa.com/
The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, Borough Market
London, SE1 9AF
– morcillas (black sausages)
– dried red peppers
– artisanal food
– cupboard items such as almonds, fideos…
Yes, and also via the Borough Market delivery service (see below)More of a deli than anything else. Pretty high quality. Prices are pretty decent.

They seem to have fresh sweets in the deli that aren’t sold online, such as Tarta de Santiago (Galician St. James’s cake)

Other shops that sometimes sell Spanish products

ShopBest for…Online?Comments
Marks & Spencer

– Round Calasparra rice (Arroz de Calasparra)–can be used for paellas
– Big beans (from “El Navarrico”) (can be used in paella)
– Big asparagus
– Tortas de aceite Inés Rosales (a yummy and crumbly Andalusian dessert)
– Manchego cheese
– Fuet and other Catalan sausages
Not sure they sell these onlineMostly food cupboard items.

Look for the ‘Spanish’ section; it tends to be next or close to the spices.

The selection varies a lot depending on the size of the shop. The bigger the shop the likely you can find a Spanish range on it.
Waitrose and partners– Spanish olive oil like “La española” and smaller producers
– Paella rice; their own brand is good enough
– Flat green beans
– Various Brindisa branded items like olive tapenade
Yes
Sainbury’s – Paella rice; their own brand is good enough Yes, but I haven’t tried it
Tesco– Anchovy stuffed olivesYes, but I haven’t tried itIt came to my attention that they sell anchovy (not red pepper or garlic) stuffed olives.
Random newsagents and minimarts– Dulcesol sweetsI have no ideaSomehow they sometimes stock Spanish comfort food sweets?? I read recently that the manufacturer has a lot of sales outside of Spain, maybe that’s why. It is a big mystery to me anyway…

Fresh produce delivered to London

StockistBest for…Comments

Borough Market via Good Sixty
Website

Brings Borough Market to your doorSUPER convenient. All the food, none of the queueing and battling with people / tourists! Some favourites: Turnips for fancy fruit and veg (and mushrooms, yum), Ted’s Vegs for daily fruit and veg; Neil’s Yard Dairy, French Comté and Mons for cheeses and butter; Brindisa for all things Spanish; Spice Mountain, The Turkish Deli (olives and sweet treats), Borough Olives, La Tua Pasta, German Deli (sausages), Smokin’ Brothers (great smoked salmon).
Vincenzo
Website
Self-care fruit and veg boxTheir box for £40 (delivery included) includes a selection of fruit and vegetables of generally good quality (except the almost dead and wilted oranges that they kept including until very late in the year).

This is very useful (you don’t have to agonise over what to buy), but it requires commitment to go through all the food if you’re only two people. It will last more than a week too.
Phillip Warren butchers
Website
High quality meatWe eat meat less and less, and we also try to only eat meat coming from grass fed animals. This shop has extremely good quality meat products.

London shops with great stuff

StockistBest for…Online?Comments
Delicias de Portugal
Pimlico:
58-60 Lupus Street
London SW1V 3EE
(and other branches)

Website

– Portuguese products (obviously!)
– Spanish cupboard stuff – asparagus, lupin beans (altramuces)
– Culturally related stuff like Brazillian items
Yes (but I haven’t tried it)It feels like the Portuguese version of R Garcia & sons!
The Pimlico branch has a lot of fish.
Japan Centre
35a Panton Street
London SW1Y 4EA

Website
All things Japanese!Yes (some items limited to London only)I love this place.
Lina Stores
18 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0SH

Website
Excellent Italian deliYesEverything here is great (flours, confectionery, cheeses, fresh pasta), but I’m really longing for their Soho restaurant in Greek Street to re-open…
Honey & Spice
52 Warren Street, London W1T 5NJ

Website
– middle eastern cupboard items (think great quality tahini, olive oil, nuts, etc)
– delectable sweets
– great salads
– pick-up point for their take-away food
YesI give them a copious amount of my money 😂
In addition to the random cupboard items, I have been frequently ordering food feasts for special occasions in the last year.

Also they’ve got great peaches in summer…
Green Valley
36-37 Upper Berkeley Street, London W1H 5QF

Website
– All sorts of Lebanese things!
– Big spice and beans selection
– Fresh produce
– Various counters (meat, sweets)
No, order by phone 😱If it’s good enough for Nigella, it’s probably good for you too 😏
Oseyo
Multiple locations

Website
– All sorts of Korean stuff
– also has a lot of other Asian products (Chinese, Japanese, Thai…)
Yes, but I haven’t tried itThe fresh produce can be sometimes really hard to find elsewhere. Good range and an alternative to visiting Chinatown.

Bread making supplies (flour, grains and accessories)

StockistBest for…Comments
Bakery bits
Website

– Heritage flours
– Country flours (French, Italian…)
It also has an excellent range of accessories. Prompt service.
Shipton Mill
Website
– fab strong white organic flour
– other great organic flours (ciabatta, pastry)
I really like their flours. Very reliable and consistent between batches.
Gilchester Organics
Website
– Extremely heritage flours and grains (einkorn, spelt, emmer…)
– Unbleached strong white flour – gives your bread a deeper colour!
Super high quality, and the only place where I could find einkorn grains!
Hodmedod’s
Website
Grains and pulses grown in the UK (and their flours)Everything we’ve had here has been very TASTY but my favourites are the lentils, the rye flour and grains, and the YQ wholewheat flour

Other useful shops

StockistBest for…Comments
Steenbergs
Website

Amazingly fresh spices and seedsTheir stuff is so fresh I have to reduce the amount of some spices when cooking, or they would overpower the food!