London is well known for some of its culinary staples and divine flavors. However, when visiting, especially for the first time, one must try a traditional fish & chips, start the morning right with a full English breakfast, and of course, leave room for that savory Sunday roast with vegetables and a Yorkshire pudding. These are the classic meals that will help you to gain an appreciation of British tastes. Having a steak sandwich in London, I don’t imagine, would be among them.
Don’t worry; you will work your way up to the aromatic and flavorful curries, flaky meat and fish pies, toasties, and the ubiquitous sausage roll. The markets (Camden, Borough, Maltby, and Spitalfields, to name a few) are great places to see, taste, and feel what is currently trending on the food scene. So do take the time to seek one out. You will only be rewarding yourself.
I spoke with my buddy Stefan from Berkley Square Barbarian about what to do during my stay. He mentioned a favorite steak sandwich in London at the Maltby market. I looked it up and would have made it a part of my plans, except that they were only open for limited weekend hours. Sadly, that sandwich was not going to fit into my schedule.
Somehow the hook on the line was set (I’m blaming Stefan), and I was determined to now find the best steak sandwich in London. Where was a steak sandwich near me? Would it be the best? I wasn’t entirely sure, but I was up for the challenge.
Since I was short on time, I had to narrow my focus and hurry my mission. I discovered a place in Farringdon called The Eagle, and on their menu, there just so happened to be a steak sandwich.
The Eagle’s location was not far from the underground, and in an area, I had already become familiar with the night before. Many reviews I read further confirmed that I had made the proper choice. The Eagle rump steak sandwich had built up a small cult following. Now, if only getting myself there was as easy.
I remember the next day clearly because it was Halloween. My friends had gone to work, and I was alone in the apartment. Around noon I decided to go to the market (Tesco) down the road to get some things to prepare for dinner. I got locked out and was without a key — what a fantastic start to the day.
I walked down the street to the White Lion pub and drowned my sorrows while communicating with my friends. Lee wasn’t off work until 5 in London, and Mike was busy until 3 pm. I wasn’t going to sit in the pub all day.
At 2 pm, I decided to head into the city and visit The Eagle gastropub to satisfy my carnivore craving. Then I would putz around until a person with a house key got off work.
I arrived at the Eagle around 4 pm. It was a short walk slightly uphill from the tube station once I got my bearings.
I entered and was happy to see places to sit. I read that it can get crowded, and you may have to share a table with others. The availability of seats should have signaled to me that something was not quite right.
I went up to the bar to order a pint of Estrella and the Bife Ana Marinaded Rump Steak Sandwich.
It’s Halloween, and I managed to lock myself out already; what else could go wrong?
“Here is your beer, but since the kitchen is closed, we can’t place your food order.” The gentleman behind the bar told me.
Ugh! The kitchen closes at 3 pm and doesn’t open again until 6:30. FML
Some days you have all the luck, and things fall into place; apparently, this was not going to be my day.
On my next attempt to hunt down London’s best steak sandwich a day or two later, a train on the Metropolitan line in front of mine lost power and broke down on the tracks. After being stuck in the underground for well over 90 minutes, we diverted to another station. So I wouldn’t have been able to make a connection to get to the Eagle before the kitchen closed at Three. Fail!
I had given up for the most part and decided to continue this misadventure on another London visit. I had changed some travel plans around and now would fly to Spain for my birthday. Scheduled to fly out of Luton airport at 5 pm, I noticed that I could connect from Farringdon station. Would this work for me finally, or would this be strike three?
That day the old gods and the new were looking out for me and must have been on my side; perhaps a bit of Scorpio’s birthday luck was involved. So, enthusiastically and with an appetite, I arrived at The Eagle pub in Farringdon at 12:30. Could I get the best steak sandwich London?
A look around revealed an eager lunch crowd, but thankfully it was not yet crammed. I sat at a small wooden round table and placed my backpack and jacket on the other chair. I went to the bar to order a pint of Estrella and the famed Bife Ana steak sandwich.
The guy that took my order was from Vancouver. I mentioned to him that I was from California and how much effort I had put into being here at this time for the eagle steak sandwich. He laughed at my follies and asked how I had heard about the pub. And then he told me that an article made it into a tourist guide and that now they have customers coming in that don’t speak any English but point to the magazine in their hands to order the steak sandwich. Next, he told Chef Ed that I had come a long way (across the pond) for this meal.
When I went to Lisbon earlier that year, I was in heaven with the food. Besides the bounty of seafood, two of my favorite things were simple marinated sandwiches, Prego and Bifana. I must say that some of the blame falls on Bourdain.
Through sheer determination and grit, I persevered and devoured The Eagle’s fabulous steak sandwich (bite by delectable bite). It is quite a large serving of perfectly seasoned rump steak on a big crusty Portuguese carcaças bun. Chili, oregano, garlic, onions, and red wine combine to make this flavorful London classic.
I don’t know if this is the best steak sandwich in London or not, but it surely satisfied my craving and sense of adventure. The flavors were on target and let my taste buds reminisce about our time in Portugal. The Eagle rump steak sandwich (Bife Ana) was precisely what I was looking for.
My quest to find the best steak sandwich in London was no longer eluding me. You can read about more of my food and travel adventures here.
What is your favorite thing to eat in London? The Eagle Farringdon steak sandwich was certainly a memorable one for me.
Looking for fun activities to do in London?
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