Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Leon- A Food Chain Less Ordinary

As an expat living in London, I tend to get overly excited about my zesty discoveries. When I first discovered Leon, that was my first reaction. I was just ridiculously excited. Then I quickly realized, after many many walks through many many different neighborhoods, that this little quirky place was one of many many in London. Fortunately and unfortunately. Let me tell you why.

One, my zesty discovery was not so much a coincidental discovery as it was meant to be. The Leon food restaurants are haphazardly distributed throughout the city in 8 different locations (my favorites being on Bankside, behind the Tate Modern and on Carnaby Street, right by Liberty 's!). My running into one of them was bound to happen. Blerg. I hate it when that happens. It's like when you hear a song for the first time and you think you're the only one who's heard it and you want to keep it safe, locked up in a little box so that no one else can pretend that they discovered it first (it happened with Rihanna's "Umbrella." I was so psyched when I first heard it on the radio. I thought, "Hey, I'm the first one to hear this song, for sure, and this moment is mine, forever!" Yeah... that was successful.) 

Leon, Bankside, behind Tate Modern

Leon, Carnaby Street, right behind Liberty

Two, let me tell you why finding Leon's was a fortunate discovery. Simply because Leon rocks. It simply rocks. It's a fast food store, but nothing about it screams fast food. Leon has neither the look of a chain restaurant, nor does it taste like one either. The organic veggies, meats and baked goods are cooked with TLC, making you feel so close to nature, you'll doubt you were ever eating fast food. The staff is super friendly and smiley. And once you become a regular, they treat you real special. Their wraps are to die for, their Superfood salads  are smackin fantastic, and oh Jesus is their chili con carne f-ing phenomenal. And I'm tough on chili. Making a good chili is like being a good ice skater. Pretty much impossible. They even sell a superb cookbook , which offers all of your favorite recipes. So if you're around one of those 8 locations one lucky day for lunch, check a Leon's for yourself! 

Green Beans and Aubergines at Leon Restaurant

Outside Seating at Leon, Carnaby Street


  1. I love London and would get excited about anything if I lived there. I have a few cities left on my list where I'd like to live next and London is on the top. :)

  2. Went to Liberty and then Leon for their hot chocolate this weekend- so so good since they use real chocolate! They used to have a branch near my work and I was seriously shocked when they closed it since I went daily and it was always busy. Definitely one of my favourite "fast" food places.

  3. how funny, last time in London, after liberty's, i took pictures of leon for research on cool fast food places!

  4. @From the right bank: London is a fantastic city to live in. Much quieter than new York but still so much to do.

    @Jessica: Have never tried their hot chocolate! Now I know what to get when I need something warm and cozy to drink! What a great alternative to Pret's cappucinos! yuk!

    @Tredtroika: I remember that! It is a cool cool place. Love it! Maybe we can grab sthg delicious from there when you come visit!

  5. Wow you have blogged what I feel! I love Leon too- and have done since the early days. My first experience was the Carnaby and it's still my favourite. As with a band you love you want to see good things grow and do well and have the acclaim they deserve but part of you misses the closeness and the feeling of knowing about a secret garden type place/ band.

    Still when we're feeling down we can always get a rose water rice pudding hey!