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Blinis, Not Bangers

Where three foreign-born Londoners go when they’re feeling homesick.


Russian London

“No one’s ever sober at Borshtch ’n’ Tears (46 Beauchamp Pl.). They play Russian music, there’s karaoke, it’s crazy. The logo is a chef cutting onions and crying. For Uzbek and Kazakh food, go to Samarqand (18 Thayer St.), but for gossip, go to Jak’s (77 Walton St.). Everyone’s there. It’s a brunch spot that’s a bar at night. It’s Albanian-owned, but for some reason they serve Mediterranean food.” —Inga Leps, art adviser


Nigerian London

“Nigerians make up the oldest black community in London, so we have loads of restaurants and clubs. I go to 805 Restaurant (805 Old Kent Rd.) to listen to Afrobeat and eat grilled fish with plantains. It’s a big, modern-looking place, with room for 150. I get my porridge and ayamase stew at Tasty (16 Plumstead Rd.). And Cokobar hosts a Nigerian club night every Saturday at Clause Bar (1 Lovat Ln.).” —Jumoke Adegbite, stay-at-home mother


Polish London

“Everyone says the best steak tartare is at Gessler at Daquise (pictured; 20 Thurloe St.), a posh restaurant in South Kensington. They make it tableside. The hard-to-find but great Bar Polski (11 Little Turnstile) stocks 50 different kinds of vodka—all shots cost £2.90. Mamuska (Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Southwark) is a modern take on a Polish milk bar. The food is tasty, but at the original Communist-era milk bars, the plates were screwed onto the tables, and spoons and forks were on chains. Mamuska doesn’t do this!” —Marta Gromysz, translator


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