Marks & Spencer helped popularise the avocado in the UK, when it started stocking them in 1968. After numerous complaints that the newly-introduced avocado pears didn't stew well, or taste nice with custard, M&S handed out leaflets explaining what they were, and how to eat them. Fast-forward 50 years and the avocado is now one of the nation's most popular ingredients. While they still don't quite work stewed, many of London's restaurants have come up with delicious, intriguing and innovative ways to champion this millennial staple.
1. Smashed avo on toast, Federation Coffee
Apparently the reason we can't afford to buy houses in London is because we are all eating too much avocado. We've done the maths, though, and the reality is that in order to save a deposit for a property in London you would have you give up 24,499 portions of avocado toast… that's about 67 years' worth of Sunday brunch. Sod that. We'd rather live our best lives by renting and enjoying the smashed avo on toast at Federation Coffee in Brixton Market for the rest of our days. Topped with chilli and super-seeds, you can add smoked salmon for decadence.
Federation Coffee, Brixton Village Café, Unit 77-78, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS
Want your avocado toast to take you to new heights?
Head up to Darwin Brasserie at the Sky Garden for a brunch with mounds of smashed avo, topped with a poached egg and tomato salsa — it's as beautiful as the view.
2. Atlantic prawn & avocado salad, The Ivy
The Ivy is a pillar of history and tradition in the London dining scene, with a reputation for elegant, refined dishes celebrating the best seasonal produce and classic British dishes. If you're seeking the comforting flavours of a 70s dinner party, but with all the sophistication of a classic Ivy dish, the Atlantic prawn & avocado salad with cocktail sauce is a winner.
The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
For something a little more humble…
Take your lunch break to Baygo in Eastcheap for their prawn & avocado rainbow salad box.
3. One-of-a-kind guacamoles, Cantina Laredo
London’s first dedicated guacamole and tequila bar features in-house 'Guacamaestros' who theatrically prepare 'The Great Eight Guacamoles' in front of you. As experts in the art of guacamole, Cantina Laredo only use house-selected and perfectly ripened Hass avocados alongside exciting and complimentary ingredients to create one-of-a-kind guacs. The menu includes grasshopper with grilled avocados, and creamy blue cheese with almond and pineapple with pomegranate seeds. All are served with warm tortilla chips for scoopin'.
Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St Martin's Lane, St Martin's Courtyard
Or maybe you could try…
Redemption's fully plant-based menu which includes chunky guacamole peppered with spring onion, coriander, chilli and lime juice with cherry vine tomatoes and micro greens, served with toasted sunflower & flaxseed bread.
4. Lobster California roll, The Big Easy
The Lobster California Roll can be found on The Big Easy's bottomless brunch menu. Every weekend from 11am-4pm, guests can enjoy two hours of bottomless drinks and a dish of their choice, and we all know it's not really brunch if you don't have avocado on your plate. The lobster California roll is packed heavy with avocado chunks, cherry tomatoes & mayo, and of course, a generous amount of sweet, pink lobster meat.
The Big Easy, 12 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA
Or for something proper fancy…
Chucs Harrods serves a lobster & avocado salad, presented in a cylinder like a crown of pink and green.
5. Mighty KuPP Klub, KuPP
KuPP's smørresbrøds are open-faced sandwiches built on a thin layer of dense rye bread, traditionally eaten for lunch all over the Nordic region, or in this case, Paddington Basin. The Mighty KuPP Klub is made with torn roast chicken, smoked streaky Danish bacon, heirloom tomatoes, topped with chunky crushed avocado, soft boiled egg & mustard mayo. Lækker!
KuPP, Unit 53, Merchant Square, W2 1AS
Or for a sandwich a bit more classic, you could try…
The bacon & avocado sandwich served in Hyde Park's Serpentine Bar & Kitchen... just don't share it with the ducks!
6. Heat Wave bowl, Ahi Poke
The team at Ahi Poke embody the relaxed, laid back attitude of the American west coast, with the fresh and nutritious flavours of Hawaii in their poke bowls. Their Heat Wave bowl is built on heaps of smashed yuzu avocado, quinoa, salmon, red onion, kimchee cucumber and coriander, with lashings of sriracha mayo.
Ahi Poke, 111B Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, E16 BG
Or you could try…
The tuna or salmon & avocado poke, with rainbow radish, sesame & macadamia at 34 Mayfair.
7. Avocado & pineapple suspiro, Floral by LIMA
Covent Garden based Floral by LIMA is the little sister to London's only Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant. Known for its bold flavours and colourful presentation, the team has recently added some fresh new dishes to its menu, and nestled amongst the desserts you will find the avocado & pineapple suspiro, a pretty little pud made with a smooth, whipped avocado mousse and shards of crisp, dried pineapple for a contrast of sweet and creamy flavours.
Or you might want to head to…
The pop-up Avobar in Covent Garden which serves a deconstructed white chocolate & avocado vegan cheesecake. They have a permanent site coming soon, too!
Floral by LIMA, 14 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9BJ
8. Avolato, Selfridges
If you have any form of social media, then you didn't miss the news that Selfridges launched the UK's first Avolato back in the spring. This avocado-based ice cream served in a real avocado shell is totally vegan and comes complete with a Pip & Nut nut-butter stone to make it look like the real thing. Created by Snowflake Luxury Gelato, the dessert is gluten and refined sugar free, high in protein and obviously extremely instagrammable.
Or perhaps you could try…
Gelupo in Soho serves scoops of Avocado Sorbet; the perfect, refreshing spoonful for hot summer days in London
Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1A 1AB
9. Pistachio & avocado batida cocktail, Sushi Samba
If eating avocado doesn't give you the hit you're after, take the infamous lift up to the 38th floor of the Heron Tower to Sushi Samba and order the pistachio & avocado batida cocktail. A colourful twist on a classic Brazilian favourite, this creamy and nutty cocktail is made with fresh avocado puree swizzled through crushed ice with cachaca, pistachio orgeat and cacao. Served long with an accompanying cone of maize cancha. Is is an aperitif, is it a starter? Who knows, but we want it.
Sushi Samba, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Or for a breakfast suitable beverage…
Riding House Café serves a creamy avocado smoothie to accompany their infamous brunches.