London is a bit of a foodie haven. Like any city, it can be a safe space for health nuts, junk food addicts and of course your neighbourhood lactose intolerant, celiac vegan. Who hates vegetables. We are lucky enough to have food for every occasion right on our doorstep, with plate sizes to match. An often overlooked page of the city’s menu however is that of food challenges – plates so big that if you finish them you win something. If the food on this list leaves your stomach growling, try one out for yourself. Roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and get stuck in! Just don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Challenge: Classic burger, hot dog and fries all topped with a generous dollop of jalapeños in 10 minutes
Prize: Free meal, a spot on the coveted wall of fame, and queue jumping privileges at the only restaurant in town that doesn’t take bookings.
Born of a hipster’s booze-soaked meaty dream, MEATliquor has been serving up old school US burgers and cocktails in the capital since 2011. As if its cult status didn’t carry enough weight on it’s own, they decided to spice things up a little bit with the now infamous Triple Chilli Challenge.
2. The Clapham North
Challenge: ‘The Beast Burger’ – Beef, chicken, and pulled pork with all the trimmings + chips in 12 minutes
Prize: Wall of fame spot, free drink afterwards
They call this a ‘burger’, but it’s really a plate of meat with some bread, maybe. Much more burger than beast, the meal isn’t even actually free afterwards – but the satisfaction would be enough, right?
3. The Pride of Paddington
Challenge: Jumbo Shepherd’s Pie in 20 minutes
Prize: Free meal
It can be tricky sometimes to find a proper pub, but The Pride of Paddington offers just that. Great drinks, a homey atmosphere and solid grub give it a proper ‘local’ feel. Their ever evolving list of challenges also currently includes a Triple Beef, Triple Bacon, Triple Cheese Burger (with triple chips and triple onion rings) and a Super Fiery Chicken Wings quest, but the shepherd’s pie as big as a boulder really takes the biscuit.
4. The Wonder Café
Challenge: The biggest breakfast you’ve ever seen, in 45 minutes.
Prize: Free food!
Turning 40 next month and under the same ownership since 1976, The Wonder Café is one of London’s best kept secrets. A proper old-school caff to the core, this beastly breakfast challenge has only been completed by 2 people. Made up of 4 pieces of fried bread, 4 slices of toast, 4 eggs, 6 sausages, 6 rashers of bacon, 6 hash browns, 4 black pudding, plum tomatoes, beans and mushrooms, it’s genuinely not for the faint hearted. How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Challenge: ‘Challenge Portion’ of ribs and fries.
Prize: A Porky’s T-shirt
Another meat lover’s home-away-from-home, Porky’s serves up some of the best ribs money can buy. Every Wednesday they open up the strangest sporting leagues around: eatin’ ribs. Every challenger that completes the portion gets a Porky’s T-shirt, but the quickest muncher every month wins a free meal for themselves and a fellow foodie. Ribs, anyone?
6. The County Arms
Challenge: 2 foot long Sausage Roll in 5 minutes
Prize: Free Meal & T-shirt
Another classic pub to have taken on the food challenge, er, challenge, The County Arms in Wandsworth has chosen the most British of pastries (the majestic sausage roll) as its player in the game of gluttony. Boasting a normal menu of exclusively seasonal English produce, the sausage roll stakes its claim on the title with a cool 5 minute timer. Finish within the limit and the monster is free, but even if you don’t they’re nice enough to give you the t-shirt just for trying. Thumbs up all round!