This chapter explains how migrants have impacted the eating habits of all sections of the population in both social and geographical terms. While the evolution of modern London remains inconceivable without the role of migrants, the chapter shows that they may have had a more profound impact upon eating out than any other aspect of the history of the city. In the first place they have opened and staffed some of the most famous restaurants in the world. But this only tells one side of the story because settlers from Europe and beyond have, at the other end of the scale, also opened up establishments which serve up the dishes that characterize mass consumption, from the first fish and chip shops in the East End to the Chinese and Indian restaurants of the post-war period and the vast range of foreign food establishments which exist in the global capital of the twenty-first century. While, on the one hand, these restaurants cater for the ethnic majority, which increasingly became a vanishing concept, many migrants have also opened up restaurants for their countrymen as such establishments form a key part of local ethnic economies.
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