London Underground: London’s ‘little Romania’, where it’s ‘rough around the edges’ but the restaurants are so good they taste ‘like mum’s cooking’

Edgware’s Burnt Oak in North West London has been nicknamed ‘Little Romania’ by locals and Londoners due to the large community in the area. The influence of Romanian culture is clearly felt as soon as you step out of the Burnt Oak tube station on the Northern line.

Cafes and shops fly the Romanian flag with pride. As part of our London 365 project, we visited Burnt Oak to find out more about this little corner of Romania in the capital, located between Colindale and Edgware on the London Underground.

Local resident Marius Pepoo Marius, 38, came to the UK from Romania in 2007. He works in Burnt Oak as a tattoo artist and says he was drawn to the area because the amazing Romanian food reminded him of his home country.

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Pravin Shah, 70, opened the Bijal Food Center with his family in 1976(Image: Tom Jones/MyLondon)

Speaking to MyLondon, he said: “For me, it was hard to find Romanian food before 2014 in London, as there weren’t many places. When I came here to Burnt Oak, I was blown away. There were so many restaurants. It was like having my mother’s kitchen but not having my mother, if that makes any sense.

“So it was very exciting for me. I was trying all the different foods that I couldn’t get in stores. They make great food here and it’s not expensive.”

When asked about Burnt Oak as an area in general, Marius replied, “Well, it can be a little rough around the edges, but there’s a great community here and it’s a big part of London.”