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Sep 19, 2006 06:27 PM

A Week in Central London on a Budget...

I saw a terrific thread that listed some great spots in London for a traveller who was running short of funds. But I also know that new places spring up often and new faces join the Chowhound ranks every day. SO...

We are spending a week in the London area and we are looking for cheap places to eat that aren't transplanted American fast-food chains. Not that I am patently agains fast-food or chains -- I love Pret a Manger -- but would like to stick with more London-y things. My travel parnter has never been to England (or even out of the North American continent) so I'd love to take her to some must-try things.

The budget I'd LIKE to stick to is around $5-15USD per person per meal. I realize that this is asking a LOT in London, but that's what Chowhounds do... dig up the nearly impossible!

So there is the gauntlet, thrown!

Thanks in advance, everyone!

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  1. I never understand why Pret gets such a good press from visitors. To me there is no joy to be found in one of their refrigerated sandwiches.

    A few weeks ago, there was a good feature in Time Out that highlighted some of London's best cheap lunchtime options.

    You can find it here:

    I have sampled quite a few of them and can heartily recommend.

    The Back Door at Rasa Samundra in Charlotte Street (actually its in the street behind the restaurant, I forget the name) You get a first class veggie lunch box for under £3.00

    I also like the bratwurst at Kurz and Lang in Smithfield. Although they are not quite as good as what you might pick up on the streets in Austria or Germany.

    Just Felafs in Covent Garden

    Houmous Brothers in Wardour Street

    I'll add a couple of recommendations of my own to the above in the form of the Jerk Chicken Trailer on Saturday in Hoxton Street Market. Expect a queue.

    A box of salad from Ottolonghi in Upper Street or Notting Hill must surely be one of London's greatest bargains. I honestly don't understand how they have got away with selling them without a sneeze guard for so long. But if yo don't mind that, they are delish and feature the best possible ingredients.

    1 Reply
    1. re: loobcom

      Wow! Thanks for the great suggestions and the excellent link to the TimeOut article.

      Anyone else have ideas?

    2. I have the PERFECT website for you. It's called

      and it's all about places Londoners go to for lunch. It aims to avoid all of the traditional places critics and publications rave about and has some good stuff listed.


      1. WOW!!! Thanks, TexasToast!!! GutterEats is an incredible site -- just the right thing. I can only expect that it will get even better as more people discover it and contribute to it (Not unlike Chowhound in that regard!)

        Still open to other suggestions from anyone else, too!

        1. am i the only one who shudders looking up restaurants in something called gutter eats?

          and will gutter eats ever find out about

          a) indian ymca
          b) india club
          c) malaysian students dining hall
          d) mohsen

          all of which are on a much much higher plane of existence than anything else i've seen on that miserably named site?

          1. I think that Gutter Eats will find out about these places if someone reviews them. The thing is, I think Gutter Eats more about takeaway, cafes and sandwich type places.

            1 Reply
            1. re: exmonkey

              Exactly. It's a new site. Give it time. I don't like the name either, but it's not my site.

              Oh, and if the OP wants to consult another source, try this: