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Cheap and delicious [London]

Just moved to London, and starting a column for SeriousEats.com in New York City on cheap, delicious food in London. It's aimed primarily at Americans visiting the UK, but it would be great to introduce locals to unique, out of the way places that they might not have known about too.

Any thoughts on places I have to check out/write about? Suggestions and guidance are greatly appreciated!

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  1. All the places in Brixton Village market. There's a separate thread if you check.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greedygirl

      absolutely! had corn soup followed by a fantastic steak with beans and rice for lunch today at the Columbian joint there - grand total of six quid. Also in terms of reporting stuff - for my money the ongoing development of Brixton Village is one of the most interesting food related things happening in London at the moment. If you search the boards there are several threads dedicated to it, including a piece the NYTimes did in their travel section. It seems to me whenever i go there something new has opened, and I'm there most weeks. Franco Manca, mentioned below, is that fabulous and also in the Village.

    2. Man the burger photos on your site are seriously amazing, i now know where I'm going on holiday next year!
      http://aht.seriouseats.com/

      Koya for exceptional udon noodles
      http://www.koya.co.uk/

      Angels and gypsies tapas is relatively good value
      http://www.churchstreethotel.com/rest...

      Eccles cakes and doughnuts from St.johns are practically meals in themselves, especially for breakfast
      http://www.stjohnbakerycompany.com/

      Old school cafe E Pellicci
      http://www.timeout.com/london/restaur...
      or a more contemporary version at the albion
      http://www.albioncaff.co.uk/

      fish and chips take your pick
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4059...

      1. Lots of cheap, delicious lunches to be found at the Borough Market... not out of the way but very accessible. There are also so many places in Soho... Hummous Brothers, Yalla Yalla (hope I got that one right), Princi.

        Oh those burgers... make me so homesick!

        2 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1

          Don't forget Brindisa in Burrough Mkt. Those chorizo sandwiches are a dream. Luckily I have all the ingredients here, in Bloomington, IN, at all times. That craving I can assuage quickly!

          1. re: Candy

            You are right... a terrific sandwich. When I lived in the States, I don't think chorizo was such a popular ingredient like it has become now. You probably have good corned beef, too! :-)

        2. Less touristy by leaps and bounds, but check out my South Asian posting on here. It's mostly in East London, but some of it is in the South as well. Nonetheless, the Eastern stuff (East Ham, largely) is very accessible. Despite what many Londoners think of the trip out to East Ham, I know that New Yorkers won't find it to be nearly as long. It's between 25 and 45 minutes depending on where in Central you are.

          The posts will pop up if you look for Thattukada, Gram Bangla, Hyderabadi Spice, Lahore Lahore Eh, Kebabish, Ananda Bhavan, Street Carts, etc.

          Needoo is someone else's post, but it's very accessible (maybe a 5 minute walk from Whitechapel tube which IMO is Central London in all but crime rates and the fact that you have the call to prayer once a day.) Gram Bangla is near here on Brick Lane, but it's not the most inviting place (think Bangladeshi men's club) and Bangladeshi food is not everyone's cup of tea, but it's world's better than NYC's best place, Ghoroa in Jamaica. Wembley and Harrow have loads, but I've only been to Tulsi. I know there must be a couple of fantastic places out that way, though.

          More central are Indian Zing and Quilon. Howler has written extensively on at least Quilon, but I think a lot of the Indian Zing posting is also his. There's also Dishoom which I have not yet eaten at, but it's basically a Parsi-style Mumbai cafe in the old colonial image.

          The Croydon stuff is a lot more accessible with the East London line, but that trip seems excessive. Unless it's to go to Tasty Jerk. Nothing is excessive for Tasty Jerk.

          Welcome to London! I'm a a native New Yorker as well (as are a couple of other people on this board.) Hope you enjoy your time and your work here. Please don't blatantly Robert Sietsema or Jay Rayner our reviews or our personal posted photos of restaurants and food.

          1. The Beef Brisket Curry at Cafe TPT is unbelievable. Its about £5 or £6, and boom boom bam bam its darn good.

            It's a small HK style diner in Chinatown, and a few of the dishes are darn good (fried rice, char keoy teow, curry).

            2 Replies
            1. re: brokentelephone

              haha agreed! i love TPT. i've been going there for years and it's never let me down!

              churchill arms on ken church street is a great pub the way pubs should be i.e. no plasma screen, no jukebox or slot machines, just a ton of atmosphere and great crowds. it also has the added bonus of having a cute thai kitchen out back that serves delicious big plates of thai curry and noodles at 6GBP a pop in the middle of a tropical garden. as a student it's been a terrific cheap eats option many times in the past.

              agreed on the south asian stuff - it's truly something to be proud of, though as a native west londoner i'd also suggest southall and wembley for some great options as well.

              on a side note - a lot of things that new york foodies lovingly debate e.g. burgers, great neapolitan pizza, great brooklyn style pizza, franks etc. are terrible imitations in london. i'd definitely advise sticking with the "uniquely london" (if it can be called that) stuff, so the south asian, middle eastern, gastropubby fare.

              1. re: HypedUp

                I loved the Churchill Arms, but my last 2 visits have been massively bad. Thai places seem to think it is ok to pre-cook chicken and then dump it in to whatever they're cooking which is not ok in my books.

                I do love to get paralytic drunk and eat thai food in the amazon though!