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Mar 10, 2011 02:18 PM

Can't afford River Cafe London, where should I go?

I just checked the website. No way can I pay 34 for branzino in London when I had it at Babbo NYC last Saturday for $29 and it fed three of us. So where else should we go? Looking for gastropubs, good food, adult like places for the week that I will be in London with the hubby in April.

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  1. Zucca is a great modern Italian alternative to the River Café:

    1. Small bit of advice - don't compare NYC-London menu prices like for like you'll just end up unhappy. Search the board for what London does best if you are on a budget - so maybe not higher-end Italian like River Cafe. Also - remember that the service charge here is more like 12.5% (and sometimes included and never more than 15%) and there's no sales tax (VAT is included in price so may make menu look expensive at first glance). Drinking at a pub where you get your drinks yourself from the bar = no tips.

      1. I'm originally from the NY area and have lived near London for quite awhile. That's good advice about not comparing prices or thinking in dollars too much. It will just ruin your trip. Of course you will have a food budget so find places where you will eat well and not break the bank. I've thought lately that offerings in London are equal or better than what's in NYC right now... it's fantastic.

        Many do some of the lunch special deals at higher-end restaurants if they want to splurge a bit.

        Eat what's really best in London - things you won't find in NY like fish and chips. Master's Superfish is one of the best. Nearby is Anchor & Hope, a wonderful 'gastropub,' but go early as they don't take reservations. Read through the board here. There are tons of good ideas, but it takes some research. At Ishbilia (Lebanese) you will also eat well and share different dishes. Get good sandwiches for lunch at Pret A Manger (much superior here to the NY version) or EAT.

        London is not cheap but you knew that when you booked the trip. :-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: zuriga1

          River Cafe has lunchtime offers on at the moment in support of Maggie's, a cancer charity. We had lunch there yesterday for £22 for 2 courses or £28 for 2 courses plus dessert.