Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
May 25, 2011 10:00 AM

Inexpensive (but amazing!) Food in London

Hey All,

This is my first post on the U.K./Ireland board, and I hoping for some help.
I'll be visiting London for 4 days at the end of June, and i'm trying to keep my budget for this trip as low as possible. Can anyone recommend fantastic restaurants for both lunch and dinner that won't break the bank?
We're not sure what area we are staying in yet, so suggestions that are easily accessible are greatly appreciated. We're open to all cuisines.

Thank you all in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A good place to start would be to search this board for "cheap London" and "budget London". There have been many, many recent threads, as someone seems to ask this question just about every other week. Once you have a look at what's already been posted on this topic, you can ask more specific questions about the experiences you're after.

    Another good thread is the Brixton Village thread, as this gets recommended to everyone looking for inexpensive but amazing food in London:

    1. Assuming you aren't teetotal one way of making eating out cheaper in London is bring your own places. Venues like Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House, Pakistani cuisine in east London, allow you to bring your own beer or wine with you at no charge.
      They are also very reasonably priced as far as their food goes.

      As gemuse says there are a lot of suggestions elsewhere on the boards. I can recommend Cay Tre the Vietnamese place in Shoreditch.

      1. How far do you want to travel for your food and what areas will you be around?

        Also, if you trace back through my posts (not to be conceited, but cheap/ethnic eats is all I'm good at) you'll find a huge number of places. Most of them might be a little far out for you though.

        The Brixton Village thread is an excellent place to look, but then we'll be getting into what we define as cheap. The food there is excellent and the food to value ratio is incredible, but I wouldn't call many of the places there cheap.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JFores

          I'm not sure where your staying or what you consider easily accessible but if your prepared for a half hour tube ride east then you can find some great food at really reasonable prices.
          Just search for East Ham on the UK board.

        2. Thanks for all the great replies everyone!
          We're still not sure where we will be staying yet, but as it is my boyfriend's first time in London, we'll be doing most of the typical "touristy" things, so suggestions in relation to that would be great :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefjeannine

            Well, they are not dirt cheap nor are they absolutely amazing, but the cafes in most of the major art galleries and museums are pretty good. The V&A (a beautiful cafe) and National Gallery in particular offer good value for money in places where you're likely to want to go. The British Museum food isn't so good but there you eat at communal tables so you get into interesting conversations.
            There's a food market behind the Festival Hall on the South Bank every Friday, Saturday and Sunday where you can get cheap and pretty amazing food to eat there or take away. The Moroccan stall is particularly good. And the Wild Food Co has 5-week-hung Dexter beef burgers. I bought some superlative lamb chops from them too.

            1. re: Jenny Sheridan

              I was so impressed by the V&A cafe. The food was really quite good, and beautifully presented, and the rooms are just gorgeous. As Jenny says above, it's not a tourist trap where you might expect it to be.

          2. The other answer I've just thought of is eat a good meal at lunch or very early evening.

            I'm assuming you are relatively keen on excellent foot and for example you could eat three courses at Arbutus at lunchtime which is an excellent restaurant for less than £40.

            I would also have a play around on websites such as this
            There are always lots of 50% off food and 2 for 1 deals floating about and in recent times they haven't just been confined to struggling restaurants. If you see something you like then come back and ask us for our view on it.