HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >

Discussion

Cheap Groceries in London?

  • 9

So I'm going to be spending a number of months in London this summer/fall and was looking for advice on where to purchase groceries. I read in a number of other posts on the similar subject that both Brixton Market and Queens Market are relatively cheap although recent gentrification may have changed that.

I have also heard that Tesco prices vary wildly, especially with the Tesco Express corner stores.

I'll be living near King's Cross if that's of any relevance, and I'm just a Uni student so not looking for anything fancy or fresh produce or the like, just mainly quite cheap for someone operating on a restrictive budget!
Thanks so much, any and all help is appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I can confirm that Brixton has gotten slightly more expensive for groceries, but Queens Market is still extremely cheap. It depends on what you want and where you live - similar places exist north, south, east, and west.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JFores

      Still if you stick to noor cash and carry in Brixton and the actual STALLS rather than the delis you should be ok. Plus you have a slightly wider choice in terms of ethnic groceries (middle eastern, Mediterranean and south and east asian). Nevertheless both markets are serviceable for the purpose and close to you (H&C line for Whitechapel and Victoria for Brixton)

    2. Lidl and Aldi are two supermarket chains with some good bargains.

      1. As zuriga1 says, Lidl is cheap, and the closest is in Camden which is a 20 minute walk or $5 return by bus. There'll be a Tesco much closer (they're everywhere!). Prices will be higher than Lidl by about 20%, and the small central stores do charge more than large branches, but not really very much more.

        Berwick St. Market in colorful Soho is worth a visit for cheap fruit & veg. About 1 mile southwest of King'sX.

        http://www.berwickstreetlondon.co.uk/...

        1. Just noticed you'll be in King's Cross. Green Lanes is quite accessible for shopping that is both good quality and cheap - great Turkish food there too.

          Brixton is a quick Victoria line journey and the food/bar scene there is very good.

          1. There's a really big Sainsburys in Angel, on the Liverpool Road, which has a huge range of things, and often is quite good for reduced to clear things. You may not want to go all the way down to Brixton for food shopping.

            The market at Dalston Kingsland is also pretty good, and not too far away.

            If you are coming from the US, you will probably find grocery shopping, particularly fresh produce, is relatively cheap, although eating out is more expensive.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BritInDC

              'The market at Dalston Kingsland' is Ridley Road. It's my closest and sadly least favourite market but if you want cheap, then it's a good bet. Take the 30 from Kings Cross and get out at Dalston Junction. Most people love the Dalston scene generally so check it out online. Loads going on.

              1. re: BritInDC

                Angel would be my choice too - the Sainsbury's is well stocked and there is a Waitrose and M&S if you're feeling fancy. (They also have good deals occasionally).

                My top tip would be to hit Chapel Market (also in Angel), where your fruit and veg for the week will be very cheap. I often find it fresher and better quality than supermarket produce. There is also a fish van and a butcher who sells good quality chicken etc at very reasonable prices.

                On Sundays, there is more of a 'farmers market' vibe - artisan cheese, charcuterie, salad leaves, olives, some street food etc. You can treat yourself to the £5 thali lunch at Delhi Grill once you've done your shopping.

                You could also consider getting your dry / store cupboard stuff - toilet roll, tinned goods, pasta, rice etc - delivered from Asda. They are normally cheapest and as you don't have to carry it, you can buy in bulk and get the best price.

              2. Ref the Tesco Express - these are limited range convenience places so never cheap. You get better value in the large stores as you get the variety. In the UK most people use the big supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda etc. These can be good value if you shop carefully. There are new German chains - Lidl and Aldi that are a lot cheaper and have more bargains (which can be random) less high street brands but better value.

                There are some street markets around, the farmers markets are often quite expensive so be careful. The more local neighborhood ones are better and will have cheaper produce - but they are few and far between so you may need to travel - the further you go from the centre (kings cross is still quite central) the cheaper it gets - but it's a hassle.