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Affordable/Cheap/Budget London Restaurants


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They're also a bit nervous about how expensive London is for U.S. citizens on a budget.  They'll be there for two weeks, starting the 17th.  Thanks!

Arbutus has drifted up in price a bit , but still excellent value - especially if you go for offal and other cheap stuff. The lambs heart stuffed with lemon and parsley I had there was one of the best things I've eaten this year.

For real economising , I'm rather fond of the Stockpot (old compton st) - liver and bacon, fried potatoes , undercooked carrots and tinned peas for less than a fiver. You don't even have to eat the peas.

Possibly a bit down market for your average e-gulleteer but for an authentic UK school dinner experience its hard to beat. Syrup sponge and custard is something like £1.70.

Still in cheap mode , I also like the new incarnation of Pollo just up the road (La Porchetta at the Pollo Bar)- you get a calzone that's bigger than a baby for only very slightly more than £5.00. Nice pizza, decent coffee, charming service and, once your a regular (ie from about your second visit). they more often than not top up your grappa free of charge or slip you a limoncello with the bill. The vegeterian anti pasti platter is a really well thought out collection of grilled, fresh, pickled and otherwise preserved vegetables and plenty big enough for 2.

Leon is pretty good and their coffe is nearly as good as Monmouth St coffee shop (who by the way, are a real bargain for coffee and baked stuff in the morning )

Gethin

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Thank you, Jennahan & Gethin, especially. Perhaps I could be enlightened, but I'm not sure Ramsay's for lunch would be their cup of tea. They've rented a flat, so will probably be cooking some evenings and popping in for pub food, soup or a quick sandwich for lunch wherever they happen to be during the day. Just wanted options besides Pret a Manger at lunch and good places to unwind in the evening.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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daw Dec 16 2005, 10:07 PM Post #12

Slightly OT but take yourselves to Borough Market on a Saturday morning for a great foodie experience and grab any of the range of things available for lunch on the hoof.[

Am I alone in finding the idea of simultaneously eating and walking objectionable? IMHO eating is an activity to be done sitting down, wherever possible in the company of others.

If the practice of eating in any other situation is not looked down upon by contributors to this forum where else do we look for the maintenance of standards?

As a practice ‘eating on the hoof’ is anti-social, leads to enormous litter problems, vermin and related social health issues. There is a whole body of evidence linking it to family and societal breakdown.

It can also be dangerous; witness the tripping of President Ford when he attempted to walk and chew gum at the same time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm a student living in london looking for places to eat that are cheap - not £20-25 cheap but under a fiver/ under a tenner cheap. I'll put a couple of my discoveries in to get the ball rolling.

Rasa Express - I think all outlets of the Rasa chain do the £3-4 lunchbox which is fantastic value keralan food, there's also a dedicated outlet on the Euston Rd right by Warren St station (they're all bright pink, you can't miss them)

Gabby's nr Leicester Square - some of the food can be a bit hit or miss but the felafel are some of the best in London much tastier (imo) than

Maoz on Old Compton St - decent felafels, freshly fried and with as much of the various salads that you can pile inot your pitta. Houmous is rubbish though, nad the chips are rarely how they should be.

North Sea Fish and Chips - nr Marchmont St - In the evening they sell crispy chips and a tasty home made fish cake.

Fryer's Delight in Holborn - Chips fried in lard for a different taste mmmm.

ICCO on Goodge st - Admittedly not gourmet pizza but ony £3- 5 and much better than pizza hut etc.

Bagels from brick lane - mmm salt beef!

Schwarma from Edgware Rd - my favourite is Helen's - it's a tiny little place only open after 8pm that knocks the socks off any schwarma served at Ranoush Juice up the road.

I'm not a vegetarian and willing to travel for a good, cheap meal but I study in Bloomsbury so the centre so any there would be good.

Nick

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Leon has good stuff.

Agra I remember being excellent and good value, but I'm not sure if it's quite under a tenner.

The Rock and Sole Place Good chippy, where you can sit outside in the summer. (Do try their Mushy Peas, even if you don't think you like mushy peas.)

greasy sppons ahoy! :

New Piccadilly A classic.

The Lorelei An experience.

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Masters Super Fish -- excellent fish and chips (and huge portions of them) just three or four blocks south of Waterloo tube and train stations, on Waterloo Road; a complimentary plate of three steamed prawns; they make their own pickled onions and gherkins; take-away and eat-in. It's where I am going as soon as my plane lands again at Heathrow.

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Leon has good stuff.

Had a lacklustre gnarled chicken thing at their Knightsbridge branch the other day, and left with the distinct impression that their expansion is taking a toll on quality. Very disappointing.

For "cheap", I'd suggest Little Bay, which continues to maintain quality despite not charging much more than its natural competitors in search of the student-date tenner (Bistro 1 and Wishing Well in Hammersmith spring to mind). In the "excellent value" category -- a subtle but important difference -- perhaps go for a bento box from Sakura, the uncompromisingly authentic Japanese restaurant in Hanover Street. And in the "bargain" category I'd suggest getting tapas at the bar of Moro, where you can try some of London's finest-sourced produce with a glass of wine and still get change out of your Dickens.

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If you're domiciled in Bloomsbury, try lunch at the October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, just off Queen Square. They serve Tuesday through Saturday from 12:30, and it's best to be there early rather than late. My sound studio was in their basement for twenty years and they never served me a bad meal.

For South Indian vegetarian, Diwana Bhel Poori on Dummond Street near Euston Station was the very first such restaurant in London and is still one of the best. Their £6.50 buffet lunch always forces me to overindulge.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Is Centrale still going on Cambridge Circus? Hole in the wall pasta place in which I spent many an evening in the early 90s (although you had to go to the Spice of Life for the loo). A huge plate of steaming gnocchi for a fiver.

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mmm! some good suggestions - I'd not thought of tapas and I've always wanted to go to Moro but been a wary of teh prices.

The japanese suggestion reminded me of Ryo on Brewer st which does a lovely heart warming bowl of soup - any other cheap and good Japanese?

Any good Turkish places you guy's reccomend?

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Soba in the square behind Totenham Court Road tube, next to the Hari Krishna place is quite good for cheap bowls of noodles and Jpanaese soups etc - cheaper than Wagamama too!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Another great, and very cheap, noodle place is 'Hare and Tortoise', in the recently done up Brunswick Square, next to the Renoir cinema. Huge portions of tasty noodle or rice dishes for 5 or 6 quid (large enough that when I have the laksa I always have to take half home, and it does me for a second meal, so a serious bargain!). You won't need to pay Wagamama prices ever again ...

The 'New Piccadilly' on Denman Street, just off the bottom of Shaftsbury Ave is definitely a place you have to go to at least once. Trouble is, the food ain't up to much (though it's great for a cuppa alongside treacle pudding and custard, mmm... ).

If you're around Piccadilly, though, there is a great little caff called 'Sergio's', on Eagle Place which, judging from the decor, hasn't really changed since the 60s or early 70s. If you walk west along the south side of Piccadilly Picadilly Circus, about 50 metres, past the Japan Centre and a 'Ponti's' (don't even think about it), there's a wide alleyway, no cars, that turns off south and connects with Jermyn Street. If the cafe's open, you'll see tables outside it.

Inside it's always snug, with a real mix of customers, from posh SW1 gents, to students, tourists, builders working on nearby sites, and escapees from the London Library round the corner (that'll be me then). They do big plates of lasagna and other pasta, for a fiver or less, sausage sarnies with proper, tasty, sausages, their toast is made from big slices of crusty white bread, not the sliced packet stuff, and they'll happily do you a huge fry up or a poached egg on toast, sandwiches, etc for caff, rather than cafe, prices. Love the place. The only drawback is that it's a breakfast through to teatime kind of place, and it's not open on a Sunday.

Edited, because I remembered the name of the cafe.

Edited by pigeonpie (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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More noodles at Culture Grub on The Cut - both soup and stirfried noodles are excellent and very cheap... Their dumplings aren't bad either, as it goes. Good pasta and pizza from Pizza Paradiso (aka Olivelli's) which have a few branches scattered about central London - they use decent ingredients, which makes a nice change.

I think Woodlands in Marylebone and Panton St still do good value thalis. Not quite Turkish are the Taz/EV chain (supposedly Anatolian...). You can still get a filling and tasty meze-based meal there for under a tenner.

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mmm! some good suggestions - I'd not thought of tapas and I've always wanted to go to Moro but been a wary of teh prices.

Disclaimer: don't go hungry. Momo's tapas bar is great value if you're looking for a few nibbles over a glass of house. But you're just wanting a low-grade fill of carbohydrates, you'd be better off at the kitch-dreadful Café España in Soho.

Further afield, it's worth investigating the Lebanese and Middle Eastern places around Shepherds Bush. Highlights include Abu Zaad -- good value and authentic Lebanese -- and Adam's Cafe for North African. The latter may break your budget (I think the three-course set is about £15) but it's BYO, so you can blance the expenditure by bringing your own snakebites, or whatever it is you student types drink these days.

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  • 9 months later...

Hey everyone. I'm going to be in london this coming week, and I'm looking for an affordable restaurant to go to with a friend on saturday night....Id prefer not spend much more thatn 25-30 pounds per person. Can anyone make any recommendations? Any types of restaurants/cuisines are welcocme :). Any restaurants that have excellent food and affordable menus?

Thanks,

-Charlie

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Hey everyone. I'm going to be in london this coming week, and I'm looking for an affordable restaurant to go to with a friend on saturday night....Id prefer not spend much more thatn 25-30 pounds per person. Can anyone make any recommendations? Any types of restaurants/cuisines are welcocme :). Any restaurants that have excellent food and affordable menus?

Thanks,

-Charlie

How about one of the Wagamama noodle bars?

http://www.wagamama.com/index.php

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