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Inexpensive London

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Having a 3 day break in London next month and interested in recommendations for places that are not so expensive.

That's not to say we're specifically looking for cheap eats. Just not michelin star but still with excellent food.

My dining partner unfortunately does not really like spicy food. But anything British, Mediterranean (she's Greek) or whatever is what we're looking for.

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One way to keep the meal price lower in general is to spend less on the alcohol. My recommendation of a place is Yauatcha for excellent dim sum, you can order the cheaper dishes and 3 / 4 dishes per person is sufficient, with some tea, followed by a desert.

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Try Bar Boulud or goodman for a burger, there are lot less expensive burger options too.

A ginger pig sausage roll is a great thing.(Marylebone or Borough market and other places)

Lunch at Pollen st social is a bargain although the booze is a bit pricey.

The Dairy in Clapham is quite new and looks good.

Zucca or Jose, Bermondsey St - not far from Borough market.

Cassis or Apero cold be worth a look. I ate well in Apero very reasonably.

Tasting lunch at Hedone. Sit at the counter. A bit over budget but have a modest breakfast and dinner you are in for a treat.

Edited by MaLO (log)


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Fryer's Delight for fish and chips, in Theobald's Road.

Ba Shan or Bar Shu for Sichuan or Hunanese in Chinatown - unfortunately there is a spice level, but man are these places good, especially Ba Shan.

Bam-bou for upscale Vietnamese at the bottom of Charlotte Street.

The Cow near Westbourne Grove - sit in the pub downstairs and have oysters with Guiness or kedgeree. (Don't eat in the restaurant upstairs.)

Dock Kitchen near Ladbroke Grove / Kensal Road - fantastic grilled north African / Mediterranean food with a South Asian influence.

The Painted Heron - upscale Indian in a nice corner of Chelsea at the end of Cheyne Walk. Actually truly excellent.

Alounak - superior Persian BYOB in Westbourne Grove, between Notting Hill and Bayswater. They make the flat bread (sangak) in seconds in the concave tandoor oven as you walk in.

Guinea Grill - in Mayfair, a classic old place for steaks and especially steak-and-kidney pies. Might be at the upper end of the price range. I love this restaurant.

St John - if you steer clear of the wine list, I think you could get out of here for under £50 per head - and it's one of the best restaurants in the world if you go to the original Smithfield location. I'm sure you're aware of the style and ambience - if not, google it.

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Patty & Bun do really good burgers (in my opinion on par with Goodman and better than Meatliquor), although it is very casual with somewhat loud music.

Little Social is a nice alternative to Pollen St Social aswell. You still get great service (almost same level as across the street), good food and slightly lower prices.

Edited by ahpadt (log)
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Koya in Soho is perhaps the best value restaurant in London considering the food alone. Excellent Japanese soba noodles (handmade), although there are other options in the form of Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu, which are ramen specialists and also excellent, although all aren't the sort of place you'd want to linger. If I have any criticism it's that they've all fashioned themselves on that minimal NY style that's taken over in recent years.

I'd also give a shout to Claude Bosi's relatively new gastro-pub in Fulham, The Malt House. Same produce as Hibiscus, albeit in pub style. Still has Michelin execution in my opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if this place does join the Harwood as London's only starred pubs come October. Staying with gastro pubs, my latest find has been the Princess Victoria on the Uxbridge Rd, which despite being a slight trek from the center of town, is fantastic and worth the effort; it possibly has the best triple cooked chips in London (and yes, even better than the originals at Heston's Dinner.

Curry wise, check out the Cinnamon Soho, the Cinnamon Club's Soho outpost. It's much, much cheaper, yet the food equally as tasty.

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We often eat at the Cote restaurant in St. Martin's Lane (next door to the Coliseum opera house), but there are other locations, as here:


The pre-theatre menu is excellent value: last week three of us had three courses plus wine, coffee and cognac. The total bill was about £88 - say £60 without the alcohol. We haven't yet eaten from the a la carte, but it looks good value.

Food quality and service are fine. The staff are French and the food basic French but not idiosyncratic.

Theatregoers fill the place between about 5:00 and 7:00 - it quietens off after seven.

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  • 1 month later...

I can second the suggestions for Alounak and Koya, both are great (especially Alounak, probably the best Persian restaurant I've been to anywhere in the world). I think Koya is better than Tonkotsu, even though they're slightly different. Tonkotsu is still good, however.

For something similar to Persian but with a twist, try Iraqi food! Le Chef Masgouf on Connaught Street, off Edgware Road, is quite good and definitely not grungy like a lot of the Edgware Road places.

For Mediterranean: I'll also add that a lot of the more casual Spanish places can be done for £50, such as Fernandez & Wells, Brindisi, and maybe a few others. There's also Comptoir Libanais, that could do you well too. If you want to go up to Stoke Newington, there are several cheap-as-chips and very legit Turkish places too.

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