London’s Best Cheap Eats

February 16, 2013

The British food scene might be a joke around the world, but now the UK is laughing because London, and indeed the whole UK, is glittering with Michelin stars. This also means, however, that good food can attract a hefty price tag. If you’re in the capital to see a West End show and looking for a pre-show dinner, or are enjoying the sights on a London break, a fancy restaurant may be beyond your price-range.

But you don’t always have to sacrifice taste when you opt for cheaper meals. We explore the UK capital to find the best-kept eatery secrets so that you can enjoy fine food at backpacker prices.


1. Gordon Ramsay’s Foxtrot Oscar
Foxtrot Oscar has the attraction of not only being in fashionable Chelsea (ideal for a day exploring Museum Corner), but also of boasting a Daily Offers Menu of two courses for £15 (three for £20) available until 7pm.
Location: 79 Royal Hospital Road, SW3.

2. Koya
Located in Soho, a short walk from Theatreland, Koya is THE place for noodles in the West End. Forget those sanitized chain noodle bars, and enjoy the somewhat chaotic ambience of Koya. The menu features plenty of noodle dishes (£7 – £14) and Japanese favourites like Prawn Tempura (£10).
Location: 49 Frith Street, WD1.

3. The Secret Larder
If you are able to book in advance and your trip to London coincides with one of their events, the Secret Larder is a very affordable option. One of many supper clubs that are bang on-trend, The Secret Larder serves up a delicious well-constructed four-course menu plus welcome cocktail, coffee and homemade truffles for the princely sum of £30.
Location: 21a Ezra Street, E2. Every Thursday and adults only.

4. Yalla Yalla
Tucked away in one of Soho’s myriad tiny alleys, Yalla Yalla offers both a dine-in and takeaway service. The latter is ideal if you’re with the kids and they have a penchant for spicy and flavoursome food, as the menu is decidedly Lebanese. Their Sawda Djej features in Time Out’s Best 100 dishes of 2012.
Location: 1 Green’s Court, W1F.

5. Sticky Fingers
Owned by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Sticky Fingers is a very family-friendly burger restaurant. The best day to go is Monday; the menu is as every other day of the week, but burger prices are slashed by 50% and all other options have discounts ranging from 20% to 40%.
Location: 1a Phillimore Gardens, W8.

6. Fifteen
One of the Jamie Oliver stable, Fifteen is a project to help unemployed youngsters into a food career. While a tasting menu can set you back £60, at weekday lunchtimes there is a special dish, changed daily, added to the standard menu as a ‘Winter Warmer’ for just £5. It’s a chance to enjoy Oliver-style at a bargain price.
Location: 15 Westland Place, N1.

7. Smollensky’s Bar and Grill
If you’ve got kids under seven, Smollensky’s is the ideal way to introduce them to the restaurant experience. They are greeted with a goodie bag to keep them occupied, and the kids’ menu is appealing and budget-friendly (£4 for burger and fries). Mum and Dad can enjoy a two-course menu for £12, available seven days a week.
Location: 105 The Strand, WC2R.

8. Belgo Central
Ideally located in the heart of the West End in Covent Garden, Belgo brings simple but classic Belgian style to the capital. It’s best just to turn up because the excellent offers vary, but recent discounts have included ‘Kids Eat Free’ when accompanied by two paying adults. There’s also their fun ‘Beat the Clock Menu’.
Location: 50 Earlham Street, WC2H.

These suggestions were brought to you by courtesy of Show & Stay, the provider of cheap London theatre breaks.

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  • femmefrugality February 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Awesome tips! Saving in case I make my way across the pond anytime soon!

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      These might be the cheapest things you can find in London.

  • Michelle February 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Good to know for when I go to London! Hopefully something soon 🙂

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      We should do a bloggers trip!

      • Michelle February 23, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        I’m in!!

  • Sarah Park February 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing these list. Must visit these if I get to the place.

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Are you planning to anytime soon?

  • Michelle February 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I will be in London in May, I will def. use this list while I am there. Thanks.

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm


  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals February 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Hooray! I am going to London TWO MONTHS FROM TODAY and am going to forward this list to my friend (and host) to see what she thinks 🙂

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      How long are you going away for ?

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter February 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    You said “cheap eats in London” and now I am MASSIVELY craving me some Wagamama!

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      I aim to please 😉

  • KC @ genxfinance February 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

    These are good. I would love to visit these restaurants in the future and try their exquisite dishes.

    • Marissa February 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      London is amazing for that!