I’ve asked a couple of people to guest blog for you here on Broke in the Big Smoke about their favourite thing about living in London. Today Sandra from Cake + Whisky tells you all some of London’s best cheap eats.
Dining out in London needn’t break the bank. Despite it being one of the most expensive cities in the Europe and the world, it’s also one of the best when it comes to dining out on a budget.
Of course, you can find cheap food pretty much everywhere in the world, but London is quite different, both in terms of the quality and the diversity of what you can get for £10.
When in many other European cities, your choices will be limited to fast food burgers or greasy pizza, in London, your budget dining options are much more cosmopolite…
And the proof is in the Top 10 list…
- Borough Market
If you’re a foodie, Borough Market is really close to the idea you have of heaven. They have everything you could possibly wish for, from gorgeous fresh fruit & veggies to mountains of cheese and every kind of baked good you could possibly think of.
It also is an excellent choice if you’re after delicious, cheap street food. Borough Market is home to some of the city’s best street food stalls.
Favourites include Kapacasein’s Raclette & Brindisa’s chorizo sandwich, and there’s so much to choose from I’m sure you’ll find just what you’re after!
How much it costs: about £10 for main + dessert
- Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake
Beigel Bake on Brick Lane is a London institution: it’s open 24/7 and there is always, ALWAYS a line. Not really surprising considering the value for money those guys offer!
All the bagels are made on site (watching the bakers make the bagels will keep you busy while you queue!), very generous (I swear there was half a pack of cream cheese in my bagel!), and stupidly cheap too!
How much it costs: Ridiculously cheap: the salt beef bagel is around £6, the smoked salmon one £2
- Franco Manca
One of London’s best sourdough pizzas. That’s what they’re known for and that’s what they do well, so definitely one for the carb lovers out there! Don’t bother with dessert though, it’s not really their forte!
How much it costs: about £10 per person (and I promise you won’t go hungry for a while!)
Have you ever tried Sri Lankan food? If not, make a beeline (a.k.a put your name down and go for a drink until the restaurant rings you to tell your table is ready) for Hoppers.
Serving up flavourful curries and excellent hoppers (a sort of pancake made of fermented rice flour and coconut milk), it’s probably the best value for money place I’ve come across in a while!
How much it costs: Just above £10 per person for a hopper and a curry. Ridiculously good value.
- Battersea Pie Station
I tend to hate touristy places, especially when they’re really crowded, but there’s something about Covent Garden I simply can’t get enough of. However, food (especially on the cheaper end of the spectrum) is a bit meh around there. But, as for any general rules, there are always exceptions and Battersea Pie Station is Covent Garden’s.
It’s nothing fancy, but they serve up some of the city’s best traditional British pies at prices that can’t be beaten!
How much it costs: Somewhere between £5 & £10 for pie and all the trimmings.
One for the more adventurous eaters, Bibimbap takes its name from a signature Korean dish of fried rice, topped with vegetables and soy sauce, served in a hot stone bowl.
You won’t quite understand how truly brilliant a thing a bibimbap is until you taste one. But take my word on it, it’s Asian comfort food at its very best!
How much it costs: For around £10, you’ll get enough food to feed even the most puckish of dinners!
- Herman ze German
They say that their Wurst is Ze Best and truth be told, they’re probably not far from the truth!
Head to Herman for a taste of German street food, mainly German sausage in all its forms (including vegetarian), grilled and served in buns, with chips or a side salad. But trust me, you’ll want the chips!
How much it costs: One of Ze Best deals in town: Currywurst + Pommes is £6.
- Hummus Bros
Hummus Bros does very much what it says on paper: hummus. And then a few extra stuff to eat it with, including a lovely falafel salad and great, warm pitta bread.
How much it costs: The hummus bowls are around £6 (and you get to pick your own toppings! Avocado hummus anyone? #yesplease)
- Melt Room
This place is the best for cheesy dates. Nop, not that kind! No red roses or candles there, just loads of melted cheese and bread. It is London’s first grilled cheese shop after all.
Oh, and they do a nice lil’ mac n’ cheese number you won’t want to miss. Especially since it’s only £5…
How much it costs: Cheap as chips! All the grilled cheese sandwiches are £5 or under.
A paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth, Gelupo is a cute little ice cream parlour down Archer Street and they serve London’s finest frozen treats.
The milkshakes, cakes and cookies are all well and good, but they’re nothing compared to the gelato.
Ricotta & Sour Cherry and Blood orange sorbet are firm favourites, but they always have new flavours to try on, which is a great excuse to keep going back!
How much it costs: £2 for 1 scoop, £3 for 2 and £4 for 3