Frugal flames: What are the best cheap date restaurants in London? 

Ah, love in London – where the skyline is as enchanting as your date, and the only thing rivalling Big Ben’s charm is your partner’s smile. But let’s face it, romance shouldn’t have to break the bank. 

In a city known for its grandeur, we’re here to uncover the hidden gems, the culinary cupid arrows, and the best cheap date restaurants that will have you saying ‘I love you’ without uttering a word about your budget. 

So, tighten your seatbelt, we’re about to take you on a budget-friendly gastronomic journey through the heart of London’s love affair with affordable dining!


Media from bao_london

Location: 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]


Bao is practically known as the Beyoncé of the London food scene. It’s hip, it’s trendy, and it still manages to give you bang for your buck. 

You can indulge in a feast without feeling like you need to consult your financial advisor afterwards. But, and it’s a big but (no pun intended), there’s a strategic move involved. 

You’ve got to resist the temptation to turn your table into a buffet of endless small dishes. Trust me, it’s easier said than done when faced with Bao’s tempting offerings.


Media from bancone.pasta

Location:  8-10 Lower James St, London W1F 9EL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3034 0820


London’s pasta scene has become a battleground of flavours and prices, with a new wave of Italian eateries serving up the carb-loaded goodness without leaving your wallet in shambles. 

But if you’re on the prowl for a cheap yet romantic rendezvous, there’s one spot that rises above the rest – Bancone. This place has mastered the art of crafting delightful pasta dishes that not only please your taste buds but also won’t send your budget into a tailspin. 

But keep in mind that Bancone can sometimes feel like a strategic chess move. If you’re aiming for peak times, be prepared for a waiting game that could stretch over a month. 

The Cheese Bar 

Media from thecheesebarldn 

Location: Unit 93 – 94, Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, London NW1 8AH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7428 6441


If your idea of a perfect evening involves contemplating the complexities of Gouda and getting starry-eyed over a wheel of Brie, then The Cheese Bar is your culinary Shangri-La.

The beauty of The Cheese Bar is that you can curate your cheesy adventure without breaking the bank. Whether you’re sampling a variety from their menu or diving into a fancy cheese toastie, every bite is a testament to affordable indulgence.

Bar Tozino 

Media from bartozino

Location: Ropewalk, Lassco, Maltby St, London SE1 3PA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 74 2933 5914


Forget about the clichéd romantic holidays – we’re talking about a love affair with Bar Tozino, the undercover cupid of tapas joints nestled near Maltby Street. This a secret weapon for budget-friendly, dimly-lit rendezvous that’ll have your date thinking you’re a romance magician.

And let’s talk about the ambience because let’s face it, a romantic date isn’t just about the food, it’s also about the atmosphere. 

Bar Tozino’s dim lighting and woodsy charm transform your evening into a secret garden of love, where every bite is a whispered promise of shared moments and stolen glances.

Flat Iron 

Media from flatironsteak

Location: 112-116 Tooley St, London SE1 2TH, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]


At Flat Iron, they’ve cracked the code to serving up steak perfection without emptying your pockets. A steak here is just around £13 – a revelation that’s as rare as a perfectly cooked medium-rare.

But hold on, the magic doesn’t stop there. Picture this: a steak adorned with crispy bone marrow and garlic mash, a symphony of flavours that elevates your carnivorous experience to new heights. 

And let’s not forget the wallet-friendly glass of wine, priced at around £6. It’s a culinary trio that’s not just a feast for your taste buds but a declaration of your budget-savvy genius.


Media from padella_pasta 

Location: 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]


The beauty of Padella is that it understands the importance of spontaneity on a date night. No need to consult your calendar or make reservations three months in advance. 

Instead, you can channel your inner carefree spirit, stroll up to the door an hour or two before your pasta cravings hit their peak, put your name down, and voila – you’ve secured a date with Padella without the need for intricate planning.

But here’s the pro tip – use the waiting time to your advantage. Head off to a bar around the corner, sip on a few drinks, and let the anticipation build. 

Little Georgia 

Media from littlegeorgia_islington

Location: 14 Barnsbury Rd, London N1 0HB, United Kingdom

Contact: 020 72786100


Now, when we talk about keeping things fresh at Little Georgia, we’re not just referring to the ingredients (although, trust me, you’ll taste the freshness in every bite of your Kalmakhi). 

It’s a gentle nudge to break away from the culinary routine, venture into the unknown and savour the thrill of trying something new together.

Your dinner at Little Georgia is a journey into a world of flavours you probably haven’t explored before. It’s about trading the familiar for the exciting, the mundane for the extraordinary. And here’s the cherry on top – it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Humble Grape

Media from humblegrape

Location: 8 Devonshire Row, London EC2M 4RH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3887 9287


Let’s uncork the reasons why Humble Grape deserves a spot on your cheap date night hitlist. First things first – the wine. With a carefully curated selection that’s as diverse as a vineyard in full bloom, you can enjoy a glass or two without feeling like you’re sipping your savings away.

Now, let’s set the scene – the ambience at Humble Grape is like a warm embrace. It’s cosy, it’s intimate, and it’s perfect for a date night that’s more about connection than extravagance. 

You won’t find overpriced truffles or gold leaf here. Instead, you’ll discover a down-to-earth atmosphere that lets the food and conversation take centre stage.

La Petite Auberge

Media from lapetiteauberge_n

Location: 283-284 Upper St, London N1 2TZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7359 1046


The French know seduction like no other, so what better place to go for a romantic date than a French restaurant. From escargot to coq au vin, the menu here is a love letter to classic French bistro fare. 

And the best part? You won’t need a financial strategy to indulge. The prices at La Petite Auberge are a breath of fresh air – rarely tipping the £20 mark but packing all the flavour you’d find in those swanky French places that taunt your taste buds but not your budget.

Sager + Wilde

Media from sagerandwilde_restaurant

Location: 250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 6278


So, you’re yearning for a touch of class on your date night, but your budget is giving you side-eye after a spend-happy few weeks. Fear not, because Sager + Wilde is here to rescue your date night dreams from the financial tightrope.

Now, let’s talk about the culinary magic – the menu at Sager + Wilde is a work of art. Small plates that are not just dishes but brushstrokes on the canvas of your date night. It’s the kind of place that lets you impress your date without your wallet feeling the pinch.


Media from machiyalondon

Location: 5 Panton St, London SW1Y 4DL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7925 0333


Machiya is right in the heart of the city centre – no need to embark on an odyssey across town to showcase your charm. It’s conveniently located, making it the perfect spot for a date night that’s high on sophistication and low on travel hassle.

If you’re in the mood to impress with your culinary prowess and your knowledge of hidden gems, Machiya is your ticket to date night success. 

Affordable, sleek, and with a side of Japanese elegance – get ready to wow your date with a dining experience that’s as impressive as your secret restaurant knowledge.

Mystic Burek

Media from mysticburek 

Location: 227 Dartmouth Rd, London SE26 4QY, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]


Mystic Burek’s unassuming exterior belies the gastronomic wonders that await inside. From flaky phyllo pastries oozing with cheese to succulent čevapi sausage and tender stuffed peppers, this little restaurant delivers big on flavour.

And at just £10 to £15 per person, it won’t break the bank either. Whether you’re a starving student or just want amazing food without the fancy price tag, Mystic Burek has you covered. 

Portion sizes are generous too, so you’ll leave happily full and ready for a romantic riverside stroll or night out on the town.

Sonora Taquería

Media from sonora.ldn 

Location: 208 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7HU, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]


This little hole-in-the-wall packs a punch with its authentic Mexican street food at wallet-friendly prices. We’re talking stuffed tacos, quesadillas, and burritos loaded with juicy meats, melty cheese, and vibrant salsas guaranteed to spice up your night.

From the funky Frida Kahlo decor to the laid-back, cantina-style atmosphere, Sonora offers an escapist taste of Mexico perfect for a fun and flirty evening out. And with most tacos going for £3 to £5 each, you can feast like royalty without draining your accounts.

Roti King

Media from rotikinguk 

Location: Euston House, 40 Doric Way, London NW1 1LH, United Kingdom

Contact: 020 7387 2518


With most roti combos ringing up at just £5-8, you can feast like royalty on a commoner’s budget here. The cosy tables and sizzling griddles also make for an intimate, transportive date night ambience.

And pro tip: Roti King stays open late into the night, making it the perfect post-drinks dinner date destination.Try soaking up those cocktails with some flaky flatbreads and savoury curries!

Paul Rothe & Son

Media from paulrotheandson  

Location: 35 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2NN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7935 6783


This bijou treasure transports you back in time with its delicatessen counter and cafe unchanged since the 1900s. The menu is a cosy celebration of British classics like jellied eels, pork pies, and Scotch eggs.

During the day, you can watch the locals pop in for sandwiches or a creamy pot of tea. Come evening, the tiny space fills with a warm, neighbourhood vibe perfect for an intimate date night. 

With dishes like potted shrimp, Welsh rarebit, and bread & butter pudding, Paul Rothe evokes old English charm.

Southampton Arms

Media from southamptonnw5 

Location: 139 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1LE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7375 755539


Southampton Arms understands that love and a great brew can go hand in hand without breaking the bank. It’s the kind of place where you can treat your date to a relaxed evening without treating your wallet to a panic attack.

Affordable, chill, and with a side of pub charm – bring your date here for a hearty dinner and a laid-back experience. 

Ranoush Juice

Media from  

Location:  43 Edgware Rd, Tyburnia, London W2 2JE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3161 1583


Ranoush Juice has cracked the code to make sipping on a date look effortlessly chic without draining your wallet. Picture this: you and your date sipping on fresh, flavourful juices served in quaint glass bottles. 

Classy, right? It’s like the James Bond of Juice Joints but without the expensive tuxedo. Plus, with the restaurant’s cosy, colourful vibe and artsy presentation, your Instagram feed is about to get a serious upgrade. #DateNightGoals, anyone?

Mr Bao

Media from mrbaouk   

Location: 293-295 Rye Ln, London SE15 4UA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7635 0325


Whether you’re a meat lover or a devout veggie enthusiast, Mr Bao has you covered. From the succulent pork belly bao to the crispy tofu delights, there’s a bao for every palate. 

Nothing says ‘we’re in this together’ like sharing a meal, and Mr Bao gets that. The menu is designed for sharing, creating an intimate dining experience that’s perfect for cosying up and getting to know your date.

Le Bab

Media from eatlebab

Location: Top Floor, Kingly Ct, Carnaby St, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7439 9222


Le Bab has reinvented the humble kebab into a culinary masterpiece. Imagine succulent meats, vibrant veggies, and mouthwatering sauces all wrapped up in a warm blanket of naan.

Nothing says “cheers to us” like a well-crafted cocktail, and Le Bab’s mixologists are here to shake things up – literally. Here, you can sip on inventive concoctions that are as charming as they are delicious.

Randy’s Wing Bar

Media from randyswingbar

Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 28 East Bay Lane, Here East, London E15 2GW, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8555 5971


Looking for a date spot with that perfect blend of laid-back charm and cool vibes? Randy’s Wing Bar is your answer. It’s a dive bar with a twist – comfy enough to spark conversation, yet hip enough to make you feel like you’re on the front lines of London’s foodie revolution.

Who said cocktails are reserved for fancy nights out? At Randy’s Wing Bar, they’re flipping the script. You can wash down those wings with crafty concoctions that add an extra kick to your date night. It’s the perfect blend of casual and cool – just like your relationship.

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