Dine without draining: What are the top cheap eats in London?

While London might be notorious for its high-flying expenses, we’ve scoured the streets to unveil a trove of eateries where your pounds pack a flavourful punch. Our mission is to prove that enjoying London’s gastronomic delights doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

In the heart of a cost-of-living crunch, we present our curated list of London’s best cheap eats, where every dish rings in at a wallet-friendly £10 or less. So, hit the pavements and savour the satisfaction of supporting local establishments – without breaking the bank.

Cheap eats in Central London 

Bun House 

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Location: 26-27 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

Opening hours:

  • Monday12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Thursday – 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM

Website

Bun House is more than just a place to grab a quick bite, it’s an experience that transports diners to the lively streets of Hong Kong. The ambience is cosy and authentic, with an interior that reflects the vibrant energy of a traditional Hong Kong tea house. 

While every item on the menu is a treat for the taste buds, one dish that has gained iconic status is the “Cha Cha Bao”. This delectable creation features a fluffy steamed bun filled with a succulent mixture of slow-cooked pork belly, peanuts, and sweet soy sauce. 

Bancone 

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Location: 39 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7240 8786

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Website

Bancone, meaning ‘bar’ or ‘counter’ in Italian, embraces the concept of an open kitchen where patrons can witness the artistry behind each dish. What sets Bancone apart is its dedication to crafting fresh pasta in-house daily. 

The restaurant’s skilled chefs transform simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces, delivering a taste of authentic Italian cuisine at an affordable price.

Among Bancone’s array of delectable offerings, one dish stands out  – the Silk Handkerchiefs with Walnut Butter. This dish features thin, square-shaped pasta sheets enveloped in a velvety walnut butter sauce, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavours.

Sons and Daughters

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Location: Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Thursday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Sons and Daughters stands out by redefining the notion that exquisite dining must come with a hefty price tag. The restaurant’s commitment to providing a gourmet experience at an affordable cost has made it a favourite among locals and savvy visitors. 

At the heart of Sons and Daughters’ success is its dedication to crafting dishes that not only appeal to the palate but also offer great value. One of their standout best-sellers is the Classic Beef Burger – a mouthwatering creation that transcends the ordinary. 

Featuring a succulent beef patty, perfectly grilled and topped with a symphony of fresh ingredients, the Classic Beef Burger is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to quality and flavour.

Roti King 

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

Contact: You may contact them here

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Website

Nestled in the vibrant streets of Euston, Roti King has quietly become a household name for those seeking an authentic taste of Malaysian cuisine without breaking the bank. 

The restaurant’s unassuming exterior hides a treasure trove of culinary delights, offering a menu that captures the essence of Malaysia’s street food scene. From the moment you set foot inside, the aroma of freshly prepared dishes sets the stage for a truly immersive dining experience.

Among Roti King’s standout dishes, the Roti Canai with Chicken Curry has emerged as a crowd-pleaser and a symbol of the restaurant’s commitment to authenticity. The dish features a thin, flaky flatbread (roti canai) served with a flavorful and aromatic chicken curry.

Cheap eats in East London 

Tayyabs 

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Location: 83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 9543

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday 12:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Website

Established in 1972, Tayyabs carries with it a legacy of culinary excellence that spans generations. The restaurant’s commitment to preserving the authenticity of Punjabi and Pakistani dishes is evident in every bite. 

In Tayyabs’ stellar menu, the Lamb Chops and Grilled Seekh Kebabs have emerged as iconic best-sellers. The succulent lamb chops, marinated in a blend of aromatic spices and grilled to perfection, offer a tender and flavorful experience. 

Paired with the perfectly spiced and expertly grilled seekh kebabs, this dish is a celebration of Tayyabs’ mastery of the art of Punjabi barbecue

Pizza Union

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Location: 29 Leman St, London E1 8PT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3773 1773

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Website

Pizza Union has cracked the code for providing an authentic pizza experience without burning a hole in your pocket. As you walk in, the smell of freshly baked crusts welcomes you to a pizza paradise where taste reigns supreme, and the prices won’t make your wallet weep.

Among Pizza Union’s stellar lineup, The Calabria has earned its stripes as a best-seller and a fan favourite. 

Picture this: a crispy, thin crust topped with fiery nduja sausage, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of mozzarella. The Calabria is a flavour explosion that proves you don’t need a hefty price tag for a pizza that packs a punch.

Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery

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Location: 159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 0616

Opening hours: Open for 24 hours

Website

This bakery has managed to turn the humble bagel into a bonanza of flavours that won’t leave your taste buds or your budget in despair.

From classic fillings to adventurous combinations, Beigel Bake proves that you can have your bagel and eat it too – without taking out a second mortgage.

If there’s a bagel that deserves a crown in the Beigel Bake kingdom, it’s undoubtedly The Salt Beef Bagel. Picture this: succulent, hand-carved salt beef nestled between two halves of a perfectly chewy bagel, with a dab of mustard for that extra kick.

Padella 

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Location: 1 Phipp St, London EC2A 4PS, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Website

Padella is the culinary wizardry that turns the humble pasta into a gastronomic masterpiece accessible to all. With prices that won’t make your wallet weep, this pasta haven proves that you don’t need a trust fund to indulge in Italian culinary delights.

If there’s a dish that deserves a standing ovation at Padella, it’s the Pici Cacio e Pepe. Imagine hand-rolled, thick strands of pasta bathed in a luscious sauce of pecorino cheese and black pepper. 

It’s a symphony of simplicity and flavour that has rightfully earned its spot as a best-seller, leaving patrons craving for just one more twirl of the fork.

Cheap eats in South London 

Mystic Burek

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

Contact: [email protected]

Opening hours:

  • Thursday to Saturday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Website

Firstly, let’s talk about the star of the show – their burek. If you’re not familiar with this Balkan delight, think of it as the lovechild of a flaky pastry and a flavour-packed filling. 

Whether you opt for the classic minced meat, cheese and spinach, or the adventurous pumpkin and feta, each bite is a symphony of textures and tastes. It’s like a mini-vacation for your taste buds without the hefty vacation price tag.

Now, onto the secrets of their success. Mystic Burek’s mantra is simple: quality ingredients and time-honoured techniques. Their dough is rolled and stretched to perfection, creating layers that are as thin as your patience during a Monday morning meeting.

Falafel and Shawarma  

Media credit to flavourrangers

Location: 27 Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8TR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7910 000108

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 19:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Website

Falafel and Shawarma is the ultimate testament to the fact that flavour knows no price tag. Here, you can indulge in the rich, aromatic world of Middle Eastern cuisine without needing a secret stash of gold coins. 

If there’s a dish that deserves a gold medal at Falafel and Shawarma, it’s undoubtedly The Epic Shawarma Wrap. Imagine tender, seasoned slices of meat, fresh veggies, and a drizzle of tahini sauce all snugly wrapped in a warm pita.

Joe Public

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Location: 4 The Pavement, London SW4 0HY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7622 4676

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday – 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Website

Joe Public captures the essence of New York’s pizza scene by serving up slices of pizza that are as big as a truck’s rear tire. These mega-slices are a sight to behold and a treat for famished appetites. 

To complement your colossal slice, Joe Public offers a selection of craft beverages chilled to perfection in their fridge. Grab a cold can of your favourite craft drink, and head to the long wall counter to embark on a culinary adventure.

It’s the perfect setting to savour the flavours of their chicken, chorizo, and halloumi pizza, all while immersing yourself in the vibrant ambience of the eatery.

JB’s Soul Food 

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Location: 27A Peckham High St, London SE15 5EB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7980 940001

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Website

JB’s Soul Food has perfected the art of crafting succulent jerk chicken that leaves taste buds dancing with delight. The beautifully-charred exterior gives way to tender, flavourful meat, infused with the signature blend of herbs and spices that make jerk chicken so irresistible.

For just £9.60, JB’s Soul Food offers a generous portion of jerk chicken served with fragrant rice, allowing you to savour the mouth-watering flavours without breaking the bank. 

Persepolis 

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Location: 28-30 Peckham High St, London SE15 5DT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7639 8007

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Website

Persepolis offers a culinary experience like no other, starting with their renowned large mezze platter. You and your dining companion can feast on a diverse array of flavorful dishes, all beautifully presented on a single platter. 

From vibrant salads to succulent grilled meats, each bite is a symphony of tastes that will transport you to the heart of Persia. Accompanied by baskets of warm bread, you can mop up every last morsel and leave fully satisfied, all without spending more than £10.

Cheap eats in North London 

Norman’s

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Location: 167 Junction Rd, Archway, London N19 5PZ, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Website

Norman’s doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is – a haven for comforting greasy spoon fare. 

This resto understands the importance of affordability, and their prices reflect that commitment. For just £8, you can savour a generous portion of ham, egg, and chips, providing a nostalgic trip down memory lane at a pocket-friendly price

If sausages are more to your liking, the £9 option of two sausages, chips, and beans ensures you won’t leave hungry or empty-handed. With such unbeatable value, Norman’s has become a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike.

The Cheese Bar 

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

Contact: +44 20 7428 6441

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday12:00 PM to 9:15 PM
  • Thursday to Friday – 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Website

The Cheese Bar started as a humble toastie operation in Camden’s food market, but it has now upgraded to a trendy brick-and-mortar location. 

While a tight budget might prevent you from exploring the depths of their fondue menu (save that for payday), The Cheese Bar has a delectable selection of toasties that won’t break the bank. 

Each toastie is a champion of British cheeses, crafted to perfection and priced at under £9.50. Indulge in the divine Rosary goats’ cheese with walnut, honey, and rosemary butter—a flavour combination that will transport your taste buds to new heights.

Hai Cafe 

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Location: 120b Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0QR, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

Opening hours:

  • Thursday to Friday 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 2:00 to 7:00 PM

Website

Hai Cafe is a culinary oasis for Vietnamese food fans. With plates that burst with colour and freshness, each dish is a work of art that invigorates the senses.

Here, you can indulge in a steaming bowl of pho or savour one of their superb lemongrass chicken curries, all for under a tenner. The flavours are bold, the portions generous, and the value unbeatable. 

If you’re looking to cut costs even further, Hai Cafe offers a delightful solution – their lemongrass chicken banh mi. Packed with the same succulent lemongrass chicken, this sandwich is a flavour-packed delight that costs only £7.

Cheap eats in West London 

Normah’s

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Location: 23, 25 Queensway, London W2 4QJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7771 630828

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Website

Normah’s is a testament to the power of family and the love that can be infused into every dish. The owner and namesake, Normah, hails from a large family of thirteen children, where feeding hungry mouths was no small feat. 

This upbringing instilled in her a deep understanding of how food can bring people together, and that same love and care are evident in every bite at Normah’s.

When it comes to choosing the ultimate dish, look no further than Normah’s beef rendang. This iconic Malaysian curry dish is a culmination of slow-cooked beef, tenderised to perfection in a rich blend of spices and coconut milk. 

The Regency Cafe

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Location: 17-19 Regency St, London SW1P 4BY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7821 6596

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM
  • Saturday 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Website

The Regency Cafe embodies the spirit of a classic British café like no other. Stepping through its doors is like stepping back in time, with its vintage décor and cosy ambience evoking a sense of nostalgia that will transport you to a bygone era.

At The Regency Cafe, £6.00 unlocks a breakfast deal that will have you rubbing your hands together with glee. Prepare to feast on an egg and sausage, two rashers of bacon, your choice of beans or tomatoes, bread or toast, and a steaming cup of tea or coffee.

Phat Phuc Noodle Bar

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Location: The Courtyard, 151 Sydney St, London SW3 6NT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7351 3843

Opening hours:

  • Monday  to Sunday 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Phat Phuc Noodle Bar offers a dining experience that goes beyond the plate. Imagine a sunken courtyard, where you can bask in the warm Chelsea weather while immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere. 

The kitchen, resembling a food truck that has grown roots and melded seamlessly with the stone, adds a touch of whimsy to the surroundings. It’s an enchanting setting that sets the stage for a memorable meal.

When it comes to ordering at Phat Phuc Noodle Bar, there’s only one dish that should be on your mind – the laksa. Whether you opt for the prawn or vegetable variation (if that’s your preference), prepare to have your taste buds transported to a realm of pure bliss.

Da Maria

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Location: 87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7733 143191

Opening hours:

  • Monday  to Sunday 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Website

Da Maria’s decor may not have seen major updates in years, but that’s all part of its unique charm. Setting foot into this restaurant is like taking a journey back in time, where simplicity and authenticity reign supreme. 

While Da Maria’s pasta menu may come with a higher price tag, it’s worth every penny, especially when you choose the house Napoletana pasta (for only £10). This simple yet remarkable dish embodies the essence of Neapolitan flavours.

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