London has some brilliant budget restaurants and bars that will not cost you a fortune but still serve high quality cuisine. It is often good to mix in some of these low priced options if you are out and about for the day as it can really reduce overall expenditure and allow you to do some of the more pricey activities that London has to offer. Everyone loves a bargain so here is a list of the best restaurants for when you are trying to save a few pennies.
Flesh and Bun
Flesh and Bun is a Japanese eatery serving up Japanese drinking food: steam buns that come with a huge variety of fillings. On a Sunday Flesh and Bun offers a bottomless brunch for £39 per person, this may not sound that cheap but included in that price is: unlimited hot & cold dishes, chips, dips, edamame, unlimited prosecco or wine, a cocktail on arrival, steamed buns and dessert. So it really is a very good deal – just make sure that you turn up hungry! They have other deals available too, such as beer and buns on a Monday for £15 or a 3-course express lunch plus a drink for £22.
Otto is a friendly Turkish restaurant in Wanstead that serves up lovely fresh Mediterranean cuisine at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere is relaxed and they offer a variety of set lunch and dinner options that cost between £7.95 and £14.95. If you are after healthy, hearty meze and food that is packed with flavor then Otto is the place for you!
Walking down Old Street, there are many eye-catching and fashionable looking places to eat, Sedap does not immediately stand out and it is so much more brilliant because of this. The epitome of the saying “never judge a book by its cover”, Sedap has focused all of its energy into creating truly delicious food. The Chinese-Malaysian fusion cooking is so reasonably priced and there are some great lunchtime deals available such as 3 courses for £7.80 that you will wonder why you ever looked elsewhere.
Liverpool Street is not normally an area in which you find a bargain so Pizza Union really is very special. This fast-paced pizzeria offers fresh, wood oven pizza and a drink for under £10, available to eat in or take away. Service is fast but that does not mean you have to rush - in an evening it is a lovely place to sit, drink wine, eat pizza and people watch. If there is a large group of you then it is a great place to visit due to its bench-style seating which can accommodate big groups without a fuss.
This tiny Italian restaurant is always in high demand due to the excellent quality of the food that it serves. Dishes change daily and with the seasons as they are built around the best ingredients that the chef has purchased in the market that morning. If you are to eat in then the food can be a little pricey however, the real bargain comes in with the lunchtime takeaway offer: a main dish plus a drink for £5! The selection is always small but well crafted, from fresh handmade ravioli to Salmon with Polenta, plus the drinks are mouthwateringly good (the peach juice being a personal favorite). Apart from that brilliant price, Bottega Prelibato has some of the nicest staff in Shoreditch, with your take-away lunch they offer you free freshly cut bread and grated Parmesan so that you still enjoy the ceremony that comes with Italian food. With some nice little parks nearby, this is a great choice for lunch in the summer - a lovely Italian feast for a fiver.
Counter Café in Hackney Wick is an independent canal-side café and coffee roastery. The outside space overhangs the canal and is the perfect place to relax on a bright, sunny day. All of the items on the café menu are homemade from the sausages to the juice, and everything is priced below £10. In spring and summer, on every first Friday of the month, the music gets loud and the atmosphere jovial as the café transforms into Flamingo Pier. Street food, booze and disco is on the menu and it is well renowned as being one of the best nights in London.
Dalston Social is one of those rare places where you can spend an entire evening dancing, drinking, eating, chatting, playing pool and even a game of Jenga if you fancy it and yet it does not cost a fortune. The staff are so lovely, always trying to make your night even more special and ensuring that everyone is having a good time. From the outside it looks like quite a normal bar, however there is one big factor that puts it firmly into this list of bargains – with every drink you are entitled to a free pizza! The drink prices are very reasonable and there are plenty of deals when it comes to the cocktails. However nothing can quite beat the feeling of chowing down hot, free pizza and having a good boogie to a bit of Beyoncé.
If Korean Fried Chicken is your kind of food then you need to visit Jubo. Open from 5pm every day, this restaurant serves ‘Anju’ – food that is to be served with alcohol. The chicken is double fried for extra crunch and it is glazed in one of Jubo’s three signature sauces: soy garlic, hot or volcanic. The menu prices vary (mainly due to the amount of sharing dishes available) but on average you are probably going to spend about £13 per meal plus drinks, however you can be seated in the Bedroom Bar and have the food delivered to your table there too which is a nice touch.
It is normally Exmouth or Borough Market that spring to mind when thinking about some of London’s heavenly food markets, however one not to overlook is Brockley Market. Situated in Lewisham College’s car park every Saturday between 10am and 2pm, this lively gaggle of stalls sells locally sourced produce from fruit and vegetables to flowers and plants. There is a tasty array of street food on offer here, which often comes in at under £5, the hot sugary churros are a real highlight and the burgers are delightfully naughty. It is worth noting that all of the stalls only accept cash, which is pretty handy as it means that you do stay within your budget, rather than overspending via credit card!