Eating in London needn’t send you into a financial frenzy. Across the capital, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and eateries offering delicious food at bargain prices. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a sit-down meal or some fresh and tasty ingredients, we’ve compiled a list of where to eat cheap in London. From scrumptious fish ‘n chips to mouthwatering pizza, we promise that these five cheap eats in London will fill your stomach without emptying your wallet. So, if you’re looking for a bargain bite, this guide and remember to let us know your favourites!
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been revised for accuracy!
The 5 best cheap eats in London
Holding themselves to the highest standards, the team began Napoli Gang hail produce as king, sourcing amazing ingredients directly from Italy. They have always queued out the doors thanks to over-the-top menus and beautiful interiors.
Skip the queues and order pizza to your sofa or either takeaway in London from the list of quirkily named pies from Napoli Gang including – a classic in disguise that combines mushrooms with ham, cheese, herbs, and olives. I also love the combination of burrata and arancini on the sides menu there’s a full feast available. But also, make sure to leave room for dessert – the XXL lemon meringue pie is legendary and makes for some serious Instagram fodder.
Fish ‘n chips just don’t get better than this. Open since 1945, award-winning Poppies is one of the tastiest cheap eats in London. Costing from as little as £5.95, Poppies’ menu which is full of secret family recipes, fresh fish, scrumptious savouries, and golden chips will keep you coming back for more. Located in Spitalfields and Camden, Poppies’ will transport you back in time with their newspaper-wrapped takeaways, 1940’s decor and even live music at their Camden fish bar. So next time you’re in London, make sure you swing by Poppies for your fish ‘n chip fix!
They do takeaway and And I love their take away as the food comes wrapped in newsprint boxes or cones, just as it was in the old days.
6-8 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
Visit Daddy Donkey for a bargain burrito bursting with flavour. Daddy Donkey first began serving burritos in Leather Lane back in 2005, since then the Mexican grill has evolved into one of the most loved cheap eats in London. It’s easy to see why Daddy Donkey is so popular. Some of the fresh ingredients and succulent fillings on offer include shredded brisket and pulled pork shoulder topped with fresh guacamole. You can grab a taste of Mexico from around £5.95, so next time you visit the capital make sure Daddy Donkey is your first stop.
Patty and Bun don’t mess around with flavour. Their mouthwatering burgers and chips sprinkled with rosemary salt are what keeps Londoners’ queuing all day, every day for a bite of Patty and Bun. From just £7.50, diners can tuck into one of six delicious burgers including the classic ‘Smokey Robinson’ and the ‘Lambshank Redemption’. Patty and Bun definitely live up to its reputation – this is one of the cheap eats in London not to be missed.
Borough Market is the perfect place for any passionate foodie looking for a bargain bite. With a variety of restaurants and cafes and over 150 stalls, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Borough Market is full of affordable ingredients, seasonal produce, and delicious cuisine. From chocolate to cheese, everything you need to eat cheap can be found under one roof. Pick up a freshly prepared sandwich in your lunch break or vegetables to make a low-cost dinner in the evening. Whatever you eat, let us know what bargains you find at Borough Market!
You don’t have to trade in flavour to eat on a budget. These top five cheap eats in London are guaranteed to get your tastebuds tingling. So next time you’re in London, make sure that you follow this guide and enjoy some of the best food that the capital has to offer – I know I will!
In the heart of Southeast London sits Eltham Palace and Gardens, a fascinating art deco house run by English Heritage. The building was once a medieval estate and then a Tudor royal residence. In the 1930s, the palace was styled with mesmerizing art deco furnishings by quirky millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld.
Roam the striking palace with an audio guide as you listen to the interesting tales of the building’s former residents. Today, the dwelling lists as one of English Heritage’s ‘most haunted places.’ Rumour has it, the ghost of a former staff member has given tours of the building when it should have been empty.
Be sure to spend some time exploring the postcard-perfect gardens, too. As you wander past the tranquil ponds and the verdant foliage, you’ll barely believe you’re smack bang in the middle of Southeast London.
Why not finish your voyage in the palace’s charming cafe with coffee and cake?
Here’s an Amazon pivot we didn’t see coming: hair salons. Amazon hair salons. But that’s what’s happening – and there’s one opening in London.
So, what is an Amazon hair salon? Will an Amazon robot be cutting your hair? Well… no. You can expect ‘augmented reality hair consultations’ and ‘point-and-learn technology’.
Basically, you’ll be able to try out different hair colours and styles using an augmented reality mirror and use QR codes to scan products and then buy them on – you guessed it – Amazon. Oh, and rather than a stack of out-of-date magazines, there will be Amazon Fire tablets loaded up with magazines for you to read.
Thankfully, the treatments will be done by actual humans: Elena Lavagni, owner of independent London salon Neville Hair & Beauty is running that side of things.
The Amazon Salon is currently only open to Amazon employees, but if you’re desperate to try out those augmented reality mirrors and see what you’d look like with a pink bob before you commit, it is opening to the public in the next few weeks.
The plan is for it to be an ‘experiential venue’ to showcase new products and technology, rather than a chain of salons, so the chances of Amazon Salons popping up on every high street are fairly slim right now. Probably for the best.
We asked our own London bloggers about their favorite independent London blogs & websites. Here are their picks in alphabetical order!
A Lady in London
Are you looking for a local blog with great, fun, and informative articles? A Lady in London is a well-established blog that is based in London and primarily posts about the city. The blog has been around since 2007 and is run by a lady named Julie. She offers great information about where to go, what to see and do, and where to eat. Julie offers excellent tips, tricks, and advice to anyone who could need it when staying in the British capital!
Culture Calling is a great blog if you are looking for something to do in the city. They have an overview of all the most recent events, great food and drinks recommendations, and even an overview of virtual events. If you are on a tight budget, no need to worry! They also have a page on all the free things you can do in Londen.
‘Essential London’ explains the culture and history of London – by exploring the best sights, hidden gems, and areas that are off the beaten track. They explain the history behind more popular spots or show you places you did not know about yet!
What if I told you there was a blog dedicated to pop-up shops and restaurants in London? Are you interested in fine dining, London supper clubs, galleries, and shops? All of which follow local trends or seasonal products? Then look no further than London Pop-Ups! This blog focuses on finding and reviewing all the newest pop-up shops in London, providing readers with detailed maps and directions. The blog is highly active and ensures that it updates its content and maps regularly.
London on the Inside
If you’re in the market for a blog that posts a little bit of everything, then you should check out London on the Inside. The blog has an extensive library of events, restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, and cultural locations. Their articles are all about what there’s to do within the city. The blog posts regularly and has a wide variety of interesting and informative articles. We strongly urge you to take a peek at the site while planning your trip!
If you’re someone who likes not so well kept city secrets, then you should definitely check out Secret London! This blog has a lot of great information about food, nightlife, art, culture, and lifestyle. They offer readers a lot of great, fun and interesting articles about places and events in the city. But also have a look at them for excellent tips on what to check out, where to eat, and what to do while in the British capital!
Interested in knowing all the latest contemporary and classic places to wine and dine, but also willing to learn more about culture and lifestyle? The Nudge is a blog that offers readers interesting tips and tidbits about what to do, see and eat or drink in the city. The blog provides fun and interesting guides by area, and produces informative articles and reviews about the best places to go, see, and eat at!
Did we miss your favorite blog about London? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Everyone hates traffic. No matter where you are in the world, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting behind the wheel of your car, needing to get somewhere, and moving at an absolute crawl. To find a solution to this issue in the most central areas of London, the City took a page from Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing Toll System. Today, the London Congestion Charge is a daily price for entering Lambeth, Mayfair, Clerkenwell, Westminster, and the City of the London. If you find yourself driving in London, we hope you’ll take some time to read more about the charge below and be ready.
A road pricing scheme was studied as far back as the Smeed Report in 1964. The Greater London Council conducted a study over the next nine years that determined such a road pricing scheme could cut down on traffic and improve environmental conditions in the city center, but with a new GLC administration, the plan went nowhere as the council opted for other means of traffic management and encouraged public transportation. Additionally, in 1973, future London Mayor Ken Livingstone was one of the new councilors elected and studied a scheme similar to the one the Council eventually adopted.
By the mid-to-late 90s, several studies espoused the benefits of a congestion charge scheme on the city. In one survey, 90% of residents cited traffic congestion as a major problem in London and the time to travel the city had practically doubled in the past hundred years as more and more Londoners took to the roads. After the Greater London Authority Act reorganized the city’s government, Ken Livingstone made the congestion charge part of his manifesto for the mayoral election, proposing a £5 charge for vehicles to enter the center of the city. Livingstone was elected as an independent candidate and set about on an eighteen-month effort at public engagement to gather information and educate city residents.
The only major challenge to the scheme before its implementation came from the Westminster City Council, which argued that the charge would lead to greater pollution and was a breach of human rights for those who lived on the zone’s edges. However, the High Court of Justice rejected the council’s arguments in 2002. As the scheme was implemented in 2003, the Greater London Authority also added another 300 busses. 190,000 vehicles paid the charge on the first day, which was an estimated 25% decrease in normal traffic. TfL officials claimed they say only a modest increase for the use of the busses and London Underground that day.
The original zone was expanded to include Kensington and Chelsea in 2007, and emissions-based charging was explored, but the election of Boris Johnson as mayor in 2008 put an end to further consideration of that plan. Johnson also removed the western extension of the zone in 2010, but like previous Conservative candidates for mayor, he did not pledge to do away with the congestion charge and even introduced further measures to curb traffic such as the bicycle-sharing scheme that became known as “Boris Bikes.”
Today, the Congestion Charge is a £15 fee to enter the Congestion Zone from 7 AM to 10 PM every day (except Christmas). That price is based upon paying in advance or the same day and can be paid by phone, internet, or by autopay. If you don’t pay the day of, you can pay a £17.50 charge for up to three days afterward, and after that, it becomes a £160 fine. Disabled drivers, motorcycles, and bicycles are exempt from the charge. A network of cameras monitors the streets throughout the Congestion Zone and sends a penalty notice when they ping the license plate of a vehicle that has not paid the charge.
While it has had its share of critics over the years, the London Congestion Charge has been an undeniable success in reducing traffic within the most popular parts of the city. It has been the largest of its kind since implementation and has become a model for other municipalities looking to help ease their traffic woes.