How To Eat On A Budget In London

You’ll undoubtedly need to keep up with the city’s fast-paced lifestyle if you live there. Always on the go, always in a hurry. That means having to dine out since you didn’t have enough time to get home for a home-cooked supper.

London has some of the most creative and delicious cuisines, yet eating out doesn’t have to break the bank.

All you have to do is take some advice from Londoners who have already discovered the best ways to save money while residing in this pricey city and located the greatest restaurants for inexpensive meals.

You can enter some of the hippest and tastiest spots in town, receive huge discounts, and occasionally even get free stuff if you use the straightforward techniques outlined here.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll know everything there is to know about how to eat cheaply in London, whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor.

Beware Of Tourist Traps

Avoiding tourist traps is, in my opinion, one of the first tips for learning how to eat in London on a tight budget.

Avoiding eateries in Central London, such as those near Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, and Regent Street, is the simple solution.

Piccadilly Circus, in my opinion, is more of a tourist trap area.

For instance, a prime example of a tourist trap in Central London is off-license shops, sometimes known as convenience stores, and their enormous samosas.

Paying a visit to commonly frequented regions in London would be the ideal way for you to discover hidden gem cuisines there.

Shoreditch, Walthamstow, or Whitechapel are all possible candidates for that location.

Look For Restaurant Deals On Booking Websites

You can also significantly reduce the cost of dining out in London by using websites like OpenTable, The Fork, or Square Meal.

And of course, delivery apps are yet another option to save money on food in London if you want to order at your hostel, hotel, or house.

To check which restaurants are serving less expensive dishes on that particular day, simply select the “deals” feature on those apps.

It’s just a terrific way to enjoy yourself when eating in London on a budget without feeling bad about treating yourself!

Try Some Street Food

The days of eating a shady hamburger from an unauthorized vendor as “street food” are long gone.

The greatest option for a cheap, filling lunch in London is definitely one of the markets’ many food stalls. Street food can be found throughout London’s center.

Eat Food From Around The World

One of the best cities to sample cuisine from around the world is London. British cuisine can be pretty expensive in London.

Middle Eastern, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, Indian, and other cuisines are frequently inexpensive.

Pre and post-theatre menus

Take advantage of the exclusive pre-theatre menus several restaurants in the West End offer for theatergoers, even if you aren’t going to the theater.

You must eat in the early evening, typically between 5.30 and 7.30. It is advisable to make reservations in advance if you intend to do this on a Friday or Saturday.

Eat From A Supermarket

For as little as £3–4 at supermarkets, you can purchase a sandwich, some fruit, and a soft drink.

Additionally, they carry a big selection of prepared meals and all the ingredients you’ll need to build your own sandwiches.

All supermarkets sell affordable ready-meals if you have access to cooking equipment or a microwave; if you want the best, visit M&S or Waitrose.

Have An English Breakfast

A typical cooked breakfast in London is filling. You can go till the evening on just a light lunch if it’s included in the cost of your hotel stay.

Find a neighborhood cafe if your hotel doesn’t provide it. The breakfast might cost between £6 and £10.

Order A Takeaway

Takeout is a less expensive option than dining out if you’re living in an apartment or Airbnb. There are thousands of them in London.

Simply enter the meal you want and your zip code into Google to see what results there are. Try Just Eat or Deliveroo for something a little more upscale. Both of them offer meals from a variety of eateries right to your door.

Avoid Buying Expensive Drinks At Restaurants

Only drinking tap water in restaurants is a wise financial decision. If they serve alcohol, restaurants are required by law to offer tap water.

In the UK, drinking tap water is completely safe. Buy your drinks separately at the bar if you eat in a pub that charges a service fee for the food.

Ask For A ‘Doggy Bag’

If you order too much food at a budget-friendly, independent restaurant, ask the staff to bag the extras for takeout. Do not be timid. It was bought by you.

Check Out The Menu Before Entering A Restaurant

All restaurants are required by law to post their menu and prices close to the entrance. Find out if there are any minimum fees and if there are any ‘discretionary’ service charges added to your statement.

If they do, it will likely be between 10 and 12.5%. There is no need to pay anything further because this is the ‘tip’.

UK residents only leave a tip of 10% if there isn’t a service charge.

The Best Cheap Eats In London

Eating at cheap eats in London can save you a lot of money and you can enjoy knowing that you’re helping tiny, independent London companies just when they need it most.

So check our list and eat; you won’t have to break the bank to fill up at these eateries.

1. Sonora Taquería

This Stoke Newington taco shop, which is modeled after LA’s Echo Park, has three concise menus: one for morning burritos and one each for grill and guisado (braised) tacos.

The majority are pig and beef-based, but there are faux chorizo options for vegans and cactus leaf nopales for vegetarians.

The average diner would order three tacos, but you are free to order four or even five. Sonora’s paper-thin tortillas are tiny in appearance, yet they are stuffed to the gills with flour at incredibly affordable prices of £3.50 to £5.

Address: 208 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7HU

2. Club Mexicana

This Mexican restaurant offers affordable all-vegan tacos; three of the same, ranging from fried “chicken” to cheeseburger, will run you just £12.

For ten dollars, you can also have a filling burrito bowl, and every Monday is Marg Monday, which means $5 cocktails.

Taco Tuesday, with its all-you-can-eat specialties for just £17.50, can be the answer if you’re truly hungry.

Address: Kingly Court, London W1B 5PW, United Kingdom

3. Ugly Dumpling

Nothing about these dumplings is ugly, and the prices are also very attractive.

Choose from a tray of eight expertly steamed and filled dumplings at Ugly Dumpling for £15 from a selection of beef, vegetarian, or vegan options.

In this place, traditional versions are offered alongside more entertaining variations, such as cheeseburger dumplings and a Nutella version filled with marshmallows and mixed nuts.

Address: 1 Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RB

4. Delhi Grill Indian Canteen

While there is some seriously good Indian food available across the capital city, if you’re searching for something affordable, you might want to consider visiting Delhi Grill Indian Canteen.

It’s a tiny Punjabi-style “Dhaba” (or Indian roadside eatery) located in Chapel Market that is decorated with Bollywood posters, and the cuisine is bloomin’ excellent.

There are many different street food specialties available, like seekh kebabs (£5.95), ‘aloo tikki chaat’ (£5.50), and delectable lamb biryani (£11.50). There are also some vegan-friendly options available.

Address: 21 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ

5. Padella

The original Borough Market location, which is renowned for both the excellence of its pasta and the length of its lines, has won throngs of fans for its refined classic pici cacio e pepe (simply pasta, parmesan, and black pepper), which costs just £11.50.

The tagliarini with dried chili, garlic, and pangrattato are the best options if you’re on a strict budget. Even without mentioning the £7 aperitivos, it only costs £8.50.

Address: 6 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TQ

6. Roti King

This tiny basement restaurant in Euston serves delicious Malaysian rotis that may be either filled or served with excellent sauces for dipping.

With a delicious glass of chilled sweet tea, they pair perfectly because they are crisp, chewy, feather-light, and dense.

Additionally, keep an eye out for inexpensive ‘local’ fare like nasi lemak, nasi goreng, and beef rendang. RK is incredibly small, thus it makes sense to eat alone or in pairs. Go early in the evening to avoid lines. 

Address: Euston Chinese, 40 Doric Way, London NW1 1LH

7. Marugame Udon

This entertaining and speedy Japanese noodle shop has locations throughout London and offers vegan options as well as toppings like katsu curry and kimchi on hand-pulled udon.

The traditional katsu is available with chicken or aubergine. Additionally, you may create your own curry rice bowl starting at £6.25, customizing it with as many tempura toppings or chicken karaage as you like. Onsen eggs cost £1.50 each.

Address: 1-4 Argyll St, London W1F 7TB