Top 10 budget bites in London

November 22, 2022Bea Squires0

With the cost of living steadily rising, now is the time to start saving where possible. But saving doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing. London has plenty of great budget restaurants that won’t burn a hole in your pocket


Brasserie Zédel


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This is the kind of rare place that has the sophisticated decor and good food you’d expect from a high-end establishment but at the fraction of the price. As the name suggests, it’s in the Art Deco style of a French brasserie, with red leather booths, bistro chairs and framed black and white photographs plastering the walls. Classic French fare including onion soup, steak, and cheese soufflé can be ordered from the main menu for under £17, while the set menu is an astonishing £13.75 for two courses.


Yalla Yalla

‘Inspired by the Middle Eastern generosity’ of their grandmothers, the team at Yalla Yalla (with branches in Soho and Fitzrovia) certainly stay true to their word. Brightly coloured and bountiful plates of mezze – many vegan and vegetarian – include Baba Ghanuj and Feta Cheese Sanboussek for around £6, with Lebanese burgers (chicken kofta and halloumi and lamb and halloumi) at just over £10.




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This little walk-in gem of a place in Finsbury Park is so popular that it can be hard to get a table. The Japanese/Korean menu offers Korean barbecue dishes such as spicy marinated pork belly for £11.90, with gyoza, udon soups, katsu, and tempura and various generous sushi boxes all under a tenner. It’s also insanely good food.

Chicks ‘n’ Sours


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This fun, vibrant restaurant with branches in Haggerston and Seven Dials, markets itself as having ‘next level fried chicken sandwiches, tenders and wings, lip-smacking sides and house-made dips’ – and, not forgetting perfectly complementary sour cocktails, that is exactly what it offers. ‘The Staffy’ burger (two chicken tenders in a bun with sriracha sour cream, cheese and kimchi) is just £8. Winner, winner, chicken dinner…


The Cheese Bar


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Most people love cheese, so the idea of creating a restaurant dedicated to the stuff is pretty clever. Proving its popularity, there are now outposts in Camden, Seven Dials, Columbia Road and now Paddington (in the form of a Cheese Barge… clever). Cheese boards and plates for one person, featuring several different varieties, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches, come in at under a tenner.


DF Tacos


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Take your pick from a range of Mexican delights at this chain of restaurants brought to us by the team behind Wahaca, with branches in Fitzrovia, Brixton and Shoreditch. For less than £10 you can get your burrito fix (think slow-cooked pork pibil, tomatillo salsa, crema and pink pickled onions) or tuck into a generous taco. Wash down with frozen margaritas for a night of fun.


Lost Boys Pizza


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If you’ve never tried a black pizza, now is your chance. The team at Lost Boy’s Pizza in Camden add a pinch of vegetable charcoal to the dough to get the desired effect. The pizza bases are famously light, and there’s a good range of toppings. Try the veggie Santa Carla (effectively a Margarita) for just £8.50. Why not pair it with a cocktail for an extra kick?


Opera Tavern


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Brought to us by the Salt Yard Group, tapas restaurant Opera Tavern is a warm, inviting space in the heart of theatre-land in Covent Garden – the ideal spot to grab a bite to eat pre- or post-show. Choose carefully and you can enjoy three tapas for £20, including N’duja scotch egg, Roast grezzina courgette, vegan n’duja, marcona almonds.

Pasta Remoli


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With various locations across the Capital, it’s not hard to see why this pasta joint is popular. Using the finest quality ingredients, the pasta here is authentic and homemade. Simply choose what type of pasta you’d like (tortellini, linguine, pappardelle, the list goes on), then the sauce (oxtail, carbonara…) and then finally the cheese topping  – and you’re away, and all for under £10.


Bánh Bánh


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Light, fragrant and delicious, it’s no wonder Vietnamese cuisine is in high demand. Brought to us by five siblings as a homage to their grandma, who was a chef in Vietnam during the 1940s, the menu features the likes of Bahn mi baguettes (£6) and steaming hot bowls of Pho (£8). Other very reasonable dishes include a savoury ‘sizzling crepe’ and summer rolls. There are branches in Peckham and Brixton.


Please like, share and comment below and see if we have anything else to inspire your next visit to London.


Bea Squires

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