London is a melting point for people from all financial backgrounds. From the ultra-rich to the not so well off. While life in the city may not be getting any cheaper, people’s appetite for great value food has never been higher, and with the cost of travel and rent taking ever-growing chunks of people’s salaries, finding the city’s best budget restaurants is becoming more important than ever before. Here are some of our favourite, more affordable places to eat that are not fast-food chains.
1. Counter Café
(Pudding Mill Lane DLR Station; 7 Roach Road, London, E3 2PA; 0783 427 5920; www.counterproductive.co.uk/cafe)
The Counter Café, located at East London, offers views of the Olympic Stadium and deals on pies, brunches and salads. It offers a peaceful and quiet environment with a view of beautiful trees, the state of the art stadium and the small, local canal. Drinks and meals for two costs around £25, and other offers like homemade pies with salad cost £7, while Counter relish and bacon focaccia with eggs goes for £4.
2. 101 Thai Kitchen
(Stamford Brook Station; 352 King Street, London, W6 0RX; 0208 746 6888; www.101thaikitchen.com)
Located in Haggerston, this joint produces real dishes with origins emanating from northern Thailand. Their green beans, garlic, stir-fried with chili, beef pad grape and holy basil costs £6.95, while a bowl of tom yum soup goes for £4.95. A meal for two with drinks costs around £35.
3. Bar Bruno
(Piccadilly Circus Station; 101 Wardour Street, London W1F 0UG; 0207 734 3750)
Located in Soho, one of London’s most exclusive addresses, this place has been serving locals and visitors alike for decades. It serves delicious Italian food, as well as British classics, in large portions and may just be our favourite place for a budget meal in central London. £25 will easily get you a meal for two, with cash to spare. Open from 6:00 to 22:00 daily, there is always something delicious to eat here all times of the day.
4. Wong Kei
(Piccadilly Circus Station; 41-43 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PY; 0207 437 8408; www.wongkeilondon.com)
Until recently Wong Kei was known for its waiters’ terrible attitudes – in our opinion it was the worst service in London – but this has gotten (slightly) better over recent years. It even became a bit of a tourist attraction in its own right because of its reputation. What is sure is that Wong Kei provides tasty Chinese dishes, huge portions and very low prices. A unique experience. Cash only.
5. And many more...There are a lot of other affordable dining options in London and some of them include: Canton Diner in Chinatown, The Clutch in Haggerston, Regency Café in Kentish town, and Tonkotsue East in Soho. Borough Market and Camden Market are the two definitive places to get fresh food from all around the world in minutes. The choice at both is huge and they are open for lunch year-round. Whether you fancy British, Portuguese, Indian, French, Jamaican or Chinese, there is something for everyone here.