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London Cheap Eats

Budget Restaurants in London


It doesn't have to be expensive to dine out in London -- you just need to know where to go. These restaurants are all in central London and are all tried and tested favorites of Londoners and visitors alike.

1. Gaby's Deli

Gaby's Deli on Charing Cross Road.
engyles/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Gaby's Deli is popular as a (delete as applicable) budget / vegetarian / Jewish / Kosher / Mediterranean / Greek hummous and kebab cafe / diner / restaurant. It is all of those things and more. You decide on the best label but just be sure to stop by.

2. Stockpot

The Stockpot is a no frills chain of cheap eateries. Expect hearty and wholesome dishes with generous portions yet at budget prices.

There are daily specials and a hand-written menu with a large choice of appetizers, salads, main dishes, and desserts. Look out for the English warming 'stodge' of rhubarb crumble and custard, or roast beef stew.

3. Mandalay

Mandalay doesn't look like much from the outside - it looks like a 'greasy spoon' (English caff for a Full English Breakfast) – and it's only a small restaurant, but don't be put off as the food is fresh and tasty, as well as exceedingly well-priced. The menu is quite extensive but there's nothing complicated on there and staff can help you decide. Do call and make a reservation for dinner as most tables are busy for most of the night, although they do go out of their way to try and fit you in if there's a gap between bookings.

4. Hummus Brothers

Hummus Bros features homemade hummus with a choice of toppings, served with warm pitta bread, salads and juices. The food is fresh and simple yet delicious. Hummus Bros are the only place in the UK to concentrate solely on hummus.

5. Square Pie

Square Pie started in 2001 with the plan to improve the profile of the humble pie. By using high quality fresh ingredients and proper chefs to make and cook the pies they have vastly improved the reputation of this simple dish.

6. Wagamama

All the Wagamama restaurants are modeled on the popular ramen bars in Japan and there are over 15 branches in London alone. They have long bench seats and food is served quickly.

7. Leon

Leon Restaurant Spitalfields London
© Laura Porter
Leon is a 'fast-food' café but aims to provide organic and fair-trade produce. They cater for special dietary requirements. Leon has a reputation for healthy, fresh, seasonal dishes and is popular for lunch take-outs.

8. Italian Coffee Company

Italian Coffee Company
© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Italian Coffee Company on Goodge Street in London, known locally as Icco, serves large, cheap pizzas. The pizzas are thin-crusted and freshly cooked. And the coffee's not bad either.

9. Kulu Kulu Sushi Restaurant

Kulu Kulu restaurant, London
© Laura Porter

Kulu Kulu is a kiaten zushi Japanese restaurant in Soho, near Piccadilly Circus. Kulu Kulu was one of the first sushi conveyor belts in London. The decor is nothing to write home about but you go for the food which is cheap and delicious. It's easy to budget as the dishes are on color-coded plates. Kulu Kulu is well-established and serves sushi, sashimi, noodles, etc. There’s a 45 minute maximum stay but that's enough time to enjoy your food. Kulu Kulu is great for sushi novices. Eat in or take-away.

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