Let’s face it: eating out in London is expensive. There is no getting away from the fact that some of the hottest and best restaurants in the capital - the ones that you see all over your Instagram feed or the establishments that have been recognised by the famous Michelin guide - can cost a pretty penny. In fact, we’ll go out on a limb and say that every Londoner has at least once been in the situation where you meet a friend for a quick drink and a couple of small plates, then balk at the £100 bill that lands on your table at the end of the evening.
Your monthly eating out fund can run particularly low if you are a restaurant obsessive who eats out a few nights a week (and we’re assuming you are, as you have clicked on this article). Luckily for you though, and your bank account, we are here to dispel the myth that high-quality food has to be matched by sky-high prices. The truth is, you can find deliciously cheap restaurants in London, if you just know where to look.
While our capital city may be famed across the world for its raft of Michelin-starred restaurants, artisan street food markets, glamorous rooftop bars and fine-dining establishments, London is also home to some of the best cheap eats, where the bill won’t leave you wondering whether you’ll need to sell a kidney on the black market.
Cheap doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality and it also doesn’t mean your dining adventures will be relegated to uninspiring high-street chains (forgive us Pizza Express, we still love you). Next time you are on the hunt for the best cheap restaurants in London, consult our extensive list below and leave your credit card at home, as these eateries will leave you with change from a £20 note. Scroll on to discover the very best cheap eats London has to offer.
Cheap eats London
Here we are highlighting a mix of international flavours, showcasing dishes from all around the world. Despite their differences, they have some important things in common: cheap and delicious!
Roti King, Kings Cross and Battersea
What: Iconic Malaysian eatery, Roti King serves up delicious specials at budget-friendly prices. The original location in Euston sees queues of hungry Londoners, and for good reason. Nothing on the menu is above a tenner, and you can fill up on two rotis and your choice of kari, from mutton to beef rendang, all for no more than £9.25.
Where: 40 Doric Way, NW1 1LH; 16 Arches Lane, SW11 8AB
Book Now: Roti King
What The Pitta, Camden Town and Brick Lane
What: This small vegan joint offers a compact, yet delicious, menu of affordable plant-based doner kebabs. The classic doner gyro will only set you back £9.25, and the meal deal includes your choice of side, such as onion rings or paprika fries, and a drink for less than £15. Very reasonable for a substantial, and vegan, meal.
Where: 89-91 Bayham Street, NW1 0AG; 53 Brick Lane, E1 6PU
Book Now: What The Pitta
Club Mexicana, Shoreditch, Soho and Seven Dials
What: This Mexican spot serves all-vegan tacos for a great deal - three of the same, from fried ‘chicken’ to cheezeburger, will cost you just £12. Filling burrito bowls are also on offer for just a tenner, and Marg Monday gets you £5 cocktails every week. If you’re really hungry, then Taco Tuesday may be for you, with all-you-can-eat delicacies for just £17.50.
Where: Kingly Court, W1B 5PW; 46-48 Commercial Street, ENG E1 6LT; Seven Dials Market, WC2H 9LX
Book Now: Club Mexicana
Heddon Yokocho, Mayfair and Soho
What: There are few things better than a comforting bowl of ramen, with its bouncy noodles, soft meat and salty broth giving off rich umami notes - improved only by being able to bag it for under a tenner, of course. Well, lovers of this moreish soup can finally rejoice, as Yokocho is offering its signature retro ramens at both sites for just £9.99 each, on Mondays and Tuesdays, which we think makes for a pretty wallet-friendly way to start the week.
Where: 8 Heddon Street, W1B 4BU; 35a Panton Street, SW1Y 4EA
Book now: Heddon Yokocho, Panton Yokocho
Marugame Udon, Marylebone and other locations
What: Global noodle mega-corp Marugame Udon has arrived in London, armed with some seriously cheap noodles. A steaming bowl of kamaage udon (noodles served in cooking water with a smoky dipping sauce) will set you back just £3.95 - that's basically the price of a meal deal! The St. Christopher's Place location is most accessible, but there are already other outlets at Liverpool Street, Canary Wharf and The O2.
Where: 14 - 15 Barrett Street, (St Christopher's Place), London W1U 1LT
Book now: Marugame Udon St. Christopher's Place
Ugly Dumpling, Soho and Fitzrovia
What: There is nothing ugly about these dumplings and the prices are rather attractive too. At Ugly Dumpling, choose between a meat, vegetarian or vegan platter of eight dumplings for £15 and get a selection of perfectly steamed and stuffed parcels. Here, classic takes are served alongside more fun interpretations such as cheeseburger dumplings and a Nutella variety stuffed with mixed nuts and marshmallows. Note that the dining room is as small-scale as the prices, so don’t come here to discuss anything confidential.
Where: 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB; 30 Rathbone Place W1T 1JG
Book now: Ugly Dumpling
Banh Banh, Peckham and Brixton
What: Family-run Banh Banh in Peckham (there’s also a site in Brixton) serves up Vietnamese delights for no more than £13 per dish, and the exposed brick dining room with pendant bulbs, marble counters and potted plants is suitably trendy. What more can you ask for? A family-style feast is encouraged, so go for a range of ‘smallish’, ‘biggish’ and ‘classic’ dishes such as the delicious papaya salad, finger-lickingly good sticky chicken wings, Vietnamese pho and Bành Khot pancakes.
Where: 46 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR; 326 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH
Book now: Banh Banh
Master Wei, Bloomsbury
What: Tucked away down a pedestrianised side street near Russell Square, Master Wei really is a hidden gem. The Chinese café looks cool with exposed brick, Chinese art on the walls and stripped-back tables and chairs. Most dishes are priced below the £10 mark, with many even under the £7 mark, making this a reasonable place to go for dinner. Presented on very pretty crockery, it’s clear that the focus is food that tastes as good as it looks.
Where: 13 Cosmo Place, WC1N 3AP
Book now: Master Wei
Roti Chai Street Kitchen, Marylebone
What: Roti Chai Street Kitchen, tucked away in a mews behind Selfridges, channels the frantic railway stations and busy roadside cafés of India on its ground floor, whereas classic Indian tandoor grills are the inspiration for the basement dining room. It’s the former you should head to for a good-value meal, where snacks and hubbub are on the agenda. The ‘Railway Lamb Curry’ (slow-cooked Welsh lamb and potato with cardamom, roasted cumin and cloves) will warm you up nicely and set you back less than 13 quid.
Where: Lower Ground Floor, 3 Portman Mews South, W1H 6AY
Book now: Roti Chai Street Kitchen
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
What: Think a cheap kebab is only fit for a post-night out snack? Think again. Cool Haggerston space Berber & Q serves Tel Aviv-inspired food to a hip-hop soundtrack, at affordable prices. Enjoy hot and cold mezze alongside a wide selection of grill and rotisserie dishes served between delicious flatbreads, ranging from flank steak to king prawns.
Where: 46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
Book now: Berber & Q
The Cheese Bar, Camden
What: Doing exactly what it says on the tin, The Cheese Bar is a temple which worships at the altar of all things cheesy. The obvious choice here would be to treat yourself to one of the indulgent grilled cheese sandwiches, but there are bigger plates on offer too, including a five cheese macaroni and a truffle burger. Most items on the menu are under a tenner, too.
Where: Unit 93/94 Camden Stables, NW1 8AH
Book now: The Cheese Bar
Del 74, Dalston
What: This casual taco joint is a cheap eat any day of the week really, but if you want a real bargain, head here on a Tuesday. Del 74’s Taco Tuesday deal sees diners enjoy tacos for just £3 and beers for only £4. Elsewhere on the menu, you will find chicken wings, nachos and quesadillas, while a thumping soundtrack and easy drinking cocktails help to set the atmosphere.
Where: 129 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
Book now: Del 74 Dalston
Dumplings Legend, Soho
What: While it is true that the bill can mount up at dim sum restaurants if you let your appetite get the better of you, Chinatown’s Dumplings Legend is at the more affordable end of the spectrum. Order steamed buns filled with chicken, pork, fish or veg and soak up the bustling atmosphere. If you’re smart about your order, you should be able to leave with relatively full pockets.
Where: 15-16 Gerrard Street, W1D 6JE
Book now: Dumplings Legend
Randy’s Wing Bar, Hackney Wick
What: Canal-side restaurant Randy’s Wing Bar channels the spirit of American-style chicken wings, with most of the items on the menu under a tenner – opt for the classic Buffalo style with truffle blue cheese or the Kansas variety with barbecue sauce. Don’t worry if you’re dining companion isn’t a chicken wing fan though, as there are a few cheap and cheerful burgers on the menu too.
Where: 28 East Bay Lane, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E15 2GW
Book now: Randy’s Wing Bar
Poppie’s Fish & Chips, Fitzrovia and other locations
What: Fish and chips is a staple cheap eat in the UK and Poppie’s is among the most famous chippies in the capital. It is true that in London, a fish supper can cost a pretty penny and Poppie’s fish suppers aren't exactly a bargain. You can however save some pennies by instead opting for one of their filled chip butties, clocking in at a far more respectable £4.95.
Where: 55-59 Old Compton Street, W1T 1DB; 6-8 Hanbury St, E1 6QR; 30 Hawley Crescent, NW1 8NP
Book now: Poppie’s
What: Tayyabs is not the place to come for a relaxing evening of hushed conversation (expect to queue for a table and a frantic atmosphere when you do get inside). However, this long-standing curry house is the place to find bargains, with menu highlights such as the tandoori chops and veggie dishes all under a tenner. Another bonus is the BOYB policy, free of a corkage fee, which means for money to spend on a better bottle of vino from the supermarket.
Where: 83-89 Fieldgate Street, E1 1JU
Book now: Tayyabs
Casa do Frango, London Bridge and other locations
What: Piri piri restaurant Casa do Frango is naturally compared to a certain cheeky high street favourite, but the quality of cooking here is far superior to Nando’s, even though prices are pleasingly similar. Enjoy juicy, succulent chicken brushed with a spicy piri piri sauce and served alongside golden skinny fries or rice topped with chorizo and crispy onions.
Where: 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU; 2 King John Court, EC2A 3EZ; 31-32 Heddon Street, W1B 4BN; Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ
Book now: Casa do Frango
Brasserie Zedel, Soho
What: Take one look at Brasserie Zedel and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s not a budget-friendly restaurant. The old adage of never judging a book by its cover applies, as this perennially popular French brasserie is a steal if you know how to order. Just take the three-course prix-fixe menu, which includes steak frites and chocolate tart, all for under £20.
Where: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Book now: Brasserie Zedel
What: Machiya is an ode to Kyoto home-style cooking and a visit to this Japanese joint won’t break the bank. The filling donburis (choose between toppings of pork, salmon and chicken) hover around the £14 mark, while fragrant Japanese-style curries are all priced under £15.50. Don’t miss the matcha themed desserts either, including fondants and crepes.
Where: 5 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DL
Book now: Machiya
Cheap bao London
Bao are an Asian snack that are perfect for a quick bite for lunch, or if you double up, a more substantial meal. Due to their cute size, the pricepoint of this handheld treat is usually very reasonable - but don't worry, flavour is still at the forefront!
Daddy Bao, Tooting
What: Tooting’s Daddy Bao has gone beyond “local favourite” status, as people from all over London now flock to the tiny restaurant for a bite of its pillowy Taiwanese buns. Prices start at a very reasonable £4.60, making them as affordable as they are tasty; go for the shiitake mushroom variety for a real depth of flavour or the chicken one for crunchy, deep-fried deliciousness. There’s also a fun bottomless brunch at the weekend with Taiwanese spins on British brunch classics.
Where: 113 Mitcham Road, SW17 9PE
Book now: Daddy Bao
Mr Bao, Peckham
What: Bao down (see what we did there?) to this Peckham-based restaurant churning out everyone’s favourite Taiwanese buns. Mr Bao's fluffy little things start from just £4.60 and are guaranteed to please. Our favourites include the Bao Diddley (24-hour marinated chicken with wasabi mayonnaise and house kimchi), while the vegan shitake mushroom variety is also a winner.
Where: 293 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA
Book now: Mr Bao
Bao, Soho and other locations
What: What could be the reason for all the hype around Soho’s Bao? Well, such is the power of delicious Taiwanese steamed buns, we guess. Baos start at £6 and max out at £6.75, and we recommend one of everything (there are six to choose from). Elsewhere, order sides of house pickles or sweet potato chips dipped in plum pickle ketchup.
Where: 53 Lexington Street, W1F 9AS
Book now: Bao
Cheap pizza London
We can't talk about cheap eats without mentioning pizza! Whether by the slice and on the go, or splitting a giant pie with friends, this Italian delight often yields great bang for your buck.
Pizza Pilgrims, Soho and other locations
What: Delicious pizzas make us happy, but delicious and cheap pizzas make us even happier. If you are of the same disposition, than Pizza Pilgrims is for you; here, £13.50 will afford you a delightful mushroom and truffle pizza, with plenty of other options well under £15 too. If you ask us though, we’d recommend saving some extra pounds for the Nutella pizza ring dessert - a ring of pizza dough stuffed with salted ricotta and Nutella baked in the oven and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Where: 11 Dean Street, W1D 3RP
Book now: Pizza Pilgrims
Joe Public, Clapham Common
What: This Californian pizza place pulls in the crowds any night of the week, and we can see why. Serving pizza by the slice for under a fiver, it's a reliable haunt if you're after something satisfyingly cheesy. Look out for flavours such as courgette, aubergine and garlic butter, and chicken, chorizo, halloumi and oregano.
Where: The Pavement, SW4 7AA
Book now: Joe Public
Voodoo Rays, Dalston and Peckham
What: First thing's first: the pizzas here are enormous. We’re talking 22-inch, New York-style pies that you can top with almost whatever you fancy, although individual slices are also available should you be flying solo. On Mondays, you can get the whole thing for £22, so gather the troops for a cheap meal. It also runs a number of deals throughout the week, including £3 a slice on Mondays and a two-slice deal for £7.70 every day of the week. The Dalston site of Voodo Rays also sits on top of The Karaoke Hole, a drag-themed karaoke bar where you can order pizzas direct to your table.
Where: 95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB; 285 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA
Book now Voodo Rays
Homeslice, Covent Garden
What: Tucked inside the lovely and colourful Neil’s Yard in Covent Garden, Homeslice serves ginormous 20'' wood-fired Italian-styled pizzas alongside one-litre bottles of wine. Pizzas are around £26 quid for a whole (remember, they're huge), plus a litre-bottle of vino rosso is £36, so between four of you you're looking at about £15 each. Bargain! Toppings range from the traditional (salami, rocket and parmesan) to the experimental - spiced lamb with savoy cabbage and sumac yoghurt.
Where: 13 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP
Book now: Homeslice
Pizza Union, Spitalfields and other locations
What: There aren’t many places in London where you can get a 12-inch pizza for around £6, but Pizza Union is one of them. In fact, the cheapest option on its menu – a classic margherita – will leave you with no more than a £5.95 shaped hole in your wallet. Simply queue up, order and wait (im)patiently for your buzzer to vibrate, telling you your pizza is ready. Wines by the glass and frozen cocktails are also a bargain for a fiver.
Where: 246-250 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY
Book now: Pizza Union
Zia Lucia, Holloway and other locations
What: The charcoal-dough pizzas, straight from the authentic wood-fired oven, are the main draw at Italian pizzeria Zia Lucia in Holloway. Warm service and outdoor seating add to the appeal, as do the excellent value pizzas which start at £9.95 and don't surpass £16.
Where: 157 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
Book now: Zia Lucia
Yard Sale, Hackney and other locations
What: Although London’s restaurant scene has even managed to gentrify pizza, this staple Italian dish is still the ultimate cheap eat. Head to Yard Sale and grab yourself an 18-inch margarita pizza for £18. Prices don't exceed £26.50, so if you split one of its ginourmous pizzas, that's still only £13.25 each.
Where: 184 Hackney Road, E2 7QL
Book now: Yard Sale
Cheap burgers London
While over-the-top and gourmet burgers are a bit of a trend, the capital still has a wealth of classic joints that deliver high-quality patties at a reasonable price.
Patty & Bun, Marylebone and other locations
What: These days, gourmet burgers usually come with gourmet price tags, but Patty & Bun is the place to come for great puns and pocket-friendly prices. The burger bar’s moreish ‘Ari Gold’ cheeseburger will leave you with change from a tenner, while other offerings such as the rosemary salted chips and a fair few vegan options are rightfully celebrated. The up-beat atmosphere, friendly staff and cult beers are further draws.
Where: 54 James Street, W1U 1HE
Book now: Patty & Bun
Chick ‘n’ Sours, Haggerston and Seven Dials
What: Fried chicken sandwiches and Pisco Sours are the order of the day at this aptly named restaurant. All of Chick ‘n’ Sours stacked sandwiches hover around the £12 and include the indulgent likes of the K Pop - fried chicken thigh slathered with gochujang mayonnaise, chilli vinegar, Asian coleslaw and sriracha sour cream. Sides are worth your time too, with the pickle and watermelon salad being among our favourites.
Where: 390 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA
Book now: Chick ‘n’ Sours
Bleecker Burger, City and other locations
What: The title of best burger in London is a hotly contested one, but Bleecker has rightfully earned a loyal fanbase through its cheap and cheerful approach. Keep things simple with the classic cheeseburger (yours for just £8.25) or spend a little more cash and treat yourself to a side of angry fries - coated in blue cheese, hot sauce and lashings of salt. Yes, they’re worth the extra expense.
Where: 16 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Book now: Bleecker
Butchies, Shoreditch and other locations
What: Billing themselves as ‘fried chicken sandwich specialists’ (although we think the term chicken burger is more appropriate), Butchies serves up buttermilk fried chicken between buns, alongside sides such as chicken strips served with house ‘OG’ sauce. The Original, for example, is just seven quid! The meal deal combos here are a little more expensive than your average fast food joint, but will still leave you with change from £15.
Where: 22 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DY
Book now: Butchies
Murger Han, Mayfair and other locations
What: Casual Murger Han feels a little incongruous in flashy Mayfair and is something of a well kept secret among locals, but it is perfect for a post-shopping reprieve after a day of browsing the shops on Piccadilly. The eponymous Murger is a pork patty sandwiched between flatbread (a steal at just £6.20), but a bowl of thick and messy noodles measuring 12-feet long is also plenty of fun.
Where: 62 Eversholt Street, NW1 1DA; 8A Sackville Street, W1S 3DF; 4 Castle Square, SE17 1EN; 10 Philpot London Bridge, EC3M 8AA
Book now: Murger Han
Cheap pasta London
Last but certainly not least, these plates of carby goodness give the impression of fine-dining and elegance, but without breaking the bank. Truly 'balling' on a budget.
What: Hand-made pasta at pocket-friendly prices has made Pastaio popular with the Soho set. Colourful interiors and marble-topped counters provide an Instagram-worthy backdrop, while the likes of lemon-dashed Prosecco slushies are destined to be shared on stories and posts too. This isn’t a case of style over substance though, as the pasta is good. Our advice? Order the Aglio e olio linguine with crusco chilli, parsley, and new season purple garlic.
Where: 19 Ganton Street, W1F 9BN
Book now: Pastaio
Flour & Grape, Bermondsey
What: You'll find this Italian restaurant packed out all day by the end of the working week, with customers popping in for a work lunch or Friday night dinner that's mind-bogglingly inexpensive considering the post code and vibe. Start with a small plate for around £6, before tucking into pasta dishes such as conchiglie with duck braised in red wine, smoked scamorza and parmesan, or fazzoletti with spinach, mascarpone and nutmeg, ranging between £8.50 and £14. Flour & Grape: put it on your list.
Where: 214 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ
Book now: Flour & Grape
Padella, London Bridge
What: It is little wonder there are constant around-the-corner queues at this no-bookings London Bridge pasta haven when most of the dishes are under £15. Padella is considered a bucket-list restaurant by discerning Londoners for a reason, and while it’s true that the bill can mount up here if you’re not careful, a plate of pasta and glass of wine should leave you with change from £20.
Where: 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ
Book now: Padella
Bancone, Covent Garden and other locations
What: You have probably seen the ‘silk handkerchiefs’ pasta dish from Bancone on your Instagram feed, set against the restaurant’s backdrop of marble surfaces and open kitchen with smartly turned out chefs working away. You don’t have to be an #influencer to afford your own though, as you could easily enjoy one of Bancone’s pasta mains and split a bottle of wine between two for just over twenty quid.
Where: 39 William IV Street, WC2N 4DD; 8-10 Lower James Street, W1F 9EL; Arch 213, Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
Book now: Bancone
Fancy some mid-week meals that won't break the bank? Then check out or collection of the best casual restaurants in London.