budget travel : eating in london

Travel Forums Europe budget travel : eating in london

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1. Posted by boubar (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I am going to London this summer and I will need to eat at a restaurant maybe once a day. My budget is pretty tight, so I would need cheap (but still good) restaurants suggestions. I could always go to McDonalds but I would like to avoid that :P


2. Posted by sdaltrey (Budding Member 68 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Here´s a few suggestions.
The local cafe, that´s not for coffee, but for good hearty british breakfasts and lunches. Generally found near street markets and in most neighbourhoods. If you can´t find one ask a builder or street worker.
The local pub. Some pubs serve really good sunday roasts, and other meals during the week.
Bengys. Cheap sandwiches. they have branches all over the city.
Wagamama. Noodles restuarant chain.
Brick Lane curry. The street has loads of indian / bangladeshi restuarants and you can haggle a discount before entering.
Brick lane bagel bakery. A favourite 24hr take away, try the salt beef bagel.
Brasil by Kilo on oxford street. I haven´t been but I hear it´s good.
Mr Woo´s chinnese buffet, wardour street.

hope these help. ask me if you need more details or directions.



3. Posted by alisonkf (Budding Member 24 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Eating in London.

London is an expensive place to be and you will see your money eaten up by travel around the city. Get a travel card as soon as you arrive, to use on buses and the underground.

Macdonalds is certainly a place to avoid - better eat traditional English fish and chips, though not daily. Your best bet is to eat take out sandwiches and coffee some of the time in a park when the weather is fine. More economical - buy picnic ingredients from a supermarket and some plastic cutlery and make your own sandwiches. Buy fruit from stalls. Supermarkets also have low priced cafes inside, but you don't find such large stores in the central city area. If you stay in a central Youth Hostel, you will usually find an inexpensive eating place attached with a good value cooked meal available, morning and evening. Try St Pancras Youth Hostel. Small cafes, often run by families in side streets, should be looked for and onften include a wide range of ethnic foods though Italian is best, I think. English pubs. are excellent for bar snacks and lunches - but again are often more expensive in London than elsewhere in the country. Portions are usually gigantic, so order only one dish to start with. Sometimes a starter is enough.

If you are going to do tourist things in central London, then carry a packed lunch. You will be ripped off in the cafes and restaurants attached to major attractions like museums and art galleries. If possible, stay at night in an outer area where things may be cheaper and you can ask the locals for advice about their favourite local cafes and pubs.

All that said, fast food outlets are everywhere and you will probably be driven into them eventually. If the weather is very hot, then at least Macdonalds may be air conditioned, which many places in England are not. Good luck with your stay.


4. Posted by janesgarde (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Boubar

Good fast food comes from Subway, and there are lots of noodle houses, cheap and tasty.
In central London, on the tourist routes, you will have a job finding cheap pubs, so traditional cafes where local workers go are a possibility.

5. Posted by guiny (Full Member 143 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I have been in London a long time ago with my boyfriend but we ate in a pub called Silver Cross near Trafalgar Square. I do keep good memories from this pub. Delicious food. You can find information about it searching for pubs at www.visitlondon.com

6. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1388 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I love Wagamama, and they are popping up everywhere these days. In London there are about 10-12 of them.

If you are not to picky, there is a way to eat even cheaper. If you can get to a market, like the one in Campden, and when your timing is right (around 19.00/19.30), you can get a meal from one of stalls that are closing down for the evening. As these stalls prepare a number of meals, during the day, it is likely that they get stuck with a couple of them when they are about to close, and that is when you can pick up a meal for 1 pound.

Of course you could also try to book a hostel with a kitchen, and prepare your own meals. (get some stuff at a supermarket and get cooking, it's always a good way to meet other travelers as well)

7. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi, Are you staying in a hostel? If so, make sure it has a kitchen and then the cheapest way to eat would be getting stuff from the supermarket. You can eat pretty welll this way.

If you can do takeaways then fish and chips are quite cheap. There will be lots of pizza/kebab/curry/chinese takeaways but standards may be variable.

The cost of pub lunches varies a lot, some are quite smart and very expensive. But we have a large pub chain called wetherspoons, and their prices are pretty good for food.

Camden Market is great.

8. Posted by boubar (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks everyone :)

9. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Here are my suggestions:

- buy a carton of eggs and boil them in your room. You do this by putting them in a (clean) sock and putting them in a kettle/hot water boiler for 5 mins. Eggs are cheap, filling and healthy.

- buy your sandwiches from the Boots chain of chemists. They are about the cheapest that you will find.
- cold pizza (see below)
- fruit!

- microwaveable meals from the supermarket
- pre cut stir fry mix from the supermarket. You can cook them in your hostel.
- cold chicken and salad from the supermarket.
- all you can eat pizza places. Fill up from the salad bar, and put the pizza in yuor bag for the next day's lunch.

- too many cheap heat-and-eat-in-a-cup supermaket noodles. They are chock full of fat and salt.
- pubs, etc are great, and the Weatherspoons are among the best when it comes to value, but you will still spend a fair amount of money.

- take a vitamin supplement.

10. Posted by will13 (Full Member 73 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Quoting sdaltrey

Brick Lane curry. The street has loads of indian / bangladeshi restuarants and you can haggle a discount before entering.

Can anyone esle comment on this? That seems awesome!