Another look at some of the best cheap food outlets in London
London’s food scene has become one of its principal attractions in the last few years. Although it has always boasted Michelin restaurants and a great selection of regional cuisines thanks to its wonderful ethnic diversity, good food had principally been the reserve of the rich and the in-the-know. Not so these days, as food vans, pop-ups and food markets make great cuisine accessible to tourists and Londoners alike. Have a look through our list of places to find delicious, good value food in central London.
Icco is a wonderful institution, providing sub-£5 pizza to ravenous students, post-pub revellers and Italian enthusiasts. Massive portions at a remarkable price and with loads of delicious flavours to choose from. They also offer a discount for takeaway, and within a brief walk to some of London’s prettiest garden squares (not to mention to Regent’s Park), ICCO provides the goods for some wonderful al fresco pizza parties.
46 Goodge St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4LU (Tottenham Court Road)
21A Camden High St, Kings Cross, London NW1 7JE (Camden)
Picture the scene: you’ve been out on a roaring pub crawl, you’ve taken full advantage of the free and discount drinks, you choose to go the whole hog and take to the dance floor after the last venue and wake up with a truly Sisyphean hangover. How better to soak up the sweaty sins of last night’s debauchery than with a full English breakfast? Eggs, bacon, toast and tea (and for the adventurous, black pudding, liver and onions) all at an unbeatable price in this cockney institution. A friendly family of staff cater to a bustling mix of locals and breakfast-tourists in the always-busy E Pellicci. Not to be missed, especially for Tom Hardy fans - a famous scene in Kray Brothers flick Legend was filmed in one of the booths.
332 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AG
Hare Krishna free food stalls
If you truly are travelling on a budget, you can find free food everyday at lunchtime at certain student campuses in central London. The faithful of the Hare Krishna religious sect provide delicious, piping hot vegetarian curries at SOAS (outside the Brunei Building) and LSE (next to the Elephant Statue, between St Clement’s Building and the Old Building, nearest tube Holborn or Aldwych). They also serve food in Kings Cross, Camden and Kentish Town. There are no financial strings attached, but be warned: the free food is very popular with students and long queues are the price you pay.
SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
LSE Old Building, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE
Indian Veg Bhelpoori
If curry is your thing and you don’t fancy the queues at SOAS, then pay less than a tenner for all-you-can- eat Indian food at this local favourite. The atmosphere is cosy and convivial, the food is excellent and for the price, this is the hungry traveller’s dream. You can grab a massive lunch here and feel like you won’t have to eat again for days! And what’s more, the restaurant operates a BYOB policy, allowing you to save on pricy drinks by buying your own at one of the many nearby supermarkets.
92-93 Chapel Market, Angel Islington, London N1 9EX
Bear with us on this one. Although not strictly cheaper than a tenner, the set menu at the Brasserie Zédel is a joyful treat. Cheap food is great, but you normally expect the décor and atmosphere to fit the price. Not so at this Soho institution, where the beautiful Belle Époque design of a great Parisian banqueting hall meets the down to earth price list of the high street chain. Although the Zédel can be more expensive if you order off menu, their formule of 2- or 3-course meals is unbeatable when you factor in the stunning setting and ambiance. Dress up smart and pretend you’re in the Champs Élysées of the 1890s.
20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED