How To Dine Out In London On A Budget

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

Tips and tricks for saving a few pennies

London is a treasure trove of incredible food – but sometimes, it all just feels a bit unaffordable. With the cost-of-living crisis more present than ever, plus a surge in ultra-expensive eateries, many diners are feeling priced out of the dining out world. However, there are lots of savvy hacks to help cut costs when visiting restaurants, from apps to deals and special menus. Read on for some tips on dining out in London on a budget.

How To Save Money When Eating Out In London

Look For Deals

When it comes to dining out on a budget in London, there are plenty of resources for finding deals on London restaurants. TheFork, for instance, is a booking platform which highlights the eateries offering deals on any given day, provided you book through the website. You’ll also find deals on DesignMyNight, OpenTable, FirstTable and Wowcher. It’s also worth looking out for new openings, as they often offer deals in their first couple of weeks. If you sign up to the Soft Launch London newsletter, you’ll be sent deals straight to your inbox. Those who work within the hospitality sector, meanwhile, can access discounts through the CODE app.

Hunt Down The Cheap Eats

While it might feel like all of London’s good restaurants cost a small fortune, there are plenty of great cheap eats out there too. Go for a wander around one of the many street markets to find some gems – or check out our guide to the city’s best affordable eateries. Some of the C&TH team’s top picks include Roti King, Taca Tacos, Pizza Union, and PaStation.

Spring at Somerset House

Spring at Somerset House

Take Advantage Of Special Menus

Set menus are a great way to experience pricier restaurants for less. You’ll find some steals on mid-week lunches, when even the top venues have tables to fill: Michelin-starred restaurant The Ninth in Fitzrovia offers two courses for £30, for instance, while Scott’s in Richmond serves a two-course set menu for £26.50. You can also get some great deals on pre- and post-theatre dining, particularly around the West End area. Check out places like much-loved Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo, where you can enjoy a starter, main and a salad for just £15 between 5 – 6.30pm or 9 – 11.30pm. Another good one is the Scratch menu at Spring at Somerset House, where you can enjoy three courses for £30 from 5.30 – 6.30pm, with dishes made using produce that would otherwise be wasted.

Sign Up To Loyalty Schemes

Pick up your morning coffee from the same spot each day? Or frequent a specific cafe for office lunches? Check if they offer any kind of loyalty card, where you’ll be entitled to free perks and rewards after a certain number of visits. Lots of the chains offer schemes, including Nando’s, Joe & The Juice, Zizzi and Wagamama.


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Use Waste Cutting Apps

Many cafes, bakeries and restaurants have food leftover at the end of the day, which you can get your hands on by using apps like Too Good To Go. You can browse the map for places nearby which have leftovers, then whizz over and pick it up for a discounted price – great for cutting food waste and for keeping us fed for less. Win win.