London’s Best Cheap Eats: The C&TH Team’s Top Picks

By Ellie Smith

7 months ago

Top-notch food that won't drain your bank account


Londoners know only too well that dining out in the capital is getting more and more expensive. According to a recent report from Harden’s London Restaurants 2024 Guide, the number of ultra-expensive restaurants – classed as somewhere you could expect to pay £150 for a meal – has increased by 50 percent in the past year. With an ever-growing collection of super-luxe eateries popping up each week (£900 steak anyone?), it can feel like we’re being priced out of our own city. But let’s not forget that alongside all the fancy spots the capital has an abundance of more affordable eateries where you can get great food without breaking the bank. Here we spotlight some of the C&TH team’s favourites. Read on for the best cheap eats in London.

Best Cheap Eats in London

PaStation, Tottenham Court Road

 

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Is there anything better than a heaping bowl of pasta? Perhaps a heaping bowl of pasta for £10 or less. PaStation has been racking up a small fan base on TikTok, wowing audiences with its build-your-own pasta bowls and generous portions. (Student discount is also available.) Charlie Colville

Address: 76 Tottenham Ct Rd, London W1T 2HG

BOOK: pastationlondon.com

Roti King, Euston and Battersea

 

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I am almost reluctant to suggest my favourite cheap eats in London because then it’ll be harder for me to get a table at them in the future… Obvious choice, though, is cult favourite Malaysian restaurant, Roti King. The roti canai is the best thing in the world – perfect amounts of warming spice and get-your-hands-dirty action. I think I’ve eaten a good meal there with two main dishes and soft drink for £20. One word of warning: expect to queue to get into any one of its two flagships (Battersea and Euston) for a minimum of 20-30 minutes, so go just before you begin to get hungry. Plus, don’t miss the new branch opening in Waterloo this December. Tessa Dunthorne

Address: Euston House, 40 Doric Way, London NW1 1LH or 

BOOK: rotiking.com

Plaza Khao Gaeng, Tottenham Court Road

 

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My other favourite is Plaza Khao Gaeng in the Arcade Food Hall, Tottenham Court Road. It’s the perfect Thai in London, and it has a chalkboard menu to boot. I’d only recommend to those with high spice tolerances, as while the dishes vary in intensity and heat, the best picks of the menu are very hot. Probably around £20-30 for a full dinner. Tessa Dunthorne

Address: 103-105 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB

BOOK: plazakhaogaeng.com

Diwana Bhel Poori House, Euston

Super-affordable and delicious South Indian street food in no-frills decor. A buffet lunch is around £7 and evening meals are under a tenner. Come hungry, leave happy. Rebecca Cox

Address: 121, 123 Drummond St, London NW1 2HL or Battersea Power Station, 16 Arches Ln, Nine Elms, London SW11 8AB

BOOK: Call 020 7387 5556 to book (no website)

Pizza Union, Multiple Locations

With six locations around London, you’re never far from a Pizza Union – and a delicious, authentic, Roman-style thin crispy pizza. These are made in front of you in a matter of minutes, using fresh ingredients and all for around £6-7. Regulars will know the garlic and herb dip is a must-have addition, and also don’t miss the frozen margaritas and mojitos for only £5.50 each. The best lunch or quick-fix dinner money can buy, frankly. Amy Wakeham

Address: Multiple locations

BOOK: pizzaunion.com

Taca Tacos, Peckham

 

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Following the success of its Deptford outpost, Mexican-Cali spot Taca Tacos opened a second branch in Peckham recently. You can get delicious tacos from £4.70 each, or try the signature beef birria combination (tacos, quesatacos, and a pot of broth) for £16. The margaritas are great too. Aisling White

Address: 200 Rye Ln, London SE15 4NF

BOOK: tacatacos.co.uk

Daebak, Kennington

Daebak is a cheap and cheerful Korean restaurant just down the road from Vauxhall station, usually with a queue out the door. Everything is delicious here, but you can’t go wrong with a feast of Korean Fried Chicken for the table, with five flavours to choose from. (My top pick is the Soy Garlic Chicken). Olivia Emily

Address: 316-318 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5HY

BOOK: daebaklondon.business.site

Tsukiji Sushi Fusion, Fulham

Finding affordable sushi is always a challenge, but Tsukiji Sushi Fusion is my go-to. Grab a few friends and order a platter if you fancy a feast – it’s great sushi and great value, too, as the portion sizes are huge. Martha Davies

Address: 211 Fulham Palace Rd, London W6 8QX

BOOK: tsukijisushifusion.com

Sông Quê Café, Hoxton

 

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Kingsland Road should be your go-to place for Vietnamese food in London. As well as being authentic, it’s all pretty cheap here, too. The top recommendation is typically Sông Quê Café, a bustling joint with simple decor, no nonsense service and delicious Vietnamese food. If you can’t face the queue (although when I first visited, a regular customer told me I’d be silly not to just suck it up and wait – I’d be rewarded with incredible food at the other end), BunBunBun just up the road is also delicious. Olivia Emily

Address: 134 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DY

BOOK: songque.co.uk

Jalisco, Brixton

 

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Tucked away in Brixton Village Market, Jalisco is my go-to spot for cheap, cheerful and delicious Mexican food in London. You can get huge burritos, tacos, enchiladas or quesadillas for just £9, picking from a variety of fillings (pollo tinga is my order). The spicy margs are great, there’s always a buzzy vibe, and it’s covered, meaning you can sit outside year-round. Ellie Smith

Address: Unit 1, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PR

BOOK: jaliscobrixton.com

Indian Veg, Angel

This vegetarian curry house is renowned for its all-you-can-eat buffet. Fill up on hearty curries, bhajis, salads and more – all for just £7.95. Sabrina Raven

Address: 92-93 Chapel Market, London N1 9EX

BOOK: No website – just turn up!