london cheap eats
Butchies’ original street food stall made its name with fast-fried chicken, but their first proper restaurant ups the ante by matching superlative nosh with friendly counter service and sharp decor. As the unofficial chicken burger champions of London, they serve up dreamy buttermilk-fried ‘sandwiches’ and voluptuous bacon-stacked numbers with playful names like ‘Jenny from the Block’
Fun buns in Chinatown might make you think of Taiwanese bao, but these beauties are of the Cantonese variety – closed-up, then stamped with their identity. There are pig buns, fish buns, custard buns and more, but do order some small dishes too (curry fish balls, chilli tripe or glass noodle salad, say) and bulk things out with a rice pot of beef brisket. They also do a ‘tea service’ if you’re eating in (£2), but note that BH is strictly first-come, first-served.
When only a filthy-good US-style burger made with rare-breed dry-aged beef will do, Bleecker comes up trumps for London’s meat-mad hordes. The oozing bacon cheeseburger is a carnivore’s dream – especially when it’s loaded up with ketchup – although adding a side of ‘angry fries’ drizzled in blue cheese and hot sauce will take you over the £10 limit. Bleecker also has a market kiosk in Spitalfields and a bricks-and-mortar outlet in Bloomberg Arcade.
Now happily embedded in Peckham Rye, this former street food outfit serves up fail-safe Vietnamese dishes in a modest, neutrally decorated, plywood-clad setting. Affordable classics such as summer rolls, pho and ‘bun’ noodle salads abound, but it’s worth tossing in an extra quid for more unusual ideas such as the bò kho beef stew with lemongrass or bánh khot turmeric and coconut pancakes filled with prawns and sprinkled with shrimp dust. There’s a second branch in Brixton.
A hip Taiwanese street food eatery-cocktail bar hybrid, Bao & Bing starts off by serving those fluffy little buns that everyone’s heard of (try the five-spice beef version for size). The ‘bing’ part of the name refers to ‘dan bing’ – a kind of Taiwanese breakfast burrito filled with crunchy cabbage, spring onion and your chosen protein.
Camera-wielding gastro geeks still line Lexington Street hoping to hashtag London’s finest bao, and there’s always a queue outside this iconic no-bookings eatery – your best bet is a late dinner. Spend your tenner wisely by picking from the line-up of steamed buns (the ‘classic’ with braised pork belly, peanut powder and fermented greens is a must), but don’t ignore the ‘xiao chi’ snacks such as trotter nuggets or mapo aubergine with chi shiang rice.
Wallet-friendly hand-crafted pasta is king at this sleek Covent Garden joint, and passers-by can watch as the virtuoso chefs fashion all manner of sheets, ribbons and parcels in the front window of the restaurant. Inside, the best perches are at the gleaming marble bar, while the pick of the pastas has to be the poetically named ‘silk handkerchiefs’ (soft, glistening rectangles of fazzoletti dressed with walnut butter).
Kilburn’s pride and joy, this modest Afghan spot also attracts people from across London with its excellent cooking, budget prices and BYOB policy. Dumplings, tikkas, curries and kebabs show the cuisine’s cultural diversity, but also look for more distinctive ideas – from mantu (minced meat in steamed pastry topped with yoghurt, chickpeas and mint) to the must-have kabuli palow (slow-cooked lamb shank buried in a mound of yellow rice, dotted with pistachios and peppers).
The first permanent location from marketeers Arancini Bros is an affable retro caff cluttered with boxes of fresh produce – although all eyes are on the food coming from the open kitchen at the back. The food’s now 100 percent vegan, from the namesake deep-fried arancini (risotto balls served plain or stuffed into tortilla wraps) to burgers, salad boxes and stews (butternut squash and lentil, say). You can also BYOB. Branches in Old Street, Dalston and Maltby Street.
Alpes is the first bricks-and-mortar site for cheese supremos the Raclette Brothers. Unctuous, molten fondues are the headline acts, although they’re way beyond the £10 budget. However, there’s plenty of good stuff for a more modest outlay, including various tartiflettes and raclettes, plus properly humble sides including unlimited warm bread, pickles, charcuterie and garlicky fried baby potatoes.
35 must-try food markets in London, written by a Londoner. London is a FOODIE'S DREAM. Ditch the restaurants, don't miss these awesome street food markets in London for delicious eats from all around the globe #london #food #travel #travelinspiration
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. Kim's Vietnamese Hut. Where: Camden Market. Cost: £5"A box containing fried vegetables, Singapore noodles, breaded chicken breast, and battered king prawns with plum sauce – it's £5, and it's amazing." – Michael Beddoes on Facebook
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. Sunday Roast Burger. Where: There are locations in Camden, Chelsea, Clapham, Shoreditch, and Balham.Cost: From £7.50"Specifically the Sunday Roast Burger. It's £9.95 and only available on Sundays, but perfect Sunday hangover food, when you can't decide if you want a burger or Sunday roast! Beefburger soaked in jus with dauphinoise potato, crispy parsnip, and carrot sandwiched between two Yorkshire puddings...
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. Sourdough pizza at Franco Manca. Where: There are several locations, including Chiswick, Tottenham Court Road, Balham, Southfields, and the original Brixton venue.Cost: Pizzas start at £4.50.
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. A lunch special at Tokyo Diner. Where: ChinatownCost: From £6.50"They have both meat/veggie and generally include rice/noodles, miso soup and a side. The food is extremely authentically Japanese – all the employees are Japanese and many have worked there for quite some time, meaning a good level professionalism and understanding of their work."
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London: Slow Roast lamb sandwich from Sticky Beaks. Where: Various food markets around London. Follow them on Twitter to find out more.Cost: £6."Sticky Beaks' slow-roast lamb sarnie for £6 – at a few markets around London. Delicious!" – Laura Baldock on Facebook
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. Salt Beef Bagel at BeigelBake. Where: Brick LaneCost: £3.50"It's got to be a salt beef bagel (beigel) with mustard and dill pickle from Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. About £3.50 last time I checked. Astounding" – Neil Walker on Facebook
21 Of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats In London. Lunch special at Sagar. Where: Covent Garden, Hammersmith, or Tottenham Court RoadCost: From £3.50"South Indian vegetarian food – you get poppas, vegetable curry, pilau rice, sambar, AND dessert for less than a tenner." – Helen Parkin on Facebook