Ten great cheap meals for under £20

Eating out in London needn't cost the earth

London is full of places to eat, you can eat somewhere new for lunch and dinner every day and never get through them all, and there are new places opening up across the capital every week. One thing we get asked time and time again is where can we eat well for less money? Here’s a list of our top ten London cheap eats.


Brasserie Zédel, Soho

The place to head to for a two course meal for £8.95 or three course for £11.95 of delicious French food, near Piccadilly Circus. The service is attentive and the atmosphere is lively. It serves some of the city’s finest French food at a fraction of the price. Bon appetite! Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED 

Franco Manca 

Italian style pizza and ten different venues across London. It’s sourdough pizzas are considered to be some of the best. A tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza comes in at £5.90 and extra toppings start at 50p, giving plenty of change from £20 for wine (£3.85 a glass), beer (£3.35) or why not be healthy and have a mixed leaf salad (£2.35). Franco Manca, across London. 

Gökyüzü, Harringay

There are a whole host of cheap Turkish restaurants around Green Lanes, but Gökyüzü is, as far as we are concerned, the best. It has traditional food, friendly service and a lively atmosphere. Meze plates (£4-£5) and charcoal-grilled kebabs start at £8. And don’t get us started on the Efes beer (£3). The restaurant flatbread, salad, humus and other dips are in huge portions, it’s impossible to leave without a very full stomach. Gökyüzü, 26-27 Grand Parade, N4 1LG 

Koya Bar, Soho

The restaurant next door has now closed, but the Koya Bar has survived and still serves up some of the great noodle dishes that the restaurant was famed for. A bowl of noodles starts at £6.90. You can choose between hot or cold options and add meat, fish, and fiery chilli for a little extra. Koya, 50 Frith Street, W1D 4SG 

Mama Lan, Clapham

The second Mama Lan to open in London is our preferred venue. It’s got more of a restaurant vibe than the one in Brixton. The food is the same, with noodle dishes and meat, prawn or vegetable-filled Beijing dumplings among the highlights. If you take a look on-line the prices aren’t included, but trust us, you’ll fill your boots for a few quid. Mama Lan, 8 The Pavement, SW4 0HY 

Open Kitchen, Hoxton

Run by catering and hospitality students from the Hackney Community College, all wanting to make their mark or guarantee a job at the end of the course. Dishes are British and French and the menu changes regularly. Prices are low, you’ll get a good starter for £5 and a generous main for £10. The only negative: the restaurant is closed out of term time. Open Kitchen, 40 Hoxton Street, N1 6LR 

Seven At Brixton, Brixton

Small plates of classics such as bread with tomatoes, calamari, chorizo skewers and prepared meat platters for £3-£4 each. Many of the cocktails are a fiver too, making it a great venue to spend a few hours with your mates. Seven At Brixton, Unit 7 Market Row, SW9 8LB 

Stockpot, Soho

This place on Old Compton Street hasn’t changed in forty years. Big portions of hearty British food for around £6-£7. The service is friendly and the clientele is as diverse as you’d expect. This is Soho after all. Stockpot, 18 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TN

Tayyabs, Whitechapel

This Indian is famous for lamb chops; some would say the best you’ll find in London. Another menu without prices, but don’t worry starters begin at £4 and mains are generally under £10. Tayyabs, 83-89 Fieldgate Street, E1 1JU

The Vincent Rooms, Westminster

Stylish and cheap. A great place if you want to impress your date. They’ll be so blown away by the menu and service that they’ll not notice the cheap prices. Starters are £5-£6 and mains are £10-£12. It’s run by students and the menu changes regularly. The Vincent Rooms, Westminster Kingsway College, 76 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PD