Where to Find Cheap Food in London

Close up of Wagamama ramen with egg and prawns

Studying in central London is a lot of fun. With direct access to the best tourist attractions as well as an incredible range of museums, theatres and art galleries it really is the place to be. The only problem is that it can be pretty pricey… So how do you find cheap eats in one of the UK’s most expensive cities? Luckily we’ve made a list of our favourite places to grab a bite- all for under a tenner (£10)!

Cheap Eats in London

1) Wagamama

Salmon Teriyaki Wagama on top of pak choi and rice

Cost of lunch: £8-£10

If you’ve been to any busy city in England, then you’ve probably seen a Wagamama. The ‘Panasian’ restaurant is known for its warming ramens and rich katsu curries and also offer a great range of vegetarian options. Customers are seated on wooden benches, so be prepared to get cosy with your neighbours!  The atmosphere is loud, colourful and sociable and you’re always left feeling satisfied.

2) The Golden Hind

Fish and chips with Mushy peas on a white plate

Cost of lunch: £10-£12

When in London, you have to eat Fish and Chips. And for a sit down ‘chippy’ dinner, the Golden Hind is probably the best value for money.  The Golden Hind is exactly how one would imagine a fish and chips restaurant: loud, busy and really yummy. It can fill up quickly, so make sure you call ahead to get a table. You can also BYOB (bring your own bottle), which also saves you a few quid (British slang for pounds)!

3) Wasabi Sushi

Exterior of Wasabi

Cost of lunch: £5-£8

Sushi in London is actually not as expensive as you would think. For 5-8£ you get a good plate of Sushi at Wasabi Sushi. It is fresh, separately wrapped and tasty. You can make your own portion or buy one prepared. Most customers just come and pick their sushi up. Another great money saving tip about Wasabi is that they often make big reductions about half an hour before closing time- the perfect moment to grab some dinner.

4) Meal Deals from Tesco, Boots or M & S

Exterior of Marks and Spencers Sutton

Cost of lunch: £3-£5

Unlike other countries, in the UK supermarkets are a great source of prepared food. You can get all kinds of sandwiches, salads, bite-sized cut fruit, wraps, soups and even pastries. For the cheapest option, head to Tesco for a sandwich, drink and snack for under £3.50. Marks and Spencers has an even bigger selection but a bit pricier.

5) Pret a Manger

Food displays Pret A Manger Strand

Cost of lunch: £5-£7

For vegetarians and health food lovers, there’s no better place to grab lunch than Pret a Manger (also known as “Pret”). This British sandwich retail chain that focuses on quick and healthy food and has even opened a number of meat-free stores. Their sandwiches, soups and wraps are always fresh because they are prepared on the day they are being sold.

6) Wetherspoons

Exterior of Wetherspoon Victoria Station

Cost of lunch: £6-£10

Wetherspoons is a chain of cheap and cheerful pubs that keeps British people well fed and watered all over the country. They have an enormous menu and serve everything from fry-ups to burgers to fish and chips. If you’re also looking for a cheap place to grab a beer in London, Wetherspoons also serve the cheapest pints in the country.

7) Leon

Exterior of Leon Kings Cross

Cost of lunch: £6-£8

Much like Pret a Manger, Leon provides a healthier and more sustainable alternative to the “grab and go” eating style that is so popular among Londoners. They have a great range of options for vegetarians and also provide healthy portion sizes. Their waffles fries are also totally delicious, so make sure you give them a try.

8) Borough Market (and food markets in general)

Exterior of Borough Market

Photo credit: Jeremy Keith

Cost of lunch: £6-£8

Borough Market is an iconic London market, just over the road from London Bridge station. Here you’ll find an incredible range of hot food options, with cuisines from all over the world. From artisan pies to fresh and spicey curries, there’s something for every taste in this eclectic market. It does tend to get pretty busy on weekends, so try to visit it during the week if possible.

If you want to discover more of London, then find out more about learning English in the UK with British Study Centres.

You might also be interested in:

Great Cafés in West Hampstead

Travelling in London: Your Oyster Card Guide

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