A Bit of a Guide to Budget Eats in London

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Over the past ten years , London has become a real capital of food culture. from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and The Roux Family and their Michelin stars, to he world food clusters on Brick Lane and in China Town, London has food to meet everyones tastes and budgets. Here are a few of my tips to enjoy food in London without breaking the bank.

1) Markets – British Produce…. Yummy!

Having trained as a chef when I was younger, I have a personal love of visiting markets and have been fortunate to visit many around the world. Although the numbers of markets dwindled a few years ago there has been a recreant trend in the UK of supporting British produce and hence seeing a rise in popularity of food markets. Dotted around London are a number of once weekly food markets such as the Queens Park Farmers market on Sunday in North West London. One of The biggest and best near central London is Borough market. Why not catch the tube or a Boris bike down there, pick up some fantastic British produce (we even do wines these days!! And they are actually quite good (don’t tell the French !)) and enjoy your treats either by the Thames or in one of London’s many park. A great way to enjoy some food on a budget and also enjoy the outside spaces that are wonderful in spring or summer in London.

2) Michelin Stars on a budget …. never?!

But it is true! During the tough times of the previous few years, there has been an increasing trend of some very famous restaurants (even ones with Michelin stars!) to offer fantastic midweek, lunchtime (and sometimes dinner) set menus. A great website to see where the offers are is www.toptable.co.uk where you can see who is offering what and when. If you register with them you can even gain points so if you come to London a lot you maybe able to get a free meal next time! I have tried it myself and managed to go for a 3 course set lunch at a one Michelin starred restaurant in Central London for an amazing £30 or about US$45!

3) Vouchers and 2 4 1 s

Another result of the financial crisis in the UK has been for some of the bigger chains of restaurants to offer amazing 2 for 1 deals or even 50% of meals. The most famous chains doing these offers are the Italian themes Zizzi and Pizza Express that offer pretty much something new every month. Either sign up to their newsletter or go to website such as Voucher Cloud or My Vouchers Codes where you will find their offer along with many more.

4) Ye Good Olde English Public House – cheers Guv’nor One of the most popular thing to do for any tourist is a visit the great British Institution (not the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace a d you are probably thinking) …. The British Pub. As the Brits tastes in food have improved over recent years , as has the quality of food served in the hundreds of pubs located in the London area. Notting Hill is a great area to wander around to see where some very famous people have lived (Jimi Hendrix to name one of many), catch the Portobello Market on the weekends, and more importantly explore a great cluster of fantastic pubs. two of my favourites are the Prince Edward And the Cow.

The Prince Edward is situated on Hereford Road , close to  Hyde Park and the trendy Westbourne grove. It serves great quality British fayre such as Fish and Chips and Sunday roasts as well as a few unusual specialities such as Wagyu Beef burgers. Serving a selection of British  ales (know as bitter by some publicans ) it is a great stop off the beaten track to catch a breath whilst exploring the area.

Another one of my favourites is an old favourites of many in the area … The Cow. go there on a sunny Friday evening as you will see throngs of the Notting Hill locals enjoy some wonderful Guinness served with succulent fresh Oysters and a pint of freshly steamed Prawns. Situated on Westbourne Park Road, it is a great place to grab a snack after a hard days sightseeing and shopping around Notting Hill or a great place to grab a snack before an evening out on the town .

5) My favourites food… Yum yum it’s dim sum!

I am a bit biased on this one. London is an amazing multi cultural city, that I have spent most of my 30 years on this planet, in. Since a very young age (about 3 years old) my favourite food has been Chinese. When I was about 14 years my sister introduced me to the wonders of Dim Sum, and my love for it has never wained. I don’t know if it is the social part of sitting round a large round table with friends and/or family or the fact that you can sample loads of little dumplings with a wonderful variety of fillings, or that when sharing with a number of people it works out as a great value lunch option 7 days a week. My two favourites for Dim sum are the Royal china on Baker Street or Pearl Liang in the Paddington Basin near paddington Station. Dim Sum is a lunchtime thing and is generally served between 12 and 5pm.

Another favourite part of my love of Chinese food is Chinese Roast meats (normally chicken , duck or pork). You can pick up a portion of missed roast meats (char Sui pork, roast pork belly and roast duck) with cabbage steamed rice and Chinese gravy for about £6. It fills you up and is extremely tasty. My two favourites for that are the Magic Wok on Queensway or the Green Cottage near Swiss Cottage Station.

Whatever you choose to do. I hope this helps and enjoy eating your way through London!


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