London may not be the most expensive capital in the world but let’s be honest, it’s not the cheapest one either and I think it’s safe to assume that not everyone wants to spend a small fortune on eating out. At the same time I bet there are some of you who just can’t be bothered cooking everyday (join the club!) or perhaps you’re planning to visit London and are in the market for delicious meals in the city centre which don’t break the bank? Whatever your reason for dining on a budget is, I’ve got you covered! Let me introduce 3 of my favourite dining places which constantly serve delicious meals for just over £5. Here we go!
Hidden in the basement just off Fleet Street, Zucla is the treasure among capital’s lunch spots. For as little as £5.50 you’ll get a huge portion of a delicious meal of your choice- I always either share it with someone or take a half home for dinner as I don’t think it’s humanly possible to deal with the entire thing at one go! Zucla is a buffet-style bistro so don’t expect fancy interiors, just friendly stuff and delicious, freshly prepared, hearty meals. Speaking of which… you can chose dishes from one of four zones (breakfast, curry, salad and noodle), among which the curry zone is my favourite. As a vegetarian, I always go for paneer curry (it’s lush), which comes with rice and fresh coriander or chillies. If you can’t make your mind up, don’t worry, you can always mix and match! Although the place at lunchtime is open until 3.30 I’d suggest getting there as early as possible (anything before 1 p.m. should be fine)- Zucla is super duper popular among the City workers and realising they’ve ran out of your favourite dish is not fun (been there, done that!).
Who doesn’t love pizza?! Especially if it’s sourdough, wood-burning oven baked and topped with fresh, high quality ingredients? By now you should be sold! Being one of the most affordable pizza places in town (classic basil & tomato costs you £6.40), Franco Manca is my obvious choice when I’m after the original, Italian thing. Their short, consistent, pizza-only menu is there to reassure you those guys know what they’re doing. And the pizza you get- thin, crispy and with just the right amount of toppings- is everything you could wish for. Although I’ve never had any pudding there, No Logo cider they have on the menu serves as a pretty decent substitute 🙂 For those who don’t know- Franco Manca have quite a few location all over the show so, wherever you are, there’s a great chance you’ll find one nearby.
For those who prefer eating more healthily, Pilpel is the place to go. With a couple of central/East locations, friendly staff and fresh ingredients they provide great lunch experience to all the diners, serving probably most delicious falafels in town. Honestly, they’re amazing- fresh, warm, made to order, ready to be consumed on their own or as a part of the meal. For £5 you can get them in a delicious pita with sauces and salads or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, pay a quid more and get the entire container full of healthy goodies or go for optional extras of your choice. You can’t really go wrong with Pilpel, and if you’re not convinced, they are always happy to give you samples to try first! What’s there not to like?!
Alright you lovely bunch, that would be it when it comes to my recommendations. Do you know about any places that should be added to this list?