When looking for places to eat in London, families often want to try to keep within a reasonable budget.
London isn’t the cheapest family vacation spot, but there are so many ways to keep the overall price tag affordable. One of the most effective tricks is to watch where you eat. Splurging on a hotel room with a kitchenette or an apartment with a full kitchen will allow you to cook some meals for yourself, and you can choose budget-friendly restaurants for the remaining meals.
To help you find the best budget-friendly places to eat in London, we put together a list of our all-time favorites. We’ll note where they are and what attractions are nearby so that you can slip them into your itinerary effortlessly.
You’ll find this low-cost London restaurant off The Cut in London’s South Bank region. It’s one of the cheapest restaurants near the London Eye and serves up homestyle British food with some amazing breakfast dishes. Service is fast and friendly, and you’ll see just as many locals as visitors enjoying the dining room and outdoor tables.
The Bankside Café is perfect for families who want good food fast without paying outrageous prices. The restaurant isn’t fancy, and the food is rather simple but with fresh ingredients. Walk in expecting a good meal from friendly folks without the upscale environment of the more luxurious restaurants in London.
Look for this Cantonese kitchen when you’re in the Leicester Square area. It’s on Lisle Street close to Chinatown and the Hippodrome Casino. The small café is best known for its steamed buns, which come filled with chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, or lamb. You can also order sweet buns filled with custard.
Other menu items include curry fish balls, glass noodle salad, and har gau. The buns will go down well with most kids and you can order a combo with four buns of your choice.
You’ll find this Caribbean street stall at 200 Blackfriars Road in London’s South Bank. It’s just down the street from Nelson Square Park and the Southwark tube station. There are a variety of attractions within a mile of the stall, including the London Eye and London Dungeons.
Visit Carnival Pot for authentic Caribbean street food with some spice. The chicken is a favorite of locals as well as visitors, but you may also want to try the rice and curry.
This affordable pizza shop is located on Dean Street in Soho. It’s on the western side of Soho Square Gardens and just north of the Soho Theatre. They serve Neapolitan-style pizza with fresh ingredients, and their crust is made daily.
The prices are perfect for a pizza in the nearby park, so consider ordering your pizza for takeout. You can choose from a variety of toppings and will always get a budget-friendly deal.
If you visit the British Library or Regent Square Gardens, take a short walk to visit this affordable Malaysian restaurant on Doric Way. The food is authentic to Malaysia, so you’ll see ingredients like prawn, curry, and shrimp. Spicy fried chicken also makes an appearance on the menu along with tofu, chicken, coconut, eggs, and a variety of seafood.
While this is one of the cheapest places to eat in London, it’s a small restaurant with tight seating. The food is fresh and tasty, and you can expect a bill that doesn’t bite the wallet too hard.
This Soho restaurant is known for its salt brisket and other cured, hand-carved meats. You can enjoy omelets and sandwiches for £5 or less. A full breakfast will run you £6.50, and you can order a salt beef stack for £5. The menu items are simple and homemade, but they’re also delicious and made with fresh ingredients.
Look for Tongue & Brisket on Leather Lane or Wardour Street in central London. Both are located in areas easily reached through the tube. They’re also a short walking distance from Soho Square Gardens and other London places of interest.
Everyone has their own idea of what’s considered budget-friendly, so it’s possible that you may still experience a bit of sticker shock even at some low-priced restaurants and places to eat in London. Keep in mind that many places to eat in London have low-cost menu items hidden within extensive menus of pricier dishes. Others have significant discounts on select days or during certain hours.
Taking advantage of free kids meals, happy hours, and other discounts may allow you to eat at a more expensive London restaurant at lower cost. There are so many great places to eat in London that you may also find more options just walking the streets and looking in windows. Give yourself time to explore and you’ll see what London really has to offer your family.