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Canberragal Feb 20th, 2007 06:46 AM

Cheap eating near Bloomsbury and Covent Garden?

Hubbie and I are off to London in 7 days' time for 7 days holidaying. We have heard food prices are outrageous - we are keen to eat pub food, fish and chips and to try some decent curries.

Any recommendations?


tod Feb 20th, 2007 07:05 AM

We always go for several meals at Waggammamma in Streatham street near the British Museum.
There are several branches in London but that's the Bloomsbury one.
Also highly reccommended is a Fish & Chips place in Leigh street, between Cartwright Gardens and Judd street.
Another 'set dinner' with choice options is Wolfe's Grill, in Greater Queen street near Covent Garden. We love going there.
Beware - don't even think of going to the greek restaurant almost opposite The National Hotel entrance in Woburn Place. Terrible food on both the occassions we tried it.
Don't forget China Town - Wardour & Lisle streets for cheap set menus.
For curries try Drummond street near Euston station. Also down Queensway between Bayswater & Queensway tube stations. Lots of cheap Lebanse food as well.

jent103 Feb 20th, 2007 07:23 AM

I always recommend Wagamama, but tod beat me to it! If I'm not mistaken, the Bloomsbury location is the original. I crave it. :) Dionysus at the corner of Tottenham Court & Oxford is good gyros, chips, etc. - I believe they have a nicer sit-down portion or a takeaway counter, although it's been awhile since I've been. There are Pret a Mangers everywhere - not pub food or fish & chips, but good for a quick, inexpensive and tasty lunch.

MissZiegfeld Feb 20th, 2007 07:38 AM

Those pastie shops (a sort of meat filled pastry, delicious, cheap and filling) that are all over Bloomsbury there's one off of Tottenham Ct. Road, a couple of blocks north of Oxford Circus..if you're heading north it'll be on your left. There's also one in the Covent Garden promenade, and another in one of the streets that border Covent Garden (the one with the book shops--James st??)

Where else..up Woburn Place, north of the Russel Sq. tube station, there's a few spots--I remember an Indian restaurant on Woburn near Torrington Pl that was very good, they had a buffet style lunch in addition to a menu. Also a decent sandwich shop two doors down, as well as a pub which serves food.

And then there's always good old Stockpot!!

I also love Paul's--there's one right near Covent Garden, on Bedford Street (if you're in the promenade, walk up either King Street and make a left at Bedford)..really nice light meals, it's a french style patisserie with fabulous salads, sandwiches, quiche, etc..reasonable prices.

crazy4Hawaii Feb 20th, 2007 07:47 AM

I've been looking at the Wagamama menu online. - There are so many choices! Keeping in mind that I love everything, please recommend some of your favorite menu choices to get me started... Thanks!

jent103 Feb 20th, 2007 07:53 AM

I'm a picky eater and love the chicken ramen (#20 - sort of a large bowl of soup with ramen noodles, grilled chicken and spinach). The chili chicken ramen and yaki soba both get good reviews. I have a bunch of friends who wouldn't think about ordering anything but the chicken katsu curry (#71). I've also had the cha han - massive bowl of rice with vegetables and, I believe, prawns. They have good edamame and gyoza for starters. Honestly, I've never heard anyone besides myself say they disliked anything! The menu is a bit overwhelming, but unless you're picky like me, it's difficult to go wrong.

Bakerred Feb 20th, 2007 08:12 AM

You must go to Tokyo Dinner. Delicious food very cheap. We mainly have the soup or the curry - YUM. Oh, and you don't pay a tip they just want recommendations instead.
Find it at 2 Newport Place, London, WC2H 7JP

Kavey Feb 20th, 2007 08:42 AM

There's a branch of Tas (Turkish) restaurant just near the British Museum now ( which I have enjoyed. Been to three of their branches now, some more than once, and enjoyed each visit.

I'd second the recommendation to explore China Town for a wide range of Chinese restaurants plus a handful of Japanese ones too.

kenderina Feb 20th, 2007 09:06 AM

I was also at the Tas branch near the British Museum last year. It's a mixture of Greek-Turkish and I liked it very much. Not exactly cheap (though maybe it is for London !!) but good value for money. I really don't like spicy food but I managed there quite well :)

W9London Feb 20th, 2007 09:54 AM

More Leicester Square than Covent Garden (which is not that long of a walking distance), there are many Chinese restaurants that are good and offer value. My favourite is dim sum at New World.

There is a Thai place Busaba Eathai near Goodge St., and DIY Japanese savory pancake place called Abeno just one block south of the British Museum. Both places are far superior food than Wagamama--I find their noodle/curry dishes as mediocre at best.

On a budget side, you should be able to find italian chains like ASK or Zizi which are slightly more upscale than Pizza Express.

Unfortunately you're unlikely to find good value/bargains around tourist-filled Covent Garden. You may want to try pre-theatre set menu (I like Le Deuxieme or Cafe des Amis, though not cheap). If the weather is nice, the best cheap nosh is go to Neal's Yard cheese shop and do a picnic.

tudorprincess Feb 20th, 2007 10:08 AM

Someone help me out on this one, we had mussels and frites somewhere in Covent Garden a few years back and I think it was the place where you pay what the time is when you are seated. Is this right? I remember the meal being reasonable.
We like Yo! Sushi also.

MissZiegfeld Feb 20th, 2007 10:33 AM

Tudor, that's Belgo the 7 dials across from the Donmar Warehouse.

nini Feb 20th, 2007 10:40 AM

The Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden is a great place for lunch. We ate upstairs and food was good. The building is very old and interesting.

tudorprincess Feb 20th, 2007 10:48 AM

Ahhh, thank you MissZiegfeld. I might try them again this trip.

Eleni Feb 20th, 2007 12:27 PM

For finding restaurants in London, here is the website I like to use:

You can seach by location and kind of food. Because the site has reviews, you can also get a sense of what the restaurants are like.

As for price of food in restaurants, London can be expensive. But so is New York City. It is possible, however, in both London and New York to find food within your budget.

Another good site with food recommendations is chowhound. Here is the site for the chowhound UK board:
Also, your question would be a good one to post on the chowhound site!

Eleni Feb 20th, 2007 12:30 PM

Sorry, I meant to also mention timeout as a good reference for cheapeats in london. Here's one article you might like but, in general, their restaurant recommendations are helpful.

RM67 Feb 20th, 2007 03:50 PM

Belgo Centraal is a good bet for a cheap lunch. They used to do a meal+ beer for a fiver around midday. Refectory style seating, grumpy monks serving you and authentic Belgian nosh - moules, frites, wild boar sausages and mash, rotisserie chicken etc etc.

I also like the Thai Pot (if it's still there).

quiUK Feb 21st, 2007 03:01 PM

Have a look at - you can search for restaurants by price, location and cuisine. Diners also post reviews and you can book online too. Best of all, they often have excellent special offers.

carolyn Feb 21st, 2007 03:55 PM

We had a very good dinner at le bistro Savoir Faire on New Oxford Street. If you walk to the end of Bloomsbury Street and turn left, the restaurant is on the left just past the McDonald's. It's quite small, not expensive, and it appeared that locals were dining there.

Sue4 Feb 21st, 2007 04:41 PM

Tod mentioned a fish and chips place on Leigh Street. It's the North Sea Fish Restaurant, and has the absolutely best fresh fish in town. It's not far from the Russell Square tube station, and seems to be mostly frequented by Bloomsbury locals. I never miss going there when I'm in London.

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