cheap food in london

Old Jun 14th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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cheap food in london

Does anyone have any suggestions for cheap, but good places to eat in London. We are a family of four with two teens. We will be staying in Knightsbridge. We will be visiting Tower of London and historic London mainly. Any advise would be truly appreciated. We will be in London in July.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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We stayed in the area of Knightsbridge about a year-and-a-half ago and was not able to find anything cheap that would be of good quality.

We got suckered in the basement food hall of Harrods and it was very expensive for mediocre food. We don't mind paying a lot for good food (i.e. good QPR), but Harrods and a tea and pastries establishment with Eastern European/Russian wait staff in front of it were the pits. Avoid this at all cost.

I'm sure somebody here will be able to recommend a suitable one for your needs.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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A nice thing about London is the menu is posted outside the establishment so you can see the prices. Of course with the dollar what it is now be sure to factor that in. We ate a couple of Indian restaurants that were good and very reasonable, we at at pubs, and during the day you can pick up sandwhiches at various places, pizza, things like that. I'm sorry but I don't know the names of any of the places we ate. We just looked for a place when we got humgry and usually it was good. Only one place that I recall that the food was NOT very good. It's not hard to eat reasonably.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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There is a Wagamama across from the Tower of London. It is fun and the food is good.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Hmmm...I must have been hungry to eat the whole restaurant. We at IN a couple of Indian restaurants.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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I am leaving tomorrow for my 6th trip to London. As in my previous trips, so too in this one I will be on a rather tight budget (I live in Brazil and earn in "reais" - the exchange rate now is around 5.50 reais to a British pound). So, I usually eat at pubs (fish 'n chips, sausage and mash, etc), or at chain restaurants, mainly Italian, where you are more certain to eat a good meal at reasonable prices. Pan Pizza has specials where you pay a flat fee of 5.99 GBP and eat all the salad, pasta, and pizza you want. Another option is to go to Camden Market (fun in itself) and eat Asian and Indian food on the stands.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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Brick Lane. There are lots of cheap Indian restaurants and it's only minutes from Tower Hill. Best Indian food in London.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Try Karim's (indian rest) in Basewater. The best. There are also a couple of good Greek restaurants on the same street.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 10:13 PM
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Wagamama is wonderful. Great food with lots of choices for well under £10 per person (including a soft drink or water). There are several including one in Knightsbridge. That one is right around the corner from Harvey Nichols.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 10:46 PM
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Pizza Express is pretty good; I would compare it to a Pasta Pomodoro kind of restaurant. You can find good pizza and pasta for less than 10 GBP. I think there might be one near Knightsbridge, but I am sure there is one at Russell Square / Holborn area. Like Wondering, I would also recommend Wagamamas.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 01:10 AM
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I always recommend Hardens 'Cheap Eats in London'. Hardens is THE restaurant guide. you can get this edition on amazon or hardens.com
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 01:16 AM
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There are plenty of reasonably priced restaurants in London's China town.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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It's something of a myth that it's difficult to find somewhere decent and cheap in London. I'd suggest finding a good local cafe, and by this I mean a greasy spoon, and have a full English breakfast each day. This will keep you going all morning and it really doesn't have to be that unhealthy.

Then later in the day, perhaps around 2pm (once a lot of office workers have had their lunch so it'll be quieter), find a restaurant/bar that has special lunch offers. I work in Soho, for example, and there are loads of bars and restaurants that do lunches of 2 courses for around £6. Make that your main meal and then you can have a lighter meal in the evening.

Any area with a lot of offices will have places such as this. As an example, near my office there is:

Digress - a bar offering main courses for between £3 and £5

Red Bar - 2 courses for £5.90 (though limited menu)

Masala Zone - fantastic Indian where you can get a thali (lots of little dishes and very filling) for about £6

Bistro 1 - 2 courses for £6.90

Sugar Reef - starters £2 and main courses £5

This is just the tip of the iceberg. And also look out for pre-theatre deals at some very nice restaurants...
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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captbuzz:
Belgo Central in Covent Garden has a "beat the clock" special. In other words, at 6:00 PM you get a main course and free drink for 6 GBP. My favorite is their mussels chips and beer. Check it out at www.belgo-restaurants.com. My other favorite is a two-fer special at one of the Wagamama restaurants. Go to www.wagamama.com for information on this weeks specials.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Another thing to look out for are pre-theatre menus - ie that are before 7.30. They are quite a bit cheaper than their full price equivalents.

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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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How about those Pret-a-Manger places? I have seen them recommended and was planning to try on my next visit.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 07:50 AM
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Pret a manger is a chain of sandwich shops - they sell sandwiches and similar things as well as soft drinks etc.

It's the sort of thing you pick up for your lunch at work rather than somewhere you go for a meal.

Their sandwiches are good. So are Marks and Spencers. Avoid Benjy's (another chain) like the plague.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Ditto to David. I rely on Pret for a quick and very cheap lunch. Their soups are very good. Another relatively cheap place to eat is the bar/bistro opposite One Aldwych. Very nice.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Pret-a-Manger and Mark & Spencers. You will have no trouble finding them. They have fresh food and fruits. Our best eat in restaurants were the small places we happened upon while walking. Do check the menus before going in so you don't get any surprises. Enjoy and mind the gap!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Dim sum's always a great option for an inexpensive lunch, and London's Chinatown has a number that offer cart service on weekdays as well as weekends. We liked Chuen Cheng Ku.

Indian's another great option. Particularly good was New Tayyabs. Open for dinner only, BYOB.

Pubs often have some very inexpensive, very filling options (perfect for the teens). Generally not the best quality unless you're specifically going for gastropubs (but then the price will increase).

Racine's an upmarket French restaurant not too far from Harrods, very well-reviewed, that has an early evening prix fixe that's a very good deal (though we ate later so didn't get to take advantage of it). A nice restaurant but not stuffy, and I'd be comfortable taking two well-behaved teens there (or even younger children, though Londoners seem to mostly leave their children at home).
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