London -- inexpensive but good eateries?

May 1st, 2010, 08:29 PM
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London -- inexpensive but good eateries?

I'll be in London soon, staying at The Rubens near Buckingham Palace. Would appreciate some recommendations for inexpensive or moderately-priced places to have lunch or dinner in the area in which I'm staying, Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden, theater district, etc. Since I'll be alone I don't want to head out for a formal meal -- I'm eating, not dining. Most interested in good Indian and Chinese cooking. Good food more of a priority than decor. Years ago I tried Belgo Congo (I know I'm spelling that wrong) and will most likely go back there for mussels. Also, I read about Byron's for good burgers. Since London is at the end of my trip and I'll have had a lot of Greek food already (visiting Greece), I might welcome a good burger. Thanks much. Diane
luvtotravel is offline  
May 1st, 2010, 10:15 PM
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There are a couple Belgo locations. Belgo Centraal near Covent Garden is on Earlham Street. We ate there recently and the moules mariniere were pretty pedestrian but the Thai green curry mussels were better. There is another location on Kingsway near the Holborn tube station.

Bistro1 (that's the number one, not a lower case L) is a local chain but has some pretty decent food; one near Covent Garden and a couple in SoHo. The onion soup was quite good.

Ed's diner on Rupert Street (again, SoHo Covent Garden area) would be a place to sate your burger craving. Byron's has a location on Wardour Street off Shaftesbury.

For easy lunches, M&S has great prepared sandwiches and salads just perfect for savoring in a park. There's the ubiquitous Pret a Manger or Eat chains, too.

You may want to check out the reviews and recommendations on, too.
Seamus is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 01:50 AM
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Pizza Express (don' laugh) is a very reliable chain with several restaurants in London and other UK cities. It is nothing like chain pizza restaurants in the US and has many items in addition to decent pizzas, notably what my wife and I agree is the best salade nicoise we've ever had. We've eaten at the Knightsbridge PE on three trips to London, and others in Mayfair and near Hyde Park. We've even eaten at one in Spain and one in Budapest (called Pizza Marzano there).
mohun is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 02:40 AM
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There is a Joe Allen's in London, just a stone's throw from Covent Garden toward the Strand

If you don't see burgers on the menu, ask for them. They will make them for you.

And I'll be so bold as to recommend India Club. It's upstairs, you may still have to pay a small fee to join "the club", the curries couldn't be more British Empire traditional. But they say Ghandi ate there, and the beer is good. And it is all very, very cheap.
zeppole is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 03:17 AM
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Check out: for some good deals and printable vouchers. All of the places shown are chains but do offer reasonable food at reasonable prices (some very reasonable if you use the vouchers!). - good for burgers and tapas style sharing plates (good selection of beers and wine too)places all over town great burgers & several locations around town.

Lots of good Chinese in and around Soho and Brick Lane is THE place to go for Indian and Bangladeshi food.

My favourite inexpensive Thai restaurant is Thai Pin in Maiden Lane (just off of the main piazza - opposite. Doesn't look much from the outside but family run and teh food is inexpensive (for London) and excellent.
crellston is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 03:55 AM
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And I'll be so bold as to recommend India Club. It's upstairs, you may still have to pay a small fee to join "the club", >>>>

You don't have to pay anymore. But beware; this is probably the ultimate "Marmite" place in london - you either love it or want to call the police.

It is very ramshackle (although it has recently had a lick of paint). I defy you to belive the entrance way. (it's on top of the Strand Continental Hotel in the Strand - opposite the Strand Palace Hotel.)

Don't eat off the menu - just tell the waiter you'll have whats going and you'll get 3-5 dishes as the cook wants. This can go either way of course but it's very cheap.

You certainly won't forget it.

ps Ghandi may not have eaten there but Nehru and Jinna most certainly did.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 04:09 AM
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Check out the toptable website for 50% off or 2 for 1 offers. You have to make reservations on the site. But they always havesome good deals.

We like Cote on Tavistock St in Covent Garden also cafe Montepeliano near Hasrrod's and Carluccio's near Soth Ken tube station. Any of the Biagio restaurants are very good and reasonably priced. They also have a website
avalon is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 04:13 AM
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Thanks for the update on no more club fee. I said I was being bold recommending it -- but I quite like it. I'm sorry to hear it's been painted! I think it's one of the most relaxing eateries I know in an English-speaking country. It's so unpretentious, and the food just hits the spot, especially for the price. Nice big tables too if you're with friends.
zeppole is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 04:17 AM
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It's one place that I NEVER recommend to strangers. They have a habit of throwing bricks at me if they don't "get it".

As I say I love it - but by golly - it divides opinion (the last person I went with refused to eat there saying it was a "soup kitchen". I let it go, as she had nice bristols.)
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 08:40 AM
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I hope we've made luvtotravel curious enough to give it a go.
zeppole is offline  
May 2nd, 2010, 08:47 AM
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I have to laugh, zeppole. Yes, I believe you have made me curious enough to give it a go. Thanks all for the advice. I'm printing this out to take with me.

In my research last night I also found some dim sum restaurants to try. I used to go for dim sum frequently until I moved to an area where it is non-existent. All I need now is more time in London to try out all the restaurants.

luvtotravel is offline  

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