London over the past decade has emerged as a gastro-heaven of bustling bistros, hot resto-lounges, and haute-dining temples. But even a modest meal can cost a fortune if you don’t know where to go. Here, we’ve selected our favorite wallet-friendly eateries that don’t skimp on style to deliver amazing dinners. Dig in!
Eclectic, Kings Cross
Perhaps the greenest restaurant in London! All ingredients are seasonal, sustainable, organic, fair-trade, or locally sourced. The water is purified on site, the staff uses biodeisel, the packaging is biodegradable, and all waste is recycled. Wonderfully creative dishes range from yellow beetroot with potatoes to pheasant salad with dandelion.
Anchor & Hope
Modern British, South Bank
Great things at reasonable prices come from the open kitchen at this permanently packed, no-reservations gastro-pub: Crab on toast, and cod with white beans are two standouts. It’s informal, cramped, and highly original, and there are often dishes for groups. Expect to share a table, too.
Tucked away behind Oxford and Carnaby streets, this establishment remains a favorite with the media crowd that comes for the daily-changing, fixed-price lunch menus. Starters and main courses draw on the taste of Ireland, the Mediterranean, and Middle East. Dressed crab, feta cheese and barley, or smoked duck with walnuts are all hale and hearty.
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With booths and communal oak tables, a mainly City lunch crowd wolfs down Coronation chicken and savory pies (chicken-and-tarragon and steak-and-kidney are favorites), with mashed potatoes, greens, or mushy peas. Finish with treacle tart or Eton Mess (strawberries, meringue, and cream). Everything tastes good and is reasonably priced.
Greek, Primrose, Regents Park
Primrose Hill’s eternal Greek, vine-decked Lemonia is large and light, and always packed with hungry customers. Besides the usual meze starters, there are hearty mains like baked lamb in lemon and beef stewed in wine. Expect to see posh locals and the occasional film star.
Original Lahore Kebab House
Pakistani, The City
It may be BYO, no-frills, and feel like Karachi inside, but — wow! — the Pakistani home-style cooking is brilliant and cheap. Mutton tikka, grilled lamb chops, tarka daal, and karahi chicken are all fiery and super spiced. A meal’s nothing at £15 a head, and knocks spots off anything on offer in nearby Brick Lane’s Curry Mile.
Expect top value for money at this superior Thai canteen. The menu includes noodles, curries, and stir-fries. We recommend the chicken with butternut squash, cuttlefish curry, or seafood vermicelli studded with prawn, squid, and scallops. There’s a crazy-busy site in Soho, or another near Selfridges department store in Mayfair.
Song Qué Café
Vietnamese, The City
A trawl through trendy Hoxton is topped off at this amazing-value Vietnamese canteen. Block out the scuzzy Kingsland location and gaudy decor and instead dive into green papaya salad, tamarind prawns, Vietnamese pancakes, and oodles of pho (beef broth with noodles and sliced steak).
Browse our London restaurant recommendations by price, neighborhood, and cuisine in our London Dining Planner.
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