Cheap eats in London: south, west and central
Everyone knows it – London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy this great city. And yes, eating out has always been a bit of treat to yourself and rarely possible at the end of the month, but no more! There are so many places now that offer cheap meals for under £6 that eating out is now as easy as breathing. Here are some of the best cheap eats London has to offer, part two.
Spit and Roast – Spit and Roast offer something new and exciting for your tastebuds with their buttermilk fried chicken bap with slaw and Korean hot sauce. All the meat is local and free-range. The chicken is marinated overnight in buttermilk, then dipped into their secret coating, and deep fried to golden perfection. Topped with the Korean hot sauce, it offers a taste that will always satisfy. And it costs only £6. You can find them at Southbank Centre Market or Brockley market in Lewisham.
Marcel & Sons – now, this is something you can't see anywhere in London: a great restaurant serving Mauritian food for a fiver. The menu needs a little explaining but the owners are more than happy to help and give suggestions. A must is the bol renverse (upside down bowl) – chicken, shiitake mushrooms, choi sum, Mauritian sausage, crispy onions, chilli paste, sweet wine sauce and steamed rice, all topped with a fried egg, for just £5. You will find Marcel & Sons in The Artworks in Elephant and Castle, a creative work hub made from shipping containers.
JB’s Soulfood and Jerk Chicken – this joint in Peckham offers authentic freshly prepared Caribbean food in generous portions, and most of the dishes are under £6. You should try their signature jerk chicken with rice and coleslaw in either a regular (£5) or a large (£6) portion. Or any of the salt fish fritters, fried chicken and patties, all under £1.50.
Chop Chop – Visiting this restaurant for the first time, it doesn’t seem like much, with its plain setting and all menu items under £5.90 but when you try the food, you’ll be nicely surprised. Next time you’re in Shepherd’s Bush, try one of their winning dishes such as the roast duck (on the bone) with fried rice, and yes, it is £5.90.
Laurent’s Kitchen – Because west London is the poshest area, there aren’t many places you can find a good meal for under £6. That’s why we had to increase the limit to £7 for this special street-food stall but it is worth it. Laurent’s Kitchen offers gourmet French street food in both Swiss Cottage and Richmond. Laurent Rossi, the man behind it all, has a background in fine dining and Michelin-starred restaurants across the world, which is very rare when it comes to street food. You don’t get a choice, though, as there is one dish a day but meals change seasonally. Plus, Laurent knows what he’s doing so you will want to eat anything he has to offer.
Wholefood Heaven Van – This van is parked at the end of Whitecross Market serves only vegan food but that didn’t stop them from winning Best Main Dish at the British Street Food Awards. Their winning dish? Brown rice drowned in Massaman curry (with potatoes, pineapple and soy chunks), with carrot kimchi pickle, steamed greens, and a seed sprinkle. A regular portion is £4.50 and a large one is £5. For £1 more, you can add two slices of grilled halloumi, and finally, chilli sauce and flakes. Yum!
Radical Roots – Soho street food traders Radical Roots offers an all-time favourite rotisserie chicken, pairing it with fresh salads, houmus and yoghurt. You can get half of a juicy chicken and choice of three salads for £6 or double up for extra £2. There is an option for vegetarians with grilled halloumi for a fiver.
Turkish Gozleme Company – Another special treat you can find at the Whitecross Street Market – a giant gozleme for £5. Traditionally Turkish, here gozlemes are done a bit differently, with the filling put on top of the bread and wrapped like a burrito. The dough is rolled out and cooked on a traditional flat griddle, all the staff are Turkish and the meal is halal. The only downside? The queues can be quite long... but it’s all worth it.