Places to Eat in London on a Budget

by Lisa M

We thought we would do a follow up to the London on a budget blog, and share some of the reasonably priced places at which we eat when we stay. Although we try to cook our own meals as much as possible because we like to cook (and let's face it, eating out can become a real chore after a few days), it's part and parcel of travel to sample the local fare, so here are a few cheap eats to tempt your taste buds. 

Regency Cafe, 17-19 Regency Street, SW1P 4BY

This popular, family run, art deco style cafe opened in 1946 and has been featured in a few films, as well. You can have a full English breakfast any time of the day or choose from a range of British meals. There is usually a queue, sometimes long, and all the tables are usually full, but you line up, order and pay for your meal then choose your seat, because no matter how busy it is, by the time you need to find a seat, you will. The food is freshly cooked and reasonably priced.  Claudia, the usual counter teller and baritone order caller extraordinaire, is a fan favourite and possibly the 8th wonder of the world.

Opening hours:
Mon – Friday: 7:00 – 14:30, 16:00 – 19:15
Sat: 7:00 – 12:00

XLNT Cafe, 15 Greycoat Place, SW1P

This is a small cafe in Westminster, serving full English breakfast plus a whole range of sandwiches and Italian food. It's not fine dining, but it's good food at great prices.

Blanche Eatery, 29 Strutton Ground, SW1P 2NY

If you fancy a change from full English breakast, Blanche is a good choice, there are a range of Croissants, porridge, filled bagels to choose from. Lunch could be a choice of Quiche, different salads, chicken or salmon Also serves a delicious selection of cakes. A good place to have a quick drink and some cake, or something more substantial.

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 7:00 – 19.00
Saturday – 7.30 -17.00

Laughing Halibut, 38 Strutton Ground, SW1P 2HR

A fish and chip restaurant and take away in the heart of London. Great fish and chips, reasonably priced.  It claims to be the best fish and chips in London and, having eaten our share of London fish and chips, we're going to have to agree.

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday: 11:15 – 20:00
Saturday: 11:15 – 16:00


O'Sole Mio Restaurant. 35 Belgrave Road, SW1V 2BB

This is an authentic Italian restaurant, serving all the familiar pasta dishes and pizza that you would love.

This is a popular place, with friendly staff and good service.  We'd recommend booking a table to make sure you're not disappointed!

Opening hours:

Monday - Friday 12.00 - 14.30, 17.30-23.00

Saturday 17.30 - 23.00



Cafe in the Crypt, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square WC2N 4JH

This cafe is popular with tourists and locals. It has amazing architecture with original brick-vaulted ceilings and historic tombstones lining the floor. The menu offers breakfast, lunch & dinner, afternoon tea. All the food is freshly prepared and profits support the work of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Opening hours:

Monday - Tuesday:08:00 – 20:00, Wednesday:08:00 – 22:30, Thursday - Friday:08:00 – 21:00, Saturday:09:00 – 21:00, Sunday:11:00 – 18:00

Scooter Cafe, 132 Lower Marsh, Lambeth SE1 7AE

Old scooters sit side by side with espresso machines in hip cafe that becomes a bar by night.

Opening hours- Monday - Thursday 8.30 - 22.00, Friday 8.30 – 00.00, Saturday 10.00 -00.00, Sunday 10.00-22.00

Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ

This is a Community inniative, supporting local startups, built from a collection of shipping containers filled with street food vendors, small restaurants and retailers, around a central courtyard. We found Koi Ramen and tried the Tonkotsu ramen and pork Gyozu dumplings, both were delicious. This is a great place to hangout with friends, have a drink, get some food or do all three.

Open 9am - 11pm

Pizza Express, Prezzo and Zizzi

These are chain restaurants and can be found in many places around London and throughout the UK. Typically serving pizza and pasta and salad dishes.  It's like order from Gap online, you know what to expect no matter where you are.

If you would prefer a pub, we can help with a few of those too, and kep you away from the madding crowd of tourists!

Greencoat Boy, 2 Greencoat Place, SW1P 1JP

An historic Victorian pub, with good selection of beers and lagers. The food is traditional British food, reasonably priced.

Opening hours:

Monday – Thursday 10.00 – 23.30; food served from 12.00- 23.30

Friday – Satruday 10.00 – 00.00; food served from 12.00- 23.30

Sunday 12.00 – 22.30; food served from 12.00- 23.30

The Windsor Castle , 23 Francis Street, SW1P 1DN

This pub is in a street the back Westminster Cathedral and is dog friendly. The front part divided into sections and can look busy, although there is usually plenty of space in the back. Serves pub food and Sam Brown beer amongst others.

Opening hours:

Monday – Saturday 12.00 – 23.00

Sunday 12.00 – 22.30

The Buckingham Arms, 62 Petty France, SW1H 9EU

Another dog friendly place, just a few minutes walk from Buckingham Palace. Offers real ale and classic British food. The staff are friendly and made Chelsea very welcome.

Opening hours:

Monday-Friday : 11:00-23:00; food served 12.00 – 21.00

Saturday-Sunday: 10:00-18:00; food served 10.00 – 17.00

The Chandos, 29 St Martin's Lane, WC2N 4ER

This is a traditional British pub, serving freshly cooked food, a good selection of beers, wines and spirits. The staff and welcoming, the prices are afforable and it's dog friendly.

Opening hours:

Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 23.00; Sunday 12.00 - 22.30

If you would like a more glamorous place to dine, we recommend:

Brasserie Zedel,  20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED

This restaurant serves some of the cities finest French food. It offers a priced fixed menu with 2 courses for £9.75, or 3 courses for £12.75, so won't break the bank.

Opening hours:

Monday – Saturday 11.30 – 00.00

Sunday 11.30 – 23.00

Before going to out to eat, it's always worth searching online to see if there are any discount voucher available – Pizza Express and Prezzo often have them,  but doesn't always advertise in the restaurants.