Daily Budget for London

We're traveling to London and we've budgeted 50 pounds per day for food. Is this a proper amount to get us through each day? Our hotel offers continental breakfast (bagels, etc.) We'd appreciate any advice people have on how much to allot for meals and general spending money. We've already purchased 7-day travelcards so our transportation is covered with the exception of getting to central London from Heathrow. Thanks!

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1507 posts

Us as in two adults?

If you eat just a snacky lunch and the eat at a moderately priced resaurant for dinner, that might be enough.

If you eat something more sustancial for lunch, then you might have to look for a pizza hut or sandwich type dinner.

On our visit in 2007 I recall a large pizza hut pizza was about 17GBP and our spaghetti dinner at a small modest restaurant for 2 adults and 3 pre-teen children was 45 GBP.

Back then the exchange rate was 2 for 1. Ouch!

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7967 posts

If the breakfast doesn't have to come out of the 50, and if you're careful, and if you never splurge, and if you have no more than one beer per day........you can pull it off. But it will be tight.

Posted by Betsy
Raleigh
2 posts

I don't know if this makes any difference but I've budgeted for 50 pounds for me and another 50 pounds for my husband for food each day. Is that any better or does everyone still think it will be tight? Thanks for all of the help.

Posted by Joel
Tempe, AZ, USA
835 posts

Betsy - If breakfast is provided for, you should be able to do 50gbp per day. One trick our family(of 4) used last summer was stopping at a Tesco or Sainsbury and get out daily lunch. You'd be amazed how much you can get for 10-12 gbp. There is also Pet-A-Manger(sp?) they have pretty good sandwiches for about 2.50-4 gbp.

As a comment on what Ed said "I'm not sure I could survive on 1 pint a day"

EDIT ******
100gbp should be more than enough for the 2 of you.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

Betsy, 50 GBP per person will be fine; you will have many options well within this budget. For lunch, there are good sandwich shops all over the city. These include places like Pret a Manger, EAT, etc. You can get a sandwich or salad and a drink for around 5 GBP. If you want to get an idea of prices on some less expensive meal options, you might check the online menus for some of these popular London chain restaurants - Pizza Express, Masala Zone (Indian) or Wagamamas (Asian Noodles). You will see options here in the 10 - 20 GBP range.

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1630 posts

Keep an eye on this site. It highlights some of the special meal deals that are available. With the current economic climate there are quite a few around. Also have a look at places like Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Boots for takeaway lunch eg sandwich, potato chips (or similar) and a soft drink for £3 - £4.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-restaurant-deals

Posted by Anna
Seattle, WA, United States
682 posts

I certainly hope it doesn't cost an average person 50GBP a day to eat in London!!

Posted by Kathleen
Reston, VA, USA
305 posts

I'll put in a plug for the cafe crypt in St. Martins-in-the-Fields; my daughter and I had a great dinner there last August for less than 10 gbp each. A big bowl of soup, a big plate of bread pudding, a roll, and a soft drink each. We also enjoy Gordon's Wine Bar, very close to the Embankment tube stop, where you can get 2-3 slabs of cheese, a good hunk of bread, and pickle for under 10 gbp; we generally split a plate. Pasties are another tasty and inexpensive lunch choice. Have a wonderful time!

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2081 posts

You should be fine w/ 50GBP per day for food and general incidentals but should not incl. hotel, taxis or expensive guided sightseeing tours. take on and off bus for sight seeing , most museums are free (ck ahead for those on your favortie list).Eat at Pubs for a great lunch or dinner meal.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Yes, £50 a person is enough. There is a great place called Pizza Express where you can get salads, pizzas and other things at a good price, they are all over London. Have a great time in London.

Posted by Audrey
Singapore
314 posts

I second Wagamamas and Cafe in the crypt! Ditto with the supermarkets. Marks and Spencers has takeaway/ packaged foods including some nice desserts.

Posted by barbara
barrington, NJ, usa
31 posts

I was just over in December and found pubs offer cheap eats, any museum has a place to eat that's inexpensive, St Martin's is a nice place to eat. Large department stores have cafes, pizza express is cheap and places like M&S have food take aways where you can go to a park and eat. Most Museums in London are free and London Walks offers wonderful walking tours of about 2 hours each and some all day tours that are great b/c you just show up at the designated tube stop and join the tour and pay the charge of about 5-7pds. check their web site. The cheapest way from Heathrow is the Picadilly Line into London which is a local train but if you are coming in on the weekend not crowded but less than half the price of the Heathrow Express which takes only 15mins.