Any favorite tips for finding affordable food in London? Favorite restaurants (or stores) offering good food at a good price? Thanks!
Tesco, Whistle Stop (train station 'grocery'), Sainsburry's, Wait Rose, Marks & Spencers, Boots
For a very quick sandwich or salad for lunch, I like Pret A Manger. There's one on almost every corner.
The Whole Foods Grocery Chain has GREAT to go items or eat in area.
Make going on a picnic easy in one of the many parks london has.
We are Pret A Manger fans also - my husband and sons got hooked on their brie/tomato/basil on baguette sandwiches a few years ago. I have made them ever since! Salads are great.
Keri - I'm also a fan of Pret-a-Manger and Tesco.
"...The Whole Foods Grocery Chain has GREAT to go items or eat in area..." I wouldn't categorize Whole Foods as being affordable. As mentioned by others Pret-a-manger is your best bet. They literally have a location on most every corner in central London.
We really enjoy the Pasty Shops, not sure of spelling but there are numerous ones around London, really filling but honestly don't remember price but not expensive.
There are many sandwich shops in London, sandwich and a coke or tea for lunch. You will stumble across them everywhere (usually a block or so off the busy main streets). pasty shops, Selfridges (eat in or take out).
Prêt a Manger is seriously everywhere, if you're in core London you are guaranteed to pass several. It's good and cheap, nothing spectacular, but easy and tasty. There's a noodle restaurant chain called Wagamama that's pretty good. I went to a location right near Hyde Park under the Harvey Nichols store. There are small drugstore/grocery stores around. I don't remember the name, but I recall one in Victoria Station. You can get fruit, prepackaged salads, milk, etc. Again, nothing amazing but good for when you need something cheap and fast.
Sainsbury corner grocery stores were our go-to for cheap bottled water, fruit, cheese, and cheap pre-made sandwiches. We also liked pub food (a bit pricier in London than elsewhere, but good hot food for about 8-10 pounds for an entree). I liked the Museum Tavern right across from the British Museum (we went there twice).
Another vote for the made fresh daily soups, salads and sandwiches at Pret a Manager. Stockpot is good. Mother mash. Thorough out London are countless affordable ethnic restaurants that serve excellent food. Lastly, pub grub is a great option. Look for the poster board menus outside the pubs. Will tell you the price of the daily special and what being served. Personally I always make lunch to big meal of the day and either picnic or have a pint and some pub grub while I rest my weary feet. You can also go online and check out what Timeout Magazine lists for cheap eats. Might also research London Food Blogs for ideas.
Waitrose or Marks/Spencer foodhalls.
For a sit down place, Sofra is a Turkish restaurant we have enjoyed returning to for the past 10 years. They have lunch, pre-theatre and set price menus starting at 8.95. Many of their entrees are also reasonable. They include the best pita, humus and olives with every meal. When we're on a budget we specifically skip alcohol and other drinks. I've been to both the Covent Garden and Mayfair locations. If you are going at a peak time, reservations are recommended - we just have the hotel call for us and can usually get us in anytime... www.sofra.co.uk
Thanks for asking this question. I have made a note of the answers for our possible up coming trip.
Another vote for Pret a Manager. Love their fresh made soups, salads, sandwiches and baguettes - especially their egg and tomato breakfast baguette. But there are lots of other choices, the Marks and Spencer Simply Foods in particular.
Wonderful! Thanks for all of the great feedback. I appreciate it.
I love eating in pubs, great food at good prices. Not very "English" but Pizza Express has great pizza's and salads, there are Pizza Express's all over London.
I'm also for pubs. When I'm ready to eat, I ask a local or Bobby for a recomendation (I always ask for "nothing fancy"). Pret a Manger is in DC and I try to avoid eating anyplace I can get at home.
I enjoy eating picnic foods from: Pret a Manger, EAT, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsburry, and even Harrod's. Also, think about noodle bowls. There are lots of little shops that serve those.
The 3 P's : Pubs, Pret a Manger, and Pizza Hut (primary focus on the pubs).
Someone in UK can help you with this but I think it is St. Martin's in the Crypt church that has a cafeteria downstairs, I seem to remember soup and bread about 3 pounds. And it was really good. Nice and reasonable salads also.
St. Martins in the Crypt is right on Trafalger Square and as mentioned has reasonable prices. Food is good so we always eat there at least once
when in London. We like the picnic food from Mark and Spencers.
Here's a vote for fish and chips. Also love Pret a Manger.
I like Pret, Marks & Sparks & pubs. Has anyone else tried to any of th pie & mash places?
St. Martins in the Crypt That's the name of the café in the church. The crypt is under most churches. The name of the church is St Martin-in-the-Fields. That is a good café in the Crypt.
Time Out London magazine and a small book Time Out London Cheap Eats.
@Laurel have tried both Mother Mash and Sausage and Mash. No complaints.
I'm blown away by all of these responses. Thank you all SO much!
Tesco, Greggs, M & S and other grocery stores have lunch deals - usually a prepared sandwich, bag of chips and a drink many times for less than 4 pounds - My husband and I just spent 2 weeks in London with our 15 yr old - we bought two of these almost everyday and the three of us split two - then of course we got ice cream! Get the sandwiches that are bagettes - they are much larger and more filling - but come at the same price - We also ate at places like Garfunkel's which is similar to a Chili's or Friday's where we knew that we could split meals between us - Grocery stores are everywhere - or like someone suggested you can eat at the cathedrals' cafes - usually good soup - esp nice on a rainy day! Wagamama is another good place you can split meals - not huge portions - but enough -
we usually didn't have huge meals because we always wanted to save room for dessert while walking around.
A couple of sites showing vouchers for meal deals in restos, most of which are local chains but not bad for all that eg Wagama, Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, All Bar One etc. The deals change all the time so check just before your trip. Why not print off some vouchers and if you happen to pass any of the establishments you can take advantage of the offers? http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/restaurant-vouchers http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-restaurant-deals You will also find lunch deals at a lot of places ie set price menus. It is often the only way to eat for a reasonable price at more upmarket/foodie places that are expensive in the evenings. PS - when looking up the links I found a money off voucher for the place (Cafe Rouge) where we are having lunch tomorrow!
I have seen some stores mark down (half) sandwichs but next trip same store wasnt But on real tight budget worth asking and checking - I like a baked meat pie for a budget meal
I too tried Mother Mash (the one in Soho) a couple of weeks ago and was very pleased! There are cheaper options, but that food is very filling, which is something to take into consideration.