A good (or even mediocre) meal for £5 or under is becoming less and less likely these days – but it still can be found. Here’s a look at five of London’s tastiest cheap eats priced at or less than a fiver.
Some of London’s best meals are still its cheapest. This seems especially to apply in the east (Walthamstow!) more than the west. But even foraging for affordable food in the heart of the West End or passing through some of Central London’s hippest and most trafficked areas, grabbing a bargain bite that’s filling and flavoursome remains a possibility.
Please note, this list – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of long established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.
Best Cheap Eats in London
Good & Proper Tea Co
Unit E, The Bower, EC1V 9NR
This newly opened Old Street teashop has one of London’s best – and most thoughtfully sourced – selections of tea served alongside an assortment of homemade and nicely priced cakes and crumpets (the crump’ monsieur for £3 is especially yummy).
Old Station Yard Café
Behind Lancaster’s Garden Centre, 186 Wood Street, E17 3NA
This Walthamstow caff situated in a corrugated metal building in the car park of the garden centre across from Wood Street Station does excellent breakfast baps (love their “secret recipe” sausages) with drink for two quid and some change as well as an inexpensive full English brekkies. But the best thing going for cost-conscious carnivores has got to be the “Mighty Meaty Baguette.” For £4, you get a baguette jam-packed with two strips of bacon and two sausages (or customised with less bacon and added black pudding) or still less than a fiver if purchased alongside a hot beverage.
This is the second year in a row that Old Station Yard Café appeared in the tikichris list of Best Cheap Eats.
246-250 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY
An inexpensive, freshly made pizza served “superfast” is just the thing when you’re in a rush (and a pinch). Pizza Union’s margherita costs a measly £3.45. Made to order and baked in wood-fired ovens, all pizzas are 12” in diameter with no pie on the menu priced over £6.50. Cool thing is though, if you’re just looking for a chilled out and casual place to relax and maybe have a few drinks, the hundred-seat Pizza Union fits the bill.
Last year, Pizza Union’s original Spitalfields location appeared in the tikichris list of Best Cheap Eats.
Seth’s Spice Hut
Walthamstow Market, High Street, E17 7DB
Follow your nose to the end of the (inevitably long but usually swiftly moving) queue at Seth’s Spice Hut: a street market trailer nearer the Hoe Street End of Walthamstow Market (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm). The £3 double kebab roll is stuffed with the juiciest and tastiest marinated lamb. And if I might be allowed to shift briefly into first person narrative for the rest of this blurb, I’ve craved few foods as much as Seth’s double kebab roll over these past 12 months. Cheap, delicious, and local!
Yang Guang Supermarket
Yang Guang Supermarket, street concession, 28-29 Newport Court, WC2H 7PQ
The £1.70 pork bun sold on the street outside this Chinatown supermarket is moist, flavourful and filling. There’s a range of other options including vegetarian buns too. Broke and hungry? These buns are a lifesaver.
More of the Best of 2015 to follow!