A halfway decent meal in London for £5 or under? Yeah, right.
No joke. It is still possible (if slightly less likely than this time last year) to eat well with only a fiver to spend. And not only in the hinterland! Three of the six establishments listed below as my preferred cheap eats are in Zone 1 and extremely easy to access. The other three? Hello Waltham Forest, you big gorgeous borough full of yummy East London treats of reasonable price and generous proportion.
And so my Best of 2016 series continues …
Please note, this list merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me. Venues are listed in alphabetical order.
Best Cheap Eats in London
330 High Road Leyton, E10 5PW
Full of sound and fury – and signifying a satisfying lunch for only a fiver – the Macbeth toastie at Deeney’s Café’s in Leyton (and street food stand around town) features hot haggis, Cheddar, caramelised onions, and rocket. It’s as filling and scrumptious as it is affordable. Good coffee too!
Fresh Nan Bakery
143A High Street, E17 7DB
As the name implies, this shop on the High Street in Walthamstow bakes a variety of South Asian style flatbreads fresh on the spot in a tandoor. Get four for a quid. The place does a decent lahmacun for a mere £1.50 and pretty good falafel too. It recently expanded from a takeaway service window and now has a counter and even some seats.
This is the second time that Fresh Nan Bakery has made the ‘best of’ list.
46 Goodge Street, W1T 4LU
An Icco margherita sets you back for less than £4. This stalwart Goodge Street pizzeria remains a hero for budget conscious and time strapped folks seeking a warm and tasty meal without fuss.
Pilpel has five locations
Pilpel for the people! A fluffy wholemeal pita stuffed with freshly made falafel and loads of salads and sauces weighs in at just under £5 and is guaranteed to keep you going well beyond time for your next meal. Look for Pilpel healthy and flavoursome falafel around Spitalfields, Aldgate, St Paul’s and Fleet Street.
40 Doric Way, NW1 1LH
Who can deny roti canai – especially when it’s only £4? Feeling special? An extra £1.50 gets you even more yummy roti options. Roti King’s nicely priced menu features all sorts of flavour and sustenance with most dishes hovering around the £5 price point and nothing costing more than £7.Pay attention when heading over to this tiny Malaysian eatery behind Euston Station. If you blink you might miss it (I did on my first visit).
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!
This is the second year in a row that Seth’s made the ‘best of’ list.
More of the Best of 2016 to follow!