14 Must-Have Meals in London for Every Budget

London is known to be one of the most expensive cities to live in, in the world. But that doesn’t mean that every meal out here should dig a hole in your pocket. Without wasting much time, we bring to you the 14 must-have meals in London.

Budget 

  1. Smoking Goat

Where: Denmark Street, Convent Garden

1Smoking Goat

Creative cocktails, punchy-bold flavours and an unusual wine list that matches surpriseinly well with Thai cuisine is what you should expect from Smoking Goat. On most days you will find yourself waiting for a seat but their barbequed duck legs, chilli crab and fish sauce chicken wings are totally worth the wait. Most of these dishes are a messy affair but the taste most certainly beats down the etiquette. Also, the place doesn’t have a phone, meaning you cannot reserve seats and a no website policy adds to the whole hipster feel.

Timing: Noon to Midnight
Cost for two: £ 25 approximately

Our Recommendation: Barbequed Duck Legs

  1. Yalla Yalla

 Where: Green’s Court, Soho

2 Yalla

Looking for a Lebanese fix in London, Yalla Yalla is our favourite option. From shawarmas to salads to grills, they serve it all – and at extremely reasonable prices. The small canteen like joint with quick service and flavorsome food is fast becoming a preferred choice among many and the polite staff and bonus cocktails during the evening definitely add to the charm.
Timing: 10 am to 11 pm
Cost for two: £ 30 approximately

Our Recommendations: Chicken Shawarma and Hummus with Pita

  1. Baltic

Where: Blackfriars Road, Southwark

3 Baltic

 Be bowled over by the floor-sweeping velvet curtains, and a modern-hotel-lobby look alike front area along and the glass bar that is filled with amber crystals at the Baltic. The place is intended to impress, as are the cocktails and the food.

Head to Baltic when you have your drinking cap on because, you won’t be able to resist the surplus of vodka at this place. With over 50 cocktails on their extensive list, the ones with vodka are the specials – served by the shot or three sizes of carafe. Post 9 pm you’ll see that most of the crowd heads to their bare-bricked restaurant round the back to grab a bite of dumplings and blinis. We’d say don’t think twice before following them.

Timing: Noon to Midnight
Cost for two: £ 50 approximately (with alcohol)

Our Recommendation: Smoked Salmon Blinis

 

  1. Q Grill

Where: Chalk Town Road, Camden Town

4 Q GRill

 

If you are thinking this is going to be one of those American Grill places you are right and to top it all, the feel is authentic. Their perfectly grilled meats, nicely done sides and distinctively innovative cocktails are the reasons that keep the place packed on weekends. Q Grill’s got their perfection game on point with their fine selection of meat, an open kitchen that spreads the aroma of grill and a polite and friendly staff.

Timing: Noon to 11:30 pm
Cost for two: £ 30 approximately

Our Recommendations: Ribs on the grill and Buttermilk Fish

  1. Bó Drake

Where: Greek Street, Soho

 

5 Bo

 Though the place prefers to call itself an East Asian Barbeque Restaurant, we think their concept of flavours are mixes of Korean and Mexican cuisines. Their daring flavours and fun atmosphere and delightful cocktails make it worth the visit. We are a fan of then sake dessert and highly recommend you try it.

Timing: Noon to 02:30 pm and 05:30 to 11 pm
Cost for two: £ 45 approximately

Our Recommendations: Korean Fried Chicken

  1. 10 Greek Street

Where: Soho

6 Greek Street

 Relaxed settings, simple seating, knowledgeable and friendly staff and a small but excellently assembled menu – deserve the credit for 10 Greek Street’s popularity. Wooden chairs and tables without tablecloths; water served in milk bottles and the menu up on a chalkboard and in scrolls rolled up on tables add the charm this modest place. It’s the food and not the décor that has brought fame to the restaurants and a line of 20 something’s outside the restaurant every evening is enough proof of that. The fact that they only have 30 covers and take bookings only for lunch could also be the reason behind the line but the food speaks for itself nonetheless. The Australian chef does a pretty brilliant job with fish and the other fine base ingredients such as duck liver, wild mushrooms and queen scallops among others are also treated with care and served simply on point.

Timing: Noon to 11:30 pm
Cost for two: £ 25 approximately

Our Recommendations: Venison cavolo nero & new potato, Duck Livers, rhubarb, tardivo & vino cotta and Stone Bass, celeriac boulangere, saffron & leek

 

Affordable

 

  1. Artusi

Where: Bellenden Road, Peckham

7 Artrusi

 

If you have trouble finding this gem, don’t be surprised – Artrusi doesn’t have a board with a name above the door, but stop over at Bellenden Road, Peckham and almost anyone will give you directions. The place is new wave to the point that their menu is on a chalkboard by the entrance and the ambience absolutely no nonsense. Their menu changes very often and comprises of some starters, pastas, meats and fishplates. (They don’t do side dishes.) The regulars can’t stop bragging about Artusi’s precision cooking, and their interesting pairing of drinks. We are definitely visiting again, and again!

Timing: Noon to 02:30 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm
Cost for two: £ 50 approximately

 

  1. Bistro Union

Where: Abbeville Road, Clapham

8 Bistro Union

 

Rustic and quirky are the words that describe the ambience of Bistro Union. The grey, white and yellow colour scheme, stripped floorboards and cutlery kept in drawers under the table add to the unusualness of the place. This self-styled British bistro is not trying to impress you with their meals and customers often define their food as good honest meals. They are known for offering good quality ingredients, deliciously cooked, served by a friendly staff.

Timing: 09:30 am to 10 pm
Cost for two: £ 50 approximately

Our Recommendation: Poached Duck Eggs with Black Pudding

 

  1. Casse-Croûte

Where: Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey

9 Casse

 

The answer to all your French food cravings lies here! Though the place has enough room for only 20 covers, old French posters, and the embossed wallpaper and dark wood ambience, add to the whole charm of this French eatery. The menu is limited to 3 choices for each course (makes life simpler) and changes daily. You will mostly find classic French recipes on the plate that are absolutely unpretentious yet deliver on the taste front. The flavours are bold and the dishes are smartly executed making each meal a piece of art.

 

Timing: Noon to 10 pm
Cost for two: £ 70 approximately

Our Recommendation: Smoked Duck Salad

 

  1. Pizarro

Where: Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey

10 Pizarro

 

Popular and rightly so, Pizzaro has a similar style as Tapas bar (his first place – just down the street). Though this one is more spacious you will still find it a little cramped on weekends –courtesy its delicious food. The dishes on the menu are mainly old classics from the Spanish cuisine, which perfectly define intricate cooking for the commoners. The octopus, pork and beef dishes on the menu are meticulously prepared and ordering any of those will not be regretful. You will also find some exceptional Spanish sherries on the menu and ask for help when pairing your dish for an exceptional experience.

 

Timing: Noon to 10:45 pm
Cost for two: £ 55 approximately

Our Recommendations: Slow cooked Beef Cheeks and Spinach Salad

 

Worth The Splurge

  1. Goodman

Where: Maddox Street, Mayfair

11 Goodman

 

Dark wood paneling, a bar that runs the length of the restaurant, spacious leather booths, friendly staff and the oh-so-scrumptious meat add to the whole feel of the place makes you feel like you are sitting in one of those NYC steak houses. Anything you order from the menu will not disappoint; from the fish fillets to the beef everything is perfect. You must have your full but don’t forget to leave room for the dessert – some of the options will blow your mind away! So is this place a replica of one of those US steak houses? Well, it’s as close as it gets!

 

Timing: Noon to 10:30 pm
Cost for two: £ 75 approximately

Our Recommendations: Goodman Rib-Eye Steak

 

  1. Sushi Tetsu

Where: Jerusalem Passage, Clerkenwell

12 Sushi

 

Arguably one of the smallest sushi serving places in London, this one boasts about serving the best sushi that is out there. With just about 6 covers, the restaurant is always busy and people make bookings days and sometimes, even weeks before they finally get to taste the heavenly sushi that is served here.

Chef Toru Takahashi is known for his precision cooking and that the superior quality of taste that he brings to his customers. The nigiri are served on a glossy bamboo leaf, one at a time, and is to be eaten by hand. For the best experience go for the omakase menu and let the chefs present the day’s specials.

You’ll need to book well in advance and their website explains the complicated process; but the wait is totally worth it.

 

Timing: 5 pm to 09:30 pm
Cost for two: £ 90 approximately

Our Recommendation: Omakase Menu

 

  1. Gymkhana

Where: Albemarle Street, Mayfair

13 Gymkhana 

Head to Gymkhana for the ultimate Indian fix and you will not be disappointed. With the look of an old colonial club, the place is designed to impress. The dark oak wood paneling, some sepia photographs of people playing cricket while in the others are pre and post hunting pictures, the classic ceiling fans, booths with rattan trim and wall lamps made of cut glass from Jaipur all add up to the glory. But quality of food is the reason why Gymkhana is the best Indian food in London.

Enjoy the diverse cuisines from the even more diverse states of the subcontinent and ask for help while ordering to understand what dish will suit your palate. From mustard to coconut to a thick onion-garlic base, they have it all.

 

Timing: Noon to 02:45 pm and 05:30 to 10:45 pm
Cost for two: £ 80 approximately

Our Recommendations: Goan Pork Vindaloo, Fried South Indian Chicken Wings

 

  1. Clarke’s

Where: Kensington Church Street, Kensington

14 Clarkes

 

If you think we’ve used the words “great quality ingredients and simple and artful cooking” for way to many restaurants in this article, then let us tell you, we’re not going to try and rephrase that for Clarke’s. Those are the exact words that describe this non-fussy, yet classy and at the same time homely place best. Clarke’s is the kind of restaurant you’d want to have in your neighborhood only so that you could visit them as often as you like.

Owing to the popularity of food, reservations are a little difficult to come by but if you are willing to eat early there is no food like Clasrke’s. The bread are made in-house and are splendid; as are the appetizers and the desserts. The serving size is good and the staff is friendly and can be helpful while ordering. There’s no way I’m in Kensington street and not visiting this place.

 

Timing: Noon to 2 pm and 06:30 to 10 pm
Cost for two: £ 80 approximately

Our Recommendations: No choice set menu and the Slow Cooked Lancashire Duck Legs with cherries, sage and red wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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