London Journals

Bang for Your Buck London Restaurants

A November 2004 trip to London by ps12

Quote: London can be expensive—this guide will help!

Bang for Your Buck London Restaurants

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
You've heard the rumors... London food is lousy, right? Well, it's just not true. Food in London can be good, and it can be reasonable--if you know where to go. Quick Tips: - Get off the beaten path: Tourist traps can get you in Leicester Square/Piccadilly Square/Covent Garden. Venture a little farther out and you'll find a range of possibilities and neat little neighborhoods. Try Lebanese on Edgware Road or the variety of restaurants in Islington.- Chains can be good: With chains, you know what you're getting, and you know what the price will be--no surprises. Many of the restaurants I recommend are chains that can be found all over the city of London.- Try a pub: Pubs a...Read More

Nando's

Restaurant

Quote:
Whenever we wanted a quick meal that would taste good, we went to Nando's. Nando's primarily serves chicken; I always got a chicken sandwich with chips which was delicious, but they also have great chicken salads and chicken in a pita. Besides chips, other side items include rice and corn on the cob (yum!) Nando's also serves beer, wine and delicious sangria. But beware if you order your chicken other than lemon and herb -- if you get it spicy, it will definitely not disappoint you!Go up to the counter and place your order, and someone will bring it to your table. Don't forget to get napkins, knives and forks, and your favorite peri-peri sauce to bring back to your table after you order....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Nando's
63 Westbourne Grove
London, England W2
+44 20 7313 9506

Giraffe

Restaurant

Quote:
The best way to describe Giraffe is well, international. The restaurant plays an assortment of world music, and depending on the restaurant you go to, you might end up sitting on a long cafeteria-style bench.But whether you're comfortable on a bench or not, the food is some of the best I've had in London. It's just good, international cuisine. The salmon is good, the noodles are good—everything the restaurant cooks just tastes delicious and healthy. And for London, that's definitely a rarity. The portions are a decent size, and the prices (for London) are good for a full-service restaurant. The desserts are also delicious, and I loved getting the hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold winte...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Giraffe
Units 1 & 2, Riverside Level 1
London, England SE1 8XX
020 7928 2004

Gallipoli

Restaurant

Quote:
Gallipoli (and its sister restaurants -- all located on Islington's Upper Street) is crowded for a reason. When you walk in, you feel as if you've been transported to Istanbul. The restaurant is small, but cozy on a cold day, and the pillows and wallhangings are all from Turkey. And if my Turkish friend brought me here for dinner, you know it has to be good!I usually got the vegetarian mezze (really a starter) as a main course since it offered such a variety of wonderful foods. The mezze included different small sized samples of Turkish delicacies such as falafel, a filo pastry with cheese, eggplant dishes and dishes with lima beans. Yum! My husband would usually opt for some kind of l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Gallipoli
120 Upper Street
London, England N1 1QP

Strada

Restaurant

Quote:
A good Italian meal near Leicester Square? Yes, it can be done given that Strada is nearby.Strada is a casual, relaxed restaurant perfect for a romantic dinner or a group of friends. I often took my relatives here if they visited since the pizzas were amazing, and the prices were reasonable. Plus, if you check toptable.co.uk, there are often specials if you make reservations on the site.As I mentioned, the pizzas at Strada are outrageous—I know there was one with goats cheese but I always opted for the mushroom. They seemed as if they came right out of a wood-burning oven. But the other dishes are pretty good as well, and the desserts are delicious. But our favorite part of Strada was ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Strada

London, England
0871 971 3622

Pret A Manger

Restaurant

Quote:
You've probably seen Pret A Manger locations all over the city. Well, you should definitely stop inside!Pret A Manger is basically a sandwich shop with the standard fare British sandwich in a box idea. But unlike the typical British sandwich, Pret A Manger has a healthy bent and offers baguettes, salads, soups and breadless options (for those on an Atkins diet) along with their boxed sandwiches. And with their clean, shiny silver locations, it's difficult not to stop by to grab a sandwich.Most Pret A Mangers have very limited seating so this is more of a place to grab and go than grab and stay. If there's a park nearby, it's a great place to grab something and sit in the sunshine (alth...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Pret A Manger
40 Albermarle Street
London, England W1S 4TE
+44 (207) 932-5325

La Porchetta

Restaurant

Quote:
La Porchetta (the pig in Italian) has this name for a reason. The pizzas are ENORMOUS so if you finish one, well, you get the point.

La Porchetta is a great place to go with friends since the enormous servings will impress them while the great prices will surprise you. The restaurants have a casual atmosphere.

We always get a salad to start and share a pizza given the serving sizes (and the fact that no one in London takes anything home!) And don't forget to get some good house wine!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

La Porchetta
147 Stroud Green Road
London, England N4 3PZ
(017) 1281-2892

Weatherspoon/Lloyds Bar

Attraction | "JD Wetherspoon's/Lloyds Bar chain"

Quote:
If you're looking for great pub food at a fantastic price, look for a pub with the JD Wetherspoon's brand name. There's actually a small one at Leicester Square as well as the Heathrow Airport and numerous downtown locations (including pubs near Liverpool Street and one near the Tower of London). JDWetherspoon's owns Lloyds Bar (locations near Camden Market and at the N1 Center in Islington) so the prices and great food apply here as well—although Lloyds Bar seems to be slightly more upscale with more of a bar feel than a pub feel.We went to our local Lloyds Bar at least once or twice a week. All the locations have a special where two can eat for the price of one. And surprisingly enough, the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Weatherspoon/Lloyds Bar
Great Charlotte Street
Liverpool, England L1 1HU
44 151 709 4802

Wagamama

Restaurant

Quote:
Wagamama is a London institution. In fact, I should say it's a European institution since I've also seen locations in Amsterdam and Dublin.For a quick meal at a good price, Wagamama can't be beat. But this also means there are often lines out the door. Fortunately, with the cafeteria-style tables and quick service, the lines move fairly quickly.When you come in, you'll be directed to a place at one of the long tables, usually sitting next to people you don't know. But there's still plenty of space, and room underneath the table for your bags.Waiters use a little machine to type in your order and write the number of what you ordered right on your placemat. A lot of the m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Wagamama
4A Sreatham St
London, England W1H 9AB
+44 20 7323 9223

Pizza Express

Restaurant

Quote:
You'll see the Pizza Express brand all over the city, and for a good reason. If you want to go somewhere where you know exactly what you're going to get, Pizza Express is the place to go. The pizzas are standard throughout the chain so there are no surprises.If you go to Pizza Express, you have to get a pizza—and you're not spoiled for choice. There are gourmet pizzas with every imaginable ingredient (costing from £6 to £8)—even an egg in the center— but I always went with a spicy grilled chicken pizza with sweet roasted red peppers (yum!). The starter salads are good too, given the special Pizza Express dressing (also sold at supermarkets). There are also main dishes like eggplant (melanza...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Pizza Express
10 Dean Street
London, England W1V 5RL
+44 20 7439 8722

Bodean's

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant doesn't belong in a category called 'bang for your buck' per se, but it was such a find for an ex-pat living overseas that I had to include it.Bodean's is one of the only BBQ restaurants we were able to find in London, and it's a pretty good one. In the front, is an informal atmosphere with a bar area, where you can order at the counter and they call your number. They have great hot dogs and BBQ-type sandwiches.In the back of Bodean's is the restaurant. It's kind of small so try to make reservations if possible. At Bodean's, you're able to get American favorites like BBQ chicken, ribs, etc. Prices aren't crazy, but they're definitely not cheap....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Bodean's
169 Clapham High St.
London, England
+44 (20) 7622 4248

EAT

Restaurant

Quote:
If you're in the city and want to grab something for lunch, Eat is a great place to go. Similar to Pret a Manger, Eat has the typical British boxed sandwiches and a variety of salads. But unlike Pret, they also have some more exotic noodle dishes. However, the best thing about Eat is the soup. Every day, Eat offers a simple and bold soup of the day, which can be found on their website (www.eat.co.uk). And the soup is definitely a meal.When I worked in London, I would check the internet before I headed down to Eat to see if I liked the soup they were serving. And some of the soups were just outrageous -- like chicken pot pie and Hungarian goulash. I never had a bad ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

EAT
16a Soho Square
London, England W1D 3QH
+44 20 7701 1711

Spitalfields Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Spitalfields Market -- Food Stalls"

Quote:
Want a cheap place to eat when you're in the middle of the city? Catching a train from Liverpool Street station and need a place to eat? The best place to go for a wide range of food and an interesting ambiance is Spitalfields Market.Cross the street from the station, head left (east), make a right by Pizza Express, and you'll be by Spitalfields Market. The Market is kind of funky and artsy with handmade clothes and purses from up and coming designers. Besides that, there's artwork, organic vegetables and foods, flowers, and dried fruits.And in the far back corner, once you get through all of the stalls, there are a bunch of food stalls selling everything from Thai to Italian to Hu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 30, 2006

Spitalfields Market
Near Liverpool Street
London, UK