Low on funds? It doesn’t mean you should have to live off substandard sarnies, soggy meal deals and soup from a cup (you’re better than that, hun). It’s time to stop settling and start rekindling your love affair with food as DesignMyNight have scouted out all the best spots in London for a cheap and cheerful meal. From litres of booze for under £20, to bottomless pizza and £5 buns, consider this your how-to guide for kicking that ready meal habit for good.
Thought kebabs were only good for a post-night out drunken taxi ride? WRONG. We’re all guilty of underestimating the dish, and BabaBoom’s here to make us regret it. Lock your chops around orange glazed chicken, cheese-topped beef brisket and falafel with sweet potato hummus - all wrapped up in fluffy chargrilled bread. Think bumping up your standards comes at a price? Wrong again. You won’t find anything above £17.50 on this menu. And they offer bottomless margaritas for £15 to really seal the deal.
Consume Endless Slices and Free-Flowing Beer at this Italian Hotspot - Liverpool Street
For those that refuse to believe you can have too much pizza, are partial to a game of foosball during dinner and could really do with a £20 litre of prosecco, Pizza Pilgrims is your guy. Souped-up slices include the double pepperoni with spicy honey, and a pesto-slathered pizza with burrata. Hold your drool, though ‘cause it gets better. They’ve got a bottomless dinner with endless pizza, prosecco AND pints for just £30. Do you have the strength to say no? Cause we dough not.
BrewDog took a giant leap for vegan kind by opening their first 100% vegan bar in Dalston, boasting bites with the power to convert even the most stubborn meat eater. They’ve teamed up with plant-based junk food pioneers Biff’s Jack Shack to curate a killer pocket-friendly menu featuring filthy fries, towering burgers and jackfruit wingz covered in everything from cinnamon sweet chili to bourbon-infused BBQ sauce. What to wash it all down with? Any of their 24 vegan craft beers on tap should do nicely.
Overloaded with deals and setting the bar for fried chicken dishes everywhere, Absurd Bird is a must-visit for foodies on a budget. Whether you’re brave enough to tackle bottomless wings (for just £13.95, may we add), in it for the happy hour or just craving some quality Southern fried eats, this Soho spot is here to deliver. Menu highlights include the classic Fried Chicken Dirty Bun with sriracha mayo and the truly absurd Mac and Cheese laden with bacon and smoked chicken.
Serving as a multicolour shrine to Lebanese cooking and killer cocktails, this London stunner can brighten up your evening in more ways than one. It may be dripping with trinkets and practically screaming to be featured on your Instagram page, but one look at the menu will prove that Comptoir Libanais isn’t just a pretty face. Fresh, flavour-packed plates include Spiced Salmon Shakshuka and a sweet Lamb and Prune Tagine. Oh, and did we mention you can bag one litre of vodka lemonade for £19.95? Nuff said.
On a mission to find the best Mexican food in London? Hold off the search, cause we’re pretty sure we just found it. Fronting real-deal tacos, punchy cocktails and a merry margarita brunch, there’s no better place to get an authentic taste of Mexico than Corazon. Keeping below the £10 mark (taco-bout good value), their housemade tacos don anything from marinated pork shoulder to a hunking slab of beer battered cod. Sweeten the deal with a fruity frozen marg or two, and you’ve got yourself a winning meal.
The biggest rule breakers on London’s Italian dining scene, Lost Boys Pizza are boldly going where no pizza parlour has gone before. You’re lookin’ at the world’s one and only vampire-themed pizzeria, where slices are made from black charcoal bases, boast quirky toppings and cost just £5 for students on Tuesdays. They even cater to vamps of the vegan variety. (Blood) thirsty for some fizz? Bottomless prosecco is available for £25, and they just so happen to have an award-winning happy hour.
Bounce Between Beers and Buns at this Laid-Back Food Bar - Liverpool Street
Combining two of life’s simple pleasures, a trip to this buzzing food bar is always just what the doctor ordered. Beer & Buns is the perfect place to let off some steam with a pillowy bun in one hand and a crisp Japanese beer in the other, and you’ll want to get through the ones you’re holding sharpish as there’s plenty to try. All priced at under £5, the bun selection includes five spice duck, a halloumi katsu number and their new fish finger bun topped with tartare sauce.
Need an affordable all-day brunch spot that’s suitable for veggies? Well your friendly neighbourhood restaurant is here to the rescue, and the fact that it’s drop-dead gorgeous is just a bonus. The ever-charming Megan’s invites you to pull up a chair under their indoor fairy-lit olive tree and munch through a menu of unbeatable dishes, like their elevated shakshuka or ginormous veggie brunch that’s a steal at just £11.50. Ending the meal with their famous half-baked cookie dough stuffed with Nutella is never a bad idea.
We think it’s about Thai-me you knew about the casual dining spot in Soho that could very well be your new foodie go-to. Rosa’s Thai Cafe keeps the cooking authentic and the prices low, with a menu chocked full of affordable Thai comfort food (seriously, every dish is pretty much a warm hug in the form of food). Dive head-first into a steaming bowl of spicy Tom Yum Soup, slurp Drunken Noodles and devour Butternut Red Curry without having to part with anything more than £11.
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