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London: 5 tasty and cheap eats worth the trip outside the main tourist zone

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Fish tacos
Tasty and cheapo fish tacos at Taqueria. Photo: Su-lin

In London, the best food values are often found away from the well-trodden streets of Soho and Covent Garden, so try these recommended restaurants to save some pennies and eat alongside the locals.

Pizza: Stringray Cafe
Locations in north and east London
Website

This friendly pizzeria with branches in east London’s Colombia Road and north London’s Highbury and Tufnell Park is a great option for a tasty meal at an excellent price. The brightly colored walls make Stringray Cafe a cosy and inviting place to stop for a quick lunch or a more leisurely evening meal. The generously sized pizzas are laden with toppings and start from as little as £5.45 each, while a warming bowl of pasta will set you back £6.45.

The two north London branches also have some great offers, such as the three-course £7.45 weekday lunch menu (Highbury) and a pizza and beer for £6.95 (Tufnell Park).

Stringray Cafe

The Stringray cafe is cosy, inviting, and affordable. Photo: Ewan-M

Mediterranean: Fish in a Tie
105 Falcon Road
SW11 2PF
Tube: Clapham Junction
Website

This Mediterranean restaurant has become a bit of a Clapham mainstay for anyone looking for a good deal. Undoubtedly the best value comes from the two-course set menu for £12, so steer away from the a la carte options. Start with treats such as beef carpaccio or smoked duck salad, and follow it up with one of the delicious mains, which include things like salmon steak, pork escalope or chicken milanese.

Go on a Sunday for even better value, when you can get a full roast lunch with beef of lamb for just £5.95!

Mexican: Taqueria
139-143 Westbourne Grove
W11 2RS
Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Website

The burrito revolution has spread across London so quickly that it’s sometimes harder to avoid a Mexican fast food joint than to find one. Nonetheless, this eatery in Notting Hill Gate takes its tacos seriously and is a bit more of a treat than just wolfing down a take away fajita. The tacos are bursting with flavor and start from as little as £4.50 each. What’s more, you can head down between 5-7 pm Monday to Thursday and enjoy half price tacos. Cheers to that!

Turkish: Petek
94-96 Stroud Green Road
N4 3EN
Tube: Finsbury Park
No website

There is no shortage of Turkish restaurants in Finsbury Park, but Petek comes high up on my list of recommendations. Always lively and full of hungry diners looking to eat well without splurging, this bustling eatery is characterised by the hundreds of multi-colored glass lights that hang from the ceiling and make it feel more like a souk than a restaurant.

If you’re looking for a light meal, the set meze alone is more than enough. Priced between £7-9 per person (minimum two people), it fills the table with delicious little tastes, from fresh hummus to herb-filled cous cous salad. The bigger main plates start from £9 each and include simple yet classic dishes, such as lamb kofte grilled to perfection.

Japanese: Okan
Unit 39 Brixton Village Market
SW9 8PS
Tube: Brixton
Website

There are endless good value options in Brixton Village Market, but Okan is a great choice if you fancy trying something a little different. Open for lunch from Wednesday through Sunday and for dinner from Thursday to Saturday, this Osaka street food-inspired eatery champions the traditional Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake loaded with tasty toppings.

The menu is simple and good value, with the pancakes starting from £6.50 each and a small selection of Yaki Soba from £6.75 each. Portions are huge and very filling, so there’s no need to go crazy with the starters either. Make sure you bring cash though, as card payments aren’t accepted.

About the author

Nina Derham

About the author: Nina is a freelance travel writer who will leave no stone unturned in her quest to discover the very best on offer in a destination. She recently relocated to London after spending over four years in Madrid and is currently enjoying rediscovering her home town.

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6 thoughts on “London: 5 tasty and cheap eats worth the trip outside the main tourist zone”

  1. 4 pounds 50 for a taco? At the Mexican restaurant where I get authentic ones in my little town in North Carolina they’re just $1.50. And I bet mine are better!

    Seriously, please describe a £4.50 taco!

    Reply
    1. Nina Derham Post authorNina Derham

      Hi Libbie, wow does that sound amazing! I can’t compare with North Carolina, but I can say that £4.50 is pretty cheap by London standards for a tasty lunch or dinner!

      Reply
  2. Live in London. Have done for 20 years. And I’ve never seen a US site review a Stroud Green Rd restaurant (Think grungier Smith St Brooklyn)

    Well done. Eaten at Petek several times. Always busy always good value nosh. Some great pubs pre and post nosh too Faltering Fullback, The Old Dairy, Stapleton. Top hood…

    Reply
    1. Nina Derham Post authorNina Derham

      Hi Stuart, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, the pubs of Stroud Green Road are really good too, I’m especially fond of the Old Dairy. Hope to do a bit more on the area soon!

      Reply

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