Want to eat out without emptying your wallet?
Here are some of my favourite cheap eats in Central London, where you can enjoy delicious food on a student budget. To meet the criteria, each restaurant has options for mains under £7.
Although, at the time of publishing, most of these restaurants are closed, make sure to make a note of them so you can visit them after!
1. Pizza @ Icco in Fitzrovia and Camden
This pizza tastes way better than anything from Pizza Hut or Domino’s and costs only a third of the price of most takeaway pizzas. A margherita starts at £4.75, but if you want something more special like a Pepperoni or a Fiorentina, that will only set you back £6. They have two branches: Goodge Street and Camden. As of May 2020, the Camden branch is doing pick-ups and deliveries.
2. Malaysian food @ Roti King in Euston
Roti King is a tiny restaurant on a side street near Euston Station, you wouldn’t know this place exists if it didn’t have a queue spilling from its doors every evening. Their roti is mouth-watering andis pleasantly soft and flaky, so if you come here, you have to try it. The dishes I recommend are their roti with Daal (roti canai) which is £5, and their Nasi and Mee Goreng, at £7.
3. Katsu Curry @ Misato in Chinatown
This restaurant has great tempura and katsu curry for those on a budget. It also offers sushi, noodles and bento boxes. It’s located in Chinatown, so it can be busy but the queue is worth the wait. Do keep in mind, this establishment accepts cash only. The chicken katsu curry is £6 and you can get udon or soba noodles for the same price.
4. Pasta @ La Porchetta Pollo in Soho
Go to this restaurant if you’re starving and don’t want to spend much, because they give you huge portions of pasta for such low prices. You know how the average portion for pasta is about 100g? I think they must serve 250g because I can hardly finish the pasta. You’ll want to finish it though, as they have lots of delicious sauces and pasta shapes. A couple of their pasta dishes are at £7, but honestly it’s worth paying extra for the other pastas too. They also have freshly made pizza that costs £8 or so. As a (half) Italian, this is the most authentic Italian restaurant I know in London.
5. Jianbing @ Pleasant Lady or Chinese Tapas House in Soho, Chinatown and Spitalfields
For those who don’t know, jianbing is a Chinese crepe with eggs, scallions or other vegetables, fried dough, a crispy cracker and sometimes pork belly or sausage. It’s a filling street food, often eaten as a breakfast in China. The jianbing at Chinese Tapas House starts at £4.50, although if you add more toppings, it can increase. The jianbing at Pleasant Lady is similar, but they have the addition of cucumbers and other leafy greens and offer chicken as well as pork. The basic jianbing starts at £6, but meaty extras will set you back another 1 or £2. They have branches in Soho and Spitalfields Market.