I was recently asked by London Cheap Eats to do a weekend takeover of their Instagram account with my personal picks of where to find London’s best cheap eats. If you haven’t heard of them they promote dishes that are £8 and under that are a proper meal (aka they’re against listing a £7.50 burger as you’d usually want the chips that’d take you over budget).
I put together a list but unlike me (especially if you follow my Instagram feed) they don’t hit you with the full flow of everything I devour, so we ran a shortlist. Below you’ll find the full list of my current favourite cheap eats in London.
Some of which I admit are over the £8 mark…
This was Sharky taking over and I’m never one to be put in the corner. I would argue that some of these dishes are worth the extra £1 or so – so that you as foodies can explore the possibilities of dishes and restaurants that you may a)never have tried and b) not know they did very affordable dishes.
Basically go big or go home:
Get to @ShotgunBBQ for brunch (Sundays only) for some of their Brisket Bun – Forget smashed avo on dull sourdough, instead think beautifully tender slabs of the best 9 hour cooked brisket in London topped with Green tomato jam and a red cabbage slaw (£9).
Bhel Puri (£4) at Kricket is an absolute must @PopBrixton – the perfect mix of raw mango, sev, tamarind, yogurt. Kricket combines the best of British seasonal ingredients with authentic Indian recipes and spices – in a relaxed, informal space. Think small Indian plates packed with flavour. Don’t let the simple menu descriptions fool you – there is so much going on in every dish but everything is perfectly balanced.
A little over the £8 limit but the Lamb Kothu Roti (£9) @HoppersLondon is the bomb! Perfectly balanced in space and flavour – don’t expect this to be accompanied by the said roti as per your standard courthouse. Instead – this roti has been cut up and completely mixed in the pan with meaty morsels of earthy spiced lamb dotted and bits of scrambled egg.
I will continue to spout that @ChicknSours is producing the best fried chicken in London. Hook yourself up with their Disco Wings (£7.50).The secret to being the crispiest bastards in town is that they take them from the fridge, blanch fry them at 150 degrees then finish them at 180 degrees. The moisture that the wings get from the fringe makes these proper crispy wings – best drowned in their sticky wing sauce.
Head to @Brick_Brewery to find @SlowRichies run by brothers Richie and Alex Calver. Grab a Peckham Pils and match it with their The Hog (£7) – Slow roasted pork belly, chilli apple sauce and crackling. Best pick up one of their home made sauces to stock the home cupboard with too. Wednesday – Friday 5-10pm & Saturdays 12pm to 10pm.
Hotdogs @Rockadollar come from the head chef from @HawksmoorLondon who has taken over the space vacated by Pitt Cue Co. just off Carnaby Street. Head straight for the Onglet Bulgogi dog (£8) – a beef sausage with onglet steak, dutch chilli, ginger, kewpie mayo, fried onion and micro coriander. Hotdogs like they’re supposed to be, poshed up by one of the best chefs in London.
Berber & Q
How big do you want your cauliflower? That is a legitimate question @BerberAndQ Chef Josh Katz’ fast-paced, Lebanese grill house set in a re-purposed railway arch in Haggerston. And while trays of hand-pulled goat, smoked short ribs and harissa hot chicken wings are hard to look past, the vegetable mezzes are equally worth your attention. The cauliflower shawarma comes perfectly charred, doused with creamy tahini and sprinkled with fragrant rosewater and pop-in-your-mouth pomegranate seeds. Order yours as a quarter, a half or a whole, that is, if you can make yourself heard over the music and buzzing bar. The Cauliflower Shawarma is £4.5 to £9, depending on size.
Here’s a dish from @SomSaa_London that blew me out of the water – especially when I had no interest in ordering it. Yum hua plee (£8) – grilled chicken, banana flower and chilli jam salad. A really moorish dish that packs a boatload of umami into each and every mouthful.
A hidden brunch place in Marble Arch called @DaisyGreenFood dishes up some of the best Bondi inspired dishes in London. The Fancy Bacon Roll (£12) is way over budget w crispy onions crusted free range poached eggs, back bacon, The Ribman’s Holy Fuck hollandaise sauce and fresh chilli on paratha rotibut is a worthwhile investment to make!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments if you dare…