In these economically turbulent times, there is always something to put money aside for – a rainy day, a redundancy day, the day your flat burns down and you find yourself back on the rental market being shown a hovel in Peckham that an agent in a shiny suit is suggesting you pay £600 a week for. ..What with all the scrimping and saving and cutting back, going out for lunch or dinner can seem like a luxury that comes at a terrifying cost. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on eating out to have a satisfying feed. Ok so you might have to forgo the truffle but that still leaves plenty of excellent options. If only you had a guide to the best value restaurants in London….
Best Value Italian Restaurants
If you exclude the likes of Pizza Express and Strada (http://www.strada.co.uk) – which might be good value but can also be a bit generic – it is often in areas slightly out of the centre of London where you will find the best, cheap Italian restaurants. There are some real, authentic gems to be found, whether you like the buzzy hustle and bustle of Buona Sera in Clapham Junction (22-26 Northcote Road London SW11 1NX Tel: 020 7228 9925), where you can dine for around £12 a head; or the quiet atmosphere and traditional Sicilian dishes at Nuraghe in Tufnell Park (12 Dartmouth Park Hill London NW5 1HL Tel: 020 7263 4560), where the delicious home made pasta is both the house speciality and one of the cheapest dishes on the menu (around £7).
Best Value Indian Restaurants
Curry is not generally something that you will pay too much for and deliciousness levels are usually fairly high in London Indian restaurants. Try any of the curry houses on Brick Lane for an authentic and lip smacking banquet or head to a chain like Masala Zone (http://www.masalazone.com), which has restaurants all over the city and offers great value deals. For a slightly different – but equally delicious – take on an Indian meal, Moolis (http://www.moolis.com) on Frith Street serves delicious and zingy roti rolls for around £5 each.
Best Value Mexican Restaurants
Without a doubt, the best value Mexican joints in London are the burrito bars that seem to be springing up all over the city. There are now several Benito’s Hat (http://www.benitos-hat.com) Mexican kitchens at Goodge Street, Islington and Covent Garden and their tasty burritos are around £6. American import Chipotle (http://www.chipotle.com) at Charing Cross charges a similar price for their burritos and the Baracoa is particularly melt in the mouth.
Best Value Japanese Restaurants
Koya on Frith Street (49 Frith Street London W1D 4SG Tel: 020 7434 4463 http://www.koya.co.uk) specialises in udon noodles (prices start at £6.20) and Japanese organic vegan restaurant Itadaki Zen (139 King’s Cross Road London WC1X 9BJ Tel: 020 7278 3573 http://www.itadakizen.com) gives you far higher quality than price. Bento boxes cost around £5 and a dinner set is £15 each.
Best Value Steak Restaurants
For a mouth-wateringly buttery, perfectly cooked steak, at a fraction of the price you will pay at the better-known steak joints, you can’t beat Savoire Faire near Tottenham Court Road (42 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1EP Tel: 020 7436 0707 http://www.savoir.co.uk). An entrecote with salad and chips here will cost around £15 and it is served with typical French flourish (just don’t ask for it ‘well done’). The menu at the Relais de Venise (5 Throgmorton Street London Tel: 020 7638 6325 http://www.relaisdevenise.com) is taken straight from its parent restaurant in Paris, which has been a phenomenal success due to its low prices and menu consisting of one dish and one dish only: steak. A green salad with mustard vinaigrette topped with walnuts, followed by steak frites will set you back £21 and will be on of the most satisfying steaks you have had this side of the Channel.
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