Eating out as a student should not have to break the bank. First year GMiM postgraduate student, Emma D’oria has embarked on a quest to find the best cheap eats around London. The following list includes a range of budget-friendly restaurants, from flavourful Italian pasta to heart-warming ramen.
1. Phat Phuc Noodle Bar
Located in a pretty Chelsea courtyard, Phat Phuc is a well-hidden restaurant providing dumplings, Pho, and Laksa. I still think about their Laksa everyday – the soup is so rich and the perfect amount of spicy, and the ingredients melt in your mouth. The portions are big, and the staff are very friendly. Phat Phuc is your destination if you are looking for an authentic and soothing experience!
2. Marugame Udon
Eating ramen has never been so easy! At any of the Marugame Udon branches, from Bond Street to Liverpool Street, you simply queue with your tray while watching the chefs make your dish right in front of you. My personal favourite is the Katsu Curry and what makes it even better is how inexpensive it is. They even have a loyalty programme, if you want to save more $$ while trying out their amazing menu.
3. Okan Southbank
A short stroll away from the London Eye, Okan brings Osaka dishes to London. Their okonomiyaki are so tasty, and only around the £10 mark, making it one of my favourite places to eat in! The well decorated Japanese interior will most definitely make your experience there an unforgettable one too.
4. Crispy Rolls
Crispy Rolls is the place to go if you are looking for a fast and easy lunch before heading back to campus. Located between Charing Cross and Embankment, Crispy Rolls offers sushi-burritos. You choose the protein and the sauce, and voila! It is inexpensive, and it will not make you late for your next class.
5. Koya Soho
Koya has reminded me time and time again why I love ramen so much. From cold sauce to warm broth udon, Koya offers one of the largest varieties of udon I have seen in London. Their zaru gomadare has to be my favourite: not only is it below £10, but the sesame cold sauce with spring onion is the best I have ever tried. The restaurant only has a few seats, so be ready to queue – but the intimate, traditional setting and the udon are so worth it!
I discovered Bancone when I was searching for cacio e pepe pasta that would not leave a hole in my wallet. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed! They have two locations in Central London, and it can get crowded at times, so prepare accordingly.
I could dedicate an entire blogpost about Chinatown restaurants. However, Beijing Dumpling deserved its own place in this list: it is my favourite restaurant for dumplings that are not only juicy and full of flavour, but that also do not cost the earth. I have tried every single dumpling on their menu, and I have to say the pork xiao long bao have won my heart.
If you have never tried Korean corndogs, now is the time to check them out at Bunsik! They have a few locations around London, but my favourite is the one next to Charing Cross station: it is close to LSE, and less busy than its Leicester Square counterpart. You have so many possibilities, but my favourite has to beis the potato and mozzarella corn dog. For less than £6, you will feel replenished and fulfilled. Do not forget to check out their ddukbokki and Korean style fried chicken, which are super affordable as well.
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So many to choose from! I’ll make sure to check them out when I’m in London next. Great article!