Cheap eats in Camden

Discover Camden's best cheap restaurants and other places to eat out on a budget

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There are many bargains to be had in Camden, but also many duds to fall for, especially when it comes to a good value meal. Try one of these places to get some good food that will leave you with plenty of budget for tat from the market. Know somewhere better? Share it in the comments below, or send us a tweet.

Chin Chin Laboratorists

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Now a fixture of Camden Market, the innovative Chin Chin Labs – where ice-cream is frozen to order amid billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen-generated steam – may not seem as wacky as it once did, but there are always new tourists to surprise, and plenty of regulars happy to queue for the fabulous ice-cream. The menu is commandingly short: chocolate, vanilla and two specials – one ice-cream, one dairy-free sorbet. The latter always astounds with its fat-free creaminess and

  1. 49-50 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF
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Arancini Factory

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The bricks-and-mortar location of marketeers Arancini Bros is an affable retro caff decked with boxes of the day’s fresh produce. From the open kitchen at the rear come arancini (Sicilian-style deep-fried risotto balls) served plain, with salad, in tortilla wraps, or accompanied by a hot stew. There are other options too, like poached eggs on toast for breakfast, and Aussie-themed open sandwiches such as banana with bacon and cheese. We like the homely muffins (carrot and

  1. 115 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PN
  2. Main courses £4-£7.95. Meal for two with...
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Masala Zone

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Branches of this smart, clever chain are popping up faster than mustard seeds in a hot pan of ghee. Each outlet is decorated with a different theme – on Parkway it’s advertising posters of the 1930s and ’40s; at Covent Garden Rajasthani puppets hang from the ceiling; in Soho, Islington and Earl’s Court the walls feature striking work by tribal artists. The mood is both vibrant and relaxed – as cheering to singletons having a thali for supper, as it is to family groups

  1. 25 Parkway, NW1 7PG
  2. Main courses £6.85-£12.95. Thalis £8.35-£9.20
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Haché

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Patties might rule the menu here, but the experience of dining at Haché is closer to that of an urbane modern restaurant than a burger bar. The interior is chic and intimate; the glow of hanging candelabra and mirrored wall panels soften the dark wooden furniture and beams to create a surprisingly romantic mood. The attention of the young staff varied, but this was soon forgotten when a glass of tart real lemonade and a creamy vanilla milkshake arrived. Prime Scotch beef is

  1. 24 Inverness Street, NW1 7HJ
  2. Main courses £6.95-£12.95
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Simply Fish

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Offer

People who suffer from decision fatigue, or who prefer to leave the construction of their dishes when dining out to professionals, might find the DIY dish-building of Simply Fish a bit enervating. This new Camden restaurant and takeaway has taken the risk that no such customer will get as far as their mildly exasperating menu. The task is to choose a fish, cooking method, sauce and accompaniment from wide range of each on offer; hundreds of permutations are possible, though not

  1. 4 Inverness St, NW1 7HJ
  2. 50% off food from the a la carte menu
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Jamón Jamón

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Weekend evenings at Jamón Jamón are boisterous affairs: tables are often pushed together to make room for birthday parties, and the sound of laughter can eclipse quiet conversation, which is deeply Spanish if not very conducive to a romantic meal for two. Nor is the interior exactly eye-catching – just ‘Jamón Jamón’ cast in metal and protruding from the otherwise bare walls at regular intervals – but the tapas, although unimaginative, are deftly executed. Squid in

Special Offers!!! Paella for 2 and Bottle of House Wine or Sangria £26.95 All day on Sundays. Two for 1 cocktails all evening on Wednesdays
  1. 38 Parkway, NW1 7AH
  2. Main courses £4.90-£13. Set lunch £5.90...
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Seto

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Noodles in soup stock might seem like a simple concept, but finding a decent bowl of ramen, one of Japan’s many noodle soup varieties, can prove tricky in London at times. This relocated Japanese caff, formerly Ramen Seto in Soho, don't do a bad job. There are a few varieties on offer like soya sauce (shoyu), miso and Korean pickled cabbage (kimchi). All are made with an earthy chicken and pork bone broth and filled with pleasingly chewy noodles. Another ramen shop staple, pork

  1. 5-6 Plender St, NW1 0JT
  2. Main courses £6.20-£6.80. Set meal £6.80-£9.50.
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Andy's Taverna

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

A homely little taverna just off the main Camden drag, Andy’s caters to those looking for an easy-going meal in welcoming, unfussy surroundings. Diners range from groups of overseas students to couples who are clearly regulars. Everyone is well looked-after by the congenial owner. The low-ceilinged space is simply decorated in typically Greek blue and white, the walls adorned with touristy island photos and snaps of the owner smiling alongside various customers. The food,

  1. 81-81A Bayham Street, NW1 0AG
  2. Main courses £8.95-£14. Set mezédes £13.95...
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Mario's Café

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Star of song (Saint Etienne’s 1993 ‘Mario’s Café’) and screen (at the chrome coffee-counter you can buy a £3 DVD documentary about the caff), Mario’s relies on locals’ indefatigable appetite for cut-above breakfasts – scrambled egg and salmon, or poached egg and prosciutto, on ciabatta, a full English of sausage, egg, bacon and tomato, plus extras (bubble, hash browns, black pudding). But don’t ignore the Italian mains – Mario’s mum makes even a simple spicy

  1. 6 Kelly Street, NW1 8PH
  2. Main courses £5-£7
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Bintang

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Immune to the vagaries of fashion and the march of inflation, Bintang hasn't changed its kitsch interior - or its prices - in years. Sandwiched in a run-down row of shops, its tiny dining room is a hospitable jumble of bamboo cladding, tribal masks, lanterns and fairy lights. The pan-Asian menu is equally esoteric, with mains ranging from lemongrass-infused curries to laksa; the star turn is whole baked sea bass for under a tenner. Starters are less inspired, and often

  1. 93 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NY
  2. Main courses £6.50-£13.50.
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Users say

3 comments
mirko
mirko

I will never understand how such horrible indian kitchen like the Masala Zone gets 4 stars and a place like Maharani on Camden high street is not even mentioned. Also if you have not discovered "Tikino" yet, it's your own fault.