Cheap eats in Soho London

Find the best places for cheap food and best budget restaurants and cafés in the Soho

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Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Soho's restaurants run the gamut from sleek and chic to fuss-free. Yet behind all the glitz and ritz of Soho are options of places to dine without breaking the budget. Try tasty Korean food at Bi Bim Bap or a hearty Italian meal at Princi. Whatever you fancy, Time Out has recommendations for great food on the cheap and good-value restaurants and cafés in Soho.

Ethos

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

There are reasons why Ethos might make you wary. It’s near Oxford Circus, it’s vegetarian, it’s a self-serve buffet and you pay for your food by weight. (That’s the weight of the food, not your weight.) This ‘comida por quilo’ system is a popular economy-restaurant style in Brazil, but it’s been relatively unexplored in the UK. Adding to the gimmicky potential, on any given day the main menu might include more than a dozen dishes from the diverse cuisines of

Ethos is the perfect place for a festive celebration in the West End. Enjoy two courses and half a bottle of wine for £29.50 per person.
  1. 48 Eastcastle Street, W1W 8DX
  2. Meal for two with soft drinks and service:...
More info

The Noodle House

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The best food in South East Asia usually comes from a roadside street food cart or cramped hawker stall. In contrast Noodle House combines a selection of typical hawker staples in a sanitised setting, without the queues, and with table service. Noodle House is a Dubai-based chain with branches from Moscow to Muscat. Yet this first UK branch is reminiscent of the upmarket shopping centre food courts you find in Singapore, where shopping and eating are the island-nation’s

  1. 117 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8AD
  2. £25 and under
Make reservation

Jamon Jamon

  • Price band: 1/4

One of four Jamon Jamon venues in London - the others are in Camden Town, Belsize Park and Islington - this tapas bar offers a range of traditional Spanish dishes alongside an all-Spanish wine list and a selection of cocktails including, of course, sangria. There are six Spanish beers, too. The food menu ranges from cheese and charcuterie boards to grilled sardines with olive oil and parsley, serrano ham croquettes, grilled Iberico pork loin with tomato bread, and a variety of

Special Offers! Paella for two and a bottle of house wine or sangria for £26.95. Available all day on Sundays.
  1. 3 Caxton Walk, WC2H 8PW
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HK Diner

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Pay attention as you walk along Wardour Street, adjacent to Leicester Square – it’s easy to miss HK Diner’s narrow frontage. The interior is bigger than you might expect, and staff will hasten you towards any unoccupied booth seating. The menu covers Chinese standards, such as roast duck (impessively succulent) and various Chinese greens stir-fried with your choice of sauce, but on our last visit we were most struck by the generosity of the seafood (scallops, carved squid)

  1. 22 Wardour Street, W1D 6QQ
  2. Main courses £5-£25. Set meal £11-£32 per...
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Golden Union Fish Bar

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Cast an eye over the menu and it’s evident that Golden Union can talk the talk – fish delivered daily from sustainable waters, grade-A potatoes, a combo of two frying oils changed at least four times a week, and freshly made beer batter. The point is, it can walk the walk too. Fish is chunky, flaky and perfectly cooked in a light, crispy, complementary casing; chips are crisp, firm and fluffy; pies and fish cakes are own-made and look it – there seems to be no weak point.

  1. 38 Poland Street, W1F 7LY
  2. Main courses £3.95-£12.95
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Café TPT

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The menu in the window of Café TPT looks longer than the complete musings of Confucius. It’s not unusual to see a big menu in Chinatown, but such a vast repertoire seems impossible from a kitchen galley the size of an origami junk. Not so, because dishes from Hong Kong, mainland China and the diaspora are all produced competently, and some of them with commendable aplomb. The Cantonese dishes tend to be better than the Malaysian ones: roast duck on rice was succulent, and a

  1. 21 Wardour Street, W1D 6PN
  2. Main courses £6.50-£22. Set meal £11.50-£12...
More info

Cay Tre

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Part of the Vietnamese Kitchen group, with branches in Hoxton and Shoreditch, Cây Tre is just what you might imagine a Vietnamese restaurant in Soho to be like: chic, minimal decor, impeccably smart and efficient black-clad staff, and beautifully served food. Customers are very mixed – tourists, Chinatown youngsters looking for something fresh, and a smattering of techies and media types. The chain prides itself on using all fresh (ideally local) ingredients with impeccable

  1. 42-43 Dean Street, W1D 4PZ
  2. Main courses £8-£15. Set meal £23 3 courses...
More info

Koya

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The opening of Koya in 2010 marked a more youthful movement in the Japanese dining scene. With blond-wood sharing tables, white walls and a generally fresh-faced crowd of diners, the venue feels more like a friendly caff than a slick West End eaterie. The handmade udon noodles produced here are top notch, which explains why expectant diners often queue out of the door. Don’t be deterred: service is generally snappy, so you won’t have to wait too long. The well-priced menu

  1. 49 Frith Street, W1D 4SG
  2. Main courses £6.90-£14.90
More info

Yalla Yalla

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Yalla Yalla continues to produce its hit formula of superior Lebanese cooking in a casual setting. Its self-styled ‘Beirut street food’ resonates with the upbeat informality of these dinky Soho premises; we’ve found the quality to match that of much pricier restaurants. Diners cram on to faux-rustic tables at lunchtime, while others nip in for takeaway wraps – filled with everything from falafel to spicy sujuk sausage – from the pre-prepared selection behind the

  1. 1 Green's Court, W1F 0HA
  2. Main courses £8.50-£13.75
More info

Pierre Victoire

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The last couple of years have seen an influx of high-quality, cheap barbecue shacks into Soho – so is the competition making this cosy, Gallic dining room feel dated? The hordes of after-work twirtysomethings who continue to pack it out certainly don’t think so. There are undeniably antiquated touches: staff attempt to lure customers into spending £10 more than the price of house wine by plonking £25 bottles of Chianti on tables. And the astonishingly long menu (15

See our Christmas menu - three course lunch for £19.90 or £25.90. Only a few remaining spaces left
  1. 5 Dean Street, W1D 3RQ
  2. Main courses £9.90-£14.90. Set lunch £7.90 2...
Make reservation
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© Jael Marschner


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Users say

9 comments
Lohit K
Lohit K

Stop by Braithwaites miniature tea room van on Rupert St for amazing English cream tea for only £4.99 - the most delicious clotted cream and strawberry jam on a lovely fruit scone with a cup of tea.

soho worker
soho worker

try siam cafe soho on walkers court, meals from £4 authentic thai curry!

theboydonefood
theboydonefood

Another list, much the same as last year, that seems completely out of touch. What happened to the good days when you guys published the cheap eats guide? Loads of lunches at less than a fiver.

Daniel
Daniel

what a joke. Busaba and Koya are hardly cheap eats. which world do you guys live in?!

KLT
KLT

Koya, Busaba Eathai and Malletti's are a must - authentic, fresh, tasty, inexpensive and superb. Pho are opening soon aswell and definitely worth checking out.

Ben
Ben

You've missed off Mooli's!

charlie
charlie

some seriously averag choices on here. Mooli's and Viet are both good. So to is Taro, Eat Tokyo, Donzoko, Joy and the brilliant I. Camisa.

paddersmcd
paddersmcd

Can't believe Mooli's on Frith Street isn't on the list. I work in Clerkenwell but the goan pork mooli with pomegranate salsa is well worth the trek over at lunch time!

NumberOneVietFan
NumberOneVietFan

I'm horrified you left Viet, 34 Greek Street, off the Cheap Eats in Soho! It's the best little cheap noodle joint in town, YUM!