There's no shortage of options when it comes to eating out in Islington, but with a central stretch that's nicknamed 'Supper Street', it's tricky to find a meal that is cheap as well as tasty. The entries on this list should have you fed for less. Know a great place we've missed? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet.
Not much changes at this long-running restaurant overlooking Islington Green. The two-floor premises are bright and clean, with spring-green and grey paintwork, simple blond-wood tables and stools, and no decoration beyond a few pot plants. The menu of Afghan home cooking is equally straightforward: eight dishes (three meat, one fish, four vegetarian) of which the focus is hearty, warming stews that feature plenty of yoghurt and mint. Spicing is subtle rather than fiery.
There are two very different Anteplilers in north London. The Green Lanes branch is a straightforward, functional canteen, but this time we visited the Upper Street restaurant, which feels like it’s been lifted straight out of a lifestyle magazine. Blue neon mosaics on a black background, making the venue resemble an Ottoman-themed nightclub, are an acquired taste. Thankfully there’s nothing showy about the food, some of which originates in Gaziantep province, near the border with Syria.
This is the north London contingent of the cheerful mini-chain that serves satisfying comfort food. Breakfasts take centre stage: from a full English and a US variation featuring maple syrup pancakes, to a Latin American breakfast burrito. But there are also jacket potatoes with toppings less ordinary (goat’s cheese, guacamole, grilled chicken), chunky sandwiches (such as the amusingly titled ‘When Haloumi Met Salad’) and freshly made smoothies galore.
Exposed brick and tiled walls might lend it a half-finished look, but this doesn’t detract from the fact that this little chain serves the best burgers in town, for a neat price and no strange fixings, either (but if you so desire, there’s avocado and jalapeño peppers as options). Burgers are served medium unless otherwise requested, the buns are soft and the juicy pickles served on the side. For an extra American-style indulgence, order a coke float. And to counter it, perhaps some juicy courgette fries?
Airy and bright, this Upper Street pit-stop may be part of a London-wide chain (six branches and counting), but its Mexican menu is made with real love. Using fresh, rustic ingredients, such as fragrant own-made salsa, slow-cooked beans or chunks of pork with deliciously charred, fatty edges, the £5.95 burrito is one of the best in town.
Created by the same crack team that first launched Strada, this branch of the brasserie chain occupies a plum spot facing Islington Green. Inside, it’s smart, yet relaxed, with a failsafe menu of Gallic bistro fare, from steak tartare or tuna Nicoise to roast duck with a cherry sauce or moules frites. They may not get pulses racing, but the ‘plats rapides’ (flat-beaten minute steak with frites for £9.95; grilled chicken with potato gratin and a mushroom sauce for £10.95), remain exceptionally good value.
A lively canteen-style joint, Delhi Grill provides a focused menu of home-style Punjabi dishes – along with wraps sold from a smart stall outside in Chapel Market during the day. Inside, the walls are plastered with Bollywood posters and Indian newspapers; corrugated iron and stencilled lettering contribute to a Slumdog Millionaire aesthetic. The selection of street-food starters such as samosa chat are more in keeping with this mood than the Indian-restaurant standard chicken tikka.
If you enjoy a visit to the golden arches, but wish the food was – well, a little nicer – then Five Guys is for you. This popular US-based burger franchise has basically taken the fast-food format but upped the ante. Ingredients are high-quality, and fresh – not frozen – as well as being cooked to order (though still quickly). It’s not exactly ground-breaking, but with burgers from £6.75, and all toppings included, it’s unsurprisingly winning its fair share of fans.
Come on Saturday night to witness this place in full swing, behind the enticing window display of dolmas and baklava. There’s a queue for tables. Cynics might put the attraction down to the reasonable prices and infectious party atmosphere. Packed to the rafters, the long, narrow terracotta-painted restaurant has a rosy glow and a throbbing beat, occasionally interrupted by an electronic rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. OK, one of the day’s specials was lasagne, but another was chicken begendi in coriander sauce with smoked aubergine and garlic, and there are bowls of olives ready and waiting on the tables.
The Masala Zone chain offers a persuasive mix of good cooking, keen prices, stylish surroundings and friendly service. The Islington branch on Upper Street offers a good number of thalis (grand and regular) as well as around 15 curries, birianis served with dal, grills and street snacks. Light lunches include the likes of chicken tikka wraps.
Find more great food in London
Feast your eyes on the top restaurants in London, from the new gastronomic game-changers to the seasoned heavyweights who give this city its culinary chops Even for people as gastronomically experienced as Time Out’s Eating & Drinking team, whittling down the very best places to eat in London to just a handful of absolutely essential culinary stars was no simple task. Setting the criteria for our list of the 100 best restaurants in London was the easy bit. Anywhere we felt compelled to revisit again and again was instantly in, as were the places doing bold things with simple ingredients. The city’s latest culinary trends had to be acknowledged, of course, but only those at the top of their game could be considered for inclusion. We fretted, we sweated, we chewed on toothpicks while dramatically shortening shortlists with a big red marker. Until, at last, we had London’s best restaurants. So in the list below – surely the ultimate guide to eating out in London – you’ll find it all: zeitgeist-defining celebrity haunts, simple but stunning food from some of the world’s most exciting chefs, places with starched linen napkins and places where you’ll have to eat with your fingers. What they all have in common is that they serve uncommonly good food, at fair prices, with service befitting the setting. In short, if you’re looking for a great meal, you’ve come to the right place. You can browse the best restaurants in London by area or focus on a specific cuisine – if you’re looking f
Great food and good-value restaurants and cafés in the capital The full list of London's best cheap eats Don't let tight budgets mean tight belts. You can eat your fill at any of these places without a thought for the financial consequences, and you'll love every mouthful. Browse the full list of London's best cheap eats and make some dates with some dinners. We all love great food, but the pleasure of eating out is always lessened when it threatens to shove you into overdraft territory. But that doesn't mean you're stuck with supermarket sandwiches on street corners; London is home to endless local gems and affordable eateries which will leave your pocket as full as your belly. The Time Out food and drink team has gathered together London's best cheap eats; never again will the bill feel like the damage.Check out London's best cheap eats in central, north, south, east and west London. We've also picked the best new eating-out-on-a-budget options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you can even explore the full list of all our recommended budget restaurants. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. Explore London's best cheap eats In central London In north London In south London In east London The full list Cheap breakfasts Cheap lunches Cheap dinners Popular food features London's top 50 restaurants The top 50 restaurants in London for all occasions. Find London's top restaurants Best restauran
Been on your hols? Catch up with the reviews you may have missed. Updated weekly, this is our archive of 'recent reviews'. For the bang-up-to-date 'current reviews' (updated daily), check out the pages for either restaurants or bars. London restaurant offers Looking to dine out on a budget? Sample some of the city's best food at a fraction of the cost with our exclusive reader offers London's best restaurants for... Pizzas Discover where to eat the best pizzas in London Sunday lunches Our guide to the best Sunday lunches in LondonRead best Sunday lunches reviews Steak Discover where to eat the best steak in LondonRead best steak reviews Hot dogs Discover the hottest dogs in townRead best hot dog reviews Foraging groups Discover London's best foraging groupsRead best foraging groups Cafés and coffee shops Discover where to find London’s finest cafés and coffee shopsRead best Cafés and coffee shops... British British cuisine has never been so widely lauded - and here's why. Dates Looking to impress on a first date? We round up some of the capital's most striking restaurants. Ember Yard A modern take on the tapas bar in Soho Andina Peruvian bistro in Shoreditch Jackson & Rye All-day US-style diner in Soho Hixter Bar and grill in the City from Mark Hix Ergon Greek cuisine right next to Selfridges Blanchette Delightful little French place in Soho Keeper's House A touch of glamour and interesting dishes hidden in The Royal Academy of Arts Rex Whistle
London's best street food
London's best markets There's no more colourful way to shop in London than by sampling its many markets Berwick Street Market Berwick Street Market, between Broadwick Street & Peter Street, W1. Oxford Circus. Mon-Fri; stall times vary, but arrive noon-2pm for lunch. Historic Berwick Street Market, situated in the heart of Soho, only has a handful of food stalls operating on weekdays (Monday can be pretty quiet, so visit from Tuesday for a wider choice of food). But we include it here for the central West End location, and the fact you should be able to pick up lunch for around a fiver. If it’s a nice day, head to Soho Square to sit on the grass. The selection changes daily, but the following stalls are often present. In addition to the delicious baguettes, pho soups and noodle salads from Vietnamese favourite Banhmi11 (www.banhmi11.com), expect to find the Pizza Pilgrims (www.pizzapilgrims.co.uk), aka brothers James and Thom Elliott, who operate from the back of a tiny Piaggio Ape three-wheeler van – yes, there really is a pizza oven in there. For real meaty goodness, the burgers from the Tongue ’n Cheek (www.tonguencheek.info) van deliver a choice of prime cuts of beef with cheddar, or pork belly with gorgonzola. Other options may include falafel wraps from the suitably named Jerusalem Falafel, beef tagine from Moroccan Box, Mexican burritos from Freebird Burritos (www.freebirdburritos.com), Indian fare including curries, samosas and paneer wraps from Tandoor, and pork pie
An international chain of creperies that has seven locations in London. This branch in Spitalfields Market, near Liverpool Street station, provides indoor and outdoor seating, as well as takeaways and local deliveries. The decor follows the brand's prominent black and yellow theme. Unsurprisingly, the highlight here is crepes. You can get them sweet (with cinnamon, strawberries and cream or apple crumble), savoury (with pesto mozzarella, Mexican chicken or hoisin duck), and for breakfast (eggs Benedict, full English or smoke salmon). Alternatives to the crepe menu include waffles, porridge, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, smoothies, softies, beer, wine and cider.
Venue says: “New: buckwheat galette, gluten free and delicious!”