Eating out doesn't have to cost the earth. In fact, we think dining out for under a fiver is a doddle with our guide to London's best penny-saving dishes. All these tasty treats cost no more than £5, so get stuck in.
RECOMMENDED: The 100 best cheap eats in London
15 dishes under £5
Smokestak may look like an industrial torture chamber, but its food is life affirming – a fact evinced by their brisket bun, stuffed with faultlessly succulent smoked beef and cockle-warming pickled chillies.
Venue says: “Soho is our first restaurant-style home with seated areas throughout and ze basement offers rest-bite from the buzz of Old Compton Street.”
Step out of the shadows, sausage-botherers. Here’s a hot dog you can be proud of. Herman’s smooth and smoky bockwurst is fashioned from premium pork by a Black Forest butcher then popped into a pillowy baguette. Add a slick of the spicy curry ketchup – well worth the extra 50p – and you’re ready to roll. These expat banger evangelists reckon it will be the best frankfurter you’ve ever eaten. They might just be right.
This humble little joint dispenses its wellbeing to loyal locals from bubbling cauldrons behind the counter. It’s the bowls of firecracker-red jigae stew – salty, sour and perfectly spicy – that really hit the spot. Sinking yourself into the soondooboo jjigae’s silky tofu-laden depths will save your Seoul.
It may be simplistic, but the cool kids at Counter Culture’s melding of super-soft spiced pork belly, tangy dairy and oil-drizzled potato bread is a sight to behold (and devour immediately).
Those dreamy Danes are blessed with a proclivity for robust food that’s pickled, cured and creamed; Snaps & Rye’s salami, cucumber, remoulade and crispy onion open sandwich is a righteously refined example.
Venue says: “Come and try the best artisan, New York-style pizza in Chiswick! Offering super thick shakes with our new recipes and flavours.”
This Chiswick pizza joint dishes up gargantuan pies that’d bring a tear to a homesick New Yorker’s eye. In Stateside fashion, they sell by the slice; wolf down a plate of the picture-perfect pepperoni for a quick cheesy fix.
Okay, okay – it’s technically neither chicken nor sours, but the moreish combo of fine dripping-cooked fries and the genius soothing/spicy double-hit of sriracha-laced sour cream is bargain highpoint on a clucking brilliant menu.
£1 each (but minimum order of four)
Everything on the menu at Camberwell’s Xinxing stalwart is dirt cheap, but the maniacally economical should hit up the teeny, succulent lamb skewers, best scoffed straight off the grill (and ordered again, and again, and again).
Now find some cheap tipples in town
Thanks to chain bars pumping out low-grade drinks, happy hours in London can get a bad rep. However, there are plenty of quality establishments offering decent prices at surprisingly decent locations. After all, we have some of the best drinking establishments on the planet, from cocktail bars to good old traditional pubs serving craft beer. So we've put together our favourite happy hours in London - from Kings Cross to Battersea, Carnaby Street to Clapham, these lot make it cheap and easy to get merry with your nearest and dearest any day of the week. Cheers!
It's all about the burgers at this permanent pop-up at The Lexington pub, with a big old Weber drum barbecue cooking up a storm. It's a bit of kit they're apparently pretty handy with - the chef did a stint at Weber's Grill Academy and one of the Academy's head honchos, Jamie Foy, regularly pops his head in. There's a skateboarding theme to things here. A 'Kickflip' comprises an organic beef burger with Monterey Jack cheese, garlic mayo, onion, gherkin and a whiskey smoked BBQ sauce they make themselves (smoking it through whisky barrels, no less). It features in 'The 5.0' (organic pulled pork with house chilli 'slaw) too, as well as in a 'Master of Disaster' - a combination of the two. Vegetarian options come from the 'Fakie' (homemade veggie burger with halloumi, chilli jam, garlic mayo, lettuce and onion) and the 'Templeton' (this one's vegan, too). Salads, sides and other culinary bits and bobs also feature - plus there's delivery available for those lucky enough to be local.
Venue says: “Now serving at The Lexington in Angel, N1, and The Salisbury in Green Lanes, N4!”