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Fitzrovia’s Best Cheap Eats

Our pick of the best spots in this brilliantly foodie part of town (that won’t break the bank)

By Time Out London Food & Drink
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Over the past few years, Fitzrovia has quietly become one of London’s best eating areas, even threatening to usurp Soho (and it might just yet). It’s home to some of London’s finest bucket-list restaurants; but also a host of brilliant cheap eats, from mega Mexican joints to stupidly affordable pizza, quirky cafés, cracking curries and wholesome veggie/vegan fare. We’ve rounded up the best of them below.

Do you agree with our choices? Tell us in the comments box below.

Attendant

Restaurants Cafés Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? ‘Popping to the loo’ takes on new meaning at this below-ground coffee house in a converted Victorian convenience. Dig the tiled walls, old Doulton & Co urinals repurposed as seats and the attendant’s office that’s now a kitchen.

When to go Whenever you’re bursting… for a snack and a coffee. Be warned, though: it’s tiny – and weekday lunchtimes are regularly rammed with local office workers. 

What to eat Breakfast staples followed by deli classics: cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, salads, cakes, whatever takes your fancy.

How much? You will be spending more than a penny, but prices are pared back. Breakfast starts at £4, there are artisan sandwiches from £5, lunchtime soup or stew is £4.80, and you can get a full brunch for £9.

Benito's Hat

Restaurants Mexican Goodge Street

What’s the vibe? Part of London’s Mexican revolution that began around ten years ago, Benito’s fast-moving production line knocks out some of the best burritos in town alongside other Tex-Mex faves.

When to go This business is built for speed, so take advantage of it when you need a quick getaway or a no-frills fill-up.

What to eat Burritos and tacos are the thing, spiced up with sides such as pomegranate and chipotle slaw, plus dips from the ten-strong salsa bar.

How much? Burritos go from £6.50 (regular), tacos from £5 a pair, sides from £2.95.

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Bi Bim Bap

Restaurants Korean Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? The place is decked out in bright colours and Ikea-style furniture, and the walls are plastered with Polaroid snaps of happy diners.

When to go Only the seriously hungry need apply.

What to eat Rib-sticking renditions of Korean staple bibimbap: a layered dish of rice, spiced vegetables and meat topped with a fried egg.

How much? From £7 per serving – very filling.

Herman ze German

Restaurants German Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? Brash and fast-foody, with plenty of seating downstairs, this is one of Herman’s liveliest hangouts. And his sausages are sehr gut.

When to go Quick bite before a night out? You could do wurst than a wiener.

What to eat Juicy sausages in crusty bread.

How much? Wurst in a roll is £5.95 (£7.95 with fries, £8.50 with salad). It’s also worth investing an extra 50p for toppings such as sauerkraut, chilli mayo and jalapeños. Note that currywurst combos are a tad more expensive.

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Homeslice, Fitzrovia

Restaurants Pizza Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? This airy, buzzy spot in deepest Fitzrovia serves New York-style pizza by the slice or in massive sharing portions.  

When to go There’s a no-bookings policy (isn’t there always?) and evenings tend to get busy, but you shouldn’t have to wait too long (it is pizza, after all). Otherwise, go at lunchtime or mid-afternoon.

What to eat Visit as a pair and get a pizza to share. They’re all £20 and Homeslice has a knack for inventive toppings, so go for something outré. BBQ beef brisket, pickled carrots and celery, anyone?

How much? Twenty quid for a massive pizza for two, or £4 a slice for the margherita, salami or mushroom ’n’ ricotta versions (the others are available as ‘full pizza’ only).

ICCo

Restaurants Italian Goodge Street

What’s the vibe? The name’s an acronym for Italiano Coffee Company, but pizza is the big deal at this noisy spot. Think shared metal tables, diner-style seating and tricolour branding.

When to go Lunch is hyper-popular and hectic, but evenings are a less frantic prospect.

What to eat Choose from around 18 different pizzas, all freshly prepared to order. Try the ‘special’ with artichokes, egg, black olives, tomato sauce, basil, herbs and cheese.

How much? Most of the pizzas range from £4.50 to £7 a pop, so you can afford to add some sides, cake and drinks. (Unlicensed but no corkage – result!)

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Indian YMCA

Restaurants Indian Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? Authentic curries at school-dinner prices in a student hostel dining hall that’s open to all.

When to go Open for three meals a day, seven days a week, but given that breakfast is often more continental than Indian, we suggest dropping by for lunch or supper. Takeaways too.

What to eat Mild curries and dhal with spicy pickles on the side.

How much? A lunch for two, with a couple of curries, pickles, bread and rice to share, costs around a tenner. Set dinners are pegged at £8.50 a head.

James French

Kaffeine Eastcastle Street

Restaurants Coffeeshops Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? This funky Antipodean café scores with its hip breakfasts, baked goodies, baguettes, coffee and all-round buzz.

When to go It’s incredibly popular with local office workers, so expect a lunchtime crush, although there’s no off-peak time really.

What to eat Anything that’s seen the inside of a hot oven, from savoury tarts to baked sweet treats.

How much? Breakfast choices start at £4, cookies and baked treats go from £2, savoury brioche, sandwiches and salads from £4.50. 

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Kin

Restaurants Vegetarian Fitzrovia

What’s the vibe? Expect safe and sound, pleasantly retro veggie and vegan cooking served in quiet, soothing surrounds on Foley Street.

When to go In the morning for a pick-me-up breakfast, midday for a working lunch on the go, in the afternoon for coffee and cake.

What to eat All the usual suspects, from avo on toast, pancakes and acai bowls for breakfast to lunchtime salads, sandwiches, frittatas and veggie burgers (Friday only).

How much? Breakfast hits go from £5.50, salads are £7.50 and cooked mains cost around a fiver.

Pilau

Restaurants Indian Goodge Street

What’s the vibe? It’s a streetwise Indian café dealing in wraps, salads and rice bowls. Stand up, sit down or mingle alfresco. Whichever way, expect generous portions and friendly prices.

When to go It’s always busy, with crowds and queues outside. The menu’s built for quick working lunches and evening get-togethers.

What to eat Lamb and bone-marrow rice bowl, pickled ginger, ‘shoestring’ bhaji, mint and coriander yoghurt. Break the budget by rounding off with a seriously delicious cardamom-infused custard tart. 

How much? Wraps and rice bowls start at £8, naan balls are around £5, and the custard tart is £3.

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