When looking for places to eat in London, you will no doubt find that London is an expensive city. A NatWest student living index from 2018 identified London as the second least affordable city for students. Yet, what is surprising is the affordable food that you can find if you go outside the conventional high-end cafes and restaurants in London. Luckily for you, Send My Bag has found some gems to share with you in this blog. With these, you mightn’t be eating at an upmarket café around Kensington Palace or dining at a high-class restaurant in Mayfair or Knightsbridge. However, you will be able to enjoy the authenticity of international food, served in restaurants where you can taste the flavours of different cuisines at a student-friendly price.
Zia Lucia: An independently-owned pizzeria that brings to it a little piece of Italy. Its name originates from the Italian word for Auntie, ‘Zia’, which in Italy is someone you are very close to. At Zia Lucia they bring the closeness of family to the pizzeria through its neighbourly atmosphere. You can eat at this little Italian gem for between only £6.90-£11.90. Its location is Holloway Road, London, which is only a 3-minute walk from London Metropolitan University and 1 minute from the Central Library.
Pizza Street: A New Yorker style pizza place selling slices of Pizza for only £2.95, which would be perfect for a study appetizer. Or for a bigger meal but at a cheap price, all their 12” pizzas are £6.95 and larger 16” pizzas are £12.95. Located in Upper Holloway London, it takes 8-15 minutes in a car or train from London Metropolitan University. Or, you could opt for getting fresh air on your study break and do the 30-minute walk via Holloway Road, and reward yourself with a pizza.
ScandiKitchen: On Great Titchfield Street, only a 13-minute walk from University College London, this Scandinavian style café gives you a Scandinavian twist on your typical sandwich for a tasteful price. They offer toasted sandwiches at £4.50, open sandwiches for £3.00 or three for just £8.00. Also, from as little as £1.50, you can add a famous Swedish sweet dish.
Gökyüzü: A sit-in and take-away restaurant with a fully loaded Turkish menu. You can get an authentic Turkish Kebab with a side ranging between £10-£14 and a variety of other Turkish specials at around the same price. Or for even cheaper, you can try a Turkish pizza for only £4.50. From London Metropolitan University the Underground will take approximately 20 minutes, but if you cycle, then you can get here in 13 minutes.
Chilango: A Mexican chain in London with restaurants in 11 locations across London. They have been rated highly in the press by Time Out, The Independent, and The Guardian, to name but a few. The restaurant has also received several awards, including London’s best burritos, best newcomer and no.1 Mexican restaurant. The good news is that it has been rated as the no.1 cheapest Mexican restaurant on TripAdvisor, too. You can taste their famous burritos for only £7, or they offer a variety of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.
Benito’s Hat: Another Mexican chain, which started out as a small store but has since opened 9 more across the UK. Their success is based on the simplicity of their stores, which offer a stripped-back Mexican menu. At the core of the menu are burritos and tacos. You can pick up a baby burrito for a lunch bite, a larger burrito for between £5-7, or tacos for £5. Even better, they sell tacos for £1 all day, every Tuesday until 5pm. Or (the phrase that probably most students like to hear) happy hour is between 5-7pm every week day when Benito’s Hat turns into a Mexican fiesta, providing 2-4-1 on drinks, including Margaritas.
Indian veg: For all the vegetarians who love Indian food, but don’t want the meat, this simple-looking café adds an Indian twist to vegetarianism at a price that is hard to beat. You can get a vegetarian all-you-can eat buffet for only £4.50. How many all-you-can-eat buffets have you come across that are only vegetarian, that still retain the best of Indian flavours, but that are available at this price? What’s even better is the restaurant’s closeness to London colleges, including Westminster Kingsway College, City and Islington College, Central Saint Martins and City University of London, which are all 10-15 minutes’ walking distance away. From University College London, you could pursue a longer walk on your study break to get this £4.50 buffet, which will take around 30 minutes.
Delhi Grill: An Indian restaurant that distinguishes itself due to its use of traditional cooking recipes passed down from ancestors. You can taste the quality of these recipes by getting one of the Indian specials offered on the menu for £5.95. You can also get Tikka and Tandoori Indian dishes, cooked in their own unique way, for between £4-7. From City University London, a 15-minute walk will get you to the restaurant, where you can taste for yourself how special these dishes are. Or if you are sufficiently enticed, you could walk from London Metropolitan University or University College London, which would take around 30 minutes.
Singburi: A little hidden gem on Leytonstone High Road, London. It is a small Thai restaurant that has been run by a Thai family for over 10 years. Time Out has said it is one of those restaurants that wouldn’t be your first pick to go into because it looks so humble from the outside. On the inside, however, you’ll be surprised by the tasty dishes and by how many other people have turned up to enjoy them. The restaurant’s popularity is mostly due to the traditional Thai dishes on offer, which boast all the authentic flavours and spices of Thailand. The BYO drinks policy means that you can afford to try even more of the dishes than you would normally. Singburi is a lot further out of Central London than the other restaurants on our list, but you can make use of the Underground for £2-£4. Going by what people have to say about Singburi, it is well worth the journey.
Xi’an Impression: A Chinese restaurant that is all about simplicity, as they focus on providing simple street food from the Shan Xi Province in Northern China. The restaurant’s chef was born in this province and so she brings the flavours of the Shan Xi streets to London. The street-food, such as burgers, soups, hand-pulled noodles and dumplings, to name but a few, starts at around £4-10. The restaurant is only a 4-minute walk from London Metropolitan University, and 12 minutes from City and Islington College.
Roti King: Hidden away in a basement, this Malaysian restaurant is another place that you wouldn’t think to go to, but it is where more and more people are going because of the authentic food on offer. Within a simple setting, traditional Malaysian dishes are served for as little as £7.00 and they have a hard-to-beat lunch special which includes a starter and 2 main course dishes for £5.50-£6.50. This would be perfect for a cheap but filling university lunch break. All the food is cooked in an open kitchen, so you get to see how the dishes are cooked. The restaurant has a BYO drinks option, which is £10 p/table, so the more university friends you bring, the cheaper it is. It takes only 10 minutes to walk here from University College London, 13 minutes from SOAS and 17 minutes from Westminster Kingsway College.
If you’ve already been thinking about London as your city of choice to study in, and if these tasty-sounding dishes and affordable prices have left your mouth-watering and wanting to pack up your bags, then Send My Bag is here to help. With our student shipping service, all you need to do is book through our website and pack your bags, then we will take care of getting them to your university in London. This leaves you free to go out and enjoy trying these tasty food finds as soon as you arrive.
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