Saving up for Christmas? You don’t need to splash out to have a great meal in London. Here’s our favourite cheap eats in the capital this week:

Early Morning 

1. For On The Go: Cafe Loren


What: We can’t function without a proper good morning coffee and at Cafe Loren, they’ve absolutely nailed their flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos. Camden is finally home to a place that serves a decent cup of coffee. Swing by on a morning for a coffee with a cake or baked good for £4. Winner.

The Lowdown: Nestled under the railway bridge in Camden Market, Cafe Loren is a new cafe serving up shakshuka, coffee and all sorts of baked treats. They’ve earned a reputation for cooking a range of different shakshukas. We’re talking about the green shakshuka with green peppers and spinach, to the Balkan option served on a bed of hummus.

Price: £4 for coffee and a cake or pastry

Where: 6 Camden High St, Camden Town, London NW1 0JH


2. For Meatballs: The Bowler

What: The Bowler is a must for any meatball fan or those wanting more for lunch than a shop bought salad. Come 11am, the chaps at The Bowler dish up their ‘ball boxes’. We recommend the green chilli chicken meatballs with Thai curry sauce, steamed rice, homemade slaw, crispy shallots, chilli jam and coriander.

The Lowdown:  The Bowler is the brainchild of ‘meatball maverick’ Jez Felwick who started selling meatballs out of his van at festivals and street markets up and down the country. From lunchtime until dinner, chomp on meatballs served inside pitta, or meatballs atop a salad or side of long grain, steamed or wild rice.

Price: Prices start from £4.99 per box

Where: 1 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 6DA

3. For Risotto: Arancini Brothers 


What: Arancini Brothers have got your lunchtime, sorted. Their menu is cheap, cheerful and tasty. For a cold winters day, you can’t knock their stew box. The box includes 3 risotto balls, organic pearl barley, vegetable stew of the day with chilli chutney and seeds. Best of all, they don’t scrimp on portion size.

The Lowdown: Arancini Brothers started as a tiny market stall in Brick Lane on Sunday mornings, before moving to their first bricks and mortar site in Kentish Town. They’re known for their risotto balls that are hand rolled and prepared fresh every morning. Drop in for breakfast wraps for the early morning and salads, soups and sandwiches in the afternoon.

Price: £5.65

Where: 115A Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8PB

4. For Vietnamese: Pho 


What: In select branches, Pho offer a lunch special menu of two courses for the bargain prices of £9.95. Choose either a starter and main or main and dessert from the menu. Dishes include; rice paper spring rolls, Vietnamese noodle soups, salad, wok fried noodles, and for dessert banana fritters or fresh mango sorbet.

The Lowdown: Pho is your one stop shop for everything Vietnamese. We’re talking about the freshest ingredients, with dishes cooked to corder. Slurp on warming hot bowls of pho or dunk spring rolls into a range of different sauces. For a cheap and filling lunch – you can’t go wrong with Pho.

Price: £9.95 two course lunchtime deal

Where: Balham, Clapham and Chiswick branches

Late Night 

5. For Sandwiches: SHOTGUN BBQ


What: SHOTGUN write a list of sandwiches on the blackboard from 10:30-11:30pm, once they are gone they are gone. Expect delights such as Carolina pulled pork and coleslaw fried bologna, Westcombe cheddar and pickle mayo, and smoked ox tongue with melted onion, oyster mayo – all on potato rolls.

The Lowdown: Leading the culinary direction of SHOTGUN is Mississippi-born chef Brad McDonald, who brings his authentic approach to barbecue alongside a cocktail lounge and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Southern US to London’s Soho.

Price: £11

Where: 26 Kingly St, London W1B 5QD

Photo Credit: Thomas Bowles