Feature by Julie Smith | Blogger at DriveOnTheLeft.com
London is not a cheap city to grab a bite to eat. Even fast-food chains like Five Guys (the American burger chain) will cost over £10 (about $16) for a burger and fries.
While pubs are tempting and there is always the lure of fast food, your best bet for terrific food and tremendous value are the markets, which operate all over the city.
This is a street food organizer of sorts, gathering an incredible lineup of food trucks that it deploys around the city during the week. They currently have five locations: India West Quay, Gherkin, King’s Cross, Spitalfields, and Paddington. There are usually at least 6 options at each destination, offering everything from Filipino BBQ to vegan tacos, with dishes rarely costing more than £5.
2. Camden Lock Market
This permanent collection of food stalls is open every day and offers dozens of options. At nighttime, it becomes a little more of a party scene, with occasional live music and the always energetic Camden crowd. You can find any type of food or cuisine to satisfy your hunger, like a Jamaican jerk chicken box from Mama’s Jerk Station for £6 or loaded nachos, also £6.
3. Borough Market
The institution that helped ignite the market food scene in London, Borough Market is one of London’s first and the biggest market in town. The number of food stalls open during the day has exploded, with large crowds to match. You can’t go wrong with an Indian dosa wrap from Horn OK Please or the most sinful grilled cheese sandwich ever from Kappacasein, both for under £5.
4. Broadway Market
Held each Saturday in East London near London Fields, this market has a fun mixture of food and vintage clothing’s stalls and is perpetually packed. Deeny’s, specializing in Scottish cuisine (yes, that’s a thing), makes a massive, indulgent sandwich called The Macbeth, filled with haggis, cheddar, onions and arugula for £5, that will keep you full for hours. If you have any room, Violet Bakery stall has some of the best cakes, cookies, and pies in London. The mini peanut butter cupcakes cost a little over a £1.
5. Brixton Market
This enclave of small retail stores and restaurants offers major bang for your buck. Franco Manca crafts some of the finest pizzas in London, and the margarita pizza on their signature sourdough base costs under £6. Oban, specializing in savory Japanese pancakes, has budget-friendly lunch deals for around £8 with a drink. The best part is that the entire area is covered and each spot has some seating, so no need to worry about standing around and eating in the notorious London rain.
6. Berwick Street Market
Centrally located in the heart of SoHo, this weekday-only market has a large variety of goods on display, from vintage clothing to vinyl records, to some seriously delicious and cheap eats. Jerusalem Falafel is more of a shed than a stall, but they construct some of the best falafel sandwiches in London. Even better? They cost under £5.