The Best £10 Meals In London

Great London meals that cost a tenner or less.
The Best £10 Meals In London image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

London is an extortionate city and that’s before you order a mortgage-worthy pint to drown your sorrows. Thankfully, there are lots of brilliant (and brilliant-value) restaurants to eat in across the entirety of the city. Plates of food that are flavourful and filling, and won’t have you forking out more than £10. 


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



$$$$Perfect For:Catching Up With MatesLunchDining SoloCasual Weeknight DinnerQuick EatsKeeping It Kind Of Healthy
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Falafel or cauliflower pita

The Israeli pita chain’s Soho outpost is a very good spot for an in-and-out lunch or dinner that doesn’t break the bank. There are all manner of zany combinations on the menu (spag bol a la pita, for example) but it’s the classic falafel or, even better, the roasted cauliflower that we devour most. Charred, blackened, but with that sweet and nutty flavour of caramelisation. Stick it in a saucy pita with tomato and pickles, and you’ve got a dream combination.

Any main meal 

Blankita’s faintly makeshift-looking structure on the corner of Seven Sisters Market is almost always full of hunched shoulders and satisfied bellies. The homely Colombian spot serves empanadas, escalope, stews, and more—but most often we find ourselves cutting into gently cooked meat with rice and plantain, with frijoles on the side for good measure.

Mini thali 

The cash-only vegetarian Gujarati restaurant in Wembley has a social club feel to it, with family and friends eager to pile in for wafer-thin roti and comforting curries. A shimmering silver mini thali tray—made up of three ghee-laden roti, a choice of one curry of the day, rice, and daal—is a generous, nourishing lunch or dinner for anyone. 

3-item meze meal

A local’s favourite in Peckham, the Persian deli-cum-restaurant feels like a home away from home, rain or shine. Its mezze platters—where a single Cheetoz (an Iranian Wotsit) stands like a proud monument—are a must. You can choose from three hot or cold dishes, from grilled halloumi slathered in honey to all manner of hummus, and it comes with hot bread straight from the tandoor.

Wonton noodle soup

With a tenner in your pocket and rumbling stomach, the conclusion is almost always found in Chinatown’s most brusque and legendary Cantonese staple. There’s a wealth of choice with a single £10 note at Wong Kei but it’s the scalding wonton noodle soup we tend to turn to. This isn’t the most deeply flavoured soup and nor are the noodles as elastic as hand-pulled establishments. But the wontons are stuffed with minced prawn, the addition of crispy pork belly is essential, and with a spoonful of Wong Kei’s chilli oil, you have one of London’s great good-value meals.


It’s impossible to argue with an expertly made Neapolitan pizza and this comfortable Peckham Rye pizzeria does just that. The crusts are thick and chewy, the sauce both sweet and savoury, and the base has that all-important hint of char. A margherita at 081 will set you back a tenner and it’s worth every penny.


This Mexican kiosk, set among the gardens and gravestones of St John at Hackney church, slings excellent breakfast burritos, plus hearty egg, bacon, and hash brown tacos. Bad Manners' barbacoa tacos are worth sitting down with if London weather is playing ball, otherwise get a foil-wrapped breakfast to go. The burrito—tortilla-swaddled scrambled eggs, sausage, hash brown, American cheese, and salsa roja—is no joke. When it’s this good, it’s easy to believe that breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

Large meal

There’s much to love about this little Caribbean spot off Peckham High Street, from the mischievous twinkle in the eyes of its staff to the irresistible smokiness of its jerk pork. A large meal here (which translates to a Tupperware-cum-trough) will cost a tenner. The chicken is tender with a hint of char and on its best days, the jerk sauce combines the sweetness of BBQ with a serious hit of scotch bonnet.

Large takeaway box

Our go-to order at this small, bright red cafe in Paddington is a large chicken rice box, which is filled with minced lamb, plenty of shredded chicken, sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, and grilled aubergine, plus a couple of the cold salads. Which by the way are far more than a couple of tomatoes and some limp lettuce—they’ve got couscous, bean salads, a creamy potato number, and plenty more. It’s the kind of food you watch an overachiever meal-prep on FitTok. It’s a little over a tenner if you choose to eat in, so we like to get our takeaway box and sit by the canal.

Mixed mezze

Open from 10am until 10pm, Falafel & Shawarma in Camberwell is a place for the people. The people being, everyone. The Lebanese spot isn’t somewhere you stay for a long time but it always guarantees a good meal. Fluffy rice is paired with moreish chicken shawarma, dollops of hummus, spiced potatoes and more. A box can be as big or small as you want it to be, but here your cash is always guaranteed to go far.

Combo meal

​​This homely Caribbean restaurant on Electric Avenue in Brixton is a go-to for reasons that quickly become obvious. You can see everyone cooking up huge batches of curried goat or jerk sauce in the back, trays of freshly baked patties come out like clockwork, and generous portions of lunch or dinner are brought to you on a plate for just under £10 if you decide to eat in. 

Chicken tikka naan

For all of London’s extortionate living expenses and heinous overpricing, there are still unbelievably delicious bargains to be had for a few quid. Take this chicken tikka from Shalamar, just off the Whitechapel Road. The Pakistani canteen-style restaurant is low-key in every way apart from flavour. The chicken tikka—which is under a fiver—is sensational. The kebab is juicy to the point of the meat falling apart under half-arsed fork pressure, while being charred on the edges and purring with chilli powder and turmeric.

Large jerk chicken box

Win, loss, or draw—you’ll find some Arsenal fans looking for satisfaction around The Tastebox’s smoking drum. The Caribbean takeaway spot at the top of Gillespie Road makes some of north London’s smokiest jerk and it’s an excellent meal pre or post match, or any day of the week for that matter. Oxtail stew and curry chicken are always nourishing boxes to get into and, if you’re lucky, you might be able to grab one of the seats outside. More often than not they’re for regulars though—so you might want to put some hours in first.

Yogurtlu paca

There is no wintry situation that a soup or stew from Haringey Corbacisi, a no-menu Turkish spot in Harringay, won’t solve. Wander up to their counter to see what’s on offer but, if in doubt, go for the yogurtlu paca. It’s a lamb and yoghurt soup made up of gently stewed meat, an unsociable amount of garlic, and almost as much butter as Nigella Lawson puts on her toast. The pickles and warm bread that come with it are welcome too, as is everything about this comfortable, low-key restaurant.

Beef stew

The daytime Vietnamese cafe in Camberwell is a favourite among locals seeking hearty nourishment and, on weekends-only, phở with an aromatic broth that’s been tended to like a moving Tamagotchi owner. Midweek, it’s all about the beef stew though. Viscous and fragrant, it’s the colour of the ground at wetter Glastonburys past and the beef is ludicrously feeble. Combined with a handful of gently cooked carrots and dolloped onto a bed of steamed rice, it’s a delicious and almost school-like plate of food. Made for shovelling and spooning.


There are few things more exciting than 40 Maltby Street’s weekly-changing sandwiches. These are doorstop sandwiches of the most Costco variety. The hunking combinations range from coronation pheasant, to homemade fish fingers smothered in tartare and brown shrimps, to cauliflower cheese croquettes with hot sauce, and more. All layered between the Bermondsey spot's hard crusted but perfectly springy and moist focaccia. A half will probably sate you but a whole one may well see you skip dinner.

Duubi and bariis

A Somali feast this good cannot be ignored. The lamb shank from Brother’s Cafe doesn’t need much help falling off the bone. Its proximity to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium means that collapsing is in its very DNA. But the vital point of difference between these two destinations in N17 is that Brothers is actually worth travelling for. The lamb and rice are both fragrantly spiced, mixing star anise with turmeric and cinnamon with melt-in-your-mouth fat. Throw in some basbaas—a sharp Somali chilli sauce—and you have an enormous meal that’s easily fit for two people. Or one that likes a second dinner.

Ham, egg, and chips

Ham. Egg. Chips. Three of our favourite words in the English language. Norman’s version of it is unsurprisingly excellent. The Tufnell Park cafe prides itself on faultless, high-quality plates of British breakfast and lunch classics. Plates of food and white bread sandwiches that make you wistful for the playground, with the occasional slice of red Leicester thrown in. As far as ham, egg, and chips go, this one is almost faultless. Thick, salty gammon of the delicious rather than offensive variety; superlative fat chips all crisp and fluffy, begging to be doused with Sarsons; and runny eggs, yolk positively akimbo.

Roti beef rendang

Of all Normah’s delightful dishes, the one that sends us into perfect content silence—and convinces us that it’s not the end of the world if the brown sauce gets on our white trousers—is the roti beef rendang. Arriving in a small bowl filled to the brim with a thick beef stew, topped with crispy onion, and fully covered by two pieces of flaky and lightly charred roti, this braised beef curry is wholesome and comforting. Scooped up with the thick, layered roti makes for perfect bites. The homely Malaysian spot in Queensway is a regular go-to.


This little Italian deli and restaurant is in a quiet bit of Islington between the Essex Road and Upper Street, but nothing about this old-school restaurant is particularly quiet. The staff are joyful, there are bright Fellini posters and Ferrari flags on the wall, and the pizza is something to shout about. Yes, the pie topped with speck and shavings of grana padano is crisp and salty and all the things you want a pizza to be. But sometimes you just can’t beat gooey, expertly formed, blink and it’s gone, margherita.

Falafel pita

There are many things to like about Balady’s location in Farringdon, like its grab-and-go convenience, and order station that demands decisiveness. Of course our favourite thing about it is their falafel: crisp and fresh out the fryer, it’s fluffy inside, steaming with green herbiness and spices, all of which cry out for the combination of fruity amba, punchy zhug, and cooling tahini that lines their soft pittas. That will always be the #1 appeal, closely followed by their fantastic hand-cut chips.

Jerk chicken sandwich

One of Hackney's best sandwiches is this sporadically present jerk chicken one. The meat from a freshly grilled leg is methodically pulled off by Otis—the world’s most laconic and considered grill master—and its crisp blackened skin carefully removed with peking duck-like precision. All of this is put between two thick wholemeal slices and topped with careful ladles of fragrant and spiced gravy with carrots, onions, and cabbage knocking about in there as well. It’s available Wednesday to Saturday or, as Otis will tell you, “whenever I feel like getting out of bed”.

Pork and chicken bánh mì

Hai Cafe makes one of London’s finest bánh mìs. This little arm’s length-wide Vietnamese spot in Lower Clapton heftily fills its short baguettes with a combination of spiced pork belly and lemongrass chicken, an intriguing—and wholly delicious—crushed black sesame seed spread, plus pickled bits, green chilli, a slice of head cheese, and, of course, crispy shallots. The pork belly in its classic sandwich is bolshy: caramelised chunks that will undoubtedly fall onto your lap before being transferred deftly into your mouth.

Mixed starters with bread

There’s no point denying our love of bread. One of our favourite breads is from Patogh, an old-school Persian favourite in W1. Their bread is slapped inside the walls of a clay oven, baked and blistered, then arrives at your table still warm, which is the kind of thing that makes our heart start beating a little faster. Made to be torn and dipped and scooped with their shallot yoghurt, houmous, and crunchy shirazi salad—it’s a faultless meal.

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