Yes, sure, London has more Michelin Star restaurants and celebrity chef restaurants than anywhere else in the UK, but at what cost? Five-star dining ain’t cheap you know, and these venues are often left for those special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and business dinners. Central London’s nightlife capital, Soho, is no exception to the wallet-emptying rule. Which is why we’ve created a list of the best cheap eat restaurants in Soho so you can save money on your meals out, thus saving funds for cocktails later on.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Ma' Plucker brings the best of the deep south to Soho with its home-cooked delights, including three of mamma's secret chicken recipes: fried, rotisserie and pulled. Other delicious options also available, such as Ma's Southern style chicken and biscuits, chicken fried steak, crack & cheese (deep-fried mac and cheese) and more. For dessert, guests can either get stuck into a home-made sweet 'n' salty popcorn, or cornflake and caramel sundae, or, enjoy a slice of all-American pie.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Burgers
BRGR.CO is the burger place to go to when you want to convince any burger-sceptic, a restaurant so devoted to its subject they take customising your meal to new heights. Here you may choose not just what goes on, and with your burger (not to mention how it?s cooked), but also the cut of meat in your patty. Top marks go to The Hanger Steak Brgr, served medium-rare. Leave room for sides ? the decadent Parmesan truffle fries are incredibly addictive and when money?s tight, a plate of these and a ?hard? oreo shake really are all you need.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Korean
Quirky is the only word to describe this little Korean diner. Soho is for the young and we like that its youth hangs from a mural-esque heart on the wall. With the Korean flag hanging proudly at the window, this cheap restaurant is not hard to find; but a wait is inevitable as its popularity precedes its available tables. The best Korean fare in Central London, possibly: Bimbimbap with noodle, salad and rice. Worth a look for the atmosphere and a light or sturdy lunch. All mains cost less than £10, even the raw seasoned beef fillet cooked once it is mixed in a stone bowl. There's also a loyalty card system in place which will ensure repeat visits to one of the cheapest restaurants in Soho.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
This Venetian wine bar or bacaro has proved to be a real Soho gem and has a constant buss about it. Polpo is housed in an 18th century townhouse, which artist Canaletto used to rent. Perhaps in keeping with the artists' simple tastes, wine is served in rustic jugs and poured into tumblers while Venetian small plates are divided on the menu into cicheti, pizzette, breads, meatballs, fish, meat, vegetables and sweet things, everything costing less than £10 per item. These are small plates though and the idea is that you share them. If you succumb to a monster hunger, though, this cheap Soho restaurant will not be so cheap after all.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Vapiano, famed for its wide variety of homemade pizza, pasta and salad dishes already serves 15,000 guests in London each week. Pasta, pizza, antipasti and salads are ordered by customers directly from the Vapiano chefs at individual stations within the restaurant and prepared to order in front of guests (a Vapiano chef can make two different pasta dishes simultaneously and in just three minutes). The restaurant houses 240 covers over two floors and offers a bar, bench tables ideal for large groups and individual tables. Importantly, most dishes come in at less than £10 and the Soho location makes for a great cheap eat catch up with mates in Central London.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Vietnamese
Building on the success of Kêu in Shoreditch, the Soho branch features a simple menu of banh mi, bowls and buns to eat in or take-away. Kêu's unique approach draws on culinary influences from both Vietnam as well as new food styles closer to home. Simple drinks menu featuring milkshakes and smoothies, and Vietnamese coffee. Sake based cocktails such as Fansipan Mountain and Hoan Kiem Lake along with the Vietini. Other drinks include sake and soshu, craft and Vietnamese beer. There is also a small wine selection of two reds, two whites, and a sparkling wine, bottles. All dishes are less than £10 too!
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Lebanese
Yalla Yalla means "Hurry Hurry" which is apt for the bustling Beirut inspired spot, where you will be mentally urging the kitchen to make haste with your dishes. Mezze are super fresh as well as hummus. There are more unusual tit-bits such as velvety chicken livers with garlic and pomegranate, humble root elevated to greatness (this dish was recently including in London's top 100 dishes). Salty and juicy shawarma are served in a bright and brusque dining room, with just 28 seats be prepared to wait; fans of middle eastern food will feel it's definitely worth it.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: South African
Bunnychow, a South African street-food concept in Soho, has a menu that centres on feisty, flavoursome bunnys - freshly baked buns, hollowed out, crammed with delicious hot fillings and topped with a bread lid. Bunnychow has transformed a traditional Durban workers meal with bold recipes and a modern and imaginative twist. Bunnychow has launched a purely South African bunny menu and introduced a range of fresh juice cocktails.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Thai
Now a mini chain with restaurants across London, Busaba stated life out under Alan Yau at this Wardour Street outpost in 1999. Today, it continues to offer refined Thai dishes for a reasonable price in casual surrounds. The low-lit interiors and communal tables might not be to everyone?s taste but the food will keep your bank account healthy, with a host of low-cost small plates, mains average around the £10-11 mark, and great value lunch and early evening set menus.
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