9 Cheap Meals (With Booze) You Can Have In London For Under £10
The Debrief: Again, that's WITH alcoholic drinks included in the price tag
Illustrations by Jacky Sheridan
Finding yourself a bit cash-strapped this summer what with all the festivalling, holidaying, day drinking and summer clothes buying? Us too. But! Fear not. That doesn't mean you have to cut back on doing what you love doing best; going out for dinner. We've scoured our capital city for nine of the best super cheap sit-in meals that you can have which involve booze too (because if we're honest that's the bit that ends up costing us the most). Anyways, read, enjoy and go and stuff your face.
1. Maloko, Camberwell
Cameroonian Maloko is pretty low key and it's only got one thing on the menu; galettes. These buckwheat pancake things are super filling (one is totally enough) and they range from £3 for one made with cheese and herbs to a (gasp) break the bank £6 price tag for one made with chesnut mushrooms, cheese, sweet potato, asparagus and spinach. It's a lovely little space to sit in during the day or evening and it's BYOB. With prices like this you can even afford that £6.99 bottle of Casillero El Diablo from the corner shop two doors down.
2. Herman Ze German
Hey, if burgers can be fancy now then so can hot dogs. Started by two German chaps, this cult place now boast three locations in Charing Cross, Fitzrovia and Soho. All their 'wursts' (sexy German sausages in a bun) are under £6, or you could opt for the curry wurst and pomme frites for £5.95. Treat yourself to a half pint of Helles Paulaner too for £2.75.
3. Franco Manca
If you've lived in London for any amount of time you know about the cult wunderkind of the pizza world that is Franco Manca. Now in 13 locations around London (with two more on the way), it's come a long way from it's humble Brixton Market beginnings. Obviously the pizza's fucking ace. Even the cheapest one (a tomato, garlic and oregano number for £4.50) will be way up there on the list of best pizzas you've ever had. Plus, you can get a glass of house red, white or rose for £3.50.
4. Mama Lan
Another Brixton Market success story is Mama Lan, serving so much Beijing street food out of it's supper club origins, that it graduated to Brixton Market and then speedily added it's newer second venue in Clapham. Pick yourself up some of their dumplings. The king prawn and Chinese Water Chestnut dumplings (you get five of them) are £6.50 and a Tsing Tao beer for £3.50.
5. Pizza Union
Another pizza hero on the food scene, Pizza Union is what happens when Wagamamas meets Vapiano. Canteen style tables are half the fun, the other half is the buzzer-style ordering system (order at the bar, get given a buzzer that tells you when your order's ready, little things amuse us). There's two in London now; in Spitalfields and Kings Cross and you can pick up a margherita pizza for £3.95 and a glass of wine for £3.
6. Mien Tay
Cult Vietnamese restaurant Mien Tay is as cheap and cheerful as it comes across it's two locations in Shoreditch and Battersea. Fast service, polite staff and a reassuring amount of fellow diners whatever time of day you pop in, grab yourself the Mixed Vegetable Chow Mein (noodles and toppings in one dish - clever that) for £6.50 and a glass of the dead classy sounding Alamos Mendoza Chardonnay for £3.25
7. Benito's Hat
So long Chipotle! Head instead to the (admittedly only slightly cheaper) Benito's Hat for your burrito needs. There's a whole bunch of the restaurants around Central London and most of them are a pretty pleasant and cheery place to sit in. Grab yourself a chicken burrito for £6.10 and then a bottle of Modelo Mexican beer for £3.75.
8. Good Evenings @ Pret a Manger
As skeptical as you might be about a sandwich shop turning into a posh evening eatery, let me assure you that Pret's restaurant style after-hours store on The Strand is actually pretty fancy. There's a lady greeting and seating you and the meals (some of which are actually different to the day menus) are served to your table in nice fancy dishes rather than non-fancy cardboard boxes. Even better, it serves booze! A sweet potato and cauliflower curry will set you back £5.95 while a glass of pinot blanc will cost you £3.95.
9. Bunny Chow
My favourite fact about Bunny Chow is that the concept for their food came about in South Africa in the 1940's when Indian migrant workers invented the little loaf bowl as a holder for their curries so they could take it to work with them. At Bunny Chow you can choose from four different fillings for your little loafs and they're all a fiver each. The best part though? There's three cocktails to choose from for £4 each. Our tip is the Green Mamba which has gin, cucumber, mint, lime, elderflower and juniper berries in.
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Illustrations by Jacky Sheridan
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