London is a gastronomic city. Most of the world’s best chefs have a restaurant or two in city. Yet, as you are most likely well aware, London is a not cheap place to travel or dine in. Here on David’s Been Here we already made a list of 10 ways students can experience London on a budget.
In this post we look at three ways to eat out on a budget while still taking advantage of the city’s great food culture. From food markets, to taking advantage of a three Michelin restaurant, and even at the airports, if you know where to look you will never be far from a truly great meal.
Food markets are as much a part of British culture as our European cousins and when it comes to affordable food they are a great place to eat. Some markets are open all day while others don’t start until the shadows start getting longer. No matter what your culinary preferences are they will be something for you.
Popular London blog Londonist made a list of the 8 great markets in the city. All these markets have a great vibe and are a superb way to meet up with friends or meet fellow travelers and food lovers. The Southbank Centre Market with its many stalls offering international cuisine is located right on the Thames and is the prefect place to finish a day of sightseeing, or start a night of partying.
Set Lunch Menus
London is full of restaurants by the world’s best chefs. Unfortunately these are not cheap. If you want to try food created by a famous chef without breaking into a sweat when you get the bill, we recommend visiting the establishments during their lunch service. Not only will have more chance of getting a table in some of London’s most popular restaurants, but the set menus are often much more reasonably priced than ordering a la carte.
For example, food blog Hot Dinners made a list of the best London restaurants with set lunch deals and included on the list is the three-Michelin restaurant Alain Duccase at the Dorchester. Visiting London should be special no matter what your budget is and this is the most affordable way to experience the city’s famed gastronomic scene.
Celebrity Chef Airport Cuisine
Airplane food may have a rotten reputation but there is no arguing that airports have become mini gastronomic meccas. London’s two major airports, Gatwick and Heathrow, feature restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Heston Blumenthal. These are especially good for travelers looking for quick taste of what these great chefs have to offer while they wait for their plane.
Ramsay and Blumenthal both have restaurants at Heathrow airport while British newspaper the Evening Standard reported that Jamie Oliver opened several restaurants in Gatwick as part of a £1.2bn ($1.5bn) upgrade of the airport.
Gatwick’s upgrade will be completed in 2019. The north terminal, train station and parking services will all be improved adding to the services that are already available. According to parking company, Parking4Less who list the many provisions available at Gatwick which include special parking, valet parking, long and short stay parking, these already offer travelers an abundance of hassle-free options. These convenient services only replicate the way the airport is trying to promote easy to access restaurants, retail stores and lounges to people flying in and out of Gatwick. The fact that London’s airports are now home to the UK’s biggest chefs shows how important the UK’s culinary scene has become to its heritage, and Gatwick is making it that bit more accessible.
So there you have it. There is no excuse to go to London and not have a great meal whatever your budget is. If you are visiting soon, we hope you use these tips to have a memorable meal.