The best budget menus at London restaurants

With the cost-of-living crisis affecting all areas of life, and restaurants in need of support more than ever, we’ve brought together the best London set menus, be they lunches or dinners available, for under £45.

From an affordable steak frites meal to £10 wine and pasta in Peckham, there are so many deals to be had. So don’t let date nights or meals out with friends be a thing of a past. Explore some of our bargain budget menu suggestions below…

The best budget menus at London restaurants

The best menu deals under £45

The Ninth
Fitzrovia

At this smart and understated restaurant on Charlotte Street chef Jun Tanaka’s focus is Mediterranean-style cooking, but with the refinement dial turned to 10. The lunch menu, at £28 for two courses, is amazing value. Dishes might include a tomato tonnato or homemade tortellini starter followed by succulent grilled poussin or a harissa roasted cauliflower main. This is expert treatment of the best seasonal ingredients. For just £4 more you can add a dessert and, if The Ninth’s famous pain perdu is anything to go by, it’s really worth doing that.

The Ninth

Maison Francois
St James’s

Maison Francois is a classy French bistro and a lovely place to while away a couple of hours. This January they’re offering diners a top-quality lunch for just £15 a head, with a range of French classics including steak frites, moules-frites and saucisse lentils all on the menu. For the sweet-toothed, the restaurant will also be offering glass of champagne and a treat from the dessert trolley for the same price – the perfect energy booster after a day spent shopping in the January sales.

Dessert trolly

Joia
Battersea

Atop the art’otel opposite Battersea Power Station sits Joia, a Portuguese restaurant in which you not only get a killer view out westwards across the river, but you can also enjoy a three-course set lunch menu on Fridays for £45. Portions of each course are sizeable, and diners can choose from an octopus salad or wild mushroom soup to start, followed by classic arroz de marisco (rice with red prawns, mussels and razor clams) or feijoada (a bean dish served with exotic mushrooms and coriander). To finish, a melting basque cheesecake or rhubarb with white port sorbet hits the spot for those who want rich and indulgent or fresh and invigorating. Well worth a visit.

Joia

En Root
Clapham and Peckham

En Root’s special lunchtime deal includes delicious coconut curry, golden rice, a daily changing dhal and rainbow salad: a slap-up lunch for the almost impossible-seeming price of a fiver. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere and old-school vegetarian restaurant vibes.

Flat Iron
Covent Garden, Waterloo, Marleybone, London Bridge, Spitalfields, Kings Cross

Famous for their eponymous ‘flat iron’ steak – taken from the featherblade and known for its tenderness – Flat Iron still serves up its trademark cut for only £14 at all of its sites, despite rising costs. Add sides including beef dripping chips and crispy bone marrow garlic mash for £4. Soft-serve ice cream for dessert seals the deal, and is complimentary. That’s three dishes for under £20: ker-ching.


Bocca di Lupo

Soho

At Jacob Kenedy’s Soho restaurant you can enjoy a menu of top quality Italian dishes with change from a twenty. Bocca di Lupo offers a brilliant value daily lunch and pre-theatre deal: £15 for a starter and main, with the option to include a dessert and coffee for an additional £6. The menu changes each week, but flavours are always simple and comforting with options like cacio e pepe or gricia rigatoni.

Bocca

Pahli Hill
Fitzrovia

Pahli Hill in London’s Fitzrovia offers a set lunch menu Tuesday through Saturday of exceptional value. You can get two courses for £25, with the option to opt for a meat or vegetarian thali as your main course, which includes (breathe): stir-fried spring green beans, ridged courgette kofta, paneer, papad and pickle. Fans of Indian food will be in heaven.

Pali Hill

Riding House Café
Bloomsbury

This January at the Riding House Bloomsbury, you can enjoy a three course meal for £19.50 for groups of up to eight guests. Mains might include minute steak, fried egg and salsa verde, with sticky toffee brioche doughnuts on offer for dessert. Say no more…

Brasserie Zedel
Piccadilly

In the vein of a Parisian bouillon, the ‘Prix Fixe’ menu at Brasserie Zedel in London’s Sherwood Street is just £13 for two courses, or £17.25 for three. That’s a vegetarian starter; steak, chips, and peppercorn sauce; and a caramel tart, with change from a £20. You can’t say fairer than that, mon chérie…

Noble Rot
Soho and Bloomsbury

The seasonal changing set lunch menu at Noble Rot will set you back only £18 for two courses or £22 for three. This restaurant has become a staunch favourite of Londoners, impressing as much with its chic interiors as the standard of the simple and refined cooking. Book ahead!

Noble Rot

Hawksmoor
Air Street, Borough, Canary Wharf, Guildhall, Knightsbridge, Seven Dials, Spitalfields, Wood Wharf

Enjoy a prime steak and a side at Hawksmoor for just £19.50. Available in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh too, at lunch and in the early evening. Check your local restaurant for the times this menu is available.

Social Eating House
Soho

Paul Hood opened Social Eating House in April 2013 and was awarded a Michelin star six months later, which tells you all you need to know! The restaurant’s prix fixe menu starts at two courses for £29.50, with dishes such as Cornish pollock, sweetcorn and mussels mouclade, or braised pork collar, squash and French beans to choose from. Desserts are well worth saving room for.

Dessert

Rick Stein
Barnes

With a set lunch menu for £17.50, Rick Stein’s Barnes outpost offers much to be enjoyed. A choice of top-quality fish is always on offer, and the menu might include clam chowder, smoked haddock with new potatoes or a tamarind and aubergine stew for vegetarians.

For thrifty recipes and menu planning idea, check out our budget collection.

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