The best cheap student restaurants in London


It is estimated that there are over 20,000 restaurants in London. You can eat food from pretty much any country in the world, as well as traditional British food. 

When you are learning English in London you may be worried that the food will be expensive, particularly if you are booked onto a long course. 

Many students keep costs down when they learn English in London by cooking their own meals with a host family, or in their student residence which will always have good cooking facilities.

However, trying local restaurants and discovering local food is all part of the overall experience when you learn English abroad.

It is very possible to find wonderful, tasty food in London at affordable prices. ‘Cheap eats’ are something that students from around the world are very good at finding and sharing.

Here we have made a list of some of the best cheap student restaurants in London for you to try.

Check out these cheap student restaurants in London before you book your English course

Take a look at these amazing cheap restaurants in central London. They will serve you great tasting but also cheap food while you complete your English language course in London.

These are some of the best cheap restaurants where students love to go time and time again. Some are almost secrets to the London student population! 

Young Vegans, Camden

One of east London’s most famous traditional foods is ‘Pie & Mash’ which is simply a meat pie with mashed potato and a sauce that can be beef gravy or liqueur (a parsley sauce). 

This amazing and cheap restaurant is a twenty-first-century update of a pie and mash as everything they sell is meat-free. Found in a corner of the very famous Camden Market.

Young Vegans offer an amazing variety of meat-free pies such as katsu curry, ‘steak’ and ale, or the vegan cheeseburger with sweet tomato relish & gherkins. 

Their pies are a bargain alone, or you can get a pie and a piece of New York cheesecake for only £10. 

The restaurant can get really busy on weekends but it is well worth a visit whether you are a vegan or not!

Bao & Bing, Marylebone

This is a fashionable but cheap Taiwanese street food restaurant and cocktail bar. If you have never tasted Vietnamese food then you just have to try the fluffy little buns that everyone’s heard of when you learn English in London.

Try the five-spice beef buns….amazing!. The ‘bing’ part of the restaurant’s name comes from ‘dan bing’ – this is a kind of Taiwanese breakfast burrito filled with delicious crunchy cabbage, spring onion and whatever meat or additional veg you want to add. 

Vietnamese food is known for being good value (as well as super tasty) so when looking for cheap student restaurants in London, this is perfect.

Bao & Bing also features what are called ‘xiao’ small plates (pronounced like ‘Sheoooww’) and also be sure to try their fun desserts like ‘wheelcakes’ – these resemble big English muffins but come oozing custardy filling. 

Yalla Yalla, Fitzrovia

This restaurant is popular with students learning English in London. It has a cosy atmosphere and really friendly service, but the main reason people visit is for the terrific food.

It is a great chance for you to try Beirut street food if you have never had the pleasure. Lunchtimes at this cheap student restaurant get super-busy as crowds arrive to buy takeaway wraps to eat back at school (or back at the office)

It may also be possible to eat your delicious food at one of the long tables inside if you are lucky and go for the all-day line-up of mezze – a variety of arabic dishes for you to sample on one plate, together with some Arabic bread, olives and torshi (these are pickles) on the side.

Many people visit this cheap restaurant also to enjoy a cup of refreshing mint tea.

Chik’n, Baker Street

This place is definitely NOT your average chicken shop and very popular with students learning English in London. 

This cheap place has colourful wood-panelled places to eat and is found on Baker Street. It is actually a fast food and casual sister-restaurant to a more posh establishment called Chik ‘n’ Sours. 

If you learn English in London then please come here for your KFC (in this case it stands for Korean Fried Chicken rather than the greasy and tasteless mass-produced rubbish as a rather famous chicken fast food outlet!)

Students will be seen queuing and ordering at the counter to get this high quality chicken at really good prices. 

Their ‘Straight Up Chik’n’ is a cheap crisp-battered chicken fillet topped with a tasty herb mayo and pickle. There are more things to try and also be aware that most dishes can be made with vegan chik’n if you want to avoid meat entirely.

Machiya, Leicester Square

A ‘Machiya’ is a traditional wooden townhouse found throughout Japan and typified in the historical capital of Kyoto.

Imagine yourself trying amazing and cheap Japanese food in a traditional wooden ‘machiya’ townhouse when you visit this Japanese eatery.

This restaurant is great for students looking to try traditional Japanese food at a cheap price, as some Japanese restaurants can be quite expensive in London. 

Why not visit and try the donburi rice bowls, the tonkatsu or a traditional Japanese curry (these are rarely spicy as Japanese people like mild curries) 

Please be aware that they don’t take any bookings so good luck with our visit and perhaps you can go after your English language class and when it is less busy. People will use it a lot around normal lunchtime (12-2pm) and when workers finish after 5pm.

Kintan, Regent Street

This restaurant is on famous Regent Street but is a great place for Japanese food and is great value. If you are looking to try Korean food and want a cheaper option then Kintan is perfect.

Eating here is all about getting messy! It is described as a ‘bargain-priced Japanese yakiniku restaurant’ and can be found (if you look hard enough!) in a basement off Oxford Circus near the tube station. 

At each table you will see thick cooking grills (similar to Korean BBQ restaurants) and you just have to choose what meat (or vegetables) you want to BBQ and do it yourself.

The pre-marinated spicy pork is one of the most popular choices. Lots of students learning English go here for a big feed at a cheap price. The splash-proof menus have red-sticker deals, and this cheap student restaurant has daily happy hours for you to get very full for very little cost!

Arancini Brothers Factory Cafe

The brothers started by creating ‘pop-up’ restaurants at markets and events and became so popular (because of the amazing taste and cheap cost of their menu) that they created their first permanent location in Kentish Town.

It is a retro cafe that is cluttered with boxes of fresh produce and with amazing food coming from the open kitchen at the back. 

The food served is all vegan. You can try the deep-fried arancini (risotto rice balls served plain or stuffed into tortilla wraps), vegan burgers, salad boxes and delicious hot stews. 

This is also known as a BYOB restaurant (Bring Your Own Booze) which can be another great way for students learning English in London to have amazing food for a cheap price.

Herman ze German, Soho

When you are in London for your English language course, it is a great idea to try new foods from Europe that you might not have experienced before.

Have you ever eaten German food? If you are a big eater or very hungry then German food is perfect for you. This restaurant is great but also cheap.

The restaurant is a log cabin style place in fashionable Soho and the main reason students visit here is for Herman’s wursts which are all imported from the Black Forest area in northern Germany.

If you like sausages then this is the place for you! What you get here is simply sausages in a crusty roll, but these are some of the juiciest found in the whole of London. 

Ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are free, and you can also buy sauerkraut, BBQ sauce or add jalapeños. 

If you are not after a sausage then try Herman’s schnitzels. You will leave full and not have spent so much as this is a really cheap student restaurant.

What the Pitta Camden

As the name suggests, this is the second restaurant we are suggesting for international students looking for great but also cheap restaurants when they learn English in London.

It was only a matter of time before kebabs got the vegan treatment, and What the Pitta! is perfect for students looking for a kebab experience without the meat!

Tasty nuggets of marinated soya come packed into thin, floury home-baked flatbread with crunchy salad, soya yoghurt, tzatziki and hummus. You can also choose a falafel wrap or a couscous box. 

One great thing is the lunchtime deal for oly £10.

Soho Joe

We think that this amazing pizza restaurant in Soho is probably the only cheap pizza joint in London with serious quality (as opposed to mass-produced pizza brands found on most London high streets).

Soho Joe is the kind of place that feels romantic and candle-lit even when it actually isn’t. The atmosphere is warm and the staff friendly. It really is a favourite for international students learning English in London who are looking for a cheap but great pizza experience.

There is a great range of toppings for you to choose with thick pizza crust or thin crust if you prefer. You can also order a tasty pasta, a warm salad, a club sandwich or even a burger but we strongly suggest you try their pizza for a great taste and even better value.

Have you enjoyed learning about some amazing restaurants in London which are also really affordable?

Cheap fish and chips restaurant in London

Why not visit all 10! To do that you can book your English course and live in the city and experience this amazingly tasty and cheap food for yourself. If you decide to learn english in England’s capital city of London, then make sure to check out Londinium School of English 

Every one of these amazing and cheap restaurants is within just 3-miles of the school.

Londinium teaches using the very effective Callan Method, which is a fast and effective system focused on speaking the English language. Schools in over 30 different countries use this Callan Method, and it has helped millions of young people around the world to communicate really well in English.

A course with Londinium will help your English and maybe allow you to try a dish from each of the 10 amazing cheap restaurants in this article.

Londinium School of English Ltd, registered as Ltd company in England and Wales under company number: 11449405. Registered Company Address: Suite 3 Barkat House, 116/118 Finchley Road, London, England, NW3 5HT

Learn to speak
English quickly!

OFF General English Courses