Step away from the raw macaroni! If you’re feeling the pinch, financially, this month, take Eddy Frankel and Phoebe Trimingham’s advice and get your hands on these tasty snacks, each for less than £3.
Chicken floss bun (above), Chinatown Bakery
‘Chicken floss’ sounds like the world’s worst ever dental hygiene idea, but luckily here we’re talking about a fluffy, freshly baked roll of Chinese bread, topped with spring onions, and filled with ultra-fine minced chicken. The bread is sweet, while the filling is savoury and gooey. It doesn’t make sense that it costs just £1.70, it just doesn’t.
Gozleme, Evin Café
These huge, pimped-up pancakes put our drab Shrove Tuesday efforts to shame. At around £2.50 each and filled with cheese, meat, or spinach (or all of the above) they’re filling, cheap and warming. In your face, Boots meal deal! Stroll down Green Lanes or Kingsland Road and see the dough being freshly made in Turkish shop windows. Then head to Evin Cafe for the best spinach-and-cheese gözleme on the strip.
Meat pie, M Manze
Meat? Good. Pastry? Good. Gravy? Good. The looming threat of eels? Not so good. Don’t panic, at M Manze pie and mash shop in Peckham you can slip straight past those hot jellied bastards and order a delicious meat pie free of all underwater lizards. The pies are generously filled, amazingly cheap (£1.75!) and served by a lovely lady in a green uniform. For a few quid more you can get it with mash and saucy liquor.
Chicken tikka roll, Shalamar Kebab House
It’s not a kebab, all right? It’s a ‘roll.’ So it’s healthy. Kind of. This gem of an Indian takeaway in Whitechapel will whip you up a tikka storm in a warm naan bread for just £3. It’s spicy, meaty and carb-tastic, and considering the average price of a London burrito or burger, ordering one of these is basically theft. Delicious theft.
Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, Beigel Bake
Shalom, friends, and welcome to one of London’s favourite cheap eats. The bagel shops on Brick Lane have been boiling dough for decades, and though the salt beef concoction is a classic, nothing comes close to the salmon and cream cheese bagel (£1.60). So be a mensch and get down to Brick Lane for a proper nosh.
This flatbread pizza, topped with spicy minced lamb, finely chopped onion, tomatoes and parsley, is available all over Dalston and Harringay. Fresh out of the oven and rolled up with salad and lemon juice, it’s an incredible, healthy, quick lunch, and shockingly cheap. Two pounds is the standard price for a wrapped lahmacun around town, but at Antepliler on Green Lanes (our fave) you can get two plain ones for the same price.
Photography by Scott Chasserot
Devour our list of 100 best cheap eats in London for more options.