At these joints, you should be able to get a meal incl. an alcoholic bevvy for £40 and under, if you’re dining conservatively
Taiwanese | Lexington St | No Reservations
Style and substance at play at this much hyped Taiwanese small plates joint; the fried chicken bao is a must. x2 steamed buns + small plate + a beer will come in at under 20 quid. The Lexington Street one has a minimalistic aesthetic and is extremely compact, so prepare to queue. However, they do take bookings at their Frith Street branch in the downstairs area. Groups? Nah.
TRY: The Fried Chicken Bao
Meat | Great Windmill St | Reservations
Blacklock is a meat lover’s dream. Stay in budget by opting for a ‘Big Chop’, a side and one of their cocktails for a fiver; or pay a little bit extra and get the ‘All In’ for £20 per person – this gets you all the ‘Skinny Chops’ available on the day, piled on coal flatbread (superb – having drunk up the juices of the meat) + a side each. Good for big groups.
TRY: The Meat. Duh.
French | D’Arblay St | Reservations
Blanchette has x2 posts, one in Soho (the original) and one on Brick Lane that serve up small plates of French food with some N.African influence. Both have a vintage bric a brac feel about them whilst being totally modern. Each one has a casual private dining space. Service for groups can sometimes be a bit old school Paris shall I say, so if you’re after super attentive fast service, go elsewhere. Good for big groups
TRY: The Cheese Beignets with Onion Confit
Seasonal | Dean St | Reservations
If you want big bold flavours, then perhaps skip here but if you’re after simple food served up in an intimate rustic chic space, then you’d be hard pushed to find better. For vibes, sit upstairs. Fine for small groups.
TRY: What’s On (Seasonal)
Fancy Kebabs | Soho | Reservations
Le Bab is in Kingly Court in Carnaby, so if you get weary from all the shopping and need a spot to refuel, I’d highly recommend this place. Much attention is placed on getting the very best produce and they cater for vegans too. The space? Modern and bright with pretty blue tiled walls (though it can feel a little cramped when full).
TRY: The Chicken Shish + Double Cooked Fries with Fondue.
Israeli | Soho | No Reservations
This Israeli small plates joint serves super fresh and tasty produce. There’s nothing to dislike on the menu. Highlights: baba ghanoush, seafood medley, the bread – all heavenly. If you’re after buzzy vibes, you’ll get it in abundance here. The core of the restaurant is the made up of the bar, so best for pairs (non-reservable); there is a small dining space at the back where you can book for small groups.
Italian | Soho | No Reservations
This upscale canteen is always heaving. For the level it’s aiming at, it’s very decent fare with a mix of dessert, salad + pizza bar + a hot section at the back. Get yourself a hearty aubergine parmigiana for c.£8, a small salad for c.£5 and a drink, all for under £20. You may have to prop yourself up at one of the standing tables but a communal table usually comes available fairly quickly. OR book a spot in the restaurant bit. OK for small groups.
TRY: The Hot Dishes + Desserts