Best cheap eats in central London

Want some of the best street food on the go? Or discover the insider gems where lunch is less than £20? Where vegans are welcomed? Behold these must-visits…

Island Poke, Broadgate Circle
Best buy: House bowl, £8.75

Bringing the taste of Hawaii to a corner of London is the ever-welcoming team at Island Poke. Yes, you can build your own but why mess with perfection? With an ever-changing menu of seasonal delights, you need to try the Classic Ahi: sushi rice with pineapple chilli salsa, wakame seaweed, crispy shallots, spring onion and sesame seeds. Yum!

Beers & Buns, Exchange Square
Best buy: Chashu Pork Belly with braised red cabbage and mustard mayo bun, £4.25
This is a can't-miss destination for soft, fluffy hirata buns. From £4.25 each or £7.95 for any two, it's a transport to another world with fillings including chicken karaage with Japanese yuzu koshu slaw and veggie halloumi katsu with arugula salad tossed in lemon dressing harissa mayo. With 10 incredible fillings, order chicken wings, sweet potato fries and wash down with a Japanese craft beer. 

Sub Cult, Exchange Square
Serving their original recipes of US-inspired subs from The Soul Roller van, Sub Cult founders Ben Chancellor and Gareth ‘Gaz’ Phillip serve heavenly sandwiches made with love. For £7, indulge in a Veggie work of art: Griddled Woodland Mushroom, Roast Garlic, Thyme, Truffle Mayo and Stilton. 

Franco Manca, Broadgate Circle
Best buy: Tomato, mozzarella & basil, £6.55

We’ve tried a lot of sourdough pizza and can attest that Franco Manca are just one of the best. Bringing the flavour of Neapolitan knowhow to London mixed with draft pale ales and salads inspired by southern Italy, embrace the Franco.  

Pasta Bar London, Broadgate Circle
Best buy: Tomato and Fresh Basil Orechiette, £5.80

Bringing freshly made pasta to the lunch masses, Pasta Bar London hits the carb spot when nothing else will do. Marrying fresh, seasonal sauces inspired by traditional Italian cooking with light-as-air pasta, they know their stuff. 

Aubaine, Broadgate Circle
Best buy: Prix fixe menu – two courses for £17

With starters including octopus carpaccio with cucumber and chilli brunoise, lemon dressing, micro basil and mains that feature seabream with mussels, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes and saffron broth, Aubaine is the thinking night out. Available Monday to Friday from 12pm, the menu also changes frequently with the season. 

Shoryu Ramen, Broadgate Circle
Best buy: Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu, £11.90
Sometimes only noodles will do. Whether fighting off a winter cold or just in need of real comfort, Shoryu Ramen's rich 12-hour pork broth and ramen comes topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger and nori seaweed. Now that's good eating... 

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15 October 2018 - 31 January 2019

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