As term starts back on campus, you may be wondering where the best spots are for a lunch that keeps you going on a long day of lectures and the library. However, a solid meal for under £5 can be difficult to come by in central London. That’s why we recently asked SOASians for their favourite lunch places on and around campus, that don’t break the budget. We’re supporting local businesses for this one, but the £3 Tesco Meal Deal and Pret were also firm favourites…
1. The King of Falafel
Morrocan | Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Halal
This was a standout winner near campus for a cheap, filling, healthy and delicious meal. You can grab a falafel wrap for just £4.50 but they don’t skip on either portion sizes or fresh ingredients. The wrap is made to order right in front of you, so you have it fresh and toasty. They’re especially known for their super-friendly staff in case you fancy a chat while you wait.
Find them at 17 Hunter Street, London, WC1N 1BN.
2. ICCO’S Pizzeria
Italian | Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options (not on a budget), Halal
Self-titled “The People’s Pizzeria”, ICCO’S claim to fame is serving the cheapest pizza in all of London. While I can’t confirm this 100%, it seems pretty legit. The cheapest pizza on offer is the Marina for a mere £3.95. But, if you want cheese on your pizza (who doesn’t?), a Margherita is £4.75. Bad news for vegans on a budget though with the cheapest one on offer setting you back £7.90. Hopefully, this will change one day…
Visit at 46 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4LU.
3. Bibimbab Cafe
Korean | Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
The Korean dish Bibimbab can be (almost) anything you want it to be, according to this cafe. It’s a dish that can be spicy, mild, meaty, or vegan. This place is known for its friendly staff, super speedy service and no-frills decor. The cheapest Bibimbab itself is actually £6.50, however, you can get chapche for £5.
Visit at 37 Museum St, London, WC1A 1LP.
4. Hare Krishna Food for Life
You may see people dotted around campus holding paper plates packed high with hot food. That will most likely be a free gift from Hare Krishna Food for Life – the world’s largest vegetarian food distribution program. Volunteers donate their time to provide over 1,200 freshly cooked, hot vegetarian meals a day, six days a week across London.
You can find them in a couple of places on campus: one on the corner of Malet Street and Torrington Place and another on the precinct square. Donations are welcome.
5. Be good to the planet and use the app TooGoodToGo
Did you know more than one-third of food is wasted? TooGoodToGo is an app that rescues food from (unnecessarily) going in the bin. Many big brands and local restaurants take part so you can check what’s about nearby. This will be a bit later in the day but with some prep and planning, it could be used for the next day’s lunch or a late dinner.
Find them online https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb.
Have you got any more recommendations? Let us know in the comments.