London can be spenny but there are ways to eat at some of the best restaurants in town for less
That’s why we look for loopholes where cheap eats (and a cheap night out in London) can be found, and a good value set menu is actually not too hard to come by. Restaurants across the city (including some of our all-time favourites) have dedicated menus of two or more courses that’ll set you back a whole lot less than standard – but will blow you away just as much.
The Four Seasons on Park Lane isn’t somewhere you’d immediately associate with value for money but at Pavyllon London, run by multi-Michelin starred French chef Yannick Alleno, you can get a five course lunch for £55.50, and in just 55 minutes too. Running daily from 12pm – 3pm, the lunch break friendly service includes seasonal dishes like Bluefin tuna tartare with parmesan and anchovies condiment; steamed comté cheese soufflé with Albufera sauce; and veal fillet “à la ficelle” with veal butter sauce and vegetables brunoise.
Hamilton Place, London W1J 7DR
Jun Tanaka has introduced a new set lunch menu at his Michelin-starred Fitzrovia spot The Ninth, running from 12pm – 2.30pm, Monday – Saturday. The restaurant is known for its French-Mediterranean style and this is reflected in the lunch offering, with dishes like spaghetti with girolles, peas & hazelnut gremolata; raisin vinaigrette & lamb sausage, fennel purée, courgettes & tomatoes; and poached peach with granita, mint oil & yoghurt sorbet. It’s £30 for two courses and £35 for three, and if the weather is good, you’ll want a seat on that terrace.
22 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2NB
A big name in the London restaurant scene and one of the city’s best wine bars, Noble Rot is here to keep the British boozy lunch brand alive. Their set lunch menu changes seasonally, with a choice of three courses – two for £22 and all for £26 – and each course has a suggested wine pairing which, although not included in the price, makes life a lot easier.
51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3NB
2 Greek Street, London W1D 4NB
The Devonshire, aka London’s hottest pub, has won over the city with its superlative Guinness and classic dishes cooked on the upstairs restaurant’s wood-ember grill but we’ve fallen in love with its excellent set menu. You can bag the likes of prawn and langoustine cocktail, skirt steak with chips and bearnaise, and sticky toffee pudding for £29 (or two courses for £25), if you can manage to get a table that is….
17 Denman Street, London W1D 7HW
Claridge’s Restaurant, which relaunched in summer 2023 inside the iconic Mayfair hotel, is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous spots in the city. And with their lunch and pre-theatre set menus, you can try two of their showstopping courses for £49 or three for £58. Choose from starters such as Dorset snails persillade with garlic emulsion or ham hock terrine with brioche and pickles; mains such as beef cheek bourguignon with pomme purée and mushrooms or grilled Cornish skate with grenobloise and coastal herbs; and desserts such as chocolate soufflé tart and cacao nib cream or citrus and coconut pavlova.
Claridge’s, Brook Street, London W1K 4HR
This 70s and 80s hotspot was given a revamp before it landed back on the scene in 2021, but it’s still managed to maintain so much of what made it a hit all those years ago. Langan’s is a brasserie with a menu that focuses on British and French classics, so for their prix fixe menu (which is served Monday-Saturday, 12pm – 6:30pm and 9pm – close), expect the likes of chicken liver parfait with onion & raisin jam and toasted brioche, Langan’s bangers & mash and baked cherry & vanilla cheesecake. You can get two courses for £30 and three for £35 making this a real steal.
Stratton Street, London W1J 8LB
Honey & Co. Daily
Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich have introduced The Daily Nightly menu at their latest Honey & Co. outpost in Bloomsbury, inspired by the slow-cooking of food in the residual heat of bakery ovens across the Middle East. They’ve created dishes that can go in the ovens when the bakers leave, like braised shin of beef with carrots, quince and khmeli suneli; fasulia bean stew with spiced lamb sausage; and slow-cooked chicken with figs and chestnuts. The menu, available from 6pm Monday to Saturday, features two courses for £37, or you can add on a dessert, like that famous Honey & Co cheesecake, to make it £45.
19-21 Store Street, London WC1E 7BL
The Grill by Tom Booton
Usually a meal at The Dorchester doesn’t come cheap but there is one way to eat at the five star hotel without blowing a hole in your wallet. The Grill by Tom Booton, where chef Tom has made a name for himself with his playful take on classic cooking – see dishes like cauliflower cheese soup with crispy egg & truffle soldiers and red velvet soft serve with cookies and mascarpone cheesecake – runs an outstanding value set lunch menu where three courses will set you back just £35.
53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Eat at the two Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal for a snip of the price with the restaurant’s new The Luncheon Menu. Priced at £59, it includes three courses that take inspo from historical recipes that also showcase ways to minimise food waste. You can expect dishes like ragoo of pig’s ear on toast; salt cod with parsnips, pickled lemon and horseradish; and pineapple and cardamom tart.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Spring’s Scratch menu is available from Tuesday to Saturday for just one hour each day (5.30-6.30pm), but it’s worth catching if you can. The ethos behind Scratch is that they use ‘waste’ produce – perfectly good fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded because they’re considered too ugly or irregular. The organic, overlooked ingredients are turned into nutritious dishes and you get three courses for £30.
Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA
If you’ve not yet made it to Leroy, their excellent value set menu of two courses for £32 and three for £35 should persuade you to get booking. Their menu changes on the daily, but keep an eye on their Insta to see what’s on for the day.
18 Phipp Street, London EC2A 4NU
Looking for a great value lunch in Soho? Head to The Palomar where from 12pm – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday, you can get three courses for £24. Dishes change regularly but you could be tucking into the likes of labneh with tahini butter and velvet tomatoes, Palomar Waldorf salad, and Persian oxtail stew.
34 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DN
Under normal circs, a trip to Fallow means potentially having to plan your budget for the rest of the month around dinner (£30 for a roast alone… eek. It’s still one of our faves in town, though). But something magical happens at lunchtimes when you can secure three courses for just £42. Choose from the likes of mushroom parfait, sea bream crudo, dairy cow rump, mussels with smoked bacon and pickled lemon, Chelsea tart and rum-less raisin ice cream, and more, from Monday to Friday.
2 St. James’s Market, London SW1Y 4RP
Quality Chop House
One of the most beloved restaurants in the city, the food at Quality Chop House always hits the mark. Their lunch set menu, which changes fortnightly and is available Tuesday through Friday, will get you three courses for £29 and although there’s just one option for each, you can put your faith in QCH to deliver something pretty special.
88-94 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3EA
With Socca in Mayfair, Claude Bosi and Samyukta Nair are bringing the Cote d’Azur to the capital and the restaurant’s set menu is bringing you those Provençal flavours for a great price. Running during both lunch and dinner, the set menu offering includes dishes like green bean salad with pear and almond, roast halibut with sauce piccata, and orange blossom madeleines with olive oil ice cream, with two courses costing £28 and three costing £39.
41A South Audley Street, London W1K 2PS
Head to Kudu Grill in Nunhead on Friday lunchtimes to bag yourself a steal of a deal – two courses and a side for £28 or three courses and a side for £32. The South African-inspired menu includes dishes like harissa beef tartare with crispy shallots, sea bream with green mazavaroo and capers, and melktert choux bun with jasmine ice cream. Big sister spot Kudu in Peckham also runs a Friday set lunch menu that’s worth checking out too.
57 Nunhead Lane, London SE15 3TR
It doesn’t come much better than steak and chips, unless you’re making a tidy saving on the bill that is. Hawksmoor’s Express Menu (which runs at all its London restaurants, though timings vary slightly) has steak frites as one of the main options, which you can turn into two courses (for £27) by adding potted beef & bacon with Yorkshires or smoked mackerel salad or three courses (for £31) with sticky toffee sundae or peanut butter shortbread.
All Hawksmoor restaurants
Doug McMaster has relaunched his Shortlist menu at zero-waste restaurant Silo, meaning you can get six courses for £45 if you dine before 7pm. The menu changes weekly but you’ll be able to get three snacks, two larger plates and a dessert, including the likes of koji quavers with vegetable treacle and goat’s cheese, mutton with caramelised cream and wild garlic quavers, and Siloaf ice cream sandwich.
First Floor, Unit 7 Queens Yard, White Post Lane, London E9 5EN