The Secret London team want you to get more bang for your buck, so we’ve been on a mission to find you the very best things to eat, do, and consume in London under £20. In our series on Instagram, our very own Phoebe has been on the hunt for the best deals and steals in London that are all under the £20 budget. Here are our picks of the best cheap things to do in London for under £20:
1. Enjoy a full spread of Turkish brunch for £14.50
Located just by Marble Arch is Bursa Kebap Evi, an amazing Turkish restaurant that serves up the brunch spread of dreams – that doesn’t break the bank. Feast on bread, dips, eggs, and cheese galore served to you on a platter whilst sipping on a full pot of authentic Turkish tea, which is included in the price.
Some standouts from the spread were the menemen, which are Turkish-style scrambled eggs with tomatoes, green peppers and spices that hits the spot on top of the soft bread served, and the sigara borek which are Turkish pastries filled with cheese. It’s safe to say this is not your average brunch. Dessert is never a bad idea and there was just enough leeway with the budget to order the baklava which is £6.50 but shared between two is £3.25 and keeps everything under £20.
💸 Total spend: £14.50 + £3.25 = £17.75
📍 Find Bursa Kebap Evi at 1 Connaught Street, Tyburnia, W2 2BH.
2. Beat the Monday blues with some Korean fried chicken and beer for £12
Let’s face it – Mondays aren’t usually everyone’s favourite day of the week, but the people at Korean Dinner Party are hoping to remedy that. Every Monday is Chimeak Monday at Korean Dinner Party where you can get spicy fried chicken, rice sticks, chips, slaw, a dip and a bottle of Asahi beer all for the low low price of £12, if you can believe it.
Located right at the top of Kingly Court, the restaurant is a lively and fun spot to get your hands on some very reasonably priced Korean fried chicken – with all the trimmings. The cheap-as-hell price meant that there was even room for a starter each all whilst keeping it under £20, and the kimchee pancake and KDP corndog certainly did not disappoint.
💸 Total spend: £12 + £5 (corndog) = £17 and £12 + £7 (kimchee pancake) = £19
📍 Find Korean Dinner Party at Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PW.
3. Cruise along the River Thames on an Uber boat for £8.30
Take to the water on an Uber boat by Thames Clipper for some stunning views of London and perhaps your new favourite way of getting around the city – and one of our favourite cheap things to do in London too. With 24 piers along the River Thames from Barking Riverside Pier in the East and Putney Pier in the West, it’s as easy as tapping on and off as you would the bus or the tube to get around with the Uber boat.
Most of the boat is sheltered although we think you’ll get the full experience at the back of the boat where it’s uncovered and you’ll get the breeze running past your hair as you take in some of London’s most iconic landmarks. The onboard cafe bar also has refreshments and snacks available for you to travel as comfortably as possible.
💸 Total spend: £8.30
Find more information about routes and tickets on the Thames Clipper website here.
4. Get a big bowl of delicious ramen for under a tenner
Enjoy a bowl of signature retro ramen under a canopy of glowing lanterns for £9.99 on Mondays and Tuesdays at Ramen Yokocho. Whilst a ticket to Japan would certainly be out of budget, a hearty bowl of ramen in the Mayfair and Leicester Square branches of Yokocho may just do the trick. The three signature ramen bowls part of the offer are the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, Tokyo Shoyu Ramen, and Vegan Miso Ramen.
Despite how cheap it was, these ramen bowls hit the mark in every way possible from their delicious warming broth to the perfectly cooked noodles. It is indeed ‘a pre-payday must try’.
💸 Total spend: £9.99
📍 Find the two branches participating at Heddon Yokocho at 8 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BU and Panton Yokocho at 35a Panton Street, Leicester Square, SW1Y 4EA.
5. Grab buy one get one free steaks every Tuesday
An ultimate BOGOF deal if we ever saw one, this French restaurant tucked away in Tooting Market has one of the best deals we’ve seen yet. Every Tuesday Bordelaise has a buy one get one free offer on their steaks that is pretty hard to pass up.
Both the Onglet and Flat Iron steaks come in at just under £20 on their own meaning that the steaks will come in at only around £10 each! For an extra £3.50 we simply could not resist the sourdough bread and butter which we warn is seriously addictive. This deal ticks all the boxes and is one of our favourite cheap things to do in London.
💸 Total spend: £9.25 + £3.50 = £12.75
📍 Find Bordelaise at Tooting Market, Unit 9-11, Broadway, Tooting High Street, SW17 0R.
6. Spend a dreamy day in Hyde Park
For a taste of the great outdoors, we started our day with a ride on Hyde Park’s pedalo boats. A 30 minute ride on one of these bad boys during their off-peak hours between 10am-12pm will only set you back £6.60. After cruising along amongst the swans, ducks, and geese and captaining your own boat, we treated ourselves to a much-deserved celebratory ice cream just outside the boathouse which came up to £4.
A stroll through the park with an ice cream in hand is just what the doctor ordered. For the day’s lunch spot we found ourselves at the Italian Gardens café for a £6.35 baguette that is best enjoyed plopped on the grass as you soak up the sun.
💸 Total spend: £6.60 + £4 + £6.35 = £16.95
7. Indulge in a two-course Thai meal for £18
Every Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Laki Kane in Islington are offering a two course menu for only £18 that will give you a taste of Thailand whilst keeping things affordable. We started off with the vegetable spring rolls which we were happy to find came with six rolls, and were crispy golden delights. For mains, of course the pad Thai is a must and Laki Kane’s was uber-delicious. Definitely a top-tier combo.
If you were craving a tipple, then you can add a pairing cocktail to your meal for £10 although we will say that they are ‘knock you on the floor alcoholic’. This deal is great for a mid-week treat if you’re looking for cheap things to do in London.
💸 Total spend: £18
📍 Find Laki Kane at 144-145 Upper Street, N1 1QY.
8. Grab a £9 Korean lunch meal deal
Truly an absolute bargain, Green Choy in Tooting Market serves up a yummy starter, main, and soft drink lunchtime special that rivals the quintessential Tesco meal deal. For many restaurants in London £9 won’t even get you a main dish, but to have an entire meal for just under £10? It’s a definite steal so we had to add it to our roundup of the best cheap things to do in London Town!
We opted to start with the deliciously soft bao bun to tide us over for the main meal which was the Korean rice bowl, otherwise known as bibimbap. At Green Choy, there’s pulled chicken, and crispy tofu for you to choose from and are all served over steamed Korean rice, with homemade pickle vegetables topped with a delicious sauce.
Other standouts from the menu is their burger which comes with a wonderful pink bun that screams Barbie, and the bang bang cauliflower which is too good not to share. With the lunch special being such a bargain, you may even be tempted to get another side dish or cocktail which comes in at £7 and is a pretty good price for a London cocktail, if you ask us. The lunch menu is on from 12-3pm every Tuesday-Friday.
💸 Total spend: £9 + £7 = £16
📍 Find Green Choy at Unit 3D, Tooting Market, 21 Tooting High Street, SW17 0RH.
9. Devour a full size pizza for just £6
Pizza Union have come to our rescue with pizzas that start from a jaw-droppingly low price of £5.95. The pizzas come in at 12 inches, are deliciously thin and crispy, with additional sauces and toppings which do cost extra, although the low low prices of the pizzas will surely leave you some wiggle room for any extras that you’re after. The Margherita is the cheapest of the bunch coming in at £5.95, whilst the most expensive pizza on the menu is only £8.95 which is the meat-packed Carne.
As we waited for our pizzas to be fire-baked Roman style, we couldn’t resist sipping on some frozen margaritas costing only £5.50. By the end of the meal and with a very satisfied belly, there was still enough pizza to take home.
💸 Total spend: £5.95 + £5.50 = £11.45
📍Pizza Union have six locations around London; Aldgate, Dalston, Holborn, Hoxton, Kings Cross and Spitalfields.
10. Wolf down a hearty curry for only £5
The Daily Dose is an Indian street food cafe located inside a corner shop in Shoreditch that is both a hidden gem and a true cheap eat. For only five quid you can mix and match curries with rice. Who knew it was still possible to fill one’s belly for just £5 in this cost-of-living crisis?? The cafe also offer Indian snacks such as samosas, poppadums, bhajis, and chutneys if you wanted something else to accompany your curry. And whilst the curry may not be knock-you-on-the-floor delicious or particularly life-changing, with a hot filling tasty meal all for £5, we are absolutely sold and can’t recommend it enough for a cheap eat meal.
💸 Total spend: £5
📍 Find The Daily Dose at 53 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HP.
11. Spice up your Tuesdays with a Taco Tuesday deal
Tuesdays can be a bit of a meh day in the week. It’s not as busy or dreaded as Monday not as exciting as the build-up to the weekend or the weekend itself, but this Taco Tuesday deal at Caldera is just the thing to brighten up those start-of-the-week blues and doesn’t break the bank. Every Tuesday you can enjoy a choice of two tacos starting from £4 with delicious options including chicken tinga, baja-style fish, and rib-eye steak.
We’ve had a chance to try their whole spread of tacos and our highlights were definitely the baja-style fish, stuffed peppers, and the king prawn shrimp tacos which all hit the spot. And it wouldn’t be Taco Tuesday without any margaritas and the margs at Caldera certainly did the trick with just £9 a pop. With a little wiggle room left in the budget, we were able to share a dessert between three and finished the meal off with some dulce de leche churros. Now that’s a Tuesday well spent.
💸 Total spend: £8~ + £9 + £1.8 (£5.50 dessert shared between three)= £18.80
📍 Find Caldera at 143 Mare Street, E8 3FW
12. Indulge in a three-course Lebanese feast on a budget
Who says that you can’t indulge in a three-course meal without splashing the cash? Well at this Lebanese spot in Balham, you definitely can – with change to spare too. Libano has a three-course lunch deal available from Monday to Friday that doesn’t break the bank and is pretty delicious if we do say so ourselves. For just £11.95 you can yourself an authentic feast including a starter, main and dessert which is nothing short of a steal and even gave us wiggle room for some homemade lemonade for £3.95 which went great with the meal.
Now onto the grub, we opted for babaganoush to start with which we devoured with the flatbread that comes with the meal, and for mains, we chose chicken and lamb shawarmas which came with salad and rice with very generous portions. For dessert, we tried the Lebanese milk pudding that had a strong rose flavour and of course, the baklava which just hit all the crunchy and chewy spots we wanted it to. What more could you want?
💸 Total spend: £3.95 + £11.95 = £15.90
📍Find Libano at 76 Balham High Road, SW12 9AG.
13. Grab a juicy burger and chips for only £6.99
A good juicy burger is always a good shout and we’ve found a spot that makes amazing homemade gourmet burgers for a steal of a price. Burger Nine in Clapham Junction is a burger joint serving up sizzling smashed burgers made with local ingredients that are topped with onion, pickles and nutty brunt butter with some rosemary fries that just hit the spot. £6.99 for burger and chips leaves plenty of room in the budget for a little something extra. We opted for a refreshing lemonade that went down a treat with the smash burger and of course a little something sweet to finish off the meal; a warm brownie with ice cream, gooey caramel and toasted walnuts.
💸 Total spend: £6.99 + £2.99 + £5.99 = £15.97
📍 Find Burger Nine at 143 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TQ.