With its hordes of tourists looking to spend their holiday money and upmarket boutiques on every street, Covent Garden isn't usually considered at the top of the list when it comes to cheap restaurants. However, there are still plenty of cheap eats to be found in this part of London if you know where to look, and thankfully, we do. Read our guide to the best budget-friendly restaurants in Covent Garden to find affordable, tasty meals in this popular area.
Guide to budget-friendly restaurants in Covent Garden
In this guide
Cheap eats in Covent Garden
- Flat Iron – Top-quality steak for less
- Homeslice – Pizza to share or by the slice
- Pizza Pilgrims – Budget-friendly classic
- Maison Bab – Reinventing the kebab
- Kanada-Ya – Hot ramen at hot prices
- Chick 'n' Sours – Elevating fried chicken
- Koshari Street – Healthy Egyptian street fare
- Wahaca – Sustainability-minded Mexican food
- Chez Antoinette – French fare with flair
- Honest Burgers – Honest food at honest prices
- Go Falafel – Fresh falafel for the masses
- Pasta Brown – Classic Italian dishes
- Blacklock – Steak made accessible
- Old Chang Kee – A classic taste of Singapore
- Banana Tree – Diverse Asian flavours
- Chill Since '93 – Casual light bites
- Lanzhou Noodle Bar – Bustling noodle spot
- Vasiniko – Bright Italian restaurant
- Bibi's – Fresh salads for lunch
Cheap eats in Covent Garden
Top-quality steak for less
You can chow down on a juicy, top-quality steak for a little over a tenner at Flat Iron. These guys are renowned for serving mouthwatering slabs of meat at incredibly reasonable prices, best paired with a side of creamed spinach and beef-dripping fries. Our favourite bit is the free salted caramel ice cream you can enjoy at the end of your meal. The Covent Garden restaurant tends to have shorter queues than its sibling branches, meaning it’s easier to walk in and nab a seat.
- Price: About £17 for steak and chips
Pizza to share or by the slice
Homeslice dishes up 20 inch pizzas that are ideal for sharing but if you don't want to shell out too much you can also get a slice of pizza for an affordable price. Classic and inventive toppings are available, with every pizza made using seasonal produce. The restaurant has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere.
- Price: About £5 for a pizza slice
Filling and tasty, pizza is a classic affordable choice, and when it comes to classic Neapolitan pizzas, Pizza Pilgrims and their “in crust we trust” motto are a top choice. They source their high-grade ingredients directly from Italy and combine them in a variety of flavour combinations. The decor at the Covent Garden branch is inspired by some of cinema's greatest works.
- Price: About £12 for an eight-cheese pizza
Reinventing the kebab
Get a gourmet kebab without breaking the bank at Maison Bab. Along with sister restaurants Le Bab, this place redefines kebabs into sophisticated street food. Each kebab is loaded with tempting ingredients and there are meaty and plant-based options, served in a buzzy contemporary environment. Mezze dishes are on offer too.
- Price: About £12 for a kebab
Hot ramen at hot prices
The award-winning Kanada-Ya group specialises in authentic tonkotsu ramen, made with an 18-hour pork and corn-fed chicken bone broth, chashu pork belly, spring onion, wood-ear fungus and yuzu-shoyu. In addition to this London exclusive, different ramen options are available, as well as a concise selection of small plates, onigiri and rice dishes. When it comes to hot, steamy ramen at an affordable rate, Kanada-Ya is hard to beat.
- Price: About £15 for a ramen bowl
Elevating fried chicken
Chicken shops are traditionally low-cost and Chick 'n' Sours is, by most definitions, a chicken shop. Where it stands apart from the usual corner local, however, is the gourmet approach it applies to the fried poultry – crispy outsides, juicy insides, and slathered in Asian spices and sauces. The Seven Dials outpost adds a few other options such as chicken toast and nachos, as well as budget-friendly lunchtime exclusives. You can even split a whole fried chicken with a friend without breaking the bank, though you'll have to order it 48h in advance.
- Price: About £12 for a fried chicken sandwich
Healthy Egyptian street fare
A vibrant pop-art eatery in St Martin's Lane, Koshari Street offers healthy street food that's ideal for when you're on the go. The titular koshari is a national dish in Egypt and composed of pasta, rice and lentils with tomato sauce. You can add toppings such as jackfruit, spicy potatoes, chicken or lamb to your base for a simple yet satisfying taste.
- Price: About £10 for a classic koshari bowl
Sustainability-minded Mexican food
The colourful Mexican cuisine at Wahaca doesn't just come with a budget-friendly price tag, it also does good for the planet, as this was the country's first carbon neutral restaurant group. There's a ton of choice on the menu, from casual street-food bites and classic mains to shareable set menus. Vegan, gluten-free and children's menus are also offered.
- Price: About £12 for a burrito
French fare with flair
French cuisine doesn't have to come at a hefty price, as evidenced by Chez Antoinette. This classic bistro cooks up contemporary incarnations of traditional recipes in a vibrant, relaxed ambience. The all-day dining here includes savoury breakfast options and a varied main menu with light dishes such as open-faced tartine sandwiches with different fillings, or salads. Weekday lunch deals are also offered.
- Price: About £10 for a tartine
Honest food at honest prices
Championing sustainable farming, best-of-Britain produce and transparent sourcing, Honest Burgers run burger joints all over London, including Covent Garden. You can choose from various chicken, beef or veggie burgers featuring different sauces and toppings. The affordable burgers come with a side, and the drinks are reasonably priced as well. You can eat in or get the food as takeaway.
- Price: About £10 for a hamburger
Fresh falafel for the masses
Fresh and contemporary, Go Falafel offers a straight and to-the-point menu focused on the Middle Eastern staple that is falafel. Choose a wrap, salad box or hummus plate for a light, healthy meal, with sides such as stuffed vine leaves available as well. There's also a large selection of energising juices and smoothies to complement your meal with.
- Price: About £7 for a falafel wrap
Classic Italian dishes
Pasta Brown dishes up affordable and authentic Italian food in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Classic dishes are on the menu such as bruschetta, pizza with a range of toppings, and a choice of pasta dishes. Gluten-free and wholewheat pasta is offered too. A small selection of Italian wines is also available.
- Price: About £16 for quattro formaggi pizza
Steak made accessible
The Blacklock restaurant in Covent Garden is vast and spacious. Top quality meat at reasonable prices is the main focus here, with steaks and chops in two different sizes if you're watching your wallet. This place makes steak accessible and also does a roast on Sundays. Additionally, the restaurant has its own beers that you can't find elsewhere.
- Price: About £12 for a steak sandwich
A classic taste of Singapore
Award-winning restaurant Old Chang Kee brings the flavours of Singapore to Covent Garden. The speciality at this award-winning eatery is curry puffs, a favourite from Singapore that combines a Western-style pie with Eastern spices. Other dishes at this casual counter service spot include fried chicken, fried noodles, a choice of curries, and laksa.
- Price: About £9 for curry with rice
Diverse Asian flavours
Banana Tree specialises in vibrant pan-Asian cooking, served in a cosy modern setting. This place is ideal for groups with its diverse menu combining influences from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Children's meals are served here too. From the bar, enjoy Asian beers, wine, and cocktails to complete your meal.
- Price: About £14 for pad Thai
Casual light bites
Visit Chill Since '93 to grab a slice of pizza in a chilled contemporary setting. It's a family-friendly spot with a clean look and a simple menu of pizza slices, sandwiches, and cookies for dessert. Various toppings and fillings are on offer. It's an ideal choice for casual meals and snacks in Covent Garden.
- Price: About £8 for pepperoni pizza
Bustling noodle spot
Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar is a humble eatery with a bustling atmosphere. It can get busy at times. On the menu you'll discover a considerable range of noodle dishes with tasty ingredients like tomato and egg or pork wontons. Try noodles fried or in soup or go for other options like rice dishes or dim sum.
- Price: About £13 for noodle soup
Bright Italian restaurant
Already an established restaurant group in Italy, Vasiniko brings authentic Neapolitan flavours to Covent Garden. The bright dining area fuses modern style with Mediterranean influences. The range of pizzas are popular here but you can also try salads, pasta dishes, and starters like bruschetta or potato croquettes. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are served.
- Price: About £11 for margherita pizza
Fresh salads for lunch
If you're craving a fresh and healthy, but still affordable lunch in Covent Garden, check out Bibi's. This cute and contemporary spot specialises in salads and you can mix and match your favourites to create your perfect box to eat on-site or take away. You'll find fresh veggies, seasonal salad mixes, and fresh and inspiring bakes as well.