Going out somewhere fancy often means forking out a lot of cash but that's not always the case. Thanks to the diversity of London's restaurant scene, the city is home to quite a few places that feel chic and special but are still kind to your bank balance. If you're celebrating a big occasion on a budget or you just want to feel a bit posh, we know of a few restaurants that could be your perfect match. Check out our guide to affordable fancy restaurants in London.
Guide to fancy affordable restaurants in London
In this guide
The best fancy affordable restaurants in London
- Suvlaki – Sleek and Greek
- Bancone – House-made pasta
- Parsons – Classic and cosy seafood spot
- Bubala – One for the veggies
- Manteca – Pasta and butchery experts
- Lahpet – Try Burmese cooking
- Titu – Exclusive Japanese dining
- Blacklock – Budget-conscious steak
- Townsend – Stylish dining room
- Bocconi – Italian food in West London
- Casa do Frango – Elevated Portuguese food
- Scoff & Banter – Meals with views
- Danclair's Kitchen – Small plates in Brixton
- Flour & Grape – Stylish pasta restaurant
- El Pirata – Popular tapas place
- Randall & Aubin – Eat seafood in Soho
- Galvin Bar & Grill – Opulent grilling
- Notto Pasta Bar – Indulge in seasonal pasta
- Jikoni – Cosy Marylebone restaurant
- Naughty Piglets – Intimate bistro
- Ciao Bella – Long-standing Italian spot
- Artusi – Eat out in Peckham
- Hereford Road – Reinvented butcher's shop
- Koba – Get your grill on
- Flat Iron – Steak for everyone
- Leroy – Trendy Michelin-starred restaurant
- Trishna – Modern Indian food
- Kateh – Persian award-winner
- Noci – Smart place for pasta
- Brasserie Zédel – Enjoy the Art Deco setting
- The Ninth – Intimate and on-trend
- Babur – A favourite in Brockley
- Noble Rot – Dining and wining
- Marcella – Seasonal meals in Deptford
- La Petite Auberge – A taste of France
- Swiss Butter – The secret is in the sauce
The best fancy affordable restaurants in London
Fancy restaurants that are also affordable
Sleek and Greek
Budget-friendly Suvlaki Soho is a smart space for casual Greek meals. With marble tables, tiled floors, and a decorative exterior, this place feels fancy. The food is all about authentic Greek cooking, with souvlaki skewers and wraps being the main attraction. Greek wines and beers from microbreweries are also served.
Get affordable yet high quality pasta at Bancone. This popular restaurant is a stylish and modern space where the pasta is produced in-house. Try dishes like bucatini cacio e pepe or rigatoni with kale and chilli along with antipasti and Italian desserts. Signature cocktails and wine, including rare vintages, are also served here.
Classic and cosy seafood spot
One of the city's top restaurants for fans of seafood is Parsons. The restaurant has a classic look with sleek white wall tiles and a cosy feel. Fish is freshly-caught and dishes are seasonal so the menu changes often. Expect dishes like miso-glazed pollock and smoked haddock chowder, plus wine to wash it down.
One for the veggies
Bubala dishes up vegetarian Middle Eastern feasts. The interior is stylish and snug with colourful tiles. There's a set menu for a deep dive into the food here or you choose from the main menu of mezze dishes like hummus, halloumi with chamomile and fennel honey, and smacked cucumbers with tahini.
Pasta and butchery experts
Nose-to-tail restaurant Manteca feels sleek and upscale but the food is still affordable. The focus is on whole-animal butchery and hand-rolled pasta. The changing menu features dishes like 'nduja steamed mussels and ziti pasta with ragu Genovese. The wine list is diverse and includes English and Welsh varieties, plus cocktails are served.
Try Burmese cooking
With locations in Shoreditch and Covent Garden, Lahpet is a stylish contemporary place to discover Burmese cooking. The eclectic menu includes zingy salads, noodle soup, and curries, as well as desserts. The setting is smart and trendy but still has a casual atmosphere. A low-cost express lunch is available as well.
Exclusive Japanese dining
Titu feels like something special with its compact and cosy size and vibrant appearance. There are just a handful of tables and parasols and origami hang from the ceiling. Despite the exclusive feel, the Japanese cuisine here is affordable, with a menu of gyoza, small plates, and grilled and fried dishes. Pair yours with wine or sake.
Smart steakhouse Blacklock is committed to serving top quality steaks at affordable prices. This is premium meat that won't break the bank, with large and skinny steaks and chops available plus budget-friendly sandwiches and burgers. Food is served in a sophisticated dining space with low lighting and contemporary furniture.
Stylish dining room
Whitechapel Gallery's in-house restaurant, Townsend, is a modern British dining room with style. Neutral tones, hanging lights, and modern design create a smart yet relaxed setting. The set menu is a great choice for an affordable meal, featuring four courses like a Red Leicester croquette and squid ink dumplings.
Italian food in West London
West London restaurant Bocconi serves affordable and authentic Italian cuisine and is a popular venue for any occasion. The interior looks classic with wine bottles on shelves and daily specials written on chalkboards. You'll find a range of Italian favourites here including pasta and risotto, lamb rump, and bruschetta, all at good-value prices.
Elevated Portuguese food
Forget about those high-street piri-piri chicken restaurants – Casa do Frango gives you an elevated take on Portuguese cooking, served in a light and airy environment. Food here is straightforward but still satisfying, with plenty of dishes that are great to share. Each restaurant also boasts a clandestine cocktail bar.
Meals with views
With floor-to-ceiling windows, river views, and an attractive outdoor garden, Scoff & Banter feels fancy but is a laid-back place for a modern European meal. The produce here is carefully-selected and a choice of menus are available. Visit for afternoon tea or try dishes like steak and chicken Milanese for lunch or dinner.
Small plates in Brixton
From the chef behind local favourite Fish, Wings, & Tings, Danclair's Kitchen is a vibrant small plates restaurant in Brixton. This refined spot is packed with bold style and serves international dishes that come in at an affordable price. Try things like BBQ wings, vegetable platters, empanadas, and cod fritters, paired with a concise choice of wine and cocktails.
Stylish pasta restaurant
Bermondsey's Flour & Grape is a laid-back Italian restaurant with an attractive contemporary interior. The dining space features exposed bricks, leather banquettes and benches, and striking light fixtures. The simple menu includes affordable small plates like bruschetta plus a range of classic pasta recipes. Italian wines complete a meal here.
Popular tapas place
Celebrated tapas spot El Pirata of Mayfair has a sophisticated feel but still offers affordable meals. Choose tapas to share or try the popular set lunch that includes two tapas plus bread, aioli, and a soft drink. More than 140 Spanish wines are available to complete a meal. The dining room has a smart rustic look.
Eat seafood in Soho
You can sample Anglo-French seafood dishes in Soho at Randall & Aubin. Open since 1996, it's enduringly popular and has a sophisticated look with marble counters and tiled walls. Ingredients are fresh and sustainable and the menu features affordable dishes plus more lavish options. The restaurant does a considerable range of martinis, plus wine by the glass.
Renowned chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin serve contemporary British grilled dishes in an opulent environment at Galvin Bar & Grill. The dining room is enhanced by a cosy fireplace and decorative columns. Food is served all day, with a combination of affordable dishes and more lavish options. There are plenty of wines served by the glass.
Indulge in seasonal pasta
At Notto Pasta Bar you'll find an airy space with rustic touches and an elegant feel, as well as a simple menu of elevated pasta dishes. The pasta is freshly-prepared and served with tasty seasonal sauces. Try something like pappardelle with ox cheek ragu, ravioli, or rigatoni cacio e pepe, plus various starters. Wine and cocktails are available.
Cosy Marylebone restaurant
Jikoni does upscale but affordable Indian dining in Marylebone. The space is comfortable and full of detail, with private dining available too. This restaurant celebrates maternal figures and family recipes with menus of exciting dishes like butternut squash pakoras and crispy aubergine with Sichuan caramel. The set lunch is particularly suited to affordable meals.
Brixton's Naughty Piglets is a buzzy local bistro with only 29 seats. This is English food with a French influence, with the regularly-changing menus focusing on sustainable ingredients. Dishes are designed for sharing with choices like burrata, steak tartare, and barbecue pork belly, served in an airy setting with art on the walls.
Long-standing Italian spot
Ciao Bella serves classic Italian recipes at prices that'll impress. The venue has a simple appearance and has been open since 1983. Enjoy a decadent feast of multiple Italian courses or go for antipasti followed by pizza or pasta. There's an extensive choice of Italian wines and wine from other regions, including options by the glass.
Eat out in Peckham
Artusi is a chic Italian restaurant in Peckham with a neighbourhood vibe. The food is sophisticated, the venue is crisp and modern, and the wines are imported directly from Italy. The menu changes every week showcasing fresh and seasonal produce and the pasta here is made in-house. For larger groups you can book the imposing kitchen table.
Reinvented butcher's shop
Based in a Victorian butchers, Hereford Road Restaurant is a stylish British bistro with a striking modern look. The hearty menu here changes every day with options like smoked cod's roe, roast guinea fowl, and warm rice pudding. Veggie dishes are available too and there's an affordable set lunch. Wines are available by the glass, carafe, or bottle.
Get your grill on
The Korean dishes at Koba are ideal for sharing. The venue feels upscale with marble tables, contemporary furniture, and tabletop grills for Korean barbecue. Meat and seafood are available for grilling, plus there are various sides and appetisers to complete the experience. You'll find plenty of Korean favourites here and it's ideal for groups.
Steak for everyone
Meat is democratic at trendy steakhouse Flat Iron, which has multiple smart branches around the city. The focus is on top quality steak at an affordable price with a selection of sides and sauces to customise your meal. Despite the reasonable price, it's all premium steak and carefully-sourced ingredients. Wine, beer, and cocktails complement the food.
Trendy Michelin-starred restaurant
Head to Leroy for on-trend Michelin-starred dining that won't break the bank. This minimalist venue is effortlessly cool and serves curated menus that change regularly. Choose the affordable set lunch or a few sharing plates like lobster raviolo and grilled quail. An eclectic wine list is also on offer.
Modern Indian food
Try Trishna for Michelin-starred Indian dining with a modern approach. The menu features a variety of affordable dishes like paneer tikka anardana and dill and pepper river trout. Wine pairings are suggested for every dish. A set lunch, tasting menu, and private dining are offered too. The restaurant has a simple and contemporary look.
Persian restaurant Kateh has won numerous awards and offers diners tradition with a modern twist. The menu includes hot and cold starters, salads, stews, and chargrilled meats, plus there's a well-selected wine list to go with it. Food is served in a white dining space with a chic understated look.
Smart place for pasta
Beginning in Islington and gradually expanding to other areas, Noci is a smart neighbourhood pasta restaurant focusing on regional Italian flavours. The interiors are contemporary and crisp. There's a simple menu of antipasti, pasta, and desserts, all at reasonable prices. An affordable weekday lunch is also served, plus wine and seasonal cocktails.
Enjoy the Art Deco setting
Treat yourself to French cuisine in a grand Art Deco setting at Brasserie Zédel. This centrally-located restaurant is brimming with classic style and includes a number of distinct spaces. There are several affordable set menus plus main dishes like cheese soufflé, seared butterflied sardines, and sirloin steak. Classic French wines and cocktails are served.
Intimate and on-trend
Intimate restaurant The Ninth has a contemporary look with leather banquettes, exposed brick, and copper details, whilst the cuisine has a French influence. Check out the pasta dishes if you want affordable food or try some plates to share. A large selection of wine is also available, with plenty of options served by the glass.
A favourite in Brockley
Brockley's Babur is a local Indian restaurant with a cult following. This long-established spot has a glamorous feel with striking modern art on the walls. A variety of menus all including elegant dishes are available. There's the à la carte selection plus a fixed lunch and a Sunday buffet of classic dishes that change frequently.
Dining and wining
Trendy venue Noble Rot is a restaurant and wine bar with the feel of an exclusive members club. A large choice of wine is available and for food you can go for small bites from the bar or a full menu of British and European dishes. An affordable seasonal set lunch is also available at these trendy spots.
Seasonal meals in Deptford
Relaxed Deptford restaurant Marcella focuses on Italian food with British influences like poached quince with gorgonzola, tagliatelle with pheasant, and cranberry and clove rice pudding. The space is crisp and clean with a bustling atmosphere. Menus make use of seasonal produce and change regularly, and an affordable set menu is on offer every Sunday.
A taste of France
For a meal in Islington, check out sophisticated French bistro La Petite Auberge. With checked tablecloths and framed art on exposed brick walls, the place looks timeless. A range of menus are available including set menus and choices for kids. French faves like frogs' legs, baked brie, and galettes are on the menu, plus an extensive choice of wines.
The secret is in the sauce
Swiss Butter, a laid-back steakhouse chain hailing from the Middle East, is known for its affordability and a secret sauce rumoured to be made with a mix of 33 herbs and spices. You can choose from beef, salmon, or chicken, and generously apply the signature sauce to your selections. The meals and accompanying sides are served on wooden boards, complementing the restaurant's chic industrial ambiance.