taro restaurants is one of our favourite cheap eats in london

Cheap Eats: The Best of January 2024

January is notorious for being a tough month money-wise, as the holiday festivities leave many feeling the financial aftermath. With credit card bills rolling in and wallets feeling lighter, saving money becomes a top priority. One area where people often cut back is dining out, as expensive restaurant bills can exacerbate financial stress.

In this cheap eats article, we’ll explore five budget-friendly eateries that can help you navigate the financial challenges of January while still enjoying satisfying and affordable meals in our wonderful, but expensive home: London.


Founded by Mr. Taro, whose first visit to London in 1979 ignited his dream of introducing authentic Japanese cuisine to the city, Taro has become synonymous with quality, tradition, and an unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional dining experience.

Taro has expanded its footprint across London, bringing the flavours of Japan to diverse communities. With branches in Balham, Kennington, Finchley Central, Soho, Victoria, and Walthamstow, Taro endeavours to ensure that every Londoner has convenient access to the finest Japanese culinary offerings.

They have an amazing lunch menu from Monday-Friday, 12pm-3pm where they serve plenty of their fresh, authentic dishes for low prices. The options include vegetable yakisoba and tofu steak don with miso soup, both for £9.90. They also have a warming tempura udon soup with prawns for £10.50 or go for the chicken katsu curry or chicken ramen for £10.90. Prices and dishes vary over their six sites, but you can always find a bargain at lunchtime.

Roti Stop

A famous restaurant in North London, where the prices are lower than low! A cherished gem nestled in Stamford Hill, this beloved Caribbean takeout spot offers a convenient grab-and-go experience for the neighbourhood. Indulge in Trinidadian doubles accompanied by tamarind sauce or savour the flavourful curried lamb roti – both are excellent choices. And to complete the experience, be sure to complement your meal with a refreshing glass of fruit punch. Experience the authenticity of Trinbago cuisine, served with love.

Enjoy their delicious roti for incredible prices, choose Ackee and salt fish or curry goat for just £8, jerk chicken or mixed veg for £7 and channa or pumpkin for just £6! A bargain.

Adam’s Ethiopian

Nestled in the heart of Brixton, Adam’s Ethiopian Restaurant stands as a testament to family-run excellence, originally rooted in the artistry of a bakery and now flourishing as a haven for culinary enthusiasts. This charming establishment beckons visitors with the allure of traditionally cooked Ethiopian delicacies.

The restaurant prides itself not only on its tasty, wholesome food but also on its wallet-friendly prices, making it an inviting destination for those looking to savour quality cuisine without breaking the bank. The ambience is further enriched by the warm and friendly staff, creating an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home.

They have incredible vegan options and we highly recommend their veg combination platter, which is suitable for two, which is Miser Kik (lentils cooked in a delicious spiced hot sauce and a mild split pea sauce), Ater Kik (yellow split pea stew cooked with turmeric), and three portions of house vegetarian dishes and Injera, all for a cheap £20.90.


Located in Peckham, Yemanes’ is a North African food stall renowned for its expertise in crafting freshly prepared wraps. Immerse yourself in the cuisine and watch the falafel-making process right before your eyes.

The menu boasts a straightforward yet diverse selection of fillings, catering to all tastes – from chicken or lamb shawarma to halloumi cheese and vegan falafel. For those seeking variety, Yemanes also introduces weekly specials, offering an opportunity to continually explore and savour new flavours.

The prices are beyond amazing, choose a halloumi, chicken shawarma or falafel wrap for just £5, lamb shawarma for £6 or mixed for £7. The perfect wholesome, hearty lunch on a budget.

Hai Cafe

In a family-run Vietnamese cafe nestled in Clapton, the emphasis is placed on sourcing ingredients locally to impart a distinctive Clapton twist to the traditional Vietnamese fare. The establishment strives to acquire most of its fresh produce directly from New Spitalfields Market. Everything, from the preparation to the marination process, is meticulously carried out in-house every week. The heart of the kitchen is Mama Hai, who oversees the operations and infuses each dish with generous amounts of love.

The establishment operates on a walk-in-only basis, and when all the tables are occupied, opting for takeaway not only ensures a quicker service but also comes with a £2 discount on all items.

For those seeking a quick and delicious meal, the flavour-packed chicken, prawn, or tofu bánh mì can be taken away for just £8. Made with freshly baked sourdough baguettes from their neighbours at Casey’s Clapton bakery, and then stuffed with house-made pickles, cucumber, fresh herbs, other garnishes and protein stuffing of your choice. They also do a tofu or prawn pho, along with a tofu and veg or chicken curry for just £11 when you take it away.

They are also famous for their sensational mango salad; slices of fresh mango served with housemade pickles, crispy fried shallots, sesame, pumpkin seeds, Viet herbs and nước chấm dressing, £9 to eat in.

Discover the genuine Vietnamese flavours with a unique Clapton twist at this family-run gem.

Thank you for joining us for another Cheap Eats, come back next month for more hidden gems across London where you can find a meal for £10 and under (and sometimes a tad over!).

Know some delicious, affordable restaurants that you want to share? Make a Hawkker List of your favourite spots and help others find great food on the cheap!

You can also find the above spots, and many more, on our own regularly-updated list of cheap eats in London.

taro restaurants is one of our favourite cheap eats in london

Cheap Eats: The Best of January 2024

January is notorious for being a tough month money-wise, as the holiday festivities leave many feeling the financial aftermath. With credit card bills rolling in

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