nilly's turkish kitchen at spitalfields market

Affordable Eats: Spitalfields Market Edition

Welcome to another cheap eats list with Hawkker! With London being such a culturally diverse city, we know you want to try the best of every cuisine – just without breaking the bank. That’s why we do our best each month to find you some of the most incredible, but affordable places to eat out in the capital.

This month, we are at Shoreditch’s Spitalfields Market, one of the oldest and most famous markets in London.

Its rich history dates back to the late 17th Century, when King Charles II granted a royal charter for a market to be held in the area. Initially, the market sold fruits and vegetables, but as time went by, it expanded into what we know today: a place filled to the brim with independent stalls selling clothes, jewellery, art, candles, antiques, various unique handmade items, and so much more. And most importantly (to us foodies, anyway), the market boasts a fantastic selection of food stalls and vendors offering an eclectic mix of global cuisines. From street food to gourmet bites, there’s something to suit every palate.

As it’s a prime spot in London, Spitalfields hosts some expensive options, but we have sniffed out a few cheaper – but just as special – places for you to dine for under £10.

Nilly’s Turkish Kitchen

Authentic Turkish cuisine with a smile! The lovely team are serving wraps, flatbreads and bowls for amazing prices. Their dishes are juicy, filling and fresh, made right in front of you. Most menu items are £10 and under, and you can go for the vegetarian lavash flatbread wrap for just £8.50. Plus, you’ll want to pick up some of their insanely good Baklava and their traditional Ayran drinks too.

2 Nigerian Boys

Serving up some of the finest Jollof rice in the city are 2 Nigerian Boys! Hit them up for a huge, hearty lunch, guaranteed to hit the spot. Prices start at just £5 for jollof rice with salad, and you can add various proteins like spinach stew for a total of £6, £10 for lamb, chicken for £8, or beef stew for a total of just £9. Add extra plantain for just £1, and salad for free! This is a meal that will keep you warm right through winter, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Sud Italia

Sud Italia and their blue van are famous in East London, and for good reason. They only choose the best ingredients for their pizzas and manage to source most of them from Napoli, ensuring the best southern pizza experience for all those who visit.

Their classic pizzas boast a variety of delicious toppings including the Zucca with pumpkin cream, aubergine and blue cheese, the pepperoni the Capricciosa with olives, artichokes, mushrooms and ham; or try something a little different, like the Salsicca e Friarielli with wild broccoli, Italian sausage and parmesan.

But what we really need to talk about is their incredible deal: their £5 pizza portfolio is a dream come true. This folded margarita is absolutely delicious, filled with fresh tomato sauce and melted fior di latte mozzarella, and it’s so easy to eat on the go. This one’s an absolute winner.

Mr Bombay

Fresh, homely Indian dishes from a big red van in Spitalfields – you won’t miss it! Mr Bombay serves so many comforting flavours that you’ll just want to keep coming back. And, fun touch, their dishes are all playfully named after Bollywood celebrities. With each of them either £8 or £9, it’s the perfect place to have a big, hearty meal on a budget.

Choose wraps in soft flatbread, tender boneless chicken, mouthwatering dahl, tandoori spiced chicken tikka, vegan options, sizzling chicken salads and their homemade sauces. You can even add some sides, like Mama’s world-famous samosas and bhajis. The only dish over our set budget is the taste of everything for £11! And for an extra £1, we are happy to break the £10 budget here.

Merkato Ethiopian

If you are looking for a 100% vegan stand that packs a punch with flavour, is hearty and filling, and is so much more than your classic salad and falafel vegan offerings, then Merkato is the spot for you. This authentic Ethiopian cuisine can be found inside Spitalfields Market and the service is speedy! It’s the kind of fast food we like to see, because it’s packed with goodness and nutritious ingredients, but feels comforting and indulgent.

Choose from their delicious organic dishes, all for under £10. Options include injera wraps with soya, lentils and salad, the low-carb high-protein bowl, the traditional bowl with a little bit of everything or the green plate with green peas, bulgur wheat and green olives. The majority of the dishes are £7.99 and you can go large for £9.99 (but we think the smaller size is perfectly filling, and you will still have room in the budget for a brown lentil samosa or a coconut dumpling!).

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 affordable eats in London.

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