It may be one of the world's most expensive cities, but many of London's Michelin-starred restaurants are surprisingly affordable, especially if you take advantage of set menu lunch deals and early bird dining offers. If you're flexible with your time and can dine midweek, you could make substantial savings at the city's finest restaurants. Read on for our tips on where to book a table if your appetite is healthier than your bank balance. All seven restaurants below offer multi-course meals for less than £30 a head.
In the heart of Fitzrovia, Lima serves contemporary Peruvian cuisine like suckling pig with elderberry and black cod with Cusco yellow corn. The laid-back restaurant is informal and fun and diners sit on comfy banquettes arranged under a glass roof. The heritage lunch deal includes one course, a side dish and a glass of house wine and is an absolute steal at £19. It's available from Tuesday to Friday between 12 pm and 2:30 pm and for dinner between 5:30 pm and 6 pm Monday to Friday.
On the 28th-floor of the Hilton Park Lane, Galvin at Windows has been a sky-high stalwart of London's dining scene since opening in 2003. It sits opposite Hyde Park and the 360-degree views stretch from the skyscrapers in the City to Wembley Stadium in northwest London. The menu focuses on French haute cuisine so you can expect dishes like foie gras, tarte tatin, and amazing cheese boards. The lunchtime two-course set menu (Menu du Jour) is excellent value for money at £30 and is available between 12 pm and 2:30 pm Monday to Friday.
London's only Michelin-starred pub, the Harwood Arms in Fulham is a cozy spot that serves posh pub grub made with British ingredients. The daily changing menu features hearty dishes like Berkshire venison and Cornish sea bass and foodies flock from far and wide to indulge in the Sunday roast dinners. It's a popular place on the weekends and in the evenings so consider visiting for lunch Tuesday to Friday when a two-course meal will set you back just £22.50.
Tamarind has been spicing up the London dining scene since opening in 1995 and became the world's first Indian restaurant to scoop a Michelin star in 2001. The menu is inspired by northwest Indian cuisine where dishes are cooked in a Tandoor oven. While the elegant restaurant is kitted out with mirrored wall panels and gold columns, the two-course seasonal lunch deal is surprisingly affordable at £21.50 (Monday to Friday, 12-2:45 pm). Menu highlights include Tandoor grilled chicken, butter naan breads, and tiger prawns with ginger and paprika. You can add wine pairings for an extra £10 per person.
This sophisticated spot serves modern European dishes with Scandinavian flavors. The Georgian dining room features high ceilings, leather booth seating and modern artwork and the accompanying champagne bar is a stylish venue for pre-dinner drinks. While main courses from the a la carte menu can set you back between £30 and £40, the two-course set lunch offer is great value at £29. The head chef hails from Iceland and champions native ingredients like Skyr (a creamy yogurt) and Icelandic cod.
On Station Parade, a village-like hub near Kew Gardens in southwest London, the Glasshouse is a smart neighborhood restaurant that serves fancy modern European cuisine like wild garlic risotto and red mullet soup. While the tasting menu costs around £70 you can take advantage of a fantastic three-course early bird dinner for just £27.50. Available Monday to Wednesday between 6:30 and 7 pm, it's definitely worth adjusting your evening plans for.
Social Eating House, Soho
Part of top British chef Jason Atherton's restaurant empire, Social Eating House is a buzzy spot in the heart of Soho. The main restaurant sits between a cool cocktail bar upstairs and a chef's table area in the basement. The menu features contemporary bistro dishes like posh mac n' cheese and confit duck. It's not often that affordable set menus are available at the weekend but Social Eating House's prix fixe deal (£22.50 for two courses and £26.50 for three) is available for lunch between 12 pm and 2:30 pm Monday to Saturday and early dinner sittings between 6 pm and 7 pm Monday to Thursday.