How To Eat Out In London On A Budget | Blog to Taste

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To Eat Out In London On A Budget

Well hey there foodie friends! I just got back from an awesome trip to London and Paris with my college girlfriend Brandy. This was my first trip to Europe, and I went prepared to take it all in, and report back to everyone at home. I took a million photos, and overshared to Facebook already, but I have been saving my food photos just to share with you guys!

When we arrived in London at 7:30AM we were hungry, by the time we took the tube, and a double-decker bus to our AirBnB accommodation we were starving. So we headed straight over to Leadenhall Market, I had read that this was the market that Diagon Alley from Harry Potter was inspired by. I had also read that markets were a good place to get food from food stands (read:cheaper). 

Unfortunately the the market was closed because it was Sunday (doh!), so we were left wandering the streets, scratching our head and feeling like “are we walking in circles?” (we probably were). 

Until we wandered upon a menu on the sidewalk, we glanced and knew we had finally found lunch. Finally. The restaurant was The Crosse Keys, a J.D Wetherspoon pub. While doing extensive research for this trip (reading BuzzFeed is research, right?) I had read about these pubs, they are a national chain, and therefor I was advised not to eat at them. But, we did, and it was fine. Truth be told, I’d eat there again happily if the chance ever arose. 

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The Crosse Keys was our a soft start to London. The outside had the vibe of a fancy hotel, the ornamental double doors opened to give way to a very large dining room, with a central grandiose bar. We sat ourselves on the outer rim, in a quiet corner. 

The menu was simple, and we both quickly chose our lunches. We chose the same thing- a chicken wrap with southern-fried chicken with chipotle mayo. Great minds think alike. Yes, we probably could have gotten something more exciting and less American, but we knew we would have more chances for that in the trip. Now it was time to order, here is something I didn’t read about before I went- in the pubs I went to, and ordered food at, it was a different process than in the States. You take note of your table, we were at table 145, and then make your way to the bar, you order and pay right there, and then they drop your food off at the table once it is ready. 

The flight to London was long, and we slept very little, so you can image how I was not at my best that afternoon. At the bar, ordering was not my strongest charming traveler interaction. The bartender was friendly, and I ordered my chicken wrap, with french fries as the side. French Fries y’all. I said french fries. He laughed, and corrected me with "chips", (ugh, I knew that!) and then asked what I wanted to drink, to which I responded “soda pop”, just like the adorable 11 year old american girl that I am. He laughed again and said “You are so American aren’t you?” in the most charming english accent. The soda pops are listed as soft drinks on the menu, duh Rosie. I answered him yes, and when he asked where I was from I said “Portland”, and he said “Oh yeah, Oregon?”. I was impressed with his geographical knowledge since I was so far away from home, and walked back to the table while having a serious conversation with myself about how to behave in public. Ha ha.

The food arrived quick enough, and it was tasty enough. I would say the equivalent of a Red Robin in the US, nothing really too special, but not bad either. Except this place was full of english charm, old times awesomeness and stuff. The bathrooms were downstairs through a weird staircase, and were very nice and fancy as well. A clean bathroom tells me so much about an establishment. As for prices, I was happy as a clam. In american currency £4.99 is only $7.60, that is a great value in a place like London.