London is a city of culinary dreams—from street food to posh sweet treats—there’s a bit of everything at your fingertips. The catch? It also happens to be pricey. Here's my guide to experiencing London like a foodie without breaking the bank.

Where to Brunch the Hangover Away: Sundays  

Alegria Ruseler-Smith

This restaurant in Islington is a favorite of Londoners. Serving up incredible fluffy french toast with bacon and maple syrup, absurdly ornate avocado toast with poached eggs, a full English breakfast or a stack of pancakes that would satisfy the most decadent of patrons, this brunch can’t be beat. They also have lovely cakes and pastries, a fantastic espresso bar or mimosas if that’s more your vibe. Regulars wait in line for more than an hour to get a table on weekends, so go early (or extra late), to avoid the block-long cue. 

Nearest underground station: Highbury and Islington, Victoria Line

Price Range $-$$

Where to go When You Can’t Decide What to Eat: Brixton Market 

Street food, shwarma, falafel, Mediterranean, trio
Caroline Ingalls

Take the Victoria underground to the end of the line and you’re a few steps away from London’s liveliest outdoor market. A hub of multicultural cuisine Brixton Market has become a favorite of young trendy Londoners. During the day the market sells all every kind of fresh produce you can imagine. At night it becomes the scene of relaxed restaurants and bars crawling with people. Go for the Jamaican, Thai, Spanish Tapas, fantastic pizza, wholesome burgers and stay for the ambiance and good cocktails—Brixton is the place to be on a Friday night.

Want to save a buck? Buy Brixton pounds ahead of time and use them in Brixton. Restaurants and stores in the area will give you discounts for using this local currency. Also the bills are cool. 

Nearest underground station: Brixton, Victoria Line

Price Range $-$$ 

Where to Grab Food On The Run: Crussh Juice Bar 

Alegria Ruseler-Smith

This healthy chain with locations all over central London serves up delicious quick bites to eat ideal for breakfast or lunch from curries to salads to sandwiches. They also have a selection of juices and smoothies prepared to satisfy the biggest health nut and they’re banana-and-strawberries-only friends. Try they’re vegan avocado black rice sushi (pictured above) and ginger shot or turmeric latte if you’re feeling adventurous. Ideal for vegans, vegetarians or anyone with food allergies.

Want to save a buck? Get the breakfast meal deal: any coffee and a warm breakfast of eggs or oats for 4.25 pounds. My go-to was a ginger shot almond milk latte and coconut milk oats with almond butter and banana.

Price Range $  

Where to Get Your Ice Cream Fix: La Gelateria

wafer, sundae, chocolate, waffle, cream, ice cream, ice
Maddie Omeltchenko

This Italian gelateria on the border of Soho and Covent Garden is a hidden gem. Serving up around 20 flavors of gelato made in house using traditional methods and hot chocolate made from your choice of Ecuadorian or Venezuelan chocolate, it’s well worth a visit. Got a vegan or lactose intolerant person traveling with you? They have water-based gelatos that are comparable to the real deal (a.k.a. not just sorbet). Think dark chocolate and chili vegan sorbet, pistachio vegan sorbet. For those not limited there’s honey rosemary and orange zest, peanut butter chocolate and caramel, and even a blue cheese and walnuts flavor, which has won various best taste UK competitions. 

Nearest underground station: Leicester Square, Piccadilly and Northern Lines

Price Range $ 

Where to go For a Cheeky Curry: Memsaab 

shrimp, vegetable, meat, chicken
Joanna Hu

Located in Islington a bit off the beaten track this neighborhood favorite serves up nearly every typical dish you can imagine. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly and the price doesn’t make you recoil and resign yourself to beans and toast for the rest of the week. Not in the mood to trek to Islington? Order delivery through the number on their website and skip the Deliveroo charge. 

Nearest underground station: Highbury and Islington, Victoria Line

Price Range $-$$  

Where to go When You Need That Insta Pic: 26 Grains

Alegria Ruseler-Smith

I have been going to this small rustic café since I was little with my mom. It’s just the right amount British and cozy whilst also trendy and innovative. Located in Neal’s Yard just off the Seven Dials in Covent Garden, the location is an event in itself. 26 Grains offers 5-6 warm porridge bowls, an array of baked goods, a full espresso and tea bar, smoothies, juices, and savory dishes after 1 PM.

My recommendation? Go for one of their porridges (banana and cacao pictures above) and top it off with a buckwheat banana bread to go

Nearest underground station: Covent Garden, Piccadilly Line

Price Range $-$$ 

Alegria Ruseler-Smith