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Mince on toast at Quality Chop House
Adam Coghlan/Eater London

11 Excellent (Value) Set Menus in London Right Now

Where to eat fantastic food for £25 or less

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Mince on toast at Quality Chop House
| Adam Coghlan/Eater London

London’s best-value set menus offer meals — ambitious ones, not the sort of thing easily whipped up at home — to soothe the soul, placate menu-induced anxiety and keep the bank resolutely unbroken, with two or three always superb courses for under £25. Eat, drink and be frugally merry.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yashin Sushi

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1A Argyll Rd, Kensington
London W8 7DB, UK

In the evenings this Kensington legend’s exquisite sushi is out of reach of all but the highest rollers, but at lunchtime things are much more democratic. There’s five pieces of sushi and a sushi roll, a beautifully composed salad and miso soup on offer at prices not far off Yo’s — choose from salmon (£16), tuna (£18) or yellowtail (£20). Say no to soy sauce — the chefs prefer diners to abstain so the flavours can shine through.

Yashin Sushi/Official

2. Hereford Road Restaurant

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3 Hereford Rd, Bayswater
London W2 4AB, UK

At two courses for £13.50 or three for £15.50, the set lunch menu at this former Victorian butcher is eye-poppingly good value. It’s fairly but not exclusively meaty, with shades of St. John: start with beetroot, watercress and boiled egg, follow it with guinea fowl and fried new potatoes, and finish up with rice pudding or custard tart. Get it from Thursday to Saturday. 

Grilled sardines at Hereford Road Hereford Road

3. Cafe Murano St. James

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33 St James's St, St. James's
London SW1A 1HD, UK

With its Mad Men-goes-to-Milan vibe, Cafe Murano is great for dazzling a date, or indeed a visiting parent; no scary ferments here. The two-for-£19 or three-for-£22 daily menu, which focuses on a different region each month (currently the vibe is Sardinian), is available from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pick a starter and main or a main and dessert: cavatelli with tomato and olive followed by seafood fregola, maybe, or a lamb stew followed by honey pannacotta.

Cafe Murano St. James

4. BAO Fitzrovia

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31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

Fitzrovia’s Bao 15 menu’s concept is simple but sensational: a bao — including the Fitz-only cod in a black bun — a Taiwanese fried chicken chop; and a pork loin and soy egg or mapo aubergine rice bowl from 12pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Adding beer or wine for £3 still brings this in comfortably under £20 a head.

Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard Pascal Grob

5. Ducksoup

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41 Dean St, Soho
London W1D 4PY, UK

Not really a menu, but excellent nonetheless. For the price of a soul-sapping salad, smoothie and bag of crisps from Pret, weekday worker-bees in the vicinity of Dean Street can sit down to a daily special (smoked haddock, potato, watercress and a soft egg; Sardinian gnocchi…), plus a glass of wine or non-alcoholic fruit shrub for just £10. Quacking stuff.

Ducksoup Soho is one of London’s best summer restaurants Chiron Cole

6. Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant

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51 Lamb's Conduit St
London WC1N 3NB, UK

The platonic ideal of a prix fixe at two courses for £18 or three for £22. In keeping with the ‘haven’t we suffered enough?’ mood of the nation, there are no calorie-conscious trifectas paying homage to cuisine minceur at this Bloomsbury haven, as in previous years. Instead find assemblages that reflect the seasons: broodingly autumnal venison mince with mash and hispi, followed by the purple whack of damson alongside a rice pudding. If in the mood for a minor splurge, add on that wine pairing. It would probably be rude not to.

Noble Rot restaurant is opening a new wine bar in Soho on the site of the Gay Hussar Noble Rot

7. Spring

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Somerset House, Lancaster Pl
London WC2R 1LA, UK

Skye Gyngell’s £25 ‘scratch’ deal — three plates created entirely from scraps and offcuts — has had a lot of press, and deservedly so: none of the a la carte menu’s style or substance has been sacrificed in the name of the no-waste concept. Par for the course are dishes like fried gnudi with gruyere, pickled leeks and carrots; crab bisque with monkfish, celeriac and puntarelle; and meringue with mango ice cream. It’s only available from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., but it’s worth the faff. 

Spring

8. The Quality Chop House

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88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell
London EC1R 3EA, UK

London’s greatest lunch-to-go, the joyfully jaw-busting egg mayo sandwich, can be found in the Quality Chop Shop’s counter. For something a little longer-lasting, take a seat next door and tuck into three courses of trencherman’s fare for £25 — think game, pistachio and prune terrine with cornichons, the internet-breaking Belted Galloway mince on dripping toast, and chocolate mousse with olive oil.

Adam Coghlan

9. Artusi

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161 Bellenden Rd
London SE15 4DH, UK

This £20, three-course deal is only available on Sundays — and with so-so gastropub roasts often coming in at twice the price once drinks and something sweet are factored in, there’s really no contest. Mediterranean-inflected and seasonally appropriate is the drill here: the meal might start with hispi cabbage, ham butter and breadcrumbs, move on to spaghetti al’amatriciana, and end with a slice of their much-loved almond cake and custard. 

10. Levan

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12-16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham
London SE15 4QL, UK

Levan’s set lunch menu comes in at just £16 for two courses, or £19 for three. There’s no corner-cutting here: expect the likes of burrata, carrot, clementine, vadouvan spices, pistachio; monkfish, January King cabbage, Cornish potatoes and lardo; and canelé with bacon caramel and milk ice cream. Or, for a champion’s lunch for under a tenner, order a whole croque monsieur topped with a fried egg.

Cod crudo, at Levan in Peckham, the upcoming London restaurant opening from Nicholas Balfe of Salon, Brixton Matt Russell/Levan

11. Bar Douro City

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Unit 3, 1 Finsbury Ave
London EC2M 2PF, UK

Yep, £14 — that really is the price of a three-course feast at this feted Portuguese joint’s City location on Finsbury Square. Running from Monday to Friday, it’s a fairly no-frills affair but leaves no box unticked. Start with a snack — salt cod fritters, punchy smoked Portuguese sausage or crispy polenta — follow it up with bife in mustard sauce, and round things off with a perfect pastel de nata. 

Bar Douro Portuguese restaurant in Flat Iron Square will launch a guest series Bar Douro [official photo]

1. Yashin Sushi

1A Argyll Rd, Kensington, London W8 7DB, UK
Yashin Sushi/Official

In the evenings this Kensington legend’s exquisite sushi is out of reach of all but the highest rollers, but at lunchtime things are much more democratic. There’s five pieces of sushi and a sushi roll, a beautifully composed salad and miso soup on offer at prices not far off Yo’s — choose from salmon (£16), tuna (£18) or yellowtail (£20). Say no to soy sauce — the chefs prefer diners to abstain so the flavours can shine through.

1A Argyll Rd, Kensington
London W8 7DB, UK

2. Hereford Road Restaurant

3 Hereford Rd, Bayswater, London W2 4AB, UK
Grilled sardines at Hereford Road Hereford Road

At two courses for £13.50 or three for £15.50, the set lunch menu at this former Victorian butcher is eye-poppingly good value. It’s fairly but not exclusively meaty, with shades of St. John: start with beetroot, watercress and boiled egg, follow it with guinea fowl and fried new potatoes, and finish up with rice pudding or custard tart. Get it from Thursday to Saturday. 

3 Hereford Rd, Bayswater
London W2 4AB, UK

3. Cafe Murano St. James

33 St James's St, St. James's, London SW1A 1HD, UK
Cafe Murano St. James

With its Mad Men-goes-to-Milan vibe, Cafe Murano is great for dazzling a date, or indeed a visiting parent; no scary ferments here. The two-for-£19 or three-for-£22 daily menu, which focuses on a different region each month (currently the vibe is Sardinian), is available from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pick a starter and main or a main and dessert: cavatelli with tomato and olive followed by seafood fregola, maybe, or a lamb stew followed by honey pannacotta.

33 St James's St, St. James's
London SW1A 1HD, UK

4. BAO Fitzrovia

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN, UK
Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard Pascal Grob

Fitzrovia’s Bao 15 menu’s concept is simple but sensational: a bao — including the Fitz-only cod in a black bun — a Taiwanese fried chicken chop; and a pork loin and soy egg or mapo aubergine rice bowl from 12pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Adding beer or wine for £3 still brings this in comfortably under £20 a head.

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

5. Ducksoup

41 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 4PY, UK
Ducksoup Soho is one of London’s best summer restaurants Chiron Cole

Not really a menu, but excellent nonetheless. For the price of a soul-sapping salad, smoothie and bag of crisps from Pret, weekday worker-bees in the vicinity of Dean Street can sit down to a daily special (smoked haddock, potato, watercress and a soft egg; Sardinian gnocchi…), plus a glass of wine or non-alcoholic fruit shrub for just £10. Quacking stuff.

41 Dean St, Soho
London W1D 4PY, UK

6. Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant

51 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, UK
Noble Rot restaurant is opening a new wine bar in Soho on the site of the Gay Hussar Noble Rot

The platonic ideal of a prix fixe at two courses for £18 or three for £22. In keeping with the ‘haven’t we suffered enough?’ mood of the nation, there are no calorie-conscious trifectas paying homage to cuisine minceur at this Bloomsbury haven, as in previous years. Instead find assemblages that reflect the seasons: broodingly autumnal venison mince with mash and hispi, followed by the purple whack of damson alongside a rice pudding. If in the mood for a minor splurge, add on that wine pairing. It would probably be rude not to.

51 Lamb's Conduit St
London WC1N 3NB, UK

7. Spring

Somerset House, Lancaster Pl, London WC2R 1LA, UK
Spring

Skye Gyngell’s £25 ‘scratch’ deal — three plates created entirely from scraps and offcuts — has had a lot of press, and deservedly so: none of the a la carte menu’s style or substance has been sacrificed in the name of the no-waste concept. Par for the course are dishes like fried gnudi with gruyere, pickled leeks and carrots; crab bisque with monkfish, celeriac and puntarelle; and meringue with mango ice cream. It’s only available from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., but it’s worth the faff. 

Somerset House, Lancaster Pl
London WC2R 1LA, UK

8. The Quality Chop House

88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3EA, UK
Adam Coghlan

London’s greatest lunch-to-go, the joyfully jaw-busting egg mayo sandwich, can be found in the Quality Chop Shop’s counter. For something a little longer-lasting, take a seat next door and tuck into three courses of trencherman’s fare for £25 — think game, pistachio and prune terrine with cornichons, the internet-breaking Belted Galloway mince on dripping toast, and chocolate mousse with olive oil.

88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell
London EC1R 3EA, UK

9. Artusi

161 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4DH, UK

This £20, three-course deal is only available on Sundays — and with so-so gastropub roasts often coming in at twice the price once drinks and something sweet are factored in, there’s really no contest. Mediterranean-inflected and seasonally appropriate is the drill here: the meal might start with hispi cabbage, ham butter and breadcrumbs, move on to spaghetti al’amatriciana, and end with a slice of their much-loved almond cake and custard. 

161 Bellenden Rd
London SE15 4DH, UK

10. Levan

12-16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QL, UK
Cod crudo, at Levan in Peckham, the upcoming London restaurant opening from Nicholas Balfe of Salon, Brixton Matt Russell/Levan

Levan’s set lunch menu comes in at just £16 for two courses, or £19 for three. There’s no corner-cutting here: expect the likes of burrata, carrot, clementine, vadouvan spices, pistachio; monkfish, January King cabbage, Cornish potatoes and lardo; and canelé with bacon caramel and milk ice cream. Or, for a champion’s lunch for under a tenner, order a whole croque monsieur topped with a fried egg.

12-16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham
London SE15 4QL, UK

11. Bar Douro City

Unit 3, 1 Finsbury Ave, London EC2M 2PF, UK
Bar Douro Portuguese restaurant in Flat Iron Square will launch a guest series Bar Douro [official photo]

Yep, £14 — that really is the price of a three-course feast at this feted Portuguese joint’s City location on Finsbury Square. Running from Monday to Friday, it’s a fairly no-frills affair but leaves no box unticked. Start with a snack — salt cod fritters, punchy smoked Portuguese sausage or crispy polenta — follow it up with bife in mustard sauce, and round things off with a perfect pastel de nata. 

Unit 3, 1 Finsbury Ave
London EC2M 2PF, UK

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