East London is, in many ways, the hipster version of Epcot center when it comes to food. You can eat your way around the world without having to do much walking and there’s constantly a new restaurant popping up. The price is usually kinder than Central London and there’s no combination of food you cannot find, fancy a bubble tea with a side of pink mayonnaise perhaps?
Here are 5 amazing restaurants on a student-friendly budget you have to try if you ever find yourself in East London.
The Pavilion – Victoria Park
Located in Victoria Park in East London, complete with a pond and a minor selection of wildlife, this place is so hip and Instagram-able it almost hurts. The pavilion has an affordable and seemingly ever-changing menu, serving everything from traditional English sausage to Greek and Indian food.
A popular choice amongst students and hipsters alike, the restaurant tends to get quite busy, especially during the spring and summer months. Vegetarian and vegan-friendly and with seating both inside and outside, it’s ideal for breakfast and lunch. It’s also a great place for a study break or if you’re planning on spending the day lounging in the park.
Kinkao Thai – The Docklands
If you’re a Thai food enthusiast, this is the perfect restaurant to feel fancy and special without having to sell a kidney in the process. Kinkao Thai is situated right by the Themes and feels so peaceful that you forget you’re in a busy city for a second, and instead, you’re by the water in France.
Despite the fancy napkins and champagne flutes, the restaurant has a friendly and calm atmosphere. As most other Thai restaurants, it comes with an overwhelmingly large menu, but with nice prices and big portions. The food is 10/10 and especially lovely in the sun. It’s a special treat, despite costing about the same as other Thai restaurants in the area.
The Chicken Shop/Dirty Burger – Stepney Green
Looking for a proper burger and fries to fulfill all your dreams and desires? Look no further. Dirty Burger, or The Chicken Shop if you will, is exactly what you imagine when you hear the name. With its wood benches, open kitchen and exposed brick walls, the restaurant looks like the definition of an East London diner. Put on your oversized denim jacket and your Fjallraven backpack and you’ll fit right in.
Nothing is as satisfying as greasy hand food and alcoholic milkshakes, and Dirty Burger does both. As well as a series of burgers, vegan and vegetarian options included, you also have a number of tasty sides to choose from. The restaurant offers sweet potato fries, chicken wings, cole slaw and heaps of hot sauce. You risk the chance of a food coma and slight sugar delirium, but it’s absolutely worth it.
The Woodins Shades – Liverpool Street
After having spent many a Sunday looking for the perfect place to enjoy a Sunday Roast, this dainty little pub right outside Liverpool Street Station quickly became a favorite. It looks, in many ways, like any other classic English pub, but with a second floor to add a nice spacious, relaxed feel. The food ranges from classic pub grub, like sausage and mash, to slightly more fancy dishes, like baked camembert and homemade snacks.
If you’re not British yourself, this is an essential place to visit as the whole place feels so British you’re half expecting Maggie Smith to walk in the door and offer you a cup of English Breakfast Tea. The pub has a series of options for both vegetarians and vegans and a decent selection of alcohol and drinks.
90 Degree Melt – Mile End
Everything served at this restaurant is either vegetarian or vegan, and most of the vegetarian dishes have vegan options. This is the restaurant you want to drag your conservative aunt to and convince her that the vegan lifestyle is not her enemy and that not everything tastes like cardboard and candlewax. Located right by Queen Mary University of London, it’s usually busy with students but it’s always possible to find a free spot.
As the name suggests this restaurant specializes in melts, or melted cheese in its many forms. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of cuisine they’re going for, it may be best described as American Diner with a hint of Mexican? You can find everything from bean chili to vegan pancakes here, and the prices are student-friendly.