In a world where prices seem to be increasing daily, going out to eat can be a conundrum. One one hand, you don’t want to shut yourself away in your flat and never do anything fun; on the other hand, costs can spiral quickly when your date wants a three-course lunch, or that one mate orders steak when everyone else has gone for pasta.

The solution? A good quality, great value set menu. You can budget in advance, then sit back and let everyone order whatever they like (just get to the wine list first). Read on for our pick of the best set lunch menus around.

Central London

Noble Rot, Soho

Set lunch menu at Noble Rot - A plate of sausages, lentils and mustard
Noble Rot, Soho | Photo by Amanda David

Fabulous restaurant on Greek Street on the former site of the Gay Hussar pub, a old favourite of left-wing politicians and prime ministers. With the kitchen headed up by ex-Sardine chef Alex Jackson, expect accomplished seasonal British/European cooking.

It’s much-loved by foodies and wine buffs alike, as is the Lamb’s Conduit Street venue and the new Mayfair site; check out the Noble Rot book and latest magazine over the set lunch, which is ridiculously good value. Dishes change regularly but think Salt Hake Salad to start, then Sausages, Lentils & Mustard followed by Buttermilk Pudding & Sauternes-soaked Raisins. Heavenly.

Price: 2 courses for £22.00, 3 courses for £26.00
Available: Monday-Saturday 12 noon-2:30pm

Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden

Photo by Amanda David

A versatile Japanese izakaya-inspired restaurant serving a range of drinks and small plates. Feast on Korean fried wings, crispy duck leg with plum sauce, beetroot pickle & cucumber pickle and two bao buns, then finish with their interactive S’more dessert (strawberry marshmallows, almond chocolate, graham crackers).

Price: 2 courses £20.00, 3 courses £25.00
Available: Monday-Sunday before 6.45pm

Bao, Marylebone

Should you find yourself in this notoriously spenny part of town during the week, have we got a Cheapo get-out-of-jail-free card for you. Bao15 is an express set lunch (also available as pre-theatre) menu where you can choose one bao, one Xiao Chi and one rice bowl for £15.00; for example, you might have a Beef Shortrib Bao, Taiwanese Fried Chicken & Hot Sauce and Bone Marrow Rice with Soy-Cured Egg Yolk. Add a Taiwanese beer for £5.00 and you’ve only just hit twenty quid. Winner.

Price: 3 dishes for £15.00
Available: Wednesday-Friday 12 noon-3pm

Fallow, St James

Photo by Amanda David

Not only is a set lunch a great money-saving Cheapo hack in its own right, it can also be a way to get into that super-hot restaurant that doesn’t have a dinner reservation until 2025. Cue Fallow, shining star of delicious sustainability, whose à la carte has a couple of main dishes that cost almost as much as their whole three-course set lunch menu.

So this may not be the cheapest option here but, in terms of value for money, it’s hard tp beat – and unlike some set menus, it includes several of their signature dishes. For just £42.00 you can tuck into three courses such as Mushroom Parfait, Shiitake and Grey Oyster followed by Middle white Pork Belly, Black Cherry & Red Cabbage and then Chelsea Tart & Caramelised Whey for dessert.

Price: 3 courses for £42.00
Available: Monday-Friday 12 noon-3:30pm

East London

Townsend, Whitechapel

Townsend at the Whitechapel Gallery is a stylish dining room, café and wine bar flooded with natural light illuminating the pale wood interior. Equally clean, modern and seasonal is the British produce-led menu from ex Petersham Nurseries and BAO Soho Head Chef Chris Shaw; Tamworth Terrine with Pickled Plums & Mustard, Roasted Courgette with White Beans, Tomato, Basil & Walnut then 70% Chocolate with Raspberries & Honeycomb. Beautiful modern cooking in a gorgeous setting for an absolute bargain – plus a glass of house wine is a paltry £4.00. Definitely one of the best set lunch menus in London for value.

Price: 2 courses for £19.00, 3 courses for £24.00
Available: Tuesday-Sunday

South London


Photo by Claire Menary

Kudu bills itself as a family-run restaurant, which is absolutely is; just that the family concerned happens to be Amy Corbin, daughter of hospitality legend Chris Corbin, and her partner, South African chef Patrick Williams; and the restaurant is located in foodie mecca Peckham.

The seasonally-changing menu has a South African slant but is predominantly a list of inventive flavour bombs: think Parmesan Churros & Miso Mayo, followed by Braai Lamb, Smoked Tomato, Courgette & Rosemary and then Salted Chocolate Ganache, Sesame Ice Cream & Chocolate Crumble.

Price: 2 courses for £26.00, 3 courses for £29.00
Available: Friday only, 12pm-2.30pm

West London

The Holland, Kensington

Slice of almond tart on a plate
Almond Tart

Recently renovated pub and dining room near Holland Park and Kensington High Street with a stylish country-chic interior. The menu focuses on the best use of British produce and is available for a leisurely 5 hours. Previous menus have included dishes such as Leek & Potato Soup, Confit Chicken Leg with White Beans & Pangrattato and Almond Tart with Chantilly; at three courses for £20.00 in an undeniably pricy part of town, this has to be one of the best set lunch menus around.

Price: 2 courses for £15.00, 3 courses for £20.00
Available: Wednesday-Saturday 12 noon-5pm

Looking for something a bit special but still great value? Check out our list of Michelin-starred lunch deals. Maybe you’d rather eat a little later? How about one of London’s Pre-Theatre bargain set menus?

Finally, if there’s somewhere we’ve missed that you think we should know about, hit us up on Instagram – we always love a new Cheapo find!

Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Eating & Drinking

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