Do you feel the pinch Romeo? Don’t worry, these cheap London date restaurants let you get your romance on a budget.
How many lost loves? How many failed romances? All because someone couldn’t afford a date at Hakkasan. Not anymore, we declare.
Romantics that we are, we thought we’d put together a guide to our favorite places to take that special someone when you’re not in the mood to splash out.
That doesn’t mean they’re any less romantic, but money can’t always buy you the magic of a lovely dating site, although it can help.
Read on for the most affordable romantic restaurants London has to offer.
The best restaurants for cheap dates in London
Over the past few years, London has seen a number of trendy pasta restaurants open up, their unifying element being that they serve pasta at a price close to what it costs to produce, not the exorbitant prices you might find in some of the other places Italians from London.
And, if you’re looking for cheap romantic restaurants in London, they always hit the spot.
The top of the pile of our books is counter. They make delicious dishes that rarely exceed £15. Add a reasonably priced glass of wine and you’ll have your date laughing their hearts out.
There’s a catch, though: getting a table at Bancone can be a waiting game. Do you book during peak hours? Expect to wait more than a month in some cases.
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Bao is on this list because of its ever-popular and prominent status, and the fact that you can eat there for a pretty decent price if you don’t get caught up in ordering too many small plates (easy to do).
There’s also the added romantic aspect of looking like you’re in the know when you take your date to the restaurant everyone’s been obsessing over for about ten years, even the Michelin Man. He awarded them a Bib Gourmand award for great value cuisine in his restaurant guide.
The cheese bar
Let’s assume that this is a recommendation that will appeal to a certain type of person. This person should care about cheese as much as they care about you.
While a meal a The cheese bar you can have a great fondue tab, choose a few types of cheese from their menu or go for one of their delicious and elegant cheese toasties, no
It’s not candlelit, so there’s very little chance you’ll see anyone proposing, but the good roll will generate an energy that’s sure to make your cheese-loving partner smile from ear to ear.
You’re sitting there together, eating with your fingers, maybe throwing a little seductive look as you bite into a croquette, working your way through a bottle of wine.
It’s not that romantic holiday in Spain you had when you first fell in love. Is Bar Tozinoa hidden gem of a tapas place off Maltby Street, with dimly lit, wood-covered interiors, ticks all the boxes for a romantic date.
Your date doesn’t have to know you’ve chosen the place because a plate of tapas never costs more than a tenner. Make them believe you wanted to take them somewhere you knew would create a spark.
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Sometimes romance is a piece of grilled steak. A steak that is pink in the middle and red with each cut. Steak, however, is basically never cheap, until you discover it flat iron.
A steak at this place costs £13. Throw in a few extras such as a serving of crispy bone marrow and garlic mash, add a glass of wine for under £6 and you’ve got a winner. You’ll be happy with the value and your date will be happy with you.
We’ll also add that you’ll look even better under its dim lighting. Everyone does it.
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Another affordable pasta place in London is Cooking pan. They do more or less the same thing as Bancone, very, very cute small pasta dishes with creative and modern sauces, and that don’t break.
Which one you prefer will be a matter of personal preference. What you’ll enjoy about Padella is that you won’t have to make a reservation three months in advance.
Instead, show up at the door an hour or two before you eat and leave your number, then go to a bar around the corner, have a few drinks and wait for your table.
You are probably not used to seeing Georgian food in restaurants. You probably don’t know the difference between your Khachapuri Adjaruli and your Kalmakhi. But they say the key to a healthy relationship is keeping things fresh.
This is not a reference to the ingredients found Little Georgia kitchen, while they are definitely fresh (you’ll taste it in the quality of your Kalmakhi), it’s more of a look to get out there and try something new.
Your food here will be affordable and exciting, and your table lit by candles. You can’t do much better than that.
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There are a couple of things that jump to mind when you think about creating a little romance. Wine is pretty much at the top of the list. In that honor, it’s probably a good idea to have a date that revolves around drinking good wine.
At humble grape, you’ll be surrounded by exactly that, and without the price of a high-end winery. You’ll also find a similarly affordable menu of shared bites to fill you up or steaks around £20.
The Little Inn
What is the most romantic nation on Earth? That’s right, the French. All seduction is down to a fine art, so it follows that a meal at a French restaurant would be the key to the heart of any date.
However, there’s no reason to leave you counting your pennies for the rest of the month. Activated items The Littles The menu of classic French bistro cuisine rarely beats the £20 price tag, but it’s every bit as delicious as some of the French places in London you might want to visit but can’t afford.
Sager + Wilde
So you want something a little fancy for that second date…but you blew all your money in the first few weeks of the month and now you’re not sure what to do.
Taking them the Sager + Wilde It just might get you out of this tight spot, dear reader.
They’ve got all the exposed-brick-under-the-rail coolness you need to show your date you’re totally into it, and the simple menu of artistic small plates to drive that point home.
Best of all, their house wine is only £6.50 a glass, so your date could get drunk enough to think that freshness is actually a solid foundation for a love affair. Fingers crossed.
It’s good to impress on a date, and there are few things more impressive than someone who knows a fancy restaurant that not many people know about.
come in Machiaa stylish Japanese joint that makes food that will impress as much as your secret restaurant knowledge.
The food looks absolutely gorgeous, as it also comes out on its small pieces of Japanese pottery, and the smells of the restaurant make this place a place for sensual dining. There’s the added bonus that it’s a hit downtown—you don’t have to go all the way across town to get your charm.
Practical tips for budget dating restaurants
We won’t offer dating advice, so you’ll have to work on your own. However, there are some useful things you should know before heading out to an affordable restaurant.
When you book in advance (and you should always book in advance) ask the waiter to put something special on you. If they’re nice enough, they might cover your table with rose petals or maybe offer you a special table. Don’t ask, don’t get. Now that you’ve saved a little money on this date, you can spend a little on the next one. How about something really romantic?
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