Blown your budget on a big night out in London’s West End? Starting to feel kind of peckish? You might find yourself in a bit of a fix. But there is an alternative to the usual expensive restaurant dinner or some soggy fast food – head down to Panton Street for some cheap eats.
Just seconds from the heart of Leicester Square, this side street is often overlooked by tourists and locals alike, but it plays host to some real hidden gems and new treats.
One exciting recent development is the opening of a large branch of Busaba Eathai at number 35. It doesn’t disappoint, with a slickly stylish interior, pleasant service and delicious but reasonably-priced Thai and Japanese style dishes.
Towards the cheaper end of the scale, you can fill up on traditional Brit-style grub in the West End Kitchen at number 5. It’s a friendly enough no-frills place with daily specials including two-course meals for a fiver, plus old-school desserts for less than a quid. They open early for fry-ups and don’t close until 11.45pm.
If you’d like a little more spice then over at number 37 there’s a restaurant from the Woodlands chain, opposite The Comedy Theatre. It serves South Indian cuisine where all the dishes are suitable for vegetarians, but every meat-eater I’ve dined with there has been more than happy to tuck in. The lunchtime buffets and pre-theatre menus are great value, but my favourites have to be the delicious dosas, uttappams and thalis – see their online menus to find out more.
Don’t forget to come back and let us know how you get on if you decide to try any of these fantastic cheap eats.