KidTripster Teen: 5 chain restaurants in London that are actually really good (affordable!)
London is a popular tourist destination, but let’s not kid ourselves - it’s expensive! Most good restaurants will be quite pricey and have long reservation lists. Eating from known international chains can be uninspiring, so if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat that’s genuinely tasty, look no further than my top choices for the best of chain restaurants in the U.K.!
1/Gourmet Burger Kitchen
My number one spot goes to GBK, or Gourmet Burger Kitchen. This burger chain makes smaller burgers than Byron (see next selection), but it’s a lot cheaper without any subtraction of quality. The burgers are highly customizable, but again, they are small (about 4 ounces). A regular burger will cost you around $7, and it will taste amazing. From a location standpoint, you’ll find GBKs all across London, especially in Kensington. In my opinion, GBK is the best place to go after a long day of walking the streets of London. $
Another gourmet burger spot, Byron has some of the best burgers that you’ll find. The beef is sourced from local farms, they make great milkshakes, and the food is phenomenal. The menu is scattered with basic and experimental burgers, drinks, and alternative entrées, while the feel of the place is akin to an upscale modern diner. Byron started with a simple mission: to do one thing and do it “properly.” I say, “mission accomplished!” Byron is the most expensive restaurant on my list with a classic burger priced around $9. Add a milkshake and fries (which I’d highly recommend), and the price for a meal will be close to $20 per person. Really, it’s worth every penny. $$
Nando’s is the best place in England for wings, period. The menu ranges from wings to wraps to salads, and the food is very good. It can get a bit spicy, but Nando’s famous sauces are worth the fire. Unless you’re feeling famished, five wings and a drink will suffice for lunch and cost about $9. Nando’s is the more wholesome, less sports-oriented British equivalent of Buffalo Wild Wings in the States, but the quality of the food is arguably better. The chain is located all across London. $
It can be hard to find good Italian restaurants in London, if you don’t know where to look, and some of the better ones are not conveniently located for tourists. Luckily, Pizza Express is a chain that serves tasty traditional thin crust pizza and other entrées. At some locations, you can even see the chefs making the pizzas. On average, a pie from Pizza Express costs around $14, but it will fill you up, so there’s no need for sides. $-$$
5/Pret a Manger
A mix between deli and café, Pret A Manger features refrigerated meals such as sandwiches, salads, healthy drinks, as well as fresh-to-order foods such as soups, wraps, hot sandwiches, and café-style beverages. The chain also maintains a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options, and sources all of its ingredients from local and reliable vendors. In terms of pricing, most sandwiches are around $4, and you can normally get away with an entire meal for a little over $6, which is a good deal in London. Pret A Manger has locations all across London, so if you’re hungry and see a red star with the word “Pret,” dash inside for a quick and delicious breakfast or lunch. $
Anders Larson is a high school junior from Portland, Oregon. He spent two years living in London with his family. His interests include writing, food, and film.