GUIDE: five cheap eats in London for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day meals don't have to be about clambering to secure a table for a pricey special menu at the hottest spot in town. The best meals are often made so by good food and great company, and we can certainly help with the former.

Here's our pick of where to eat for cheap in London on Valentine's Day, for you and your special someone. We'd recommend taking the money you saved on a meal and spending it on a little gift for maximum brownie points.

You can thank us later.

Agile Rabbit in Brixton

Agile Rabbit in Brixton

1) ROMANTIC: CALZONE WITH PARMIGIANA | AGILE RABBIT | BRIXTON SW9

We loved the small calzones at this quaint little Brixton joint. And because sharing is caring, and to really fill you up, you should also get the unashamedly cheesy aubergine parmigiana between the two of you.

Wrap up well, find a quiet corner inside under the fairy nights, and enjoy a great evening together.

2) BRUNCH: SKILLET HOT SMOKED MEAT HASH | HOT BOX | SPITALFIELDS E1

As Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year, a daytime brunch date is very acceptable. Nay, desired. It means you can get up late, fit two meals into one, and spend the rest of the day wondering around enjoying the sights of our beautiful city, hand in hand, we're guessing.

Hot Box does an exceedingly tasty hash of fried potatoes with a a variety of smoked meats (including beef, pork and sausage), all topped with a fried egg, for £8. And on Sundays, it's available way beyond normal brunch hours, until 6pm. Just the ticket.

pasta from Fiddie's

pasta from Fiddie's

3) WITH WINE: PASTA OR PIZZA PLUS WINE | FIDDIE'S | SWISS COTTAGE NW3

A little social lubrication is rarely a bad idea when it comes to a date, especially if you've only just started seeing someone.

Fiddie's in Swiss Cottage does a great lunch deal that stretches into the weekend, where you can choose any pasta or pizza item from the menu, and include a glass of wine, for just £7.90.

big bowl of Big Plate Chicken at Silk Road

big bowl of Big Plate Chicken at Silk Road

 

 

 

4) TO SHARE: BIG PLATE CHICKEN | SILK ROAD | CAMBERWELL SE5

If you're after heat and bold flavours to get your Valentine's date all in a tizz, you can't go far wrong with the Xinjiang cuisine available at Silk Road in Camberwell.

The enormous bowl of Big Plate Chicken for £15 is meant to share between two, with a huge amount of broth, intensely flavoursome chicken on the bone, potatoes and chillies, along with slippery handmade 'belt nodles'.

With that extra £1 making a hole in your pocket, we suggest getting a skewer of lamb shish, coated in cumin, chill and salt. Your date will be most impressed with your knowledge of regional Chinese cuisine.

mixed shawarma wrap, dolma and pickles at Maroush Beirut Express

mixed shawarma wrap, dolma and pickles at Maroush Beirut Express

5) LATE NIGHT: MIXED SHAWARMA WRAP PLUS SHARED SIDE | MAROUSH BEIRUT EXPRESS | EDGWARE ROAD W2

Don't fancy joining the hoards all going out to dinner at the same time on Valentine's Day? We don't blame you. In which case, a late night option might be what you're after, and there are few places that stay open as late for food as the strip of Middle Eastern restaurants found on Edgware Road.

Our favourite pocket-friendly place is Maroush Beirut Express, for excellent food right up until 2am, even on a Sunday night.

It's impossible to go wrong with the mixed shawarma wrap at £5, plus it comes with a portion of blushed and piquant pickled vegetables and chillies. But to fill you both up and for any excuse to share, also order a portion of six fat dolma between the two of you for £5, and you'll be well satisfied. We'd advise asking the staff to go easy on the garlic sauce, however, to avoid any potential disappointment at not getting a snog that evening.