Tuesday, March 8, 2011

London Eats

Hubby and I had the brilliant idea one afternoon of grabbing a cheap lunch at McDonalds after our ride with the kids on the London Eye, but our jaws dropped when the register totaled almost £19 (about $30).  We ate our burgers and fries in shock as we realized McDonalds in many big foreign cities is not cheap!  So where can you get a reasonably priced meal that your kids will eat in London?

Fortunately, there are a few choices.  Britain is not known for its culinary delights, but for children this is probably better anyway, since I know my picky little eaters won’t eat anything fancy, unusual, or particularly seasoned.  Basic soups, cold cuts, noodles and potatoes always pass muster, and these are available in London.

On any vacation, the least expensive meal is always a grocery store.  These days so many, even in Europe, have ready-to-eat food, and sometimes it’s not even that bad!  Packaged sandwiches, individual salads, single portions of desserts are all easy on the wallet.

Here are a few stores and mini-markets in London that you might try:

•   Sainbury's

•   Tesco Express & Tesco Metro - mini versions of the bigger Tesco grocery store

•   Boots - a drugstore with some food

If you are in the mood for a kid-friendly restaurant that’s not McDonalds, we really liked the Giraffe restaurants, a chain with several locations in London.  They have a kid’s menu with burgers, fries, chicken strips and pasta noodles for £3.95 to £4.25.  Another chain is Café Rouge and they have a kid’s menu too, plus they offer puzzles, stickers, and coloring to entertain the youngsters.  The French atmosphere here is fun, too.

My kids would never eat sushi in a million years, but if yours are a bit more adventurous than mine they might be tempted to try something at Yo Sushi in London, where the food comes around on a conveyer belt and you can grab it as it goes by.  Prices here are inexpensive.  Pret a Manger is a sandwich/wrap retail chain that prides itself on handmade foods with no additives.  It's not really a restaurant, but more of a take-out shop.

Finally, an any-time kid’s favorite is My Old Dutch, with three locations in London.  Here you can eat fresh pancakes, waffles, and poffertjes all day.  Their milkshakes and smoothies are refreshing, too.

London is expensive, but there are definitely some family-friendly budget eats available!


  1. Pret A Manger is in just about every city in Europe and is a welcomed site at the end of a long day OR to grab and take back to the hotel in between activities. Allison and I were THRILLED to find them on several streets in NYC last year too. The food is delicious and fresh and the places are ALWAYS very clean too!
    Fun to go see the McDonald's menu in different languages though...and to marvel at how the same 'not so great' food can be a hit in every country in the world.

  2. My hubby and I loved Pret a Manger in London-- convenient cheap and tasty. The prawn avocado sandwiches were my fave. We are considering a summer trip with our 5 yr old-- thanks for the heads up on kid eats!

  3. Marks is great when they offer their 2-fer deals in the markets. Often 2 can dine for 10-15 quid. Also for kids you can hit Maxwells in Covent Garden. Very Hard Rock cafe kind of feel and the kids can get entree, dessert & drink for under 7 pounds. BTW - You can add Pizza Express to the list :) Now I'm hungry

  4. Really appreciate this post. We are heading to London next month with two picky eaters. I will let you know if we spot any other great places to eat with kids!

  5. This is a really cool blog! I have always wanted to see Europe!
    I am following you back from a blog hop

  6. Thanks for the follow. Following you back:) Can't wait to read more of your travels:)


  7. This is great advice that can be used on any vacation. I know that I fall into the trap of running through a drive thru but could find something for the same price and healthier at a grocery store. While I like McDonald's it does get old.


  8. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog last night! I am now your newest follower! :) Have a great day!


  9. Thanks for following www.lifesgristle.blogspot.com! I'm following back and can't wait to read over your site!


  10. Hi Sonja,
    I’m wondering if you ever accept guest articles on toeuroprewithkids.com? With the 2012 Olympics approaching I’ve written a number of articles about the steps the IOC is taking to reduce their carbon footprint and go green. I’m hoping you would be willing to review one of them with the possibility of publishing it on your site. Let me know if this is something you can consider, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, thanks!
    Alan Parker

  11. following back, can't wait to read more! (sometimesuwin.blogspot.com)


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