Best January cheap eats
Caned the credit card at Christmas? Then swanky dinner dates are probably off the menu this month. Cue the Muddy-approved cheap, chic dining spots.
No one wants to splash the cash on pricey restaurants this month so we’ve pulled together a selection of our favourite cheap but chic eats across Bucks and Oxon. Aren’t we helpful?
Mowgli Street Food, Oxford
Calling all swingers! Er, not like that – this new-ish Westgate rooftop opening has quirky swinging seats in the window or, if you prefer eating while stationary, a social dining area with fairy lights in abundance. It’s an Indian street food spot with an extensive tapas-style menu including dishes such as Gunpowder Chicken and Aunty Geeta’s Prawn Curry for around £7 each. Smaller dishes and sides are even cheaper at £1.75 for rotis, to £4.95 for Himalayan cheese toast.
Atalay’s Kebab Van, Thame
Yes, it is a kebab van but don’t be alarmed. This Thame institution has been voted national kebab van of the year two years running and you absolutely don’t need to have downed six pints of lager to enjoy its goodies. A nightly fixture in the main town centre car park from 6.30pm, Atalay’s often has people queuing down the road to get their mitts on its chicken kebabs and falafel wraps with all the trimmings (the salad is brilliantly fresh and crunchy). And exciting news for super fans – the Atalay team are set to open Thame Fried Chicken at the end of the month.
Tin Kitchen, High Wycombe
The Chilterns’ answer to the hipster café scene, Tin Kitchen is a hidden gem – so much so that you might walk right past it – on the corner of a cul de sac in High Wycombe. The café has a small, ever-changing and inventive brunch menu and sandwiches for around £4. It closes at 4pm but later on you could always head to its equally hip sister spot, Lata Lata, which is tucked away in an underpass in Wycombe and open for dinner and cocktails.
The Coconut Tree, Oxford
Muddy reviewed The Coconut Tree back in November and we loved its uber relaxed and friendly atmosphere. You know what we also loved about this lively Sri Lankan joint? The price. Smaller dishes start at just £3, whilst larger offerings like chicken curry on the bone and spicy battered cuttlefish are all £5-£7.50. This place is made for sharing and they even make big sharer ‘cocotails’ starting from a very reasonable £12.
Luna Rossa, Gerrards Cross
Looking for an authentic neighbourhood Italian with pizza for under a tenner? Er, always! In the heart of Gerrards Cross (squint and you could be in Milan… almost) Luna Rossa offers a selection of 10 pizzas, house specials and antipasti starters, including homemade meatballs and burrata mozzarella. There’s also a great lunch deal of two courses for £12.50, three for £15.50, or if you’re an early bird, you can grab two pizzas or pastas for £17.50, from 5-6.30pm.
The Milk Shed, Weston-on-the-Green
There’s locally roasted coffee, 16 flavours of homemade ice cream and an ever-changing menu at this cool indie caff in Weston-on-the-Green near Bicester. All day breakfast, including streaky bacon sourdough sarnies come in at £5.50, whilst dishes on the main menu, like grilled chorizo with piquillo peppers, start from £8.50. Cakes from the deli counter all around £3. Mmmm, cake.
A Buckingham town centre hotspot, complete with cocktails, craft beers and graffiti decor, Louis’ on Nelson Street serves pizza USA-style, by the slice. Any large slab costs £4.45 with options including NY Heat (pepperoni, jalapeños) and The V Word (vegan). Deals galore including several lunchtime offers, 2 for 1 cocktails from 9pm daily, half price slices from 10pm, and unlimited pizza on Tuesday for £10. We’d sure like a pizza that (*gets coat*).
Yep, you heard it here first, there is a cheap eat in Marlow! Better yet, it’s brunch – always a good option if you’re looking to save pennies. There’s loads of choices, almost all under £10, from smashed avo and poached eggs (hipsters rejoice!), Eggs Benedict, salads, wraps and a whole section of the menu devoted to clean eating – think Buddha and poke bowls. Whilst the café isn’t much to look at currently, the interior is due a revamp soon so keep an eye out. Whistles is just a few doors down so you’ll have enough cash left for a little browse afterwards. Just a little one.
Oli’s Thai, Oxford
One of Oxford’s worst kept secrets, you’ll find Oli’s Thai about a 20 minute walk from the city centre, nestled down Magdalen Street. A tiny space packed with big and fresh flavours, tables are like gold-dust here so book in advance or drop in at 12 before the lunch time rush to grab a bar seat. Prices range from £6 for tapas-style nibbles to £15 for larger dishes, so admittedly not the cheapest of cheap eats but worth it for the incredible food. Do believe the hype.