I will be studying at the London School of Economics (in central London) for 6 weeks this summer. I've been to London once before but my experience was limited by the "family vacation" nature of the trip. I do not foresee my college-student budget bringing me back to centre court at Wimbledon. I would love to get some sense for what's available in terms of reasonably-priced food/nightlife outlets near or accessible from LSE. I love all types of food and appreciate good music of any genre (especially hip-hop). Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
A few cafes/informal restaurants are: Caffe Amici right near the university is a favorite for LSE students. Wright's Bar on Houghton Street right in LSE is another favorite of students and staff. They do sandwiches, fry-ups etc and is very cheap but good. Also Kimchee for Korean food.
Here are a couple suggestions for reasonably priced restaurants: Little Bay Clerkenwell in Farringdon, little bit further out from LSE but really good food for less than £10. Han Kang just behind Tottenham Court Road station (Korean restaurant).
As for nightlife -Princess Louise pub next to Holborn Station is a must, one of the oldest British pubs in the area. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is THE oldest pub in the area, and just a short walk away on Fleet Street. Thirst Bar on Greek Street is an intimate little Soho cocktail bar with cheaper than average prices and drinks deal on some nights. For hip hop you could check out Sway Restaurant Bar & Club, it is near LSE and a favorite of LSE students. The Roxy off Oxford Street is a great place for affordable, fun rock/indie nights out. Walkabout at Temple for all things sports or Rileys Sports Bar (formerly Sports Cafe) on Haymarket if you want to venture a bit further for sports. Sports Cafe focuses more on American sports which could be a plus for you. Walkabout has boozy, drinks-discounted student nights. Tiger Tiger is good for commercial hip hop, slightly further out but a very popular place with LSE students.
Hope this helps! Enjoy London!
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I know this is late but in case you ever come back (which you should) and look for the same things then I'd recommend the following.
For food you can't really get any better place in London for eating than Soho. Huge variety of places to eat and some excellent value for money. The streets that bisect Old Compton Street going north towards Oxford Street are a goldmine. On Dean Street you have Pizza Pilgrims Dean St which does fantastic brick oven sourdough pizzas. It used to be a street food stall and was started by two guys who travelled round Italy in a tiny van (top speed 35mph!) in search of the best pizza. Between Dean St and Frith St is a little pedestrian strip called Meard Street which is home to a branch of Honest Burgers, a small chain that focuses on using British produce and serves up, in my opinion, the best burgers in the city. All burgers come with their rosemary salted chips (fries) which are also superb.On Greek Street I'd recommend Bibimbap Soho, a Korean place that is always busy, especially on weekday lunch times as the office crowd love how good value it is. It serves the Korean speciality the restaurant is named after which is a mixed rice dish with lots of accompaniments. One of the most recent places I've seen pop up on the affordable dining scene is Herman ze German which serves Bavarian style hot dogs with lots of different topings. I haven't actually been yet but I've heard good things. There is branch on Old Compton Street. One place I can vouch for is Maoz Falafel which is a few doors down. If you need a drunk snack late night then you can't really go wrong. You get a big pitta stuffed with fresh falafel and pickles, garlic, chilli and tahini sauces and lots of veg. I'm sure it's great during the day too!Finally on Wardour Street or just off it is a couple of other places worth checking out. Bone Daddies is the place to go for excellent, deep flavoured ramen while Byron is another booming burger chain that does excellent specials and you should definitely get some courgette fries too. Its a bit more expensive than the other burger places but the food is great. If you like craft beer they have an excellent selection.If you're in the area on a weekday at lunchtime you should definitely head over to Berwick Street Market for a load of street food options. My favourite at the moment is Jerusalem Falafel who make the bread for their wraps (which are huge!) right there on the spot.
There are plenty of other places in the area, you'll be hard pressed to go wrong so just have a wonder and see what you like the look of, although you might find it hard to choose!
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