Interview: Leyla Kazim from London Cheap Eats
We caught up with foodie founder, Leyla Kazim whose essential new way to discover London cheap eats is set to take the capital by storm.
What gave you the idea to start LondonCheapEats.com?
During eight months of travel taking up most of 2015, I realised, when I did return home, I was going to have a lot less disposable income than when I left.
I like to go out as much as I can. I still very much wanted to be an active member of London’s dining scene, enjoying the fantastic meals it has to offer on a frequent basis, but without the £20-£60 (and beyond) price tag each time. And I figured there would be others like me.
I thought to myself: wouldn’t it be great if there was an insider guide to the best budget food in London, made up of trusted and objective opinions, suggesting not only where to go, but also what to order?
As I pondered this, I realised it didn’t exist – I figured I’d better do something about that.
And so, the idea of London Cheap Eats came to be.
The website aims to direct discerning customers to the best places in town to eat well for £8 or less, advising not only where to go, but also what to order.
It’s there to assist both Londoners and visitors alike in seeking out a good dining experience that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Sure, there’s always a place for the finer things in life, but there’s no arguing that wonderful feeling of having a good meal out and not recoiling when the bill arrives.
We don’t guarantee a gourmet dinner or fine dining experience, but what we can promise is a solid and tasty feed on the cheap. Chuck in a couple of beers and a few good friends, and that sounds like a pretty good time to us.
What should readers of your website expect to see in the coming months on the site?
London Cheap Eats will continue to grow, with new entries added each week. The task of discovering and sharing the city’s best cheap eats doesn’t really have a finite end. But we hope this site will go some way in helping – both our fellow Londoners and visitors alike – find a meal that’s fresh, filling and frugal.
We’re also working with some vendors on offers and deals that will be exclusive to London Cheap Eats readers, where a meal that’s usually priced higher than £8 being reduced to fit within our budget. You’ll need to sign up to the newsletter (you can do that on our homepage www.londoncheapeats.com) and keep tabs on our social media to be the first to know.
What are your top 5 all time cheap eats in London?
It’s difficult to pick a top five as it really depends on what I might fancy! But I love the huge £5 stuffed gozleme from Whitecross Street Market, these £5 cod and chips in Fulham, this aubergine age batashi set in Soho, this big two-course Colombian meal in Brixton, and this gargantuan £6 pork katsu curry in Soho.
What are your favourite free & cheap places to go in London?
Chinatown, Brixton and Camberwell are hot spots for cheap eats. You can see we have clusters of entries in those areas if you take a look at our Explore tab where we have our recommendations plotted on a map. Follow your nose around those parts and you won’t go too far wrong!
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.