Sneaking into canteens...

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by porp, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. porp

    porp Well-Known Member

    Interested to know of workplace/institutional/educational canteens and restaurants in London that aren't supposed to be for randoms and walk-ins but do in fact serve up if you turn up. Good to have an aide memoire of places that serve decent food for worker prices.

    I'll start. Institute of Education off Russell Sq last week. Had decent fish chips peas in pleasant surroundings for £4.35. Surprised as this place (a) used to check for ID and (b) the food used to be poor, but there was no problem wandering in.

    A sad loss - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine basement canteen. This place used too serve all comers and was excellent, but a recent visit showed they've tightened up.

    Any more we should know about?
  2. dessiato

    dessiato Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono

    Can't recommend any in UK. Here in Spain I used to use the medical staff restaurant in a hospital. It was OK.

    My point is, try hospitals, staff and patient, canteens. The food is better than its reputation .
  3. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    The City hall canteen near London bridge is very decent though not massively cheap. (It's actually open to the public so cheating a bit to mention it!)
    Greebo, porp and LeslieB like this.
  4. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    The Indian YMCA on Fitzroy Square do a good curry for about a fiver. Walk in the main doors and the canteen is the room on the right.
  5. LeslieB

    LeslieB Banned Banned

    Oh it's got a web page and everything.

    London's Kitchen Café | London City Hall

    Scroll down for pdf menus.
    Greebo and porp like this.
  6. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    Malaysia Hall canteen in Bayswater might qualify. It's supposed to be for Malaysian students only, and non Malaysians are asked not to use it (sign on the door) unless accompanied by a Malaysian but we've never had a problem just walking in without one. There's no security or checks and the staff don't seem to give a toss who goes in. It's in the basement of 34 Queensborough Terrace, which is some kind of government office but you'll miss it if you don't know it's there. Very cheap and cheerful Malaysian grub.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
    stuff_it likes this.
  7. Maharani

    Maharani Just like Heaven

    I used to dine at Channel 4 studios, horseferry rd. It was bloody delicious and cheap. I expect they have no end of security now.
    LeslieB and porp like this.
  8. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    MI6 by Vauxhall Bridge do a stonking vindaloo, just walk right past security and tell them you forgot your ID.
  9. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

  10. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Ransom'd, Stoopid & Roofless

    Not London, but The Dot at Reading International Business Park has subsidised everything, including Costa (or some other franchise, can't actually remember), full English for about £3, and usually pretty decent daily lunch menu with lots of options. Just off the M4, the "middle junction" of the 3 junctions that go to Reading. Open from Breakfast through to lunch.

    E2A - its seperate from the actual main officey building - no one would ever ID you.
    keybored likes this.
  11. porp

    porp Well-Known Member

    True that - recently found out that canteen at St Thomas' hospital does decent food at pretty keen prices

    You know I'd completely forgotten about MH - used to go years ago, but somehow fell off radar - I think 'cos warning signs got bigger and bolder and I got bigger and less bold. Yes, that's due for a retry. Also I think there's a Brunei Hall that might be worth investigating.

    Superb spot - I think I'd need to treat this as a service station when driving on the M4. And if it is sealed off from the tragedy that is Reading, even better.
    Greebo, keybored and Spymaster like this.
  12. little_legs

    little_legs Поехали!

    Total damage: £5.10
    Was too full to finish it

    Enviro, LeslieB, Greebo and 1 other person like this.
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    Regent College canteen in Regents Park used to be used by various people working in the park. Was surprisingly cheap for a dead expensive private university (was full of preppy Americans all with identical side partings). This is going back a few years so no idea if it's still open to all.
    porp likes this.
  14. Boycey

    Boycey juvenile rave slut

    Not been in years but the pakistan embassy off sloane street used to do a banging biryani for a fiver.
  15. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    I was going to wade in here with the Policy Dept office of what was then the DHSS in the old Patent Building in Holborn, which had an extra treat of a Barbara Hepworth to pass on the way in - but as I have not been in there since I worked there in the 90s thought I had better check and it has been knocked down. RIP Patent Office Canteen - You served me well.
    porp likes this.
  16. uk benzo

    uk benzo أنا ليس أمريكي

    King's College Guy's campus. A fiver will get you a relatively decent hot meal with change to spare for a packet of crisps.
  17. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    Excellent, I'm glad it's still good. Haven't been there for over 10 years but I understand it hasn't changed much at all.
  18. porp

    porp Well-Known Member

    Paulie - good to know, but isn't that always the way. Like the work canteens of various city places and tech firms. The privileged get good food cheap in dignified conditions. Others get bad food cheapish in paper bags.
  19. porp

    porp Well-Known Member

    Resurrecting this. 4th floor canteen at LSE - accessible to the public, lunch service goes on into the afternoon, and a hot meal for £5 to £6 ish. Ladies on till lovely - characters behind hotlights less friendly. No checking of ID anywhere - LSE has not gone over to passes for entry (yet).Recommended if in the Aldwych area and like hot food and cold formica.
    SheilaNaGig likes this.
  20. porp

    porp Well-Known Member

    Morley College - adult education place short walk from Waterloo, very close to Imperial War Museum. The attraction here is hot food, reasonable prices, really attractive dining area,and hot dinners served at hours that suit people doing evening courses. College front desk sometimes hot on ID etc, but sometimes not, and a confident attitude gets you past a lot of the time. Not worth a special trip, but if you are in the area, worth a go
  21. pseudonarcissus

    pseudonarcissus fluttering and dancing

    Lincolns Inn used to be pretty good. Go in the student entrance and put a gown on, invent a student number and you were in. The least bad food of the Inns of Court.
    Schmetterling likes this.
  22. IC3D

    IC3D Post Mid Arc

    I used to go to Birkeck canteen and bar when I was in town.
  23. hash tag

    hash tag never too old

    Forget about the cheap canteens, what about the cheap student bars which are normally nearby if not on site like the one at Imperial, is it in Prince Consort Road or tucked just around the back off that road.
    never had a problem getting in there.
  24. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Senate House canteen was way better till they introduced id sadly.
    porp likes this.
  25. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    Is there still a Korean shop on Store St if we're talking about that part of town? It had a canteen for Korean students in the basement that was pretty cool. Though they weren't that friendly and wouldn't let non-Koreans in sometimes.
  26. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I have no instances to add but I’d like to say that this is the sort of worthwhile thread that makes Urban proud.
    Yossarian and RubyToogood like this.

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