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Cheap Lunch near the South Kensington Museums

The Natural History Museum, Science Museum & V&A all have a restaurant for hot meals and various cafes for a light snack, sandwiches, salads or cake.

Their food outlets are managed by the same catering company and although the food’s generally good, they’re not exactly cheap. A light snack or drink can be costly: a small cheese and tomato sandwich is £3.95, wraps or baguettes start at £4.95 and soft drinks are around £1.70. On the plus side, they provide picnic areas where you can eat food bought from outside.

These are our top tips for cheap places to eat in and near the museums in South Kensington.


There are only two places to eat and drink in the V&A – the V&A cafe and the garden cafe. The V&A Cafe is the most pleasant place to eat out of three museums. Especially if you sit in the William Morris designed rooms. The food’s not bad either.

They serve a bit of everything: hot dishes, quiches and salads, baguette & wraps and cakes. Sandwiches & wraps are £7.75 and come with two salads. Hot meals are £9–13. Their child meal deal is good value – £6.50 for a chicken breast, salad fruit & drink.

Natural History Museum

The Darwin Centre Cafe sells sweet or savoury crepes (small £3.25/large £4.95). The do a £6.75 deal for a crepe and a hot & cold drink.

On Monday to Friday, outside school holidays, The Restaurant has a 2 pizzas for the price of 1 deal (normally around £10 each).

Science Museum

The Energy cafe is your best bet for a cheapish bite to eat. Grab a quiche or frittata and two salads for £6.95. Small sandwiches start at £3.45 and pizzas are £10.

If you want an alcoholic drink, the Media Space cafe on the second floor is quite reasonable. Take the glass lift behind the information desk. A bottle of wine is £7.75. Bottles of beer or cider are £4.50. NB Closes at 3pm.


This chain sells super-healthy wraps, salads and hot boxes. Try their Thai green curry, Moroccan meatballs or sweet potato falafels. Expect to pay around £4–£7. It looks a small branch but there’s plenty of seating upstairs.
Address: 46 Thurloe St, SW7 2LT
Tube: South Kensington


A Japanese chain serving sushi, bento boxes and hot meals to eat in or takeaway. Their hot curry or noodle meals are huge and for around £5, superb value.
Address: 21 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3HZ
Tube: South Kensington

Tesco Express

This is the closest supermarket to the museums. Pick up a sandwich, fruit or crisps and a drink as part of their ‘meal deal’ for £3. All the museums provide places to eat a packed lunch.
Address: 50-52 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3DY
Tube: South Kensington

Raison D’Etre Cafe

Raison D’Etre is a French-run cafe and a good option for breakfast or lunch. They sell cheap sandwiches, filled baguettes and scrambled eggs with ham or smoked salmon.
Address: 18 Bute St, SW7 3EX
Tube: South Kensington


Map key

A – Leon
B – Wasabi
C – Tesco Express
D – Raison D’Etre

Last updated: 5 October 2015