Prix-fisse, tourist menu, lunch menu—a fixed-price or set tourist menu may not be the best meal you could have at that restaurant, but it's certainly often the best budget option
Fixed-price menus are a budget traveler's ticket to full restaurant meals that won't break the bank. They usually include at least two courses, wine and/or water, sometimes even fruit or dessert, plus tax and tip all for one low price—which might be anywhere from $10 to $40. Usually a prix-fixe meal includes a selection from amongst the medium-priced dishes on the main, a la carte menu.
Some people will tell you that a "fixed-price menu" is more expensive with more options than a stripped-down "tourist menu." Whatever the restaurant calls them, meals at a set price are always cheaper (up to 30%) than ordering the same dishes à la carte.
The tradeoff? Your options are usually far more limited than if you ordered from the main menu. Shop around. Is your only choice four different pasta shapes in tomato sauce, or are there more inventive dishes available? Is beer or wine included, and how much—a glass or a half-liter? Is dessert or coffee included?
If it's called a "tourist menu" or "menu of the day," each course is likely to offer a small selection from among the cheapest dishes the menu—a savings, sure, but not always a memorable meal (often pasta with tomato sauce followed by a veal or chicken cutlet).
However, as sampling the food is every bit as important as the museums and monuments you visit when traveling, I'd say splurge on what hits your fancy or seems to be the local specialty, and leave the spaghetti and chicken cutlet until you get home.
Another option, typically offered at nicer restaurants, is the tasting menu, a multi-course sampling of some of the restaurant's specialties (or perhaps chef's specials not on the regular menu).
Though usually far pricier than a tourist menu, these tasting menus can be an excellent value, especially as they often cost at least slightly less than were you to order an item off of each course a la carte. They include fancier dishes and far more courses, and are a splurge of $30 to $70, but are usually well worth it (especially as you'll be too stuffed to eat for the next few meals so you save that way).
- Gastronomic London - This walk is a great way to see some of the most famous neighborhoods of London from a different perspective. In the company of a food historian, or an art historian with a background in gastronomy, we generally start near Green Park, at the quintessential British food oasis: Fortnum & Mason. We will pay extra attention to the artistry of the cuisine and the aesthetics of the display, while taking in the history of this institution; all while tasting some local favorites, like scotch eggs and violet creams (the Queen’s favorite!)...Partner
- London Market Walk - This 2.5-hour walk will lead us through and around one of London's best markets. We will start at Southwark Cathedral by discussing the history of farming in the area and the significance of the Thames and London Bridge to the growth of trade. Following a look around the surroundings, we will dive into the market to talk about—and sample—the great number of foods on offer, from chocolate made by Italian monks to scallops dived off the Devon coast to exquisite truffle oils...Partner
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- Tea Tasting Walking Tour in London - Along this walk you will learn about when and how tea smuggling flourished in the UK. Your guide will tell you all about how the English Tea Ceremony looked like in the 18th century, also when and how it was created and how Monument and Charles II (who you can see on the Monument itself) are related to tea. End this tour at a beautiful location with the exceptional tea tasting of 3 or 4 traditional British teas which are carefully paired with sweets and snacks...Partner
- London East End Food Tour - Get to know the East End’s burgeoning food scene and its fascinating history on a 3.5-hour London walking tour. With a friendly local guide, explore the eclectic neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Spitalfields and discover the places where in-the-know Londoners choose to eat. Wolf down a bacon sandwich at the award-winning St John Bread and Wine restaurant, discover the legendary salt-beef bagels of Beigel Bake and sample artisan British cheese. Traditional fish and chips at Poppies are also included, as are curry samples on Brick Lane and more...Partner
- London's Chocolate Walking Tour - This chocolate tour in London is a chocoholic’s heaven! Explore the glamorous area of Mayfair with your expert guide and learn about the history of chocolate while sampling six chocolate delights. This 2.5-hour guided walking tour will take you to some of the finest chocolatiers in London including Paul A Young, Hotel Chocolat and Ladurée. You'll also visit some famous department stores, like Liberty of London and Fortnum & Mason. This is a great way to get to know London while enjoying some delicious treats...Partner
- London Food Walking Tour: Brixton Markets - Visit Brixton Market on this exciting 3-hour small-group food tour, led by a friendly local guide! Your tour visits its best delis and stalls, while introducing you to Brixton's bohemian buzz and its thriving pop-up restaurant scene. Enjoy an Afro-Caribbean breakfast, cakes, a cupcake and local beer. You'll also learn about the history of this vibrant market on a walking tour and discover where to find the best treats in town...Partner
- Notting Hill to Kensal Rise Food Walking Tour - This tour from Notting Hill to Kensal Rise explores Portobello Road market and the Golborne Road market. Generous food samples include Turkish tea and the freshest baklava in London, as well as a main meal in a test kitchen at the back of a cookbook shop. Try Jamie Olivers' preferred chippie, followed by Moroccan harira soup and a Portugese pastel de nata and end with award winning brownies in Kensal Rise...Partner
- Borough to Brixton Food Walking Tour in London - Enjoy a tour for foodies and lovers of authentic cultural cuisines. Your private tour starts with a visit to the 32nd floor of the The Shard, and is followed by the best parts of the Borough Market and the insiders guide to trendy Brixton. This 3 to 4 hour tour will have you sampling the best of British cheeses, Israeli bourekas, handmade Scotch eggs, famous fresh custard doughnuts, handmade Beijing dumplings and Neapoli style sourdough pizza...Partner
- Chef-Led Foodies Walking Tour of Soho in London - Let a local chef show you the foodie delights of one of London's most exciting culinary hubs: Soho. Each walk is led by a local chef giving you an alternative London foodie tour, focusing on contemporary food trends and current gastronomic influences. The small group eating and walking tour uncovers fabulous culinary finds in the quirky laneways and hidden alleys of London's most colourful neighborhood. Discover foodie spots and secret 'those-who-know' outlets that are hard to find on your own...Partner
- London Food Walking Tour: London Bridge and Borough Market - Firstly, your local London guide will take you to the exciting Borough Market to soak up the atmosphere, see the 100 different stalls and eat some English fudges/chocolate. This eating paradise was not even on the tourist foodie radar a few years ago.Still in the market, you will try award winning Lincolnshire sausages followed by the best and most fresh fish and chips in town (and you will get to see the difference between ‘chips’ and ‘French fries’). Next will see local chocolate and cheese shops and try freshly baked homemade bread from the famous Bread Ahead Bakery. Your tour will continue to a historic pub where you can try the best of British cheeses, served with grapes, fig cakes and chutneys washed down with real London Beers, Ales, or delicious ciders (or non-alcoholic options)...Partner
- International Food Tour of Soho in London - Discover London’s diverse culture and cuisine on this 4.5-hour food tour of Soho, one of the oldest and most vibrant districts in the city. Follow a guide along the highways and byways of Soho while learning about the neighborhood’s international influences, and pass famous theaters, elegant boutiques and quirky cafes. As you walk, enjoy up to 10 food samples plus tastings of wine and beer in some of the most eclectic and historical eateries in town...Partner
- Bankside and London Bridge Food Walking Tour in London -
Discover a thousand year old market, a hidden roof top cafe with a seasonal menu, captivating urban forests and mouth-watering pie made from local ingredients. Sample British charcuterie and cheese made from a family with recipes that are centuries old.Partner
Foodies with a sweet tooth will love the education on Fair-trade chocolate with tastings of delectable hot chocolate and a visit to an authentic gelato store with flavors sourced from Borough Market...
- Candy Making Class in London - This is your chance to learn the science and craft involved in bringing to life one of the most iconic British candy traditions. Working alongside a Master Candy Maker you’ll take a journey through making your own candy. You’’ll choose your designs, mix in the flavors, roll and create an array of personally handcrafted candy. At the end of the class you’ll get to take home some of your creations to impress your friends and family...Partner
Also in Dining savings:
- Look before you tip
- Be a pig at breakfast
- Cook for yourself
- Splash out at lunch
- Eat street food
- Fast food, Euro-style
- Avoid main courses
- Order half-portions and sampler platters
- Tap water is free