The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

"Когда весь мир настроен против вас, вспомните, что самолет взлетает не по ветру, а против него." Генри Форд ZMEY
Время на прочтение: 6 минут(ы)

As editor-in-chief Melinda Stevens states in her December 2020 issue editor’s letter, ‘I’ve noticed that people continually assume everything in the magazine is wildly expensive. Which is simply not true. Often it looks expensive because the photos are pretty. But we are resolutely most satisfied when we track down the small, the independent, the curious, the under-the-radar, the weird, the whimsical, the golden nuggets and brilliant finds that don’t cost a fortune.’ So alongside The Editors’ List – our favourite winter-sun hotels, which charge from about £55 a night – these are the cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world.


Let us know about your favourite addresses that don’t cost a bomb by simply posting on Instagram with #CNTcheapestnicest.

THESE ARE THE CHEAPEST NICEST RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    ROSE FOODS, PORTLAND, MAINE

    ‘The place for a dose of some of the best bagels and schmear outside of New York. The design is of another time – Formica tables in aquamarine and dusty pink, bright wallpaper and a black-and-white hexagonal-tiled counter backed with nostalgic deli items (Martinelli’s apple juice, Dr Brown’s soda, Raye’s mustard) for to-go orders. It’s easy to stock up on provisions for the day, but come for the bagels and latkes with a side of matzo-ball soup and make sure to buy some merch on your way out.’ Katharine Sohn, PA to the editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    The Hog’s Back Café, UK

    ‘My tip for the day? The Hog’s Back Café on a lay-by off the A31. Ah, the dream. I think about its bacon sandwiches at least once a day, £3.40 all in.’ Melinda Stevens, editor-in-chief

    Price: From £3.40 for a bacon sandwich

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    Roti King, London

    ‘There’s a shinier sequel in Victoria, but my favourite is the original, a basement joint in an insalubrious part of old-school Euston. Volcanic cones of buttery, flaky roti canai, which you break up to scoop up mouthfuls of chicken curry. Cash only, bring your own booze, and be prepared to queue.’ Rick Jordan, senior editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    Rinconcillo, Seville

    ‘The walls here are covered with Moorish tiles and shelves of dusty wine bottles, the waiters wear smart waistcoats to cut wafer-thin slices from the jamón ibérico hanging from the ceiling, and locals and in-the-know visitors jostle for space at the standing-room-only bar. When you’ve finished eating crispy sardines served on newspaper with your hands and knocking back dangerously drinkable glasses of sherry, the gravelly barman tallies up the bill with chalk right on the countertop.’ Sarah James, assistant digital editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    Miznon, Paris

    ‘The menu is scribbled in coloured chalk all over the wall behind the counter, the music is loud, and the waiters and chefs (mostly Israeli natives) are yelling at each other over the music while swigging bottles of beer. If you can, pull up a seat at the open kitchen and watch the show. In an area of the Marais overrun with falafel joints, this is my favourite – pillowy pittas stuffed with just-fried chickpea balls and spicy sauces. On the side: charred sweet potato served with garlic labneh, and cauliflower, slow-roasted in coarse grey sea salt and olive oil.’ Tabitha Joyce, deputy digital editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    Emilie’s, Glenbeigh, Co Kerry, Ireland

    ‘This deli has become a real hit in the village of Glenbeigh and is now the go-to spot for morning coffees at the tables outside or flame-charred pizzas variously piled with the tastiest Irish and Italian toppings, from scamorza and ‘nduja to wild mushrooms and black pudding, after a breezy day at nearby Rossbeigh beach. There’s also a bakery counter turning out chewy sourdough (people travel for miles to bag a loaf), fat scones and cinnamon swirls big enough for two, as well as a little shop stocked with sea-salt ice cream and reasonably priced Albariño.’ Grainne McBride, chief sub-editor

    Bagno Antonio, Tuscany

    ‘This beach club serves an epic lunch at tables on a terrace shaded by trees. The waiter is your menu and will tell you about just three starters and three mains. The freshest focaccia comes in brown paper bags, the vongole dish is stunning and the prawns are enormous. It’s served with salad and a bottle of rosé, all for under 30 euros a head.’ Pete Winterbottom, creative director

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    Burger Joint, New York

    ‘This city is the queen of the cool, hidden spot – if you haven’t spent an evening walking blocks looking for a single coloured light, a bar you can only get to through a busy working kitchen, a retro phone booth with a double door… well, have you really been to New York at all? Tucked away behind a thick, red-velvet curtain, the tiny, graffitied space plastered in film posters is totally unexpected in the modern, four-star hotel, marked only by a small neon burger sign. Go for the messy cheeseburger, fries in a paper bag and a beer.’ Becky Lucas, digital editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    The Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

    ‘The best place in the world to eat the freshest seafood with a glass of island white, while overlooking Oneroa beach from the first-floor verandah. The white tongue-and-groove panelling, rattan chairs and stripy awning create a crisp coastal look that’s relaxed rather than too curated. And on the menu there’s fish caught that day and Waiheke’s Te Matuku oysters. The fish and chips are a winner every time, and the mac and cheese and steak frites are favourites with locals.’ Paula Ellis, art director

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    Osteria Santo Spirito, Florence

    ‘This is a great spot for traditional, homemade but oh-so indulgent Italian cooking. A proper family-style restaurant overlooking a pretty square just a few streets from the River Arno with tables and chairs outside. The menu is small, the wine list extensive and the staff friendly. Don’t leave without trying the gnocchi – baked with local cheese.’ Charlotte Davey, fashion features editor

  • The cheapest, nicest restaurants in the world – according to our editors

    Lochinver Larder, Lairg, Scotland

    ‘Maybe I’m biased, but I’ve always thought Scotland is one of the best places in the world for teeny restaurants that locals tend to keep to themselves. My favourite is a family-run pie shop tucked away among long windy roads in the wooded Highland village of Lochinver. It’s been selling the most delicious pies for a fiver since the 1980s. They’re crammed with fillings: pork, chorizo and manchego, venison and cranberry, or the ultimate Scottish choice – haggis, neeps and tatties. There are also pudding options: the apple and blackcurrant pie is the perfect combination of super-sweet stewed apples and lip-smackingly tart berries.’ Olivia Morelli, digital assistant

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    La Bottega della Gina, Verona

    ‘Off a tiny side street, with just two tables, this place is nothing fancy, selling homemade tortellini made by the hour, containing a mixture of ingredients from truffle to duck and citrus zest. You pick your flavours and it’s served with butter and Parmesan – we recommend ordering the mixed plate to try them all.’ Sophie Knight, digital picture editor

  • Le Tambour, Paris

    ‘This perfect little brasserie on rue Montmartre has a kooky interior that includes a Stalingrad metro sign. We’d pile in and tuck into confit de canard, endless frites and vats of red wine… only to be kicked out at 3am (it is more cavalier with closing time than most Parisian brasseries). Come here for lunch after perusing rue Montorgueil’s Sunday-morning market for smelly cheeses, flowers and macaroons from Patisserie Stohrer (one of the oldest in Paris, opened by the Polish pastry chef of Louis XV). Le Tambour’s alfresco form is exceptionnel, with Normandy salads, foie gras on toast and beef tartare savoured under red umbrellas with a fresh baguette and a glass or two of Chardonnay.’ Rosalyn Wikeley, creative content editor

    El Zaguán, Ibiza Town

    ‘A totally unassuming, unfancy tapas bar with the best food. Away from the twinkliness and bougainvillaea of Dalt Vila, and the harbourside honeypots, this restaurant is on a busy road, but once inside, you’ll realise everyone else is speaking Spanish and feasting on plates of patatas bravas, boquerones, padrón peppers and mini tortillas. A slice of authentic Ibiza among all the razzle dazzle.’ Issy von Simson, UK editor

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