I spent a week eating surplus food around London, and this is what it’s like
Wake up babe, cheap cupcakes just dropped
It turns out leftover food isn’t just the cold pizza your flatmate left unattended – it can also be nice.
An app called Too Good To Go lets you pick up surplus restaurant food that would have gone to waste despite being perfectly good to eat. As well as paying a fraction of the usual price, the app makes you feel slightly better about the impending climate crisis. (And if you’re a “veggie” for environmental reasons, it’s also an excellent loophole to get your hands on a bacon sandwich.)
I got a “magic bag,” as they’re called, every day for a week to try and determine if the hassle was worth it. Overwhelmingly, I think it is.
Pret – £3.00
Breakfast bag: porridge, a bacon and egg roll, and a mozzarella and tomato croissant.
The porridge wasn’t anything to shout about, but at least it was still warm by the time I got to campus. The croissant was pretty good, and the bacon and egg roll was delicious.
And if you’ve persevered with your Pret subscription despite the price increase, you could also grab a “free” drink while you’re there.
Costa – £3.00
On a good day: four toasties, three breakfast rolls, four muffins, a tiffin, a Bakewell tart, and a slice of carrot and walnut cake.
On a bad day: one breakfast roll, a pasta pot, a Bakewell tart, and a raspberry and almond bake.
Costa is quite aggressively hit-or-miss with its leftovers. You will either have a reasonable bag containing three or four items or go home with half the store.
Keeps it exciting, I guess.
Greggs – £2.59
Four pink doughnuts, two sausages, bean and cheese melts, a tuna crunch baguette, and a mature cheddar cheese salad baguette.
Greggs is reliably generous with what they give you while being one of the cheapest places on the app. And it’s Greggs, so pretty much everything is delicious.
Of course, you might get a rogue tuna baguette thrown in there sometimes, but you can always bin that off to a mate.
MoMoMo – £4.00
Tofu and spinach bowl with a drink (you can sometimes get a side as well).
The place is one of the more expensive on the app, but considering the bowls normally cost around £8, it’s still quite a bargain.
The menu isn’t great for nut allergies since there are nuts in pretty much everything, so I had to donate my bowl to a friend. It’s reportedly very tasty.
Crumbs & Doilies – £4.75
Four muffins: two cookies and cream, one raspberry ripple, and what we think was an earl grey one.
Crumbs & Doilies is also among the most expensive on the app and quite entertaining for people with nut allergies.
Regardless, the cupcakes are absolutely delicious. And considering their normal price tag, this is definitely the way to get your fancy sugar fix without breaking the bank.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Here are five budget-friendly spots in London for all your food cravings
• Here are six of the best places in London to go thrifting
• We asked London’s international students about their biggest culture shocks