This useful app has been around since 2016 – but inexplicably we’ve only just discovered it.
Too Good To Go’s simple raison d’etre is that each year over ten million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK – the weight of 190 Titanics, apparently. It helps restaurants and cafes reduce their waste while also allowing regular or potential new customers try out their food.
So how does it work? Once downloaded, you simply put in your location – say NW1 or NW5 – and it lists cafes and restaurants that can offer you lunch or dinner of items that would otherwise have been thrown out at the end of the day.
Costs are clearly listed – between £2-4 a pop – and, while you can’t always choose what you get, portions are generous, with often enough there’s food for more than one meal. Win-win.
And it’s obviously working, as already there are over a million users with nearly two thousand stores across the country, including hundreds in London.
Dozens of participating businesses exist across Kentish Town, King’s Cross, Primrose Hill and Camden, such as The Fields Beneath, Hygge Pygge, Bread By Bike, Lords Of Poke in Camden Lock, Earth Natural Foods and Natural Coffee Lounge.
Of the handful we’ve tried to date, Primrose Hill’s Melrose & Morgan was our favourite, where we bagged a huge portion of vegan butternut squash and pinto bean stew (more than enough for two) and a whole loaf of freshly baked sourdough. Total cost? £3.50. Less successful was our experience at Artos & Pitta on Chalk Farm Road – a Greek patisserie and grill – who gave us a chicken pie and a couple of smaller pastries.
But part of the fun is the not-knowing; and the price levels more than take this into account. A caveat: as the project is all about food waste, it’s within the outlet’s rights to cancel on you once a booking has been made (the money is reimbursed instantly) if they sell out – so be prepared for that too.
Overall, this is a useful way to keep weekday meals cheap and ethical – and we’re (greedily) hooked.
Too Good To Go, free to download, Apple Store.