London notes: How to find special restaurant offers

In a city as vast as London, eating out can be at both times challenging and easy.

Easy, in that you can pretty much fall out of one restaurant and into another here — and challenging, because the facility of that fall makes it difficult to discern a good find from a tourist trap.

Another challenge to eating in London is that Londeners are keen diners-out, and reservations at many of the places worth your time can be hard to come by.

And then there’s the expense of London restaurants.

That’s where TopTable comes in.

TopTable is Britain’s answer to OpenTable in the U.S., allowing you to search for restaurants and book instantly-confirmed reservations online. You can also find pithy restaurant reviews and menus for many of the eateries listed.

What I like most about TopTable is a link on the left hand side for special offers. This allows you to search for, say, London restaurants currently offering 50 percent off menus or two-entrees-for-the-price-of-one specials.

Searching in London, you can simply indicate the neighborhood where you would like to dine and see if there are any restaurants in the area offering special discounts. I’m writing this from an apartment a friend is renting in Covent Garden. Checking places for this evening, I see dozens of places with offers on right now, from free glasses of wine to free entrees.

I don’t think you should always let you wallet dictate where you eat dinner, but in London, especially these days, you have to look for ways to stretch your money farther.