If you are sick of your sandwich or want to get rid of your roll at lunchtime, there are plenty of exciting alternatives for less than a fiver... which is about what you would spend on a boring old supermarket meal deal.
So to help make up your mind I visited five independents in Peterborough city centre and was pretty happy with what they had to offer.
Asia, Fitzwilliam Street
If you went on looks alone, you probably wouldn’t put a foot in the place. It looks a bit grubby from the outside, but the Middle Eastern restaurant area is clean, tidy and functional.
There is plenty on the menu but the chicken, rice and roti came highly recommended, and by someone who should know.
First up, though, a small bowl of lentil soup - thick and tasty.
Then came the quarter chicken, marinated and grilled, with a plateful of rice and a roti.... not to mention a tasty cucumber and tomato salad, a delicious side of beans in garlic and a bowl of beans in tomato sauce.
The chicken was meaty and had a lot of flavour, if a little dry, the rice was a delight and the roti thin with a slightly toasted taste.
A very filling lunch for £4.99.
EMBE2GO, Peterborough City Market
It is colourful little stall, befitting an African/Caribbean soul food joint, with music to match. Part of a street food section of the market fronting City Road, there is plenty of room to sit and eat.
I am a repeat visitor for the jerk chicken and curried mutton wraps, but opted here for the jambalaya - and it is my new favourite.
A good sized portion, with far too many ingredients to mention. But, importantly, the key components were spot on. The rice was soft, the chicken breast moist and the chunks of chorizo tasty and hot.
Great for £5.
Chopstix, Long Causeway
Wagamama might be a few doors away but this little place is always busy, and it is easy to see why.
For a fiver you get a “small” option - rice or noodles with one of about 10 chicken dishes.
I had the noodles, which were soft and juicy (from all the sauce) and a topping I hadn’t tried before - Korean bbq.
The coated chicken was really soft and tasty and I enjoyed muching through the chunky onions, green beans and garlic.
It was £5 well spent.
Best Pizza and Shawarma, Park Road
Small, neat and tidy inside it does a nice trade in takeaways but seats about 20.
I have had the chicken alternative, but the lamb shawarma sandwich is fantastic.
You can have the meat with rice or chips and salad but for me the bread, cooked onsite, is incredible so it has to be the sandwich.
The lamb is really juicy and has a great flavour and even when fully loaded with salad - red onions, juicy tomatoes, cucumber... and a splash of chili sauce.
A firm favourite, just £3.
Its a great BBQ restaurant four nights a week, but during the day it is a roast dinner restaurant.
Choose from pork, turkey or beef - I went with the latter and even my “small” dinner had sufficient meat.
It was well done, but a little thick, meaty gravy and horseradish soon sorted that out. I loved the sweet carrots, the cabbage was ok and the roast potatoes a little soft. A part crisp/part stodgy Yorkshire pudding mopped the plate clean.
Well worth £4.99.