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Best Cheap Eats for Students in London

Best Cheap Eats for Students in London main image

By Jenny Scott Russell – Local Leo

It came as quite a surprise to me that eating out in London can be affordable, even on a student budget. You just have to be smart and look out for deals, food markets and cheap eats. If you’re anything like me, after a long day of uni, the last thing you want to do is cook. I often find myself picking something up on my way home. And that doesn’t always mean fast food or unhealthy food, in fact most of my favorite places are relatively healthy! So, these are my top recommendations for cheap eats in London…

Camden Market

There’s so much variety in Camden Market and I’m still overwhelmed every time I visit! However, some of my favorite cheap stands include Maize Blaze which is Colombian street food, Vburger and Magic Falafel. There is a lot I haven’t tried here though, including endless stalls selling Chinese, Thai and Indian at amazingly inexpensive prices. Camden Market is perfect for a group outing because you can all get exactly what you want. However, it is open air so make sure to check the weather first!

Pizza Express with o2 discount

Two main courses for £10 at Pizza Express basically means you can eat out as much as you want! Okay maybe not, but that is a great deal. If you’re on o2 make sure to make the most of your priority discounts. This one is my favorite along with the Café Nero free coffee voucher. I’m sure all students out there can appreciate how great a free coffee tastes.

Andu Café

If you haven’t tried Ethiopian food then Andu Café is a must. Take away is £5 and it’s a you get what you’re given situation although you can always count on the food being delicious. If you decide to eat in there is a bit more choice but the menu is pretty small. Andu Café is a really popular spot in the center of Dalston and for the price you get a huge portion of healthy, home cooked food.

Too Good to Go

A must download app for all students on a budget in London, Too Good To Go is an amazing resource for finding cheap eats. The way it works is, at the end of the day traders who have surplus food sell everything at a discounted price on the app, rather than creating food waste. You can find some amazing bargains on here and can keep an eye out for your favorite places easily on your phone.

Pizza Union

There are Pizza Unions all over the city and with 12” pizzas starting at £3.95, you can’t go wrong. Sides and drinks are cheap too and the restaurants always have a fun, lively atmosphere.

Dou Dou

A vegan option for you, Dou Dou is an all you can eat Chinese/Thai buffet in the center of Camden. During the day it costs £5.90 while for dinner and weekends it costs £6.90. The food here is really inventive with interesting meat alternatives for all traditional dishes. You can also get a takeaway box for even less.

Foodilic

Another all you can eat buffet for you is Foodilic, costing just £7.50. The food is very healthy, locally sourced and always delicious with a wide variety of food catering to all dietary requirements including gluten free and vegan. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but it’s the perfect spot for students based around Kings Cross.

Mercato Metropolitano

You can find this indoor food market in Elephant and Castle and it’s a great place to go as a group with plenty of cheap street food to choose from. They also have a distillery, brewery, and cinema and put on a variety of great events. The market is centered around communal benches which are often full come the evening.

Berwick Street Food Market

Next in our look at the best cheap eats in London is one of the oldest street food markets in the city, ideal for grabbing lunch at when you’re in the center. The market operates Tuesday to Friday with different stands every week. On Mondays the market is specifically vegan. I love this market for trying new and exciting foods. They support up and coming businesses and generally attract a very trendy crowd.

Yo Sushi with Unidays discount

Sign up for a Unidays account with your university email to access lots of amazing student discounts on cheap eats in London. My favorite discount through this app is for Yo! Sushi where you get 25 percent off all items at any time. If you combine this with a third off vegetarian dishes on Wednesdays you can eat here like a king for a fraction of the price it would normally cost.

Your local kebab shops!

Not very specific, I know. But kebab shops in London are a really cheap way to eat and actually pretty good quality on the whole. I have my favorite local kebab shop which makes an amazing falafel wrap. They even have vegan mayo so I can’t complain about anything. You’ll have to do some research to find your best one but it is always worth knowing where to head, especially at the end of a night out.

Franco Manca with Unidays discount

Another pizza place but this time with Unidays you can save with a meal deal that gets you any pizza and a drink for £7.40. Franco Manca pizzas are by far my favorite in London and this deal makes eating out there an even more attractive option!

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Written by Jenny Scott Russell
The author of London-based travel blog LocalLeo.co.uk, Jenny travels the world while working full time in the UK fashion industry. She has a passion for vegan street food and outdoor sports and in 2015 moved to Austria on an Erasmus exchange. She has since graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Textile Design and has visited over 25 different countries.

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