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Food & Drink

29 best restaurants for students

Going out for dinner (or breakfast, or lunch...) is such a treat. But finding a place to eat that has good and cheap food can be tricky – to help, here are the best restaurants to visit.

Woman eating a burger in a restaurant

Credit: YoloStock, totojang1977 – Shutterstock

If you fancy going out for dinner, but don't fancy spending a fortune, you've come to the right place.

The key to finding a great place to eat out is not only looking for restaurants that serve your favourite foods, but also ones with generous student discounts. Luckily for you, we know of plenty that do both.

Read on for our list of the best chain restaurants to try...

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, eating out for dinner is currently a bit different to usual. Remember to follow the official guidelines, such as social distancing and wearing a face covering when not seated.

Top 29 places to eat

Wondering where to eat tonight? These are the best restaurants for great food at affordable prices:

  1. BrewDog

    brewdog logo

    Best for: Burgers, pizza and beer
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: Burger or pizza plus a Punk IPA for £10 (£15 in London).

    If you haven't already, it's definitely worth heading to a BrewDog restaurant for dinner. As well as their main student discount deal (above), they also run free pint offers pretty regularly, which we post in the deals section of our site.

    And as an added perk, check out their Dog Mail scheme – it lets you send a postcard to a friend in another city (even internationally) which they can pick up from their local BrewDog bar.

    Get this offer »

  2. Nando's

    nando's logo

    Best for: Peri-peri chicken
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: None, but they do give a 20% discount to emergency service workers so student nurses, for example, might be eligible.

    Nando's is a student classic.

    They're best known for their chicken dishes, but they actually also have some really tasty vegetarian food like the beanie wrap and veggie sides including coleslaw, creamy mash and more.

    If you're feeling particularly cheeky, have a read of our top ways to get free and cheap Nando's...

    Get this offer »

  3. McDonald's

    McDonald's logo

    Best for: Cheap and quick burgers, fries and chicken nuggets
    Price range: Low
    Student discount: Free Cheeseburger, Mayo Chicken or McFlurry when you buy an Extra Value or Wrap Meal.

    There are so many McDonald's restaurants around the country so, wherever you are in the UK, there's bound to be one near you.

    It's no secret that McDonald's have some super cheap food on their menu – but not all students know that there are loads of ways to get their meals for even less.

    As with Nando's, we just so happen to also have a guide to getting free and cheap McDonald's. You're welcome. 😉

    Get this offer »

  4. Las Iguanas

    las iguanas logo

    Best for: Latin American food and cocktails
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 40% off food and 25% off drinks (in Scotland it's just 40% off food).

    The student discount at Las Iguanas is among the highest for high-street restaurants, making them perfect for anyone looking to eat well on a budget.

    They also have free cocktails on offer from time to time, so keep an eye out on our deals page to catch the best offers.

    Get this offer »

  5. Shake Shack

    shake shack logo

    Best for: Burgers and milkshakes
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: Buy one burger, get one free.

    If you're looking for good burgers at decent prices, we'd recommend trying Shake Shack.

    They use local produce for their meals, including Aberdeen Angus Beef which is grass-fed in Scotland, pork that's been raised on a family farm and chicken that's British and cage-free.

    Get this offer »

  6. Chiquito

    Chiquito logo

    Best for: Mexican food and cocktails
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off.

    From tortillas to burgers to fajitas, there are so many great dishes at Chiquito.

    They have a fair number of restaurant branches in the UK, so if you're hoping to find a Mexican restaurant nearby, try Chiquito.

    Alongside their main meals, you could try their cocktails or mocktails, or even one of the tequilas on offer there (but please drink responsibly!).

    And if you're going out for breakfast, you could try their Mexican Benedict for a tasty twist on a brunch classic.

    Get this offer »

  7. Revolution

    Revolution bar logo

    Best for: Bar food and drinks
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food plus reduced prices on selected drinks.

    Revolution (a.k.a. Revs) is ideal for bar meals and a lively atmosphere.

    Their menu includes warm duck salad, nachos, pizza and cookie dough s'more. We're sold.

    Get this offer »

  8. YO! Sushi

    YO! Sushi logo

    Best for: Sushi
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 20% off food.

    At YO! Sushi, depending on how many dishes you buy, it can start to get a bit pricey. But keep in mind the 20% discount – this will help a lot.

    As well as their savoury sushi, you can also get indulgent sweet treats like a chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce and strawberry cheesecake mochi (cheesecake in a sweet rice shell).

    Get this offer »

  9. Pizza Hut

    pizza hut logo

    Best for: Pizza and pasta
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 20% off food.

    Just when you thought it couldn't get much better than Pizza Hut's stuffed-crust pizzas – you discover you can get them with 20% off.

    If you're also looking to save money on takeaways, bear in mind that you can get a 20% student discount on Pizza Hut Takeaway, too.

    Get this offer »

    Have you ever tried making pizza from scratch? We have a recipe that shows you how to make a pizza for well under £2 per person.

  10. Tortilla

    tortilla logo

    Best for: Burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 10% off.

    If you're in the mood tacos and burritos, Tortilla is a great place to eat. They're best known for these dishes, but we also recommend trying their quesadillas and nachos.

    Their portions are pretty sizeable, and they have reasonable prices (which are better still with 10% student discount!).

    Get this offer »

  11. Gourmet Burger Kitchen

    gourmet burger kitchen logo

    Best for: Posh burgers, milkshakes and drinks
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food.

    A fancy burger after a particularly gruelling deadline or exam is hard to beat – and Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) are among the best burger restaurants on the high street.

    On days when you really want to go all out for dinner, you could also try their rich and ridiculously good milkshakes – the options include Oreo, double Belgian chocolate and sea-salted caramel. Need we say any more?

    Get this offer »

  12. The Real Greek

    the real greek logo

    Best for: Souvlaki wraps and sharing meze dishes
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off main menu food.

    The Real Greek is definitely up there as one of the top restaurants for students.

    As the name suggests, they specialise in Greek cuisine and their restaurants are especially lovely to visit if you're hoping for food that you can share with friends and family.

    They have both hot and cold meze options including halloumi fries, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and tzatziki.

    Or, if you're more of a "Joey doesn't share food" kind of person, their souvlaki wraps are amazing.

    Get this offer »

  13. Crêpeaffaire

    crepeaffaire logo

    Best for: Sweet and savoury crêpes
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 15% off food and drink in participating locations.

    Crêpes and coffee, anyone?

    Crêpeaffaire is such a nice place to eat – whether for breakfast, elevensies, lunch, dinner or for dessert, it's hard to think of a bad time for crêpes.

    And the 15% student discount makes their food even more appealing...

    Get this offer »

  14. Wagamama

    wagamama logo

    Best for: Japanese-inspired food
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: None, but they occasionally have offers for students.

    Whether your go-to order at Wagamama is curry, ramen, teppanyaki or another equally good dish, it's always hard to resist a meal there.

    While they don't have a student discount scheme in place, they do have student offers there from time to time which we post here.

    Get this offer »

  15. Barburrito

    barburrito logo

    Best for: Burritos and churros
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: Regular burrito for £5.50 or 20% off.

    Burritos are a tiny bit more expensive at Barburrito than they are at Tortilla (even with student discount).

    However, if there isn't a Tortilla restaurant near you but there is a Barburrito, it's a very good alternative and should only cost you about 10–20p more per burrito.

    Get this offer »

  16. Honest Burgers

    honest burgers logo

    Best for: Good-quality burgers
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 30% off.

    If you like the sound of burgers with British beef patties, rosemary chips and local beer, find out if there's an Honest Burgers restaurant in your town or city.

    Not a meat-eater? You could try their veggie burgers, including a burger with meat-free bacon and vegan smoked gouda.

    Get this offer »

    They don't do a student discount, but we've got a whole host of ways to get cheap and free Burger King.
  17. Papa John's Pizza

    papa johns logo

    Best for: Pizza
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: Get a large pizza, garlic pizza sticks and potato tots for £14.99.

    Papa John's do some pretty great deals for students.

    As well as their main student offer (above), they've also been known to offer free pizzas to students who register online with their uni email addresses.

    Check out our student discount page for Papa John's before ordering to check if this or any other offers are currently available.

    Get this offer »

  18. Slim Chickens

    slim chickens logo

    Best for: Chicken tenders and wings
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 20% off.

    For big, hearty portions of chicken and fries, try Slim Chickens.

    On top of their 20% student discount, they often run some good additional offers. You can access a lot of the deals by downloading their app, and we'll also post the best ones on our student deals page.

    Get this offer »

    Talking of chicken, have a read of our hacks for getting KFC food for less (or even for free!).
  19. Itsu

    itsu logo

    Best for: Sushi and noodle soups
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 15% off.

    Hoping for fast food that's a bit more healthy? Itsu are ideal.

    Not only do they offer sushi and salads, but they also have some tasty hot dishes like veggie'gyoza udon, miso soup and bao buns.

    Get this offer »

  20. Byron Burger

    byron burger logo

    Best for: Burgers and craft beer
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 30% off.

    Burgers, ales and milkshakes: Byron's menu has some very indulgent meals.

    Their milkshakes are already delicious, but they also do 'hardshakes' that include bourbon or rum.

    Plus, they sometimes offer bottomless fries with burgers so look out for this deal...

    Get this offer »

  21. La Tasca

    la tasca logo

    Best for: Tapas and paella
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food and buy one get one free on cocktails and selected gins.

    Tapas is always a good shout.

    La Tasca recommend picking two or three tapas dishes per person which could get a little expensive, but the 25% student discount will make a big difference.

    Their paella is also well worth trying. However, if you can, try to go with someone else who would be getting it too – La Tasca's paella pans are for two people, so the dish needs to be ordered by an even amount of people (unless you just want a massive amount of paella to yourself, of course).

    Get this offer »

  22. Zizzi

    zizzi logo

    Best for: Pizza and pasta
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 30% off.

    Looking for Italian food near you?

    There are lots of Zizzi restaurants across the UK, and their pizza, pasta and cocktails make them a solid choice for a meal out with friends.

    Get this offer »

  23. Giraffe

    giraffe logo

    Best for: Tapas, burgers and brunch
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 30% off food.

    Another great restaurant for tapas, Giraffe also offer great breakfast and brunch dishes.

    While their Big Brunch is already pretty hearty, Giraffe's Bigger Bruch is (you guessed it) even bigger. It includes three smoky bacon rashers, two sausages, baked beans, two eggs, two hash browns, tomatoes, a flat mushroom and toast. Wow.

    Get this offer »

  24. Pho

    pho logo

    Best for: Vietnamese cuisine
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food.

    As the restaurant's name suggests, Pho (pronounced 'fuh') specialises in a dish called pho. This is the national dish of Vietnam – it's a hot rice noodle soup with fresh herbs, and you can choose which meat, seafood or veggie ingredient you'd like to add.

    Pho's menu also includes curries, noodles and desserts. There are so many tempting dishes to choose from...

    Get this offer »

  25. Frankie & Benny's

    Frankie and Benny's logo

    Best for: Pizza, pasta and burgers
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food.

    If you're really looking to treat yourself, Frankie & Benny's do loads of student-favourites: burgers, chicken, pizza and more.

    They often run great offers like meal deals which, as ever, we share for you on our student deals and discounts page.

    Get this offer »

  26. Taco Bell

    taco bell logo

    Best for: Tacos and quesadillas
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 15% off food.

    If you love tacos, quesadillas and burritos, you're going to love Taco Bell.

    Their chalupa (which they themselves describe as "world famous") is especially worth a try. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, then filled with mince, veg and sauce, it's a delight.

    Get this offer »

  27. Ed's Easy Diner

    ed's easy diner logo

    Best for: Burgers, hot dogs and all-day breakfasts
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 30% off food.

    Starting as a diner in America, Ed's Easy Diner is now a huge chain that does iconic US dishes like burgers and hot dogs, as well as full breakfasts that can be ordered throughout the day.

    They offer a pretty good student discount, and for more deals, sign up for their club online – as a welcome treat, you can get a free starter or dessert when you order a main meal, and a milkshake as a birthday freebie.

    Get this offer »

  28. Prezzo

    prezzo logo

    Best for: Pizza, pasta, grills and risotto
    Price range: Medium
    Student discount: 25% off food.

    Prezzo have quite a similar menu to Zizzi, but their student discount isn't quite as generous.

    Although, having said that, it's still worth considering them if there's a restaurant in your area.

    They often run offers like meal deals that could help you cut down the cost of your bill a little, so have a look at what's up for grabs before booking.

    Get this offer »

  29. LEON

    leon logo

    Best for: Healthier fast food
    Price range: Low – Medium
    Student discount: 15% off food.

    LEON do some really good meals that are quickly prepared and aren't overly expensive. The portions aren't huge, but they're perfect for breakfast, lunch and snacks.

    While they do have some meat and fish dishes, they specialise largely in veggie and vegan fast food.

    We recommend their LOVe Burger which has a beetroot soya patty, vegan gouda cheese and veggie fillings inside. You'll LOVe it.

    Get this offer »


Looking for even more foodie deals? Check out the restaurant section in our student discount directory. 😍