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Food & Drink

28 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.

Wondering where to eat tonight? Read on for our list of the best restaurants to try...

Best restaurant chains in the UK

Here are some nice places to eat 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 and one of the best places to go for dinner.

    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 that, 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 – 25% off food and drinks on Sunday to Thursday (in Scotland it's just 25% off food).

    Las Iguanas isn't only one of the best restaurants in the UK, it also has a great deal for students, 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 when ordering 2 or more main meals.

    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 on Sunday to Thursday 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.

    Depending on how many dishes you buy at YO! Sushi, it can start to get a bit pricey. But keep in mind the 20% student 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 on Sunday to Thursday.

    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 for 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 a 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 – 10% burgers and fries.

    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 on Sunday to Thursday.

    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, elevenses, 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.

    Wagamama is by far one of the most popular restaurants in the UK for Japanese-style food. Whether your go-to order 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 on our food and drink discount page.

    Get this offer »

     

  15. Barburrito

    barburrito logo

    • Best for – Burritos and churros
    • Price range – Low – Medium
    • Student discount – 20% off with the loyalty app.

    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 a little bit more per burrito.

    Get this offer »

     

  16. Honest Burgers

    honest burgers logo

    • Best for – Good-quality burgers
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – None, but they occasionally have offers for students.

    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

    papa johns logo

    • Best for – Pizza
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 33% off your order except for ice creams, drinks and Papadias.

    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 – 10% off.

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

    On top of their 10% 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.

    Looking for a fast-food restaurant in the UK that's a bit more healthy? Itsu is 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 all food on Sunday to Wednesday.

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

    Their milkshakes are already delicious, and they even have a vegan salted caramel shake available too!

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

    Get this offer »

     

  21. Zizzi

    zizzi logo

    • Best for – Pizza and pasta
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 20% off on Sunday to Thursday.

    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 »

     

  22. Giraffe

    giraffe logo

    • Best for – Tapas, burgers and brunch
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 10% off.

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

    While their All Day Brunch is already pretty hearty, you can also Go Bigger. This includes three smoky bacon rashers, two sausages, baked beans, two eggs, two hash browns, tomatoes, a flat mushroom and toast. Wow.

    Get this offer »

     

  23. Pho

    pho logo

    • Best for – Vietnamese cuisine
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 15% 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 »

     

  24. Frankie & Benny's

    Frankie and Benny's logo

    • Best for – Pizza, pasta and burgers
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 20% off food when ordering two main courses.

    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 »

     

  25. Taco Bell

    taco bell logo

    • Best for – Tacos and quesadillas
    • Price range – Low – Medium
    • Student discount – Varies per location.

    If you love tacos, quesadillas and burritos, you're going to love Taco Bell. Plus, it's another food chain in the UK that offers a student discount. The offers vary by location, so make sure to ask at your local 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 »

     

  26. Ed's Easy Diner

    ed's easy diner logo

    • Best for – Burgers, hot dogs and all-day breakfasts
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – 10% off.

    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 »

     

  27. Prezzo

    prezzo logo

    • Best for – Pizza, pasta, grills and risotto
    • Price range – Medium
    • Student discount – None, but they occasionally have offers for students.

    Prezzo has quite a similar menu to Zizzi, but they don't always have deals for students on.

    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 »

     

  28. 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.

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