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Magdalena

August 10th, 2023

Eating out on a student budget in London

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Magdalena

August 10th, 2023

Eating out on a student budget in London

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

As I wrote in one of my previous blog posts, the art of living on a student budget is tricky.

One of the most common pieces of advice on how to make ends meet as a student is to cut down on eating out. While this advice is certainly helpful and applicable to many cases, I think it nonetheless often misses the point. After all, eating out is fundamentally a social experience and a means to sustain relationships.

Indeed, although your budget is limited, you want to have the full university experience which includes going out for a meal with your friends or grabbing a coffee with your classmates after a lecture.

But how to do that without ruining your finances? Finding the right budget friendly places to eat is key – learn from my experience and explore the best options below.

Eating on campus

First and foremost, probably the most affordable place where you can eat out and hang out with friends is the LSE campus.

There are eleven restaurants, cafés and bars on campus, catering to different needs, including world cuisines, halal and kosher meals and vegan and vegetarian options. They offer a selection of breakfasts, snacks, hot lunch options as well as salads, sandwiches, and much more. So everyone can find something for themselves!

There are two key reasons why you should choose the food outlets on campus. Firstly, their convenient location means that it’s ideal for LSE students to catch a coffee before a lecture or have a warm meal after classes. And it’s a perfect option for socialising with fellow students!

Secondly, food outlets on campus accommodate primarily students which means that their prices are reasonable. For example, the Fourth Floor Restaurant, the largest one on campus and located in the Old Building, offers a full English breakfast for just £3.10.

Street food

London’s thriving street food scene lets you taste diverse food from all over the world. The most popular destinations are the Borough Market, Camden Market and Brick Lane Market. There are also many local markets which you can discover in the area where you live which will be probably less crowded.

It’s a perfect idea for a weekend afternoon – you can wander around the market with friends and try new cuisines or opt for your favourite dishes. Naturally, there’s a range of affordable options to choose from.

My favourite budget friendly restaurants

Last but not least, there are many regular restaurants and bars which will not ruin your budget, even in the city centre.

Some of my favourite places with a unique atmosphere where you can get a tasty meal for £5 to £10 include:

  • The India Club, with rich history and wonderful traditional Indian food, nearby the LSE campus;
  • Lahore Kebab House, in Whitechapel, with a selection of authentic Pakistani cuisin;
  • Ngon Ngon, a cosy Vietnamese restaurant in central London;
  • Chicken Hub, a chain restaurant offering good quality fast food dishes;
  • Andu, an Ethiopian vegan restaurant in Dalston.

What’s more, Lahore Kebab House and Andu are BYOB restaurants which means that you can save a lot of money on drinks by bringing your own, bought at cheaper prices in a supermarket. There are plenty of other BYOB restaurants in London and they are great for a night out when you want to have a glass of wine with your dish.

The bottom line is that London is a diverse city with a rich food scene. You can always find something to suit your budget and can enjoy eating out as a social experience.

About the author

Magdalena

Hi, I’m Magda, a Sociology master’s student coming from Poland. I’m interested in the issues of class and social stratification as well as history, which I studied for my undergraduate degree. I have an artistic soul and enjoy literature, cinema and theatre.

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