We don’t care what anyone says, living on a student budget whilst fighting the urge to spend money on delicious food is one of life's unfair conundrums. So to make sure you’re looking after your wallet and your appetite, we’ve teamed up with DesignMyNight to find the UK’s best cheap eats. From £5 tacos to Sunday roasts for under a tenner, busting your belly no longer needs to mean breaking the bank too.
The Victoria in Dalston is not only an amazing live music venue and cosy boozer, it also just so happens to serve cheap and delicious food. Wild Dog run things in the kitchen, so expect anything from handmade hot dogs topped with chilli and melted cheese to creamy beetroot slaw. There are also vegetarian and vegan options, and you and your bank balance will be pleased to hear the mains start at a nifty £7.
Let's be honest, oven pizzas are great and everything, but they don’t come close to the real deal. Luckily, Tank & Paddle can cater to all your dough-loving desires with their wallet-friendly slices. Their stonebaked pizzas start at £7.50, and you can gobble everything from margheritas to bases topped with spicy beef, smoked bacon and pulled chicken. There’s also mac and cheese dishes and an extensive craft beer selection.
If your student budget won’t cover flights to Thailand, eating the delicious Thai cuisine at Rosa’s Thai Cafe is the next best thing. They’ve got 11 venues in London, and they serve everything from pad thai and roasted duck curry to drunken noodles. The best part? The mains start at a cheap and cheerful £6.25 (that’s the dribble-worthy spicy and sour tofu and vegetable soup).
If you need a little break from this cold weather (and your assignments), make your way to Barrio. Latin-themed and bursting with colour, the menu will take you on a culinary journey to Mexico at a budget price. The mains start at a thrifty £6, and you’ll find beef barbacoa tacos, nachos and cactus quesadillas. As if that wasn’t enough, they have a daily amigo hour where you can get £5.50 cocktails until 8pm.
The Big Chill is a cool bar with low leather sofas, a beer garden littered with coloured lanterns and a very student friendly taco-centric menu. Whether you’re after spicy chorizo or shredded spicy buffalo chicken, two tacos will only set you back a fiver, and you can get a beer for an extra £2.50 from 12-4pm during the week. There will also be nacho sharers from £6.50, with 50p from every dish going to Action Against Hunger.
Having Peckham Springs up your sleeve is like knowing that cool friend who’s good at everything. Art gallery? Check. Festoon-lit bar? Check. Live music nights? Check. Cheap and delicious street food? You betcha. The vendors change weekly but at the moment you’ll find Gabagool, aka masters of dribble-worthy New York-style deli sandwiches (think Korean pork and a vegan-friendly miso aubergine) all for a super economical £6. Thought it couldn’t get any better? Oh, it can. Cocktails are £6 each and you can get another for £2 between 6-7pm every day.
The Rose Villa Tavern is a charming vintage boozer in Birmingham with colourful stained glass windows, chesterfield sofas and a long list of incredible food deals. Championing American-style comfort food, you can indulge in a kilo of wings for £12.50 on Mondays, 2-4- 1 gourmet hotdogs and burgers on Tuesdays, and a £7 sandwich and drink deal during the week. Heck, if you head down on Thursday they’ll upgrade your sides to large for free. A student’s dream? We think so.
If you’re pining after some delicious pub grub in Manchester; The Crafty Pig is here to answer all your prayers. You can chill with a cocktail or craft beer in hand, as you choose from the likes of sausage and mash, pies and burgers. Their sandwiches start at £4.25 and mains are from £7.95, so you needn’t worry about breaking the bank when you visit. Been missing a Sunday roast fix? Enjoy theirs for under a tenner.
If the thought of beer and pizza fills you with joy, you need to head to Shilling Brewery Co in Glasgow. It’s the cities only small batch microbrewery, and all of their fresh beers are brewed on site, so you’re guaranteed an amazing bevvy for just £4.50. Onto the eats; their heaven-sent pizzas start at a fiver and are topped with everything from Moroccan lamb to spicy sausage with sriracha. They’ve also got crust dippers if you're partial to a condiment (think Irn Bru chilli jam).
If you’re after a slice of Havana minus the flight fare, there’s no place better than Revolución De Cuba in Liverpool. Mains start at a pocket-friendly £8, so expect the likes of shredded pork burritos, paella and cheeseburger tacos. If you’re down in the dumps about never being able to afford a three-course meal, don’t be. Revolución lets you enjoy just that for £17.95 on weekends and £13.95 during the week; which we think is a steal.
For more info on where to find the best restaurants in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.
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