10 to 10 in Delhi
This little Indian joint is many students’ favourite lunch spot. It has everything you would desire of a first-class restaurant, including delicious food (the curries and naan bread are both delectable), atmosphere (everyone will fall in love with the lively interior, covered in colourful tapestries and decorations), and friendly staff. At the same time, it maintains a low-key, informal student vibe that, for instance, allows diners to spend hours there, enjoying a leisurely meal and conversation. The prices are unbelievably good, there are three menu items with low student prices: a lentil curry, a vegetable curry, and a chicken curry. Most of the other menu items are affordable as well. Do not miss out on this treat right next to Nicolson Square.
This vegetarian food stall, situated right where the Edinburgh University library becomes the Meadows, has some of the highest quality food at student prices. All the food is organic and sourced locally, and has a freshness that you can really taste. Staples on the menu are a unique and absolutely delicious veggie burger made with nuts, vegetables, seeds, cheese, and rice, as well as ‘the falafel’, which is three falafels stuffed in a flatbread wrap with fresh salad. Other options occasionally include Mexican dishes such as fajitas and quesadillas. If you are looking for a scrumptious, healthy meal you can enjoy while strolling through the Meadows, pop over to one of Edinburgh’s best food stalls.
The Fairtrade Café
The Fairtrade Café is the genius product of one of Edinburgh Uni’s societies. Many students are unfortunately not aware of its existence, as it takes place only on Mondays, from 1pm – 2pm, in the University’s Chaplaincy. However, those who do know of it rarely fail to return after having gone once. The food is all cooked right before serving in the Chaplaincy kitchen using fresh and fair trade ingredients. As the cooking goes on, delicious smells fill the Chaplaincy area, which is packed with students working. Past dishes include all manners of vegetarian soups, whole wheat breads, purple cabbage, and different kinds of cakes and bakes.
On the Roll
Almost every student at Edinburgh Uni knows about the German bratwurst stall at the corner of George Square that intersects with Teviot. It seems to practically be a University building as it certainly has more students at times. The servers at On the Roll are all German, with the meat coming from a family butcher shop in Germany. In addition to the very high quality of meat, the stall has mastered several excellent sauces that fill the nearby student-congested streets with delicious smells. A bratwurst is basically the German word for hot dog, and you can get one either as a currywurst, chopped up with a delicious curry sauce and some bread, or inside a bun.
Nile Valley Cafe
This lovely East African café is right in front of University property, the perfect place to stop by between classes for a quick sit down lunch. Almost all the items on the menu, which are mostly wraps and salads, are under £5, and for that price you receive excellent service from a friendly, East African staff as well as some delicious food. Food options include a wonderful falafel and hummus wrap and some delicious baklava for dessert. The place also has amazing tea, which can be enjoyed at any point during your meal.
Nile Valley Café; 6 Chapel Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
This small, lovely restaurant has some of the freshest, yummiest Mediterranean food you can find going out for lunch in Edinburgh. Although the prices are already more than ideal, it offers a 15% student discount, meaning you can easily enjoy a first-class wrap with a soft drink for a fiver. The menu items come from a variety of countries, such as Italy, Turkey, and Morocco. As it is small, the restaurant tends to fill up with students around the lunch hour, so make sure to make you way over early.
Phenecia Restaurant; 55 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, Scotland; t: +44 (0)131 662 4493
The Mosque Kitchen
Edinburgh residents, when told to go to the Mosque Kitchen, will ask, ‘Which one?’ After all, there are two restaurants calling themselves The Mosque Kitchen around Edinburgh Uni. One of them, located inside the mosque’s gate, is called ‘The Original Mosque Kitchen’ and also has a place called the Aroma Café inside, while the other, right on Nicolson Square, boasts that it is the ‘first and only’. Fortunately, both will give you a large variety of delicious curries with more than plentiful portions and excellent prices. On Tuesday evening, the Original Mosque Kitchen is taken over by Roots, a Christian missionary group that gives away all the curries and dishes for free in exchange for some community-building activities.
The Mosque Kitchen; 31 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, Scotland; t: +44 (0)131 667 4035
The Original Mosque Kitchen; Edinburgh Central Mosque, 50 Potterrow, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Police Box Coffee Bars
These cafés, called the way they are because they are in reinvented police boxes, are dotted around campus, two being in George Square alone. If you are in the mood for a truly cheap lunch, head on over. Specialising in coffee, these booths also offer yummy bagels for £2 (try the cream cheese and chive one), as well as numerous treats for under £2. Small coffees of any kind, as well as teas, can be had for £2 or under, meaning you can have a full meal for about a fiver. Or if you spent too much last night, grab a cheap bagel and you shall be set.
The Police Box Coffee Bars; George Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Wrap Place
The Wrap Place is an easy and delicious place to visit during a lunch break or between classes. Located right in front of the University it offers a variety of wraps, from your classically delicious Middle Eastern wraps with falafels and hummus, to others with different meats or vegetables. The prices are excellent, making it easy to have a nutritious and tasty meal on a student budget. If you want somewhere easy to sit down and eat well for little money, look no further than this small restaurant.
The Wrap Place; 4 Chapel St., Edinburgh, Scotland
This stall on the Middle Meadow walkway is so popular around lunchtime it usually has queues of around half an hour. However, anyone who passes by will tell you that the food is well worth the wait. At the beginning, the food served seems a bit unintuitive: the stall sells gluten-free Brazilian crepes, calling itself ‘Edinburgh’s Brazil-in-a-Box’. What this ends up meaning is a thick crepe, almost savoury pancake that comes with both sweet ingredients, such as Nutella and banana, and savoury ones, such as curried chicken. The stall also has fabulous fresh fruit juices. As a food place with one of the highest satisfaction ratings in the whole city of Edinburgh, it will leave you raving about how delicious it is.
Tupiniquim; The Green Police Box, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland; t: (for catering or bookings) +44 (0)790 886184