10 Best Restaurants in Edinburgh for Students

the auld hoose, edinburgh

Edinburgh, long known as the Athens of the North, is filled with stunning architectural landmarks and rich cultural history, but it’s also a melting pot of culinary diversity that caters to its vibrant student community. From the cobbled streets of the Old Town to the elegant avenues of the New Town, the Scottish capital offers an array of foodie delights. For the discerning student on a budget, though, navigating the city’s food scene can be an intimidating task. Fear not! In this deep dive into Edinburgh’s culinary landscape, we’ll unveil the top ten restaurants that offer the perfect mix of taste, atmosphere, and affordability.

1. The Auld Hoose

For a hearty meal that won’t break the bank, look no further than The Auld Hoose. Tucked away on the historic St. Leonard’s South, this hidden gem is renowned for its generous portions and mouth-watering comfort food. The Auld Hoose is famous for its towering burgers, overloaded nachos, and the infamous “ridiculously spicy hot wings challenge” (not for the faint of heart or the acid-uninitiated!).

Student Delights

The Auld Hoose doesn’t skimp on student-friendly deals—think meal deals that come with a free pint or soft drink and specials for veggies and meat-lovers alike. It’s a treat not to be missed for those who adore indulging in good old-fashioned pub grub.

2. Mosque Kitchen

Step into the Mosque Kitchen and you’ll be greeted by the delicious aromas of authentic Indian cuisine. With their roots going back to the Heart of Edinburgh, their affordable prices and speedy service make them a top pick for students. Comforting steaming curries, aromatic biryanis, and freshly baked naan bread always leave patrons raving.

Curry Connoisseur’s Haven

The Mosque Kitchen caters to students not only with its prices but also with its generous portion sizes. You can indulge in a rich dining experience without feeling the pinch in your pocket.

3. Oink

Prepare for a sensory overload as you head to Oink, the home of Edinburgh’s famous pulled pork sandwich. This isn’t just any pig in a bun—Oink prides itself on using the finest Scottish pork, locally sourced, freshly roasted, and served with a delectable range of condiments.

Swine and Dine

Oink’s signature hog roast roll is a rite of passage for any self-respecting student in Edinburgh. With its rustic charm and farm-to-fork ethos, the restaurant is a must-visit for those who appreciate a ‘snoutstanding’ culinary experience.

4. The City Cafe

With its cosmopolitan décour and a menu as diverse as Edinburgh’s population, The City Cafe is a student hot spot. From American-style diner burgers to the fresh catch of the day, it’s got something for every palate.

Deals Galore

When it comes to catering to Edinburgh’s student body, The City Cafe doesn’t hold back with its “all-day specials” and loyalty programmes. Their friendly service and welcoming atmosphere make it a spot where you can chill with friends and enjoy a satisfying meal.

5. Ting Thai Caravan

A stone’s throw from the University of Edinburgh, Ting Thai Caravan’s bustling atmosphere and zesty flavours are a hit with students. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu filled with traditional Thai street food, all prepared in an open kitchen for an authentic and engaging dining experience.

A Taste of Thailand

Ting Thai Caravan offers students a refreshing alternative to your standard curry house. Their vibrant dishes, like the Pad Thai and steaming bowls of noodle soup, are perfect for a quick and flavourful meal.

6. Civerinos Slice

You might have heard of Edinburgh’s infamous Civerinos pizzeria, but did you know they’re masters of the slice, too? Located in the heart of the city, Civerinos Slice is bustling, loud, and a whole lot of fun.

Pizza Passion

Ideal for a quick bite, Civerinos offers a variety of classic and quirky pizzas by the slice. It’s perfect for students who are on the go but still need their pizza fix—authentic, fun, and oh-so-satisfying.

7. The Elephant House

Boasting a warm and inviting ambience, The Elephant House is more than just a coffee shop. It’s a historic site famously known as the birthplace of Harry Potter, where J.K. Rowling spent many hours writing. This charming café offers students a cosy nook to study, meet up with friends, or simply enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Magical Moments and Café Delights

The Elephant House serves a range of delicious homemade cakes, soups, and light meals making it ideal for a study break or a leisurely lunch. With its enchanting view of Edinburgh Castle, this café is not just about its literary heritage—it’s a place to create your own story over a delightful cup of coffee.

8. Mary’s Milk Bar

When the craving for something sweet hits, Mary’s Milk Bar is the place to be. Tucked under the historic edifice of Edinburgh Castle, this artisanal ice cream parlour serves up the creamiest, most indulgent scoops in the city.

Scoop on a Budget

Mary’s Milk Bar offers a range of student-friendly deals and is the perfect spot for satisfying cravings or celebrating the end of exams with a decadent treat.

9. Dishoom

A relative newcomer to Edinburgh’s food scene, Dishoom has quickly made a name for itself with its modern take on Indian cuisine. Inspired by the old Irani cafés of Bombay, the restaurant offers a stylish fusion of history and hip-hop on the plate.

Indian Elegance

Dishoom’s student specials and lunchtime menu make it an accessible culinary escape, offering a taste of India that promises to be as remarkable as it is delicious.

10. The Last Word Saloon

For those nights when you want more than just a meal, The Last Word Saloon beckons with its cosy interior and a libation list that reads like a who’s who of the cocktail kingdom.

Cheers to the Weekend

They have fantastic student deals, quiz nights, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s tailor-made for unwinding after a busy week. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or settling in for a session, this intimate spot has your back.

Explore and Indulge

Exploring Edinburgh’s vibrant food scene reveals a rich tapestry of flavours that cater to every palate, budget, and occasion. Each establishment mentioned not only offers an unforgettable culinary experience but also serves as a testament to the city’s diverse cultural landscape. From the hearty, home-cooked meals of The Auld Hoose to the sophisticated and eclectic offerings at Dishoom, students and locals alike are spoilt for choice.

The culinary diversity extends beyond these ten establishments. Edinburgh’s streets are dotted with quaint cafés, bustling bistros, and innovative eateries that push the boundaries of traditional cuisine. For those with a sweet tooth, the city does not disappoint. Artisan bakeries and gourmet chocolate shops can be found in almost every neighbourhood, offering handmade treats that are perfect for a study break or a leisurely weekend brunch.

Seasonal markets and food festivals further enrich Edinburgh’s culinary scene, providing opportunities to taste freshly prepared local and international dishes in a lively atmosphere. These events not only showcase the talents of local chefs and producers but also foster a sense of community among attendees.

Sustainability and ethical eating are also at the heart of Edinburgh’s food philosophy. Many restaurants prioritize locally sourced ingredients, support fair trade practises, and offer vegetarian and vegan options, making it easier for diners to make eco-friendly choices without compromising on taste or variety.

Ready, Set, Go!

Edinburgh’s food scene is a melting pot of flavours, traditions, and innovations. Whether you’re a student on a budget, a foodie in search of your next culinary adventure, or simply someone who enjoys good food and good company, Edinburgh’s restaurants, cafés, and food markets are sure to provide an unforgettable dining experience. The city’s commitment to diversity, sustainability, and quality ensures that there is something for everyone, making it a true gastronomic haven.

Edinburgh’s culinary landscape is as diverse as it is delicious. For students who want to explore the city’s gastronomic delights without dreading their bank balance, these ten restaurants are the ideal starting point. Each establishment offers a genuine taste of the city’s rich food culture, catering to a diverse range of preferences and palates. Most importantly, they understand the needs of the student community and go the extra mile to serve up top-notch food at unbeatable prices.

Ready to sample the flavours of Edinburgh? Don’t delay—hit up these culinary hotspots, invite your friends, and savour every bite. After all, university life is about more than just lectures and coursework. It’s about building memories, trying new things, and, in this case, indulging in the scrumptious offerings that Edinburgh’s food scene lays out before you. Bon appétit! Have more questions? Give our team at Storage Vault a call at 0800 802 1822 for more insider tips!

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