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13 Budget-Friendly Places Every Glasgow Student Needs To Eat

If you’re looking for a list of some of the best eateries in Glasgow that are within easy reach of the city’s main universities and within your budget, you’ve come to the right place.

Below is a selection of cafés and takeaways that will serve you decent food at prices which hopefully won’t make your student loan disappear before the end of Freshers’ Week.

If you’re just starting uni, remember the golden rule of student budgeting: keep your student card handy and always ask if there’s a student discount available!

1. Babu Bombay.

Babu brings street food from the West Coast of India to the West Coast of Scotland, and you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to sample its mouth-watering curry lunchboxes. Open from breakfast time until late evening most days, Babu offers light eats that don’t lighten your wallet. In addition to the lunchboxes, which are just £5.95 to take away, there are also wraps served in roti bread or, if you so desire, in a Scottish-style buttered roll. For a small extra price, you can sit in and enjoy the quirky, brightly coloured décor of Bollywood posters and street-style wooden tables.

Location: 186 West Regent Street.

Nearest uni: Glasgow School of Art (but well worth making the trek from any of the city centre universities!)

2. Bier Halle.

Bier Halle, as the name suggests, is devoted primarily to beer, and has a gigantic selection of Scottish and international beers. Compared to your Student’s Union, the price of a pint can be eye-watering, but one of Glasgow’s worst-kept secrets is that they do 2-for-1 pizza, so bring a friend along and youse can enjoy an excellent Italian-style Margherita for just £5.90 each.

Location: 9 Gordon Street.

Nearest uni: City of Glasgow College (15 mins), University of Strathclyde (15 mins).

🍺&🍕

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3. University Café.

This beloved café on Byres Road, which is not officially affiliated with the university, does simple food at a very affordable price, offering a variety of breakfast and brunch items. Don’t expect to find avocado toast here though, as no-frills Scottish fried foods are the order of the day. On the plus side, it’s as cheap as chips, and many Glasgow students swear by it.

Location: 87 Byres Road.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

An old haunt.

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4. Balti Club.

This evening-only Indian takeaway on Woodlands is the perfect stop-off point to load up for a night on the tiles on your way into the city centre from the West End. Balti’s mains are expensive, but it’s famous for having some of the best pakora you’ll find in Glasgow, and a mixed pakora tub will only set you back a mere £4.50. Alternatively, go for a quick chicken or veggie curry with rice for just £5.50.

Location: 66 Woodlands Road.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

5. The 78.

This all-vegan café/bar offers a bargain burger plus pint deal for just £7.95, and runs a 10% discount for students. This brings many of its other menu items, such as the lush falafel wrap with chilli jam to less than £6. The ‘burger’ is non-meat of course, so if the thought of vegan cheese sends a shiver down your spine then this is not the place for you. However, the retro charm of this Finnieston foodery, complete with a cosy coal fire, makes it a great place to be – and the food is very tasty so deffo worth a try!

Location: 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

Lazy late Sunday brunch on a rare day off. #veganglasgow

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6. Where the Monkey Sleeps.

This heavy metal themed basement eatery brings food, drink and rock’n’roll to the streets Glasgow. Its dirt-cheap bacon rolls are a great way to refuel for those afternoon lectures, or you can go for a more substantial breakfast ‘Manfosh’ bagel with bacon, egg and brown sauce to power your revision. The all-American French toast with bacon and maple syrup is also just £4.25, surely one of the best value calorie-per-penny deals in town. Surprisingly, to the uninitiated, syrupy sweetness plus savoury meatiness is truly a match made in heaven.

Location: 182 West Regent Street.

Nearest uni: Glasgow School of Art, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (10 mins), Caledonian University (15 mins).

7. Bread Meats Bread.

The budget option to go for at this city centre burger restaurant is the Van Dog, a £6 beef hot dog with pickle relish and chillies. It is scrumptious, mustardy, and delectable. Alternatively, you can opt for Canada’s glorious national dish, poutine. The bacon, and cheddar and sweet potato varieties are also just £6, and they even have a vegan option too for the same price. It’s well worth the trek from Strathy or Cale.

Location: 104 St Vincent’s Street.

Nearest uni: Strathclyde (10 mins), Caledonian University (10 mins).

8. Offshore.

Despite its low prices, Offshore is not just another greasy-spoon student café. Located on a stunning riverside corner of Gibson Street, it manages to have a comfortable living room atmosphere despite the modern, minimalist décor, thanks to its cosy sofas and friendly staff. Offshore offers sandwiches and bagels, in addition to several hot options including homemade mac & cheese for £4.50.

Location: 3 Gibson Street.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

Back again 💕

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9. North Star Café.

Situated just north of the River Kelvin and on your way back to Murano Street halls of residence, the North Star Café is a favourite for many Glasgow Uni students due to its cozy, homely atmosphere. It specialises in sandwiches – there are many interesting varieties from mouth-watering pork belly, to sophisticated grilled Italian sausage and rocket, or tasty goats’ cheese and roasted vegetables. You can grab such tasty snacks for no more than £4.00 each to take away.

Location: 108 Queen Margaret Drive.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

#blackpuddingegg #northstarcafeglasgow

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10. Bank Street Bar.

With its exposed brick-and-stone walls and flower-bedecked tables, Bank Street’s décor is at once tasteful and edgy – and the food is no different. A house speciality is the Caledonian, a very traditional black pudding and haggis pizza. But there are also more traditional flavours on offer for those unimpressed by the more offbeat parts of modern Scottish cuisine. Be sure to come before 5pm for the best prices, such as making good use of the 5 quid deal on any pizza or selected burgers.

Location: 52 Bank Street.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

Haggis and Black Pudding pizza

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11. Tchai-Ovna.

Tchai-Ovna is situated in a quiet alleyway behind Gibson Street, adjacent to the River Kelvin. Considering all their food is vegetarian or vegan, the mains at this café – which specialises in tea – can be rather pricy. But like the Bohemian second-hand book and vinyl shops it shares Otago Lane with, there are good deals to be found if you know where to look for them. A hearty bowl of soup is only £4.50 and a generous Middle Eastern Platter of Delights amounts to only £5.75 each if shared between two people.

Location: 42 Otago Lane.

Nearest uni: University of Glasgow.

The cafe's resident cat decided our game of monopoly was the perfect place to take a nap. 😺

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12. Via Italia.

This innovative Italian fast food joint offers a Subway-style production line where you build your own street food dish from a list of bases, sauces and toppings. Despite its sleek, efficient service and minimalist décor, this is not a big chain but a homegrown Glasgow operation with only two locations. Its newly opened Sauchiehall Street branch is easily accessible for city centre students, and the food is super authentic and tastes divine. For a cheap lunch, go for the piada base, an Italian flatbread take on the tortilla, which is a little cheaper than the pasta bowl. Piada wraps with a filling of your choice start at just £5.95.

Location: 115 Sauchiehall Street.

Nearest uni: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Caledonian University (10 mins).

13. NY Slice.

NY Slice is exactly what it says on the tin: a recently-opened American style pizza joint, where pizza is served by the slice. Although the décor in NY Slice is sleek, not to say basic, and the polystyrene cutlery is a little flimsy, the calzone is truly excellent and worth all the broken cutlery in the world. For 6 quid, you can get two pizza slices with toppings of your choice or a calzone plus drink. Bargain!

Location: 309 Sauchiehall Street.

Nearest uni: Glasgow School of Art.

"pizza is your grandfathers calzone" – ben wyatt

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