Student Survival: Where to eat and drink in London

Forget the hard work of studying at university, surviving financially as a student in London is just as challenging. When it comes to money, one in five have never budgeted, which has led to 84% of people worrying about making ends meet — with the biggest damage being dietary requirements (60%), soon followed by mental health (50%), relationships (42%) and grades (34%) consequently.

We’ve teamed up with Oxford Tube, providers of a London to Oxford coach who also have discounted tickets for young people, to help you cope with the added financial pressures of being a student with this fun guide full of affordable eating and drinking locations in the capital. The tips will surely help you make appropriate savings that will help make a huge difference.


Restaurants and Cafés

According to the Student Living Index of 2017, the average student dishes out £43.30 per month on going out with friends. To help you get the most out of your money, take a look at some of our top suggestions for eating out in London:

Franco Manca

If you love your Italian cuisine, the name Franco Manca says it all. With over 40 pizzerias in London alone, the sourdough pizzas are to die for and are super affordable. Accompanied with quality ingredients, the brick oven bakes the pizzas, subsequently leaving a beautiful crust to munch on — and no, crusts don’t give you curly hair!

When we say affordable, we mean cheap as chips. Although with this USP comes a downside — Franco Manca is no secret to Londoners, meaning that there’s always a queue outside. A tomato, garlic and oregano pizza could be yours for only £4.95 (with extra toppings ranging from £0.50-£1.75). You’ll need something to wash down your main, so non-branded beers and ciders are available to purchase for £3.65 and are just as good, if not better! Post pizza, grab yourself a desert for just £3.95 too!

The average food spend at Franco Manca is around £12.00 per person, allowing you to enjoy a night out knowing you won’t be breaking the bank.

Haché Burgers

Haché is a popular burger bar in London; even the celebs like to dine there from time to time. If the food was good enough for Amy Winehouse, it’s worth a try to get those taste buds going! (Amy’s favourite on the menu was the Steak Canadien).

The main menu stands out from any other restaurant in London, offering sharing starters which is ideal for you and your foodie friends who want to start off the evening in the right way at a split price. Although this is a burger bar, there are plenty of vegetarian options that help make a more inclusive environment for all. Burgers are presented in fresh ciabatta or a brioche bun — served with tomato and sliced sweet red onion, along with a little bit of mustard mayo which is to die for. Sides, desserts and drinks are also reasonably cheap!

Tatler magazine even quoted: “You could get a decent burger, but nothing like Haché.”

Terry’s Café

Let’s face it, we’ve all woken up craving a full English breakfast after a heavy night out in London. Terry’s Café is here to help you start your day off in the right way — fixing that headache (and heartache?) in a jiffy. The café itself is in Suffolk and is heavily proud of its British culture — as you walk in this will be evident with the countless of black and white photographs documenting local history.

The breakfast menu is quite cheap for a London café, with a standard fry-up costing you £8, allowing you to make additional stretches if you want to add something more onto your plate. If you can’t stomach a fry-up on the morning, alternatives range from filling omelettes to porridge!

On your visit, you must order a pot of tea — what they’re most known for — and if you enjoy it that much, you can buy a box to take home!


One of the heightened parts of university life is the drinking culture — and we understand that there are places in London that charge extortionate prices when there are cheaper alternatives. We take a look at some of the hidden gems that will save you a fortune:

The Shoreditch

If you love to boogie on the dancefloor, take a trip to The Shoreditch, who are specialised in making the most delicious cocktails with a Tiki theme. Offering a Happy Hour service, you can purchase two cocktails or four beers for £10 — and there’s no rush, with this offer spanning from 2pm to 10pm daily!

Café Kick and Bar Kick

All week from 4pm till’ 7pm, you will be able to grab some deals down at Café Kick, where cocktails come at a low price of £5 and house beer at £2.50 a bottle. If you’re closer to Bar Kick, this branch offers the same deals — perfect for students dotted around the capital.

Bar Elba

We all love taking pictures of the London skyline, and there’s no better place to do it than at rooftop bar, Bar Elba, which overlooks everything. Take plenty of pics — Instagram at the ready! Accompanied with their two-for-one Happy Hour deals (5pm-7pm), it is the perfect location to start a sophisticated night out.

Save money and live happier by following our guide!

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