Want to know one thing you immediately discover after moving to university? Feeding yourself three times a day is unexpectedly difficult. This is why many have the same meals day after day after day (i.e. pesto pasta, oven chips, and instant ramen). Well, do you want to break out of that habit? Is it time to try something new? If that’s the case, then these Edinburgh restaurants are perfect for you. With extensive menus, good prices and a range of cuisines, you’re sure to find your new favourite spot on this list. These are the 10 best restaurants in Edinburgh for students. 

1. El Cartel Mexicana

Tired of the patented Edinburgh clouds and rain? El Cartel will transport you to warmer climates with their authentic flavours. Their menu takes inspiration from Mexican street food with a carefully curated menu of antojitos, or “little cravings”, as well as tacos, quesadillas, and daily specials. With homemade tortillas, in house hot sauce made from 4 different chillies, and an extensive list of tequilas, El Cartel is a must-visit. After all, why not finish your assignment with a frozen margarita in hand? 

El Cartel Mexicana
Source: EL CARTEL Instagram


2. Paradise Palms

Paradise Palms
Source: Paradise Palms Instagram

Paradise Palms truly has it all with a bar, diner, record shop and stage (not to mention award-winning vegetarian food!) This American diner-inspired restaurant has committed itself to make hearty fast food available to everyone. With offices and venues running on completely 100% renewable energy, strict recycling and waste reduction, and cooking with bio-fuel gas, Paradise Palms is as environmentally friendly as it comes.

3.Söderberg Bakery

While this artisan Swedish bakery is a little on the pricier side, their cinnamon and cardamom buns are worth it. Their primary Edinburgh location is situated in the heart of the Quartermile, directly below their bakery. With low hanging lights and candles, this atmospheric place would make a fabulous date spot—and if you go Monday nights, their 2 for 1 sourdough pizzas could lessen the effect on your purse.

Soderberg Bakery Edinburgh
Source: Soderberg Bakery

4. Red Box Noodle Bar

Are you a picky eater? Make your own noodle or rice box at Red Box Noodle Bar completely to your own specifications. With meal deals complete with a box, side and a drink starting at £11.50, these flavours are sure to entice your taste buds. Their proximity to the university and option to get delivery makes this a great option for both a night out or a night in.

5. MUMS Great Comfort Food

Hungover and needing comfort food? MUMS is exactly what you’re looking for. Their extensive menu has something for everyone with options including customisable sausage and mash meals, pies, stews, burgers, haggis, breakfast and so much more. With the ethos of “top nosh at half the cost”, this place measures up against the best. Open from 9 am to 10 pm, MUMS will be there for you, especially if you’re homesick.

Mums great comfort food edinburgh
Source: Mums

6. Ting Thai Caravan

Ting Thai Caravan
Source: TING THAI Instagram

With humble beginnings serving the Edinburgh festival masses, this restaurant wholeheartedly fulfils the demand for South-East Asian street food. With a second location in Edinburgh, Ting Thai Caravan serves authentic and flavourful Thai cuisine at low prices.

7. The Three Sisters

Everyone needs a favourite pub, and The Three Sisters is among the best in Edinburgh. As they say themselves, “we’re the one-stop shop for everything sport, scarn and bevy related”. With constant events, student offers and discounts (including 20% off main menu items), and lots of cocktails, The Three Sisters are guaranteed to keep you satisfied. Check out our full list of cheap pubs in Edinburgh for more tips on where to go.

The Three Sisters

8. Maki & Ramen

Maki & Ramen
Source: Maki & Ramen Instagram

Have you just got dumped or got a bad mark back? The fresh Japanese food at Maki & Ramen will resuscitate you. This “oasis of simplicity” with “umami rich flavours and fresh ingredients” is sure to soothe the soul, not to mention their hour slow cooked broth and homemade noodles. To complement their ramen, Maki & Ramen offer maki, sashimi, nigiri and other sushi classics at their six locations across the city.

9. @Pizza

Another one for our picky eaters, @pizza is a pizza-lover’s dream and by far one of the best restaurants for students in Edinburgh. With 48 hour slow-proofed sourdough, a choice of 51 premium toppings and over 64,000 possible combinations, it’s no surprise this place has a wealth of awards. Plus, flash your student ID on Wednesdays for 50% of unlimited toppings on pizza and bottomless soda.

10. Victor Hugo Deli

On your way to a lecture? Why not stop by Victor Hugo Deli and pick up a gourmet baguette on the way. Situated on the Edinburgh Meadows and founded in 1955, this continental delicatessen is an institution of Edinburgh. With all food prepared in-house, their selection of sandwiches, ciabatta melts, quiches and pasta is perfect for students on the go.

Victor Hugo Deli
Source: Victor Hugo Deli Instagram

So, there you have it. Those are the 10 best restaurants for students in Edinburgh. Think we’ve missed out anywhere on our list? Share your suggestions in the comments section. Likewise, for more things to do in Edinburgh, take a look at our picks for the best happy hours in the city.

Last Updated on June 17, 2024