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The Best Restaurants in Edinburgh for Students

Food. We all have to eat and sometimes we don’t fancy making it for ourselves. The word ‘restaurant’ usually implies expensive food and fine dining. It doesn’t always have to be like that though. You’ll often find some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh are places where you can eat a meal and have a drink for less than £15! All the restaurants on this list have passed their government hygiene check so you won’t have to worry about a ratatouille situation (sorry Remy).

We’ve rounded up some of our top picks for students to eat out and about without worrying too much about breaking the bank. 

El Cartel

Starting off strong we have El Cartel on Teviot Place. This Mexican restaurant really packs a punch with its Antojitos (appetisers) and Tacos). Each dish is made to order, so whatever you pick, rest assured that it will be fresh. On their 14-item menu, every item is priced at under £10 meaning this great spot won’t harm your bank balance too much. Alongside their food offerings, El Cartel also has an extensive cocktail menu whilst also possessing a large selection of mezcal and tequilas for you to enjoy with your meal.

Ting Thai Caravan

After starting out as a stand at the Edinburgh Festival in 2012, Ting Thai’s brand of street food was a hit. The owners soon opened a permanent space on Teviot Place near the University Quarter. The restaurant was so successful that they then opened up a second Edinburgh location on Lothian Road! If you’re a fan of Thai food, this is definitely the place for you, and conveniently located 15-20 minute walk away from  Canal Point and Arran House.


Already tried Ting Thai Caravan and loved it? Well their sister restaurant Saboteur is just a few doors down from their Teviot Place location! Serving up more of a mix of East Asian cuisine and focusing less on Thai street food, Saboteur caters to a wider range of Asian food fans. Whilst Ting Thai is open daily, you’ll have to plan your Saboteur trips in advance as they’re only open on weekends. Sorry if you wanted a quick lunch during Uni, but think of it as an excuse to have a nice meal out at the weekend without spending your whole week’s budget.

Namaste Kathmandu

In the same vein but fancy venturing to the southwestern areas of Asia is Namaste Kathmandu the perfect spot for a quick lunch, being located only 2 minutes from the main University of Edinburgh campus. Their lunch menu is packed full of delicious menu items at a lower price for lunch so you can truly take advantage of these deals when sitting down for a nice lunch during a busy day at Uni. They are open every day and serve lunch between midday and 2:30PM so make a note of those times if you want to make the most of those daytime deals!

Taste of Italy

Fancy something quick and casual? Taste of Italy is the first of two Italian Restaurants in Edinburgh that we had to include on this list. Serving food ranging from breakfast meals all the way up to the classic Italian menu powerhouses such as freshly prepared pizza and pasta, this Italian cafe/takeaway does it all. Being located just a ten-minute walk from Brae House, the benefits of this restaurant just keep coming. If you live at Canal Point or Arran House, don’t worry, we’ve got a place for you to grab some great Italian food a bit closer to home.

Sora Lella

Just 5 minutes from Canal Point and 15 minutes from Arran House, Sora Lella is a gem of a find for students in Edinburgh. Serving up the best of Roman cuisine this restaurant is different in the best way. Run by an Italian family, this restaurant puts an emphasis on preserving authentic Italian flavours. Why do they need to preserve the flavours? Well… all the food is vegan! Closed only on Mondays, there’s plenty of time for you to grab a bite at this great family-run restaurant.

Hopefully this selection of restaurants is enough to help you work up an appetite and encourages you to get out there and give some of these a go. You never know, you might have just found your new favourite place to eat!