A long day of revision in the library is never as bad as it seems if you’ve got a nice lunch break to look forward to. But if you’ve (somehow) managed to secure yourself a desk during a busy exam season, then you don’t want to have to go far and risk losing your space – and you don’t need to. The University of Edinburgh campus is surrounded by great lunch spots for quick and cheap food options, and you don’t have to resort to the same old £3 meal deal, or overpriced library cafe sandwiches. Here are the seven best lunch spots for University of Edinburgh students that will get you through any study day!
1. Africano Wrap Place
The Africano Wrap Place undoubtedly serves some of the best food in the whole of Edinburgh, and is easily the most popular lunch spot for university students. The food is relatively basic, but authentic and unbelievably delicious. Found on Chapel Street, this spot is always packed during lunchtime, as students pile into the tiny restaurant in between classes. However, the queue moves quickly and most people get their wraps to go, so you shouldn’t have to wait around for a seat.
Choose from fillings such as hummus, aubergine, avocado, feta, spicy beans and fresh homemade falafel to fill your wrap before it is toasted. The staff are super friendly so you can customise your wrap to suit your tastes as much as you like.
It costs only £4 so it’s a quick and cheap lunch – but remember to have cash on you as this place doesn’t take card!
2. The Library Bar
The University of Edinburgh’s student union bar and restaurant is definitely a popular lunch spot. Not only does it serve some of the best curly fries that you can find in the city, but the library bar is located in one of Edinburgh’s most incredible buildings: Teviot Row House. The library bar is the most recognisable of the university’s student bars, lined with books in glass casing around the walls. Its cosy vibe makes it perfect for studying or relaxing at any time of day.
The library bar’s menu has a huge range of options, from all day brunch options to pizzas and burgers. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu as well, such as the vegan nacho pizza, so there’s something for everyone.
This is the perfect spot for lunch as you can find it right in the centre of campus in Bristo Square, so it’s an easy stop between classes. It’s super cheap so very student-budget friendly – check out the deals for each day, like 2-4-1 nachos Monday to Friday between 3pm-6pm!
3. Red Box
Red Box can be found just around the corner from Appleton Tower on West Nicolson Street, so it’s easy to run to quickly when you’re taking a study break. Create your own box by choosing your noodle type, meat or vegetarian filling, vegetables and sauces. Another student friendly place, offering huge portions for just £5.80. This noodle bar is definitely one you have to try on one of your lunch breaks!
Quartermile’s Söderberg is just a few minutes from the university’s central campus, and is the perfect spot for a coffee break during your day on campus. Especially on a nicer day in Edinburgh, the huge floor to ceiling glass windows make Söderberg the perfect place to eat and enjoy the view on the edge of campus, just on the corner of The Meadows. Söderberg can get pretty busy, especially during lunch hours, but there is seating both indoor and out, so it’s usually possible to find a table.
This Swedish cafe business serves fresh pastries, including Kanelbulle (cinnamon buns) and Kardemummabulle (cardamom buns) as well as savoury options. For lunch, try the Swedish rye bread or sourdough pizza – all made fresh with locally and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Another perk of this lunch spot, is their commitment to sustainability, offering discounts for coffee keep cups and keeping food waste and packaging to an absolute minimum.
5. The Tuk Truck
You can find the Tuk Truck on both the central campus and the King’s Building campus, as part of the university’s catering. It serves “world street food”, switching from Indian to Mexican to American all in the space of a month. Open Monday to Friday, this food truck refreshes its menu each week to bring you some different lunch options.
Often you’ll find the loaded fries on the menu, with options available for both meat eaters and vegetarians: chicken mexicana dirty fries, or chana masala dirty fries. You can also find them serving tacos, filled with steak or portobello mushroom. As most of the university owned catering options are, the Tuk Truck is a little more expensive, selling a main plus drink deal for £9. The food is great but its main draw is its convenient location in the centre of campus.
If you’re looking for your Mexican food fix at lunchtime, BarBurrito is the place to go. The UK’s first burrito bar now has multiple chains across Edinburgh, including a restaurant on Forrest Road, just across the street from the central campus. Bar Burrito’s menu is expansive, featuring burritos, nachos, tacos and quesadillas with both meat and plant based fillings.
BarBurrito also offers a lot of student deals, such as meal deals, making it an affordable option for lunch whilst you’re on campus!
7. Union of Genius
Scotland’s first soup cafe Union of Genius, is found just seconds from the University of Edinburgh’s main campus in Bristo Square. Union of Genius’ aim is to comfort, nourish and sustain with fresh and wholesome soups and this is exactly what they do. This restaurant uses local and seasonal ingredients to make fresh soup each day, served hot with warm bread on the side, and on a cold Edinburgh day, what could be better?
If you’re dropping in for a quick meal between lectures, you can takeaway, but there’s also some seating inside this cosy space if you’ve got a little more time. But, if you’re taking away, remember to bring your own container to gain points towards a free meal.
Not only can you find the Union of Genius main restaurant on Forrest Road, but they also serve soup from their van, parked just outside the university’s Chrystal Macmillan building, if you’re grabbing some lunch on the run. Check their social media channels each day to find out which flavours they’ll be serving!