The seven best places to eat around campus

We bet you haven’t heard of #3


By this time of the term you would probably have been kind of done with Tesco meal deals, sad wraps, and to-go paninis on campus cafés… basically pre-prepared food. But you do not want to spend too much on freshly prepared, warm food either.

There is a solution. In fact, there are several solutions all around you, it's just that you have not been looking, or experimenting, hard enough. Here are 7 cheap and healthy eats around campus that really stretch your pounds (I mean £ not pounds) whilst keeping you in the pink of health.

1) 49 Café

Image may contain: Meal, Produce, Broccoli, Vegetable, Food, Plant

This quaint Italian cafe by the Brunswick Centre is very unassuming from its exterior. But on the inside, it packs a variety of both veggie and non-veggie takeaways you can think of – chicken risotto, mac and cheese (with homemade pasta!), beef lasagna, etc. They rotate and change their menu every day. Salads include butternut, beetroot, avocado with feta cheese, and more.

With only £7, you get a heaped box of warm food and a separate box of salad, both of your choice. With so much food, you can always save some for dinner as well.

Address: 49 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AP

Walking distance from UCL: 10 minutes

2) Alara Health Shop and Organic Café

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Right across the street from 49 Café, Alara functions like Planet Organic – but cheaper, and much tastier. They have 3 different sizes of boxes you can choose to pay for and the best thing is it is self-service, so you can choose as many varieties of dishes as you like, and tower your box up to fit as much food as possible. Do note that the box will have to be covered with a lid though, so don't be too greedy and be strategic! All students also get a 10% discount.

Address: 58-60 Marchmont Street, Kings Cross, London WC1N 1AB

Walking distance from UCL: 10 minutes

3) Mary Ward Café

Image may contain: Pasta, Meal, Vegetable, Sprout, Seasoning, Food, Produce, Plant

Bet most of you haven’t heard of this place before – this tiny vegetarian eatery is part of the Mary Ward Centre which provides adult education and courses. The café serves wholesome nutritional food such as tortilla, cheesy casseroles, pastas, all with a side of salad. They have homemade cakes for your sweet tooth as well. With its generous portions, it is definitely value for money (and health).

Address: 42 Queen Square, Holborn, London WC1N 3AQ

Walking distance from UCL: 15 minutes

4) Franco Manca

Image may contain: Meal, Dish, Bread, Plant, Food, Pizza

Franco Manca is pretty self-explanatory because most of you have been there before. But only for dinner. There's a lunch deal you probably haven't heard about. Ditch ICCO and pizzas on campus and treat yourself to a proper handmade sourdough pizza with a side drink for only £7.40 with a UNiDAYS voucher. This offer is available to UNiDAYS members only (download the app if you haven’t already, it’s free for university students!) from Sunday to Thursday, and is valid for both dine in or takeaway.

Address: 98 Tottenham Court Road, Bloomsbury, London W1T 4TR

Walking distance from UCL: 5 minutes

5) Bloomsbury Thursday Farmers’ Market

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My favourite highlight every single week, and here is a special shout-out to the Risotto stall which unfortunately does not have a name. It is located in the second half of the Farmers’ Market (closer to Birkbeck) and is easily distinguishable with about six large hot pans of risotto, udon, and tomato meatballs. With £6, you can get a box-full of warm food and you can even mix them up too with a half and half if you’re spoilt for choices. Best part is that they have free-flow shredded cheese on the side for you to pile up on!

Other cuisine at the Farmers’ Market include Greek, French, Indian, Japanese, and more.

Address: Literally across UCL Malet Place

Walking distance from UCL: less than 3 minutes

6) The Refectory

Image may contain: Fried Chicken, Fries, Food, Bread

Not everyone’s favourite place to go for lunch because it gets too crowded sometimes, but still deserves a shout because of its value for money. Take for instance this massive plate of Fish and Chips, which costs only £5.50 (including the side of mushy peas) when it is usually more than double the price in other places. The Refectory also pledges to use fresh, healthy ingredients and healthier oils, so they've got the health box checked too.

Address: UCL

Walking distance from UCL: ??

7) Too Good To Go

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Slightly off the grid, but you’ll be grateful for this. Too Good To Go is a mobile application that allows you to get highly discounted food while fighting against food wastage. With the app that determines your location, you will get to see the offers around you, and allows you to plan for your meals ahead as you can collect food for the following day too. You’ll just need to turn up at the right collection time and place and voilà, you’re a Waste Warrior!

Address: All around you