We visited the secret bar and restaurant on campus that nobody knows exists

Prepare to be amazed…

In-between the Library and Silverstone lies a hidden gem- The IDS Bar in the Institute of Development Studies.

The IDS is the ideal place to go for a chilled drink, a hearty meal with friends, or to study with a fresh coffee. The peaceful atmosphere is a breath of fresh air from the usual long queues of Falmer Bar and the fight to the death for a table.

It has recently been given a new look with a new menu, a low energy lighting system, TV menus, cosy corners and more formal dining areas.



The menu changes each week which keeps things exciting. There are plenty of choices each day for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters so it caters for all.

Can we have everything please?

The pricing is good for what you get- a tasty, freshly cooked meal with actual vegetables! The taste of the food is seriously worth it and fills you up. It also has considerably healthier options than other bars/restaurants on campus.

Spud anyone?

We chose the meat option of beef in teriyaki sauce with egg noodles and prawn crackers as well as the vegetarian option of Arabic Pitta bread with aubergine, chickpea hummus and couscous.

Veggie goodness

The beef was delicious. The veg was tender with a crisp edge. The egg noodles were perfect when mixed with the sauce. My only regret is that I didn’t swipe more crackers. Overall, a nice filling plate of comfort food. 8/10

One for the insta x

The salad. Wow. This lunch could be devoured every single day. The salad was something else. The flavour of the chickpeas and couscous, the seasoning, the crunch of the croutons… It tasted insane and filled us up too. Gordon Ramsay should be quaking 10/10.

crinch cronch

Not only is the food good, but the staff who work at IDS are lovely and helpful. They even offered us some spare brownie off-cuts they had going around!

you only get pudding if you empty your plate x


The bar has a totally different atmosphere in the evening. Students wanting to wind down pile in and have that well deserved pint. There was a DJ at 7pm blasting some dance music and people were having a boogie in the disco lights. It was a nice contrast to the usual chilled atmosphere in the day.

So for those of you who need to let lose a little without the task of trekking to Pryzm in the freezing cold, go check it out! Although, having given up alcohol for lent, we left shortly after.

Blame it on the boogie

Overall, this is the new place to be on campus if you want to grab a quiet, healthy lunch and study but also have a few well deserved pints in the evening after a long library sesh. You can also avoid the usual long queues expected in the other bars on campus. The only downside is that there is no pool table, but with food like this you won’t need other entertainment.