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A student guide to eating out on a budget

by Nikhil Patel,
25 January 2016

Recent figures have shown that over 1/10 of the students who attend university do not cook their own food and an average student spends £925 on takeaways every year.  Wait, who cares about these statistics anyway, let me get straight to the point. We all like food so I am going to give you the low down on some of the best places to eat, whether you are on budget or not! I will score each place using a degree grade, as we all know that scoring...

Pizza Express

Well this is one restaurant where you definitely can't go wrong; with a wide range of pastas and pizzas to choose from you are really spolit for choice. The standard procedure for starters is always garlic dough balls, followed by one of my favorite pizzas (pollo ad adstra). If you have space in your stomach after, the warm chocolate brownie always works a treat to top off a great dinner. Now you may be wondering if all this sounds expensive for one meal, but with an NUS card you are entitled to up to 40% off – depending on the day - so what you waiting for?

Pizza Express

Food: 2:1   |   Drink: 2:2   |   Décor: 2:1   |   Overall: 2:1

Distance from campus: 1.3 miles

Pizza Express


Bill's

Now Bill's is a place where if you looking for some fresh homemade favorites it's the right establishment. Favorites like mac n cheese and gourmet fish fingers are bound to fill you up for the rest of the day. Personally I would recommend the breakfast, especially when you wake after having a few “lemonades” at the bop. The gourmet breakfasts and the generous amount of tea sure hits the spot.

Bill's

Food: 2:1   |   Drink: 2:1   |   Décor: 2:1   |   Overall: 2:1

Distance from campus: 1.8 miles

Bill's


Nando's

You can already tell this place is going to be hit when it's in song lyrics…. “Two two chicken, Nando's” in the words of Lethal Bizzle, or have you heard Ed Sheeran and Example sing about Nando's? YouTube it!!! Anyway enough of my yapping, Nando's is a what you see what you get kind of restaurant. In the words of Nik, “Chicken, Chicken everywhere”.

Your standard meal platter is on the cards if you come with me consisting of a whole chicken and two sides. The bean burger is a hit with the veggies and the loyalty card means you are guaranteed a free item every three visits.  Now we are just waiting for Nandos to bring out student discount to make it extra cheeky.

Nandos

Food: 2:1   |   Drink: 2:2   |   Décor: 2:2   |   Overall: 2:1

Distance from campus: 1.9 miles

Nando's


Hudson's

Many people have recommended this place and I have finally got round to trying Hudson's. I went in with a motive; Champagne dinner on a beer budget and this was actually possible. On Mondays and Tuesdays Hudson's offers two courses for £12.95, now this is a bargain if you are looking for a meal that will fill you up. My starter consisted of the king prawns with chorizo and bread. The bread was so soft it melted in my mouth; with generous portions I knew this place was going to be a hit.

My main course was just as good, Lamb Shank with mash potatoes and green beans. The mash was so soft and fluffy and there was plenty of meat on the lamb. The décor of the place is very homely and I would recommend this place as a first date kind of restaurant. Some of locals have told me the breakfast is excellent, so I think another trip is in need.

Hudson's

Food: 1st   |   Drink: 1st   |   Décor: 1st   |   Overall: 1st

Distance from campus: 1.5 miles

Hudson's


The Union Bar

Now if you are looking for somewhere local and cheap the union is the place to go, with most food ranging from £6 or under you are bound to get value for money. The burgers tend to be a hit with the students, preferably fully loaded and with a beer, only if you have not had one to many the night before. The Sunday roast is also a good shout, especially if you miss home food, but don't forget to take part in the pub quiz, which also takes place on a Sunday.

Food: 2:1   |   Drink: 1st   |   Décor: 2:2   |   Overall: 2:1

Distance from campus: 0

The Union Bar


The Hive

Now The Hive has been growing on me since the day it first opened; it started off as a small coffee place and has grown into one of the main hubs at Roehampton. Now serving a range of beverages, lunch and snacks daily sourced from local places at low prices, what more could you ask for? I would personally recommend having a hot lunch there, as everything is made fresh and tastes so great.  The coffee is also great, maybe even better than Costa and Starbucks.

Food: 2:1   |   Drink: 2:1   |   Décor: 1st   |   Overall: 2:1

Distance from campus: 0

The Hive


Meat Liquor

Now I have saved the best till last! I have tried many burger places around London and I can say without doubt this is the best.

With its alternative décor and its rustic photo booth you would think a place like this is a bit dodgy, but it is the complete opposite. The burgers are phenomenally tasty and the chicken wings spicy, maybe not a ideal place to visit for vegetarians but still some great tasting vegetarian options none the less.

The atmosphere is great and even on some days you can catch the odd celebrity there. A wide variety of great tasting cocktails seals the deal for me and I am sure many of you.

Meat Liquor

Food: 1st   |   Drink: 1st   |   Décor 2:1   |   Overall: 1st

Distance from campus: 8.1 miles

Meat Liquor

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