Food and Drink: Edinburgh Students

Edinburgh has a fantastic night life and offers numerous cafes and restaurants to eat in. The following blog post identifies the best student friendly bars, clubs, pubs, cafes and restaurants with a variety of promotions and discounts that are available.

Cocktail Bars


The Dragonfly

52 West Port

This spacious bar is a great compromise if you fancy something more than a pint in Teviot but can’t be bothered to dress up for George Street. Although the cocktails are quite pricey, they offer cheaper student drinks from Sunday-Thursday which makes it really affordable for cocktails. Great place for catching up with friends without breaking the budget.

The Cuckoo’s Nest

69 Home Street

This bar is really casual and has a great atmosphere. There are plenty of candlelit tables and a spacious downstairs which can also be hired for private events. Cocktails are considerably cheaper than most bars, at only £4. They have weekly quiz nights and have a reasonably priced food menu. Their new ‘Nifty Thrifty Range’ offers great deals on certain drinks.


113-115 George Street

This George Street bar and restaurant is reasonably priced for its location. Although the standard cocktail menu is pretty pricey, they do a Classic Candy menu which has cocktails from £3.95. They also have some special deals during sports matches (although the drinks will still be more expensive than somewhere in Old Town…). Great place for catching up with a big group of friends, as there’s loads of space.


41 Lothian Street

This swish bar and restaurant is right by George Square…great for a boozy lunch between lectures! In addition to their ordinary menu, Assembly offer 50% off your ‘Favourite Drinks’ which means you can get a limited number of cocktails for £3.95!


26 George IV Bridge

Don’t expect the glamour of George Street in this cheap and cheerful themed bar. A favourite with stag and hen parties it’s probably not the place for a quiet drink or first date. However, Frankenstein cannot be beaten for value, especially for students. All cocktails are £3.95 and there’s 50% off all food from Sunday-Thursday for students with a Snapfax.


16a Queen Street

This trendy bar is tucked away in New Town and difficult to find unless you know where it is. Definitely not cheap, but it’s one of the best cocktail bars in the UK so is worth splashing out for on a special occasion. The cocktails are delicately mixed and served like works of art in tea cups or silver goblets. Although a daily, or even weekly, visit would break the bank, this magical and super cool venue is a must visit at least once during your time at Edinburgh.


Lunch Spots near George Square

Students Dining

Mother’s Kitchen

77 Nicholson Street

This no frills café is the place to stop if you’re desperate for enormous portions on a tiny budget. Students can get a curry, rice or naan and a canned drink for £3. The curries are pretty simple (chicken, lamb or a range of vegetarian) but are delicious and the staff are really friendly. Not necessarily the place for a quick lunch between lectures…portions are seriously huge and a marathon to get through!

The Library Bar

Teviot House, Bristo Square

Not particularly inventive but you can’t go wrong with a quick lunch in the student union. The library bar is the favourite lunch spot, mainly because of its nachos….these disappeared off the menu for a while but now they’re back! Very good value, with special student prices and good sized portions.

Coffee Etc.

4 Chapel Street

Just a stone’s throw from George Square, this tiny café is a favourite with students and fills up quickly at lunch time. Although they don’t offer a particular student discount, the food is really cheap and absolutely delicious. Order a ‘Paddy Wrap’, which isn’t officially on the menu, but is by far the best option- they just put a bit of everything in!

Snax Café

118 Buccleuch Street

Snax is a bit of a greasy spoon but the food is delicious and the menu extensive so it’s a great spot for lunch. For £2.20 students can get a sandwich and a drink, which is a pretty unbeatable price in Edinburgh. There are quite a few tables and chairs so you can normally get a seat too.


22 Nicholson Street

Although Palmyra is a kebab shop, it isn’t just a good place for a late night snack. They do a range of delicious wraps which are really cheap, plus there’s a 10% student discount! Try the falafel and hummus- delicious!

Elephant and Bagel

Nicholson Square

This is the less touristy little sister of The Elephant House, famous for being the birthplace of Harry Potter. Elephant and Bagel is great for a quick lunch, you can sit in if you can find a table or grab something on the go. The bagels are good value plus there’s a 10% student discount.

Bean Scene

99 Nicholson Street

This trendy, spacious café is a great place for a relaxed, lengthy lunch. They have a good selection of sandwiches and pastries but (as their name suggests) they’re all about coffee, and for students they offer a special deal of a regular hot drink for the price of a small.


*Prices are correct at the time of publishing this blog entry

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Carly Davis

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