From innovative street food and cool cafes to transglobal dining and ubiquitous burgers, there’s
plenty of budget-friendly eating to be done in Edinburgh and Glasgow, writes Claire Ritchie
EAT & DRINK | STUDENT GUIDE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
T he capital’s university quarter is home to a multitude of global dining options, most with prices to suit the student populace. For a cracking lunch deal, try a bento box from Bonsai or the buffet at all-vegetarian Kalpna. Other delights from the Indian subcontinent can be found at Kebab Mahal, the Mosque Kitchen, and 10 to 10 in Delhi, all low on frills but big on l avour. Just up the road, Kampong Ah Lee is a canteen-style Malaysian delight serving up huge portions of laksas, satay skewers and rotis for a not-so-huge price. Meanwhile, across Bristo Square you can indulge those Bangkok street food cravings at Ting Thai Caravan. Newly transplanted from the West End to the Old Town, Illegal Jack’s offers attractively priced Tex-Mex burritos and tacos with your choice of i llings, in fresh new premises thanks to a hugely successful crowd-funding project.
When you don’t have time to stop but still need fuel to keep you awake in that psychology seminar, you need some food on the go. Packing a huge amount of l avour and skill into a tiny former police box on the edge of the Meadows, Tupiniquim serves up gluten-free crepes with a Brazilian twist. A short walk away on Forrest Road, Union of Genius keeps the hungry hordes going with their daily selection of tasty globally inspired soups and salads. Across on Cockburn Street, the venerable Baked Potato Shop serves whopping portions of the humble tattie i lled with your choice of over 20 i llings – all of which are vegetarian or vegan. There are a handful of mobile food trucks worth tracking down at one of the city’s regular markets where you can pick up some freshly cooked
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delicious street food for little more than a i ver. Whether it’s vegetarian dumplings from Alplings, venison pastrami sliders from Ròst or a Cullen skink tattie scone from Scoff, you’re sure to i nd some tasty treats to eat on the hoof. Check out their social media sites to i nd out where they’ll pop up next. Dining with a conscience isn’t always easy on a budget, but a good place to start is at the Forest Café in Tollcross, a not-for-proi t joint with a charming bohemian vibe. Now in its sixth decade of business, vegetarian institution Henderson’s recently opened a vegan bistro on Rose Street to add to their ever-popular restaurant, deli and cafe outlets. For fast- food without the guilt factor, head to Burger in Fountainbridge for an independent take on the beef patty, or Oink on Victoria Street for a hog roast sandwich direct from the producers.
Looking for high-end food without the luxury price tag? For a chance to be cooked for by the top chefs of tomorrow, head for EH15 or The Apprentice, the training restaurants of Edinburgh College, where eating like royalty costs almost nothing.