Lunching on a Budget


Jodie Leith

Writer Jodie Leith explores five easy, affordable lunch spots in the west end.

Looking to add an element of adventure to that hour window between a lecture and a seminar? Tired of lunchtime queueing and frenzied seat-searching in the Fraser Building, only to end up wedged between strangers eating a sad home-made wrap? Look no further! The following cafes and restaurants are some popular and lesser-known lunch spots in the west end which are ideal for a quick bite between class, each offering an excellent student discount or meal-deal offer. 

Venture just minutes, or seconds, outside of University and explore some of the most delicious cuisine Glasgow has to offer – all without kissing goodbye to your student loan. 

Hillhead Bookclub

Just a few minutes’ walk from university sits the student favourite, hipster hang-out spot Hillhead Bookclub. This former library has ditched the books in favour for “good honest food at good honest prices.” Smaller plates are ideal for a quick bite, like their smoked mac & cheese, priced as low as £3.50. Whilst they also serve meat dishes, Bookclub caters perfectly to vegetarian and vegan students alike with a meat-free Mondays deal giving 25% off all veggie dishes. Make sure to pop in and sign up for a sought-after “library card” which entitles students to great reductions on alcoholic drinks. 

University Cafe

This 101-year-old, family-run west end institution has provided generations of students with fuss-free, delicious comfort food. Located on Byres Road, just a stones’ throw from uni, students can enjoy a great, unpretentious feed between classes. A particular favourite has to be the classic “cheesy beano” which alongside most dishes costs £5 but is guaranteed to leave you stuffed. Top tip: Sweeten up your break with their life-changing, homemade Biscoff ice cream.

Bar Soba

Serving delicious Asian fusion street food in a sophisticated setting, Bar Soba is an ideal student lunch spot with an excellent student discount of 50% off food and 25% off drinks. Only a minute’s walk from university, spice up your lunch break with a katsu curry for just £5.50 with student discount. Top tip: If deadline season is getting you down, order the drumstick caipirovska to drink – it’s sure to leave a smile on your face. 


This vegan, plant-based cafe is an ideal lunch spot for students with classes closer to Kelvinbridge. Serving a selection of vegan home cooking, the V&V’s speciality are their homemade pakora and curries. Although V&V doesn’t offer a student discount, it’s an excellent spot for vegan students and supplies various meal deals at great prices, including a toastie and soup for just £5.95.

Toni’s Pizzeria

Situated on Gibson Street, just a 2-minute walk from the Glasgow University Union, multi-award-winning Toni’s Pizzeria is an affordable and delicious spot to grab a slice between classes. Lesser known than student-haven Paesano, this spot is ideal for a quieter lunch without scrimping on the quality. Be sure to stop by on Mondays, where any 12-inch pizza costs just £7.99. Top tip: try the meat deluxe pizza – it’s unforgettable!


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