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Best places to eat as a student in Leicester

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Did you know there are around 46,500 students in Leicester at any one time!? That’s 46,500 students all searching for the best places to eat, with many looking to take advantage of student discounts, promotions and offers.

Luckily, Leicester is a fantastic city full of cafés, pubs and restaurants to suit any budget! From UK chain restaurants that offer student discounts to local, independent businesses with student-friendly prices— the options are endless.

As such, it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’ve just moved here. So, to give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled our picks of the best restaurants in Leicester offering student discounts or loyalty schemes to save you money—so you can get your eat on, for less!

Getting a student discount

You’ll usually receive your student ID after completing your university enrolment and providing a UK registered address.

Once you have your student ID, simply flash it wherever you go in order to take advantage of student discounts and save money. Most restaurants in Leicester will offer a student discount if you present a valid student ID, you just need to ask. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Picture the scene. It’s day one of uni, you’ve just received your student ID and your stomach rumbles loudly. You’ve already explored your campus but you’ve yet to explore your new city. What are the best places for food? Which cafés and restaurants in Leicester offer student discounts?

Study Inn is here to answer your questions (and your rumbling stomach) with our round-up of the best places to eat as a student in Leicester.

Best cafés and brunch spots for students in Leicester

We’re kicking off this list with how we like to start our day… with coffee! However, these coffee shops are more than just purveyors of coffee, offering delicious food options no matter the time of day with breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner options:

Brü Coffee and Gelato

https://www.brucoffee.co.uk/locations/leicester/ 

Located on Granby Street, Brü is the perfect place for students looking for their caffeine hit in Leicester. And with its late opening times it’s perfect for late night study and cram sessions!

This spot is more than a coffee shop though, as many people in Leicester head here purely for dessert!

A wide selection of hand-made luxury gelato and sorbets and 100% arabica coffee handcrafted by baristas. We’re drooling already!

What’s more, they have an app specially created offering exclusive access to their loyalty programme, chock full of special offers, rewards and promotions.  

Best for: Coffee, dessert and ice cream

Value for money: Medium

Discount / Offer: Loyalty programme app

Merchant of Venice

http://merchantofvenice.co/

Close to the train station is a café that prides itself on providing an authentic European coffeehouse experience. Not only does it use Julius Meinl coffee beans from Vienna, it also offers a wide range of Italian meals and snacks.

The name, Merchant of Venice is of course inspired by Shakespeare's classic tale and this theme makes it an incredibly Instagrammable place. It’s even recently been visited by MasterChef host and judge, Greg Wallace!

The decor is rustic and charming, bringing an undeniably Venetian style café experience to the East midlands with its renaissance painting vibe and food options. With a range of breakfast, brunch and even dinner menus, it’s also a great place to eat, whatever time of day it is. The perfect place in Leicester to indulge in a spot of brunch with a friend or grab a hearty pasta dinner with a group. And, they even deliver!

Best for: Coffee, breakfast, brunch & dinner

Value for money: Medium

Discount / Offer: Happy hours on cocktails every day, coffee from £2.45 and daily specials

Best Leicester restaurants that offer student discount

Bored of cooking dinner? Don’t panic because Leicester has it all.

From comforting pub meals to fancy looking but affordable restaurants and even healthy, balanced menus. Here are some mouthwatering suggestions:

The Blackbird Pub

https://www.sizzlingpubs.co.uk/findapub/eastandwestmidlands/theblackbirdleicester#/

If you're looking for cheap pub grub in Leicester then look no further than The Blackbird Pub on Anstey Lane. While this is a chain, it feels like a local pub due to its cosy atmosphere.

This pub is near to Frog Island, Belgrave and Leicester city centre so it’s ideal as a meeting spot for friends, wherever they live in the city.

It serves traditional British pub food, as well as light bites and burgers. And on weekdays they have regular themed cuisine nights and offer 2 meals for £10!

Best for: Classic British dishes, pub grub

Value for money: High

Discount / Offer: 2 meals for £10 (weekdays only)

Grounded Kitchen

https://www.groundedkitchen.com/

University has a bad reputation for unhealthy eating options. But Leicester’s Grounded Kitchen is a great alternative, especially the health-conscious.

Their layered Korean inspired “buddha bowls” are packed full of protein, vegetables and everything you need for a balanced meal.

They also have a delicious range of fresh juices, superfood lattes and smoothies. As well as a wide selection of bao. An excellent option if you’re short on time and need to consume something quick in between a long day of lectures and seminars. 

Best for: Healthy options, smoothies

Value for money: Medium

Discount / Offer: Any bao, side of edamame & any superfood latte for £13.25

Barceloneta

https://www.barcelonetarestaurant.co.uk/

This Spanish tapas bar on Queens Rd is the perfect place to sample a range of different dishes amongst friends. As well as having a range of mouthwatering tapas dishes to choose from, the atmosphere here is lively.

They offer student discounts on all food, and even on alcohol, making it a great place for birthday meals and get-togethers with friends.

Speaking of alcohol, they also own the bar next door called Bar Dos Hermanos. Perfect if you want to keep the party going or fancy some after dinner drinks.

Best for: Small plates and sharing options

Value for money: Medium

Discount / Offer: 10% student discount (Mon-Fri)

Fast food options for students who don’t have time

Busy day at uni and no time to cook dinner? There are fast food joints and takeaways aplenty in Leicester, whether you pop in on your way back from uni or opt for delivery. You’ll be sure to find something whatever your tastes. Here’s a few choice picks:

McDonalds

Yes, we know it’s McDonalds. But any fast food restaurant offering students free food is a winner in our books.

You can get a free Cheeseburger, Mayo Chicken or McFlurry when you buy any meal and show your student ID.

And if you register with Student Beans, you can now also redeem via the McDonald’s app, McDelivery, and in restaurants at the ordering kiosk.

Best for: Free food, convenience

Value for money: High

Discount / Offer: Free items with meals

Gyro Express

Kebabs are a classic takeaway option, usually associated with (or consumed after) a drunken night out in the city. But, that is quickly becoming a thing of the past. As they are finally getting the appreciation they deserve with the rise in popularity of gyros.

Perfect as an on the go snack or as a hearty meal with a side of fries. One of the best spots in Leicester is Gyro Express on Fosse Road. Enjoy authentic Greek-style gyros or order one of their great value platters for those nights in with friends.

If you follow them on socials, they post specials most days too. And you’ll find them on most of the delivery services in Leicester, even better!

Best for: Late night snacks, sharing platters

Value for money: Medium

Discount / Offer: Daily specials & deals on socials

Need vegan, gluten-free or halal options?

Whatever your dietary requirement is, Leicester is full of affordable, student budget-friendly restaurants. From fast food options to lunchtime meal deals to rival Tesco, these restaurants will sate your hunger in no time:

Indigo

https://indigos.co.uk/

This vegetarian restaurant has been creating Chinese and South Indian dishes for over a decade and is well loved by students in Leicester. They also have a vibrant vegan menu full of delicious plant-based options.

Ideal for special occasions where you need to cater for a range of people, Indigo has dishes for everyone. Whether you opt to eat in or order their food straight to your door via Uber Eats, Owlgetit and Deliveroo, they always have offers on too.

And with special lunch time deals as low as £3.99, we think it’s a great place to grab a more exciting lunch than a £3 Tesco meal deal!

Best for: Vegans, large groups & lunchtime meal deals

Value for money: High

Discount / Offer: Lunch time specials for just £3.99 and regular offers

Halcyon Kitchen

http://halcyonkitchen.com/

In the Clarendon Park area of Leicester is Halcyon Kitchen, a pizzeria that is so much more than pizza. The menu here is both varied and seasonal and they even create special menus around graduation time too—perfect if you have family coming to visit.

Craving a pizza but can’t eat gluten? Good news! Halcyon Kitchen’s pizzas can be made gluten free, as well as vegan and their range of toppings is excellent. If you’re feeling lazy (or hungover if you drink alcohol) you can order takeout or delivery too.

Halcyon offers students 22% off and as an added bonus, their breakfast menu on Sunday is available right up until 14:30!

Best for: Late breakfasts and gluten free pizza

Value for money: High

Discount / Offer: 22% student discount

Boo Burger

https://boo-burger.com/

With branches in both Fosse Park Shopping Centre and London Rd with a further branch planned for Gallowtree Gate, Boo is no doubt a firm favourite in Leicester. And it has some of the best halal-friendly burgers in the city. 

This burger joint oozes cool and is a popular place to meet and catch up with friends over a shake and a burger.

It‘s full of low cost options too, as a classic 4oz burger and fries will cost you £8!

Best for: Burgers, halal options and cheap eats

Value for money: High

Discount / Offer: £8 for a 4oz burger and fries

Accommodation surrounded by amazing food options

Choosing student accommodation with Study Inn ensures you’re only ever a stone's throw away from delicious dining options.

Only a 3-minute walk to DeMontfort University and a short walk to University of Leicester, wherever you’re studying, you’ll be surrounded by some of the best places to eat as a student in Leicester. 

Worried that all that cheap eating will wreak havoc on your health? Study Inn Reynard House has a gym, wellness spa, steam room, hot beds, gym, yoga studio and access to free bikes!

Why not speak to one of our friendly team members to learn more about our all-inclusive luxury student accommodation in Leicester?

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