June 3, 2016, by International students

10 of the best: cheap places to buy food in Nottingham

As with most students, living costs are definitely up there for the more pressing problems in my life. More than once am I faced with a dilemma of whether I can afford to go out to a fancy dinner with my team even after I just paid my electricity bills. That’s just normal. I mean, I did before, but now it’s gotten to the point where I know at what times my local Tesco clearance items hit their best — or at least lowest —  price (changes by the store unfortunately, so my secrets won’t be of much use to you). Anyhow- there are plenty of places in Nottingham that are financially beneficial, so here’s a little food-related summary of my personal experiences/suggestions thus far.


The following stores have been chosen due to their location in relation to campus, and popular living locations:

Lidl is a discount supermarket with a store very close to Jubilee Campus. Lidl is a good place to buy things like apples, bread, rice, juices, soft drinks, frozen foods etc. for very good prices, which are often better than the likes of other big supermarkets. They have a lot of essentials for good prices and the great location makes it all the better. Oh, and their freshly-baked pastries are amazing- that one is a must (I suggest the Apple Turnover and Cinnamon Roll).


Tesco and Sainsbury’s are essentially the same store, but I’d say that you can get better deals at Tesco. Tescos are also more frequent around town, and the large Tesco Metro at the Victoria Centre has practically everything you may need. This is the store I shop at most frequently, because it usually combines reasonable pricing with quality, or at least in my experience it has done so.



If you are looking for the highest quality of meat and vegetables/fruits, in my opinion (emphasis on the opinion), Waitrose and M&S are the best options in that respect. They are more expensive than the others, but also offer a larger selection of meat and have respectively higher quality of products. Both of these can be found in the City Centre.

Oh, and the Portland Building on University Park is often visited by a little fruit/vegetable stand which sells high quality fruit and veg for good prices!

Eating out:

If you’re looking to eat out, there are a lot of great options, as a lot of places offer student discounts that you receive with your bill  upon showing your University Student ID card. I wouldn’t possibly be able to name all of them, so here are my favorites:



This is a very nice-looking all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, that offers food from different cuisines. Ranging from Asian to Southern European and North American, the food that is offered there is always high quality and very delicious. The variety in cuisine is what sets it apart from most other all-you-can-eat’s, as those are usually focused on one cuisine, rather than many. It is also massive, and the choices are really in abundance. This is definitely my favorite place to eat in town, as their workday lunches are at a great price of around £9! Additionally, your student card can be presented for a 20% discount off your bill!

May Sum

May Sum

This is another all-you-can-eat (as you can see- I like eating). As mentioned before, most of the buffet-type restaurants are focused on a cuisine, and May Sum is a Chinese-themed restaurant. For some reason, you can find traditional English breakfast foods in their buffet as well, but the majority is delicious traditional Chinese dishes. The pricing is also great here, with a Student lunch costing approximately £6 with your Student Card.



I am a huge fan of Korean food, and this is definitely the best place in town for that experience. As a restaurant, the prices are higher than the buffet’s, but are reasonable, and the food is delicious. I haven’t heard anyone say they haven’t enjoyed their visit there.

Bella Italia

Bella Italia

This Italian restaurant offers a great lunch menu, offering multiple courses for a very reasonable price. If their voucher doesn’t lie, they also offer a special £5 student lunch menu as well! They make great authentic pizzas, and their pasta is also delicious. Definitely worth a try for those of you who prefer Italian cuisine!

The Mighty Oak: This is sort of a bonus pick, as it is more of a pub than a restaurant. That being said, I come here every now and again to watch football, and they offer some great deals throughout the week. For me, the best deal was their Tuesday deal of burgers and a pint for a price starting from £4.99. The burgers are quite big and delicious, and come served with fries. Definitely a great deal for a Tuesday Champions’ League match for all you Football fans out there!

Nottingham in general is a great place for eating, and I would definitely suggest exploring the wide variety of available restaurants to find what suits your taste the best!

Krisjanis Gorbunovs, a student from Latvia studying BA International Media and Communications.

Posted in FoodNottingham city