Be it Italian food or toasties, Dublin has something to suit everyone’s needs. However, for students and young people, it isn’t always the most affordable city, and we all know what it’s like to have to get by on a budget. But that does not mean we shouldn’t be able to have amazing food! Here is a list of the best (and most affordable) places to eat in Dublin, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

UCD Village

The UCD Canteen has always been a trustworthy spot for lunch but if you haven’t tried the new food hall in UCD Village you seriously need to! As well as the new Centra there are also several food stands that have something to suit everyone’s needs. There is an Asian Street food stand that serves things like Szechuan fried tofu and chicken curry, which are all very reasonably priced between €6-€7. There is even a salad bar where you can make your own salads- a small tub costs €3 and a large €6. Pastries, drinks and coffee are all available near the counter at the salad bar. Overall, I think this new dining hall is a great addition to UCD.

Happy Out

This café in Donnybrook is in an ideal location for UCD students as it is only five minutes down the road on the bus. This cute spot serves up amazing breakfasts and toasties for lunch, not to mention their amazing coffee too. Their breakfasts include porridge, granola and breakfast baps, all in and around the €5 mark. The toasties are also affordable starting at €5 and obviously, you have to grab a coffee too, supplied by Roasted Brown Coffee Roasters.


Wowburger is always a crowd favourite, and for good reason. This burger restaurant has several locations (the most accessible to UCD being Mary’s on Wicklow Street, just a five-minute walk from the 39A and 46A bus stop on Dawson Street) and offers great deals like the student deal for €9.95 which includes a burger with any number of toppings, fries of your choice and a drink with unlimited refills. Mary’s is also a pub so you can enjoy a pint with your burger too!


With locations in both Rathmines and on Camden Street, Sprezzaturra is undeniably one of the best pasta places in Dublin, while also being extremely affordable. Easily accessible to UCD students by the 142 bus, this restaurant is an absolute must-try if you love Italian food. Their menu changes seasonally as they only use the freshest ingredients and with pasta dishes starting from as little as €7.95, it is the perfect spot for students. They also have cocktails and wine on tap which is an added bonus!

It is true that Dublin is a notoriously expensive city, especially for students. But it doesn’t have to be, you just have to look in the right places!

Beth Kelly- Arts & Lifestyle Writer