There are some incredible places for international students to eat and drink around the world, but sometimes it can be a challenge to find the best places when you are new to a country or city. Don’t miss out on international student life in the UK. Follow these tips to find some of the UK’s best-kept-secrets and start enjoying the best of British culture.
TripAdvisor is probably one of the most popular Apps used in the UK by international students to find the best restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels. TripAdvisor works by people leaving reviews after they have visited somewhere, giving you details about the service, value for money and food quality. You can search for a bar or restaurant near you and they will be ranked in order of popularity. TripAdvisor is a great way to find a good place to eat, drink and find the most popular British food. It is an even better place to help you avoid visiting a bad restaurant, bar or hotel. When you search for something on trip advisor you can be very specific. You can search for somewhere cheaper to eat, or you can search for fine dining. You can search for something a specific as the type of food you fancy, to a restaurant that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
When visiting a restaurant it’s worth looking for their food hygiene rating, normally this is displayed in plain sight on a window or door. If you can’t see their food hygiene rating, it could be because they don’t want it on display which could suggest uncleanliness. TripAdvisor offers some of the best reviews and recommendations for places to visit, I highly recommend it.
Open table is another great way to discover restaurants nearby. It shares similarities with TripAdvisor as you can leave reviews on Open Table too. The main difference between the two is that OpenTable allows you to make a booking and reserve a table. Every time you dine out you are rewarded with dining credits which you can redeem for rewards, which can be put towards meals at any open table restaurants.
Tasteful is a great app for those of you who are into a healthier lifestyle. It allows its users to search for restaurants and their menus by selecting their diet preferences. Whether you’re looking for a low carb meal, a vegan restaurant or gluten-free vegetarian menu. Tasteful will help you find the perfect restaurant to meet your health needs!
If you want restaurant quality food but don’t want to leave the house try the Deliveroo app! It’s really easy to use and it is very popular in the UK. Simply look through the list of restaurants they have available, browse through their menu, pick what you want and have it delivered to your front door. Deliveroo has a wider variety of larger chain restaurants whereas their takeaway rival Just Eat (see below) offers more independent take away restaurants.
Just Eat is very similar to Deliveroo and is very popular among international students. You order everything by using the app on your phone, and it gets delivered straight to your front door. Just Eat offers more independent takeaway restaurants compared to Deliveroo where you will find larger chain restaurants. Either way, if you can’t find what you fancy on Just Eat, chances are you will find it on Deliveroo.
Foursquare is a social networking service that allows you to connect with different people with similar tastes and interests to yours and get recommendations from a community you trust. It’s a great place to find inspiration and advice on where to go to eat, drink and enjoy the best of British culture for international students.
Zomato is another way to find the best bars and restaurants through reviews, but with Zomato you are able to read blogger reviews as well.
In the UK we have something called ‘Happy Hour’ which is very popular amongst international students. Happy hour is a period of time in which bars offer discounts on alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, wine and beer. You can also often find discounted food and appetisers served during happy hour. The Happy Hour Finder App allows you to search for bars and restaurants in your area and tells you exactly what time their happy hour is, along with any specials or deals they might have on offer.
If you are someone who enjoys eating somewhere a bit more exclusive and doesn’t mind spending a bit more money, then you might find the Resy app useful. It’s quite different from the other Apps and has a unique concept. The Resy App allows you to reserve the best tables at the best time, but it comes at a price. If it’s for somewhere you really want to visit, it might be a small price to pay. I’ll leave that decision up to you.
If you find a popular bar or restaurant that you would like to visit always check if you need to book. If it is a very popular restaurant and you just show up on the night hoping for a table, you might get turned away, so it’s always worth checking if you need to book. There are also popular restaurants who don’t allow bookings, they’re so popular, they don’t need to. Instead you are seated on a first come first serve basis. During your time in the UK try and speak to new people you meet when visiting new places, because they might be able to recommend some other places to visit. If you meet someone in your favourite bar or restaurant, chances are you will have similar tastes and you are likely to enjoy their recommendations.