Getting the best meal for your money

Is your stomach empty along with your wallet is too? Check out these places for a cheap bite

There are plenty of student meal deals in Dublin, but the usual offers on Dawson Street can become repetitive. There are inexpensive lunch and dinner places all across Dublin, and Life is here with quick suggestions and comparisons of where to go for your next bite.

Di Fontaine’s

This New York style pizza joint is so authentic that it only offers a few stools as seating. This doesn’t matter though because it serves up large, thin-crust margherita pizzas for €3.50 a slice. Not your style? You can have a slice with toppings for a mouthwatering €4.50. If you want to scare away all your friends, you can also order a calzone for €5. Catering to all needs is also possible, even if you are vegan, there’s a slice of pizza or a calzone with your name on it for €5.50.

To further entice you, Di Fontaine’s also has a “pay it forward” scheme. This means you can buy a slice for yourself and pay for someone else, and they’ll give the second slice to someone in need. At €3.50 a slice, this is an easy way to help you do your good deed and get a slice of pizza or two. Di Fontaine’s is located in Temple Bar and is open from 12pm to late; perfect for a pit stop on your next night out.

Battle of the Chinese buffets

All-you-can eat buffets are the way to get the best value for a meal. Jimmy Chung’s on Eden Quay has an all-you-can-eat offer for students, costing €10 for a lunch. Not only does Chung’s have a wide variety of main and side dishes, they also have desserts such as cake and soft serve ice cream. The only downside is that you pay extra for beverages, if you want something more than water.

Next to the Academy, The Dragon Buffet offers a similar deal for just over €7. The variety of choices is noticeably smaller than it is at Jimmy Chung’s and there are minimal dessert options. However, there is still plenty of chicken, rice, and noodles here, and if your intention is simply to stuff yourself with Chinese dishes and to spend another day avoiding cooking, then The Dragon Buffet is a cheaper option.

The Dicey’s or Coppers Conundrum

Plenty of experienced Trinity students will tell you about this €5 carvery meal deal for students at Dicey’s. It’s a plate loaded with hot food and certainly worth the money, if you can forget what happened there last Monday night. Walk a few more feet down Harcourt Street, though, and you can get almost the same deal at Coppers for €6.50. The difference between the two is that Coppers uses larger plates, and they serve a wider variety of food, including salads. They also offer complimentary juice and water, while in Dicey’s you must pay for any beverage. Coppers also has a meal punch card which means if you gather eight stamps, you get a free carvery, and on Wednesdays, you get two stamps for one meal.

Wings Gourmet Burgers

Located on Upper O’Connell Street, this place is rife with deals. Students can get chips, a burger, or a plate of wings, along with a soft drink for a mere €9. The burgers are large and come with topping options such as the millennial favourite, avocado and a fried egg, for no extra cost, unlike other burger places around Dublin. There are plenty of wings options as well; from BBQ to Spicy Buffalo to the Wings Gourmet special. Filled with friendly staff, this place is centrally located, and just across the street from the Savoy. Date night, anyone? This may be the perfect, low-pressure place to ask that special someone you’ve been posting about on Trinder.


Have you experienced the magic that is Groupon? This small app is a mighty ally for the starving Dublin student. There are meal deals for places like Bóbó’s, The Spice of India, and Copan – perfect for all freshers in Trinity Hall. You can get loads of food, sometimes for less than a tenner, and the price usually decreases if you bring along friends. In addition, there are vouchers for activities such as a whiskey tasting at The Market Bar, paintballing or, strangely enough, fitness classes and dental appointments. There’s always a risk that Groupon will get you hooked on deals, and that you’ll end up as an extreme couponing enthusiast, but the cheap meals are worth the risk.

Brigit Hirsch

Brigit Hirsch is the current Social Media Editor of Trinity News.