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Blog Preston’s “Where to eat” guide for students

Posted on - 22nd September, 2019 - 12:24pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston News, Pubs, University, What's On in Preston

Preston has the usual chain pubs selling cheap and cheerful 2-4-1 deals that often disappoint. However, it also boasts some fabulous, independent eateries selling locally sourced, homemade food at competitive prices.  
This is Blog Preston guide to the best independent restaurants and cafes within 15 minutes walk of UCLAN.

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For a good breakfast:

I Smile Cafe

113 Plungington Road, Preston, PR1 7UE


A cute little cafe within walking distance of the University, offering sandwiches, cakes and noodle soup using locally sourced produce.

Sit inside or in the small courtyard and order a large full English breakfast including two pieces of toast and a drink for £4.90, or a vegetarian breakfast for the same price.

There’s also the option of “bean on toast” for £2.10, which we can assume is a misprint and not one solitary legume looking terrified.

Town House Coffee and Brew Bar

62 Friargate, Preston PR1 2AT

Banana, bacon and peanut butter french toast at the Town House Coffee and Brew Bar

A homely little place that makes people want to sit in a corner bundled up in a big cardigan, reading Wuthering Heights and drinking hot chocolate. Try the £7 poached eggs, spinach, feta, smashed avocado and sourdough toast, or the £8.95 vegan full English.

For a quick, great value lunch

Coco’s Soul Food

Friargate, Preston PR1 2ED, England

Argentinian ribeye steak with chimichurri sauce was one of Coco’s specials

Located at the uni end of Friargate, this family run  restaurant serves soul food favourites such as goat curry, New Orleans garlic chilli shrimp, Cajun chicken and chilli.

The decor is colourful and casual, drinks are in cans in the fridge and customers order at the counter.

The queue goes straight through the middle of the restaurant, making the people seated close by eat their food wild-eyed and hunched over the plate like a new inmate in a maximum security prison. 

Try a burrito with Coco’s special sauce and a side of red skin fries for £5.20. 

Vinyl Tap

28-30 Adelphi St, Preston PR1 7BE

Home made chilli and chips at Vinyl Tap

Another great place for food, with the option to also have an alcoholic drink.

A funky independent pub with an laid-back atmosphere and a well-kept selection of beers and spirits.

Try the homemade Chilli, Chips and Budweiser for just £5. Vinyl Tap is also introducing a new menu full of classic comfort foods such as shepherds pie and hot-pot, for anyone  pizza-and-burgered-out. 

Take family and friends to prove you’re eating proper food and aren’t going to develop rickets.

Rk Dining

75-77 Plungington Rd, Preston PR1 7EN

Carnivores, don’t let the lack of meat on offer here stop you from visiting this fantastic take-away with an eat-in area, serving “pure Indian vegetarian and vegan food.”

Situated about ten to fifteen minutes walk from the University, the friendly staff in this family business are happy to answer any questions about their extensive menu.

Try the £3.50 Pani Puri to start, followed by a £4 Masala Dosa, or go for a bit of everything with the £5 Special Thali.

Other recommendations are the vegan Gobi Manchurian or the vegetarian Chilli Paneer for £4 to take away.

A Taste of Thailand

140 Friargate, Preston PR1 2EE

A Taste of Thailand


A small, independent, licensed restaurant serving authentic Thai food.

The owner is usually on site and will enthusiastically recommend various dishes.

Try the lunchtime offer of noodle soup for £5.95, or the Thai Chicken wings and a Massaman Curry for £8.50. 


For a casual night out with friends:

Ships and Giggles

3 Fylde Rd, Preston PR1 2XQ

The Hungry Boy platter at Ships n Giggles


A popular pub for students, serving homemade food, smoked in-house, by Smokin V’s Real Barbecue.

The lunchtime prices are a little higher than other places as they don’t have a specific lunchtime menu.

However, they have some great all-day offers on drinks. Ships and Giggles comes into its own in the evening, as their main menu prices compete well with those of other venues.

Try a Hungry Boy Sharing Platter for £30, with a sharing pitcher for £5.

Azuma Korean barbecue

Some of the food from Azuma Pic Adrian B
Some of the food from Azuma Pic Adrian B

Avoid lunchtime carbs before an evening trip to Azuma, a Korean barbecue that’s great for a night out with friends.

It’s not cheap, but foodies with a large appetite can leave their dignity and self respect at the door, choose the £20 buffet option and stuff themselves with unlimited meat for two hours.

Diners barbecue the meat themselves at the table, so there is the added bonus of being able to say you’ve been doing your own cooking.

There is also another menu offering Chinese food, with options for vegetarians and vegans.

To treat yourself:

Plau Gin and Beer House

115 Friargate, Preston PR1 2EE

Food at Plau

down to the
A 350 year old former gin distillery which has been painstakingly renovated from top to bottom by the owners, right down to the medieval well, which can be found in the vaults.

The food is locally sourced and meticulously prepared, and consequently its one of the pricier Preston restaurants, as are the drinks. 

Plau is a rabbit warren of rooms over four levels, but lunch and brunch are served on the ground floor where there is access for diners with mobility issues. Arrangements can also be made for evening dining too.

It’s a great restaurant for a celebration and serves world-fusion dishes that contains something for almost everyone, including a separate menu for vegans.

Try the £7 old English meatballs, £4 gujurati chips and £8 Persian pork belly from the small plates. 

Tang Restaurant

241 Fylde Rd, Preston PR2 2NH

Salt and pepper chicken at Tang


Toward the Ashton area of Preston, Tang Restaurant is constantly praised for its excellent service and authentic dishes.

It’s worth booking as it’s a small restaurant that is usually packed, creating a bustling, lively atmosphere.

There is a huge menu but not much choice for vegetarians or vegans.

A big draw is the added bonus of  karaoke rooms to hire, which makes it a great restaurant for a night out with friends.

Try the £5 soft shell crab, the £8 aromatic crispy duck and the £10 aubergine with seaspice and mince hotpot. 

What is your favourite place to eat in Preston? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

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