Looking for a bite to eat on a student budget? Take a look at my roundup of the best chain restaurants in Brum…

1. Five Guys

The trendier alternative to McDonalds, Five Guys offers the freshest fast food in town. The chain has attracted rave reviews from food critics in the UK and with more than 250,000 possible burger combinations, free peanuts to enjoy while you wait and classic skin-on fries, it’s easy to see why. Oh, and you can carry it all out in a brown grocery bag – authentic US style.  

2. Bodega

Mexican food doesn’t get any better than this. From street food and light bites to classic South American dishes, Bodega has something for everyone and every budget. Not to mention hands down the best (and biggest) nachos you’ll ever eat – no guac for me please!

3. The Botanist

A self-described ‘secret garden of food and drink’, The Botanist is as much about its atmosphere as its menu. With walls adorned with antiques and floral themed d├ęcor, as well live music to soak up, there’s really no better place to enjoy some good conversation, whether it be over a drink or some classic gastro-pub offerings.

4. Mowgli

A new arrival at dining hotspot, Grand Central, the Indian street food restaurant opened just last week in Birmingham. Proving there’s more to Indian cuisine than just curry, the chain is all about tapas-style dining with a range of mix and match dishes – making it a great spot to eat out with friends. Fun fact: Mowgli was set up by YouTube vlogger and foodie, Nisha Katona.

5. Tapas Revolution

Just across the way from newcomer Mowgli you can find authentic Spanish dining for traditional tapas lovers. The fresh, Latin-inspired cuisine attracts the masses come peak times so it’s best to arrive when things are a little quieter since the chain doesn’t accept bookings. But fear not, if the tables are all full, you can always grab some churros and chocolate to take away.

6. Las Iguanas

Continuing the Latin theme, Las Iguanas is another new arrival to Brum. With possibly the longest menu in town, it offers a great range of South American dishes, from Argentina to Peru. The extensive offering also means there’s a good mix of veggie options too.

7. Bill’s

The king of set-menu dining, Bill’s is great value for students. From 12 noon to 7pm every weekday, you can enjoy a two-course meal for 11.95 or, if you’re feeling particularly peckish, you can go the whole hog with a starter, main and dessert all in at just 13.95.

8. Homemade Burger Co

If Five Guys isn’t quite gourmet enough for you, the Handmade Burger Co is where it’s at. It might not quite have the same wealth of combinations, but with more than 50 ready-to-order burgers on the menu it’s unlikely you’ll hear anyone complaining.

9. Wagamamas

Everybody loves a Wagas. And with three of the Asian-inspired cuisine restaurants in about a one mile radius in Brum, you can almost smell the sweet noodles and sticky rice as you walk around campus. Just try not to order the chicken katsu curry… Again.

10. Boston Tea Party

Yes, I’ve saved the best till’ last. All day breakfast, the best brunch in Brum and a selection of homemade cakes to die for (just try the brownie), what’s not love? It’s also located a stones throw away from campus making it a favourite of Aston students, but you’ll have to beat the barristers to the tables at lunch as they make a B-line for BTP from the neighbouring law courts during recess.

I do have one small gripe though… Do you have to offer avocado with pretty much everything on the menu guys?