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Best of Campus Awards 2023

See which campus staples took home first place in our inaugural food and drink awards


By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco



Where’s the best place to get a coffee on campus? What about lunch? We wanted to know… so we put the question to our readers.


Several hundred votes later, we’re pleased to announce the winners of the first ever

Best of Campus Awards.


Best Coffee Shop: Nominees- Kilau, Shelter, Foodstory, Union Brew


Winner- Kilau


There is no shortage of coffee shops on campus, ranging from eco-conscious Foodstory to University run outlets like Aberbeen and the Hardback Cafe.


While some would argue UoA students are spoilt for choice, our polling uncovered a clear favourite.


Currently ranked fifth out of 55 Aberdeen coffee shops on Tripadvisor, long time favourite Kilau took the top spot in our survey- garnering 63% of the vote.


Nestled on the lower High Street, Kilau is well known for serving up a selection of coffees, teas, and cold drinks in both their downstairs takeaway and the adjoining cafe.


The author’s personal favourite? An iced chai latte: paired with a delectable chocolate brownie.


Taking second place was Shelter Coffee at 14%, followed by Foodstory at 12% and Union Brew at 11%.


Best place to get lunch: Nominees- Kilau, Grub, Shelter, JG Ross


Winner- Grub


King’s College Campus also boasts a fair number of lunching options.


We found this to be a much tighter race than the previous category, with Aberdeen cafe chain Grub taking home the gold medal with 34%.


With its closest location to the University just a five minute walk up the Spital, Grub is well liked by students for its inexpensive prices and healthy salads, sandwiches, and soups.


As an added bonus, students who bring their dog along to the Spital cafe will receive a free tea or coffee.


Grub squeaked past our second place competitor- Kilau, which gained 31% of the vote.


North east institution JG Ross took third place with 22%. Serving up hot pies, bacon rolls, and a wide variety of cakes; the craft bakery is a great place to grab lunch on the go.


Finally, Shelter took up fourth place with 13% of the vote (next time you’re in, try their orange and chocolate cake- HEAVENLY).


Best Pub: Nominees- St Machar Bar, The Bobbin


Winner- The Bobbin


One area where campus falls a bit short is an acknowledged lack of watering holes.


The two primary contenders for this award are rather different from each other.


Long standing institution St Machar Bar boasts a rich history and an impressive selection of spirits. It’s your traditional Scottish pub.


By contrast, The Bobbin is loaded with flashy advertising and student society deals.


On Twitter (populated by alumni and older students), St Machar nearly doubled up The Bobbin, garnering 61% of the vote.


However on Instagram, fresher favourite The Bobbin took home 65%, leading to an overall majority of 55%.


While St Machar is locally owned and operated, The Bobbin is owned by national operator Stonegate Pubs (which also owns Slains and Triplekirks).


Best Supermarket/Grocery Store: Nominees- Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons, Spar


Winner- Lidl


Renowned for its baked goods and selection of international foods, Lidl emerged victorious, gaining 39% of the vote.


Just a 15 minute walk to the south, the Tesco Express on King Street took second place, with 37% of the vote share.


Known for its 3.50 meal deal, Tesco is a student favourite for its convenient location and relatively inexpensive products.


At 19%, the city centre Morrisons took third- a bit disappointing for this super fan.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, especially for my brother (who once saw a pigeon in the meal deal case), the Spar on St Machar Drive came in last place, with just 5% of the vote.


So there you have it! Stay tuned for more culinary musings from our Life and Style section throughout the year.

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