If not Alma, then what?

Leuven life

06 november 2020
Auteur(s): Nadia Shutova
With Alma raising its prices, many students are looking for other options to have a quick bite or a nice meal. Check out our list of other student-friendly options in the city and our recommendations.

By Nadia Shutova

Co-Editor, Leuven Life

In case you did not spot the freshly printed banners or were not attentive enough to one of the numerous Pangaea’s posts, let me give a brief introduction.  The student canteen – Alma is increasing the prices: where the cost was 3€  - it will now be 6€ . Quite a significant change resulting from lack of financing . It might be worth mentioning: you can also express disagreement by signing  the following  petition : 


Interpret  it in any way you  like: peaceful protest  or challenge to discover, search for the new or humble support of local entrepreneurs, the author of this article desires to give you some hint where to fulfill the mentioned motives. You also may find yourself simply tired of Alma…Hopefully, you will find solace in several eating joints that Leuven has to offer!

Sandwich and wrap replacement 

  • ‘t Smullerke           

 address : Tiensestraat 174                                                              

Rapid service – quick pleasure delivery. However, do not be surprised to find yourself in a queue (the enormous GroupT is very close by after all…)

The fresh high quality bread is a standard here. The stuffing and sauce selection is  varied and broad . to  an extent  that one might just easily feel overwhelmed. For the above  reasons, to accelerate the potential queue as well as omit the difficulty of choice, it is best to  familiarize yourself with the menu prior to visit.

  • Panachè              

address: Tiensestraat 69

Even closer to the historical city center which establishes the constant supply of hungry law, psychology, theology and engineering students. Surprisingly the flood of customers is not common in this area (probably due to the presence of another sandwich shop nearby – Pain Louvain). Panachè is small yet bold – a bit of everything which applies to the definition of the “perfect lunch”: salads, sandwiches and soups.

  • Chee Kofte&Wraps

address: Parijstraat 59

Beloved Alma supplies not only sandwiches, but wraps as well. In Chee Kofte&Wraps you can stuff the wraps not only with classics that are chicken or salmon, but falafels, hummus, avocado as well… The author also draws your attention to salad bowls, which would please your robust physique, soul and also Instagram followers.

Hot meal providers

  • DeWerf      

address : Hogeschoolplein  5 

Charming café & restaurant close to (usually) crowded restaurant street : Muntstraat. Do not be scared of the prices as it is perfectly possible to order the child-size portion (which is thankfully filling enough). Definitely select spaghetti as a meal opening your friendship with this place. Later on continue with wraps, salads…The saviour for all sugar cravings –  the 24/7 dessert automat with gastronomic hits among customers of all ages: Speculosisu ( speculaas tiramisu) , petit-beurre and chocolate mousse . Despite prices ranging from 3€ to 3,95€, please note that only 5€ and 10€ banknotes are accepted.    

  • Soupaway

address: Tiensestraat 29

It is common for menus to refer to soups as something casual and  healthy , but dull. If you do not support such an attitude, head straight to Soupaway to join the soup loving community and enjoy the selection of various broths, chowders , bisques. The bread and butter pair on the side is guaranteed. What else is needed for any rainy autumn afternoon?

  • Ah! Quy

address: Alfons Smetsplen 4

Alma2 is famous for its experiments and culinary journeys are a common practice. Tacos and pitas , bolognese and fish burger – still familiar taste, having a little in common with Mexico, Greece... Therefore, for truly authentic foods visit Vietnamese take-away - “Ah!Quy”. Once entered - one gets  overwhelmed by the steam,  fry and ,eventually, taste. Noodles, spring -rolls, pho bo… “Ah! Precious”.

  • Boccone

address: Rector de Somerplein 15A

Remember , in Alma1 the leftmost hot meal distribution window would specifically focus on pasta or lasagna…“Take a break, have a good pasta”- this motivation on   the cafes’ Facebook page from 19th of October still sounds like a solid plan. Pasta in a cute cardboard cup – truly on-the-go format. Getting bored of the sauces (which is very unlikely to happen) – move on to panini, pizza and certainly dolce!

  • Noordoever

address: Vaartkom 17A

Let’s dream for a bit: imagine all restaurants are still open. However, you are not in the mood for a student canteen. The dining format is appreciated, but it is natural to  expect it to be on a whole new level. Well, welcome to Noordoever – vegan/vegetarian bistro. Artfully presented flavour combinations and cosiness have the full potential to make your day. Even beers and ice creams are far from trivial selections in this place. 

         Pleasant extra

  • Swartehond

   address: Joris Helleputteplein 1

   It is a rather common thing: all campuses and learning centres operate with the same automatic coffee machines. In case you need a change: in the suggested café instead of hot chocolate you will relish chocolate caliente, instead of simple americano you will go with mysterious “long black”. Pastries obey the same modification: pain au chocolait is great, but banana bread is even greater. Finally, there are treats not yet introduced to Alma menus: smoothies and bagels.

Now we have established the “fabulous nine”. Why shouldn’t we round up the number to make it an even ten? This last one is left for your own, your own personal culinary discovery. 

For more inspiration: stay in touch with The Voice – we have something brewing for that purpose.

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