In Beijing, few Chinese students eat off campus. Why? It is an unnecessary expense. Eating is very cheap on campus, a full cooked meal can be bought for about 30 Yuan (= 3 pounds). If you want noodle soup, you can find it for 4 yuan (= 40p).
There may be many types of canteens (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Western), but my undefeated favourite is the Muslim canteen. Most university campus’ in Beijing have one. Mine is separated into two rooms, one for Muslims, one for non-Muslims. The food is delicious and cheap (this is where you can buy the 40p noodle soup).
My favourite dish is the egg and tomato noodles but if you want them, you have to hurry as the canteen is packed between 12 and 1. More often than not, you’ll end up sharing a table and making new friends. The Muslim Canteen at Beijing Language and Culture University is even listed as a restaurant well worth a visit on Time Out Beijing.