Assuming you mean the Holborn branch of the University of the Arts, a sort-of halfway point puts you in the South Bank area, or towards Waterloo.
Around the Royal Festival Hall there are loads of decent quality chain restaurants - used as much by locals as tourists - including Wagamama, Wahaca, Giraffe etc. (Google them to find out more). Nice places to people-watch as you have river views and the South Bank is a popular area for families to stroll. And yes, locals as well as tourists.
Or you could head to a pair of streets called The Cut and Upper Marsh, which lie behind Waterloo station (so no river views) but has a bunch of restaurants. One real locals' place is Marie's Cafe, which does fry-ups by day and Thai food by night.
Alternatively you could walk via Covent Garden & Trafalgar Square. Covent Garden has more restaurants than I could even begin to list.