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The McGill University arts building with a flower bed in front of it.
McGill University’s Arts Building
Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

15 Places to Eat and Drink Around McGill University

Coffee, bento boxes, pizza, and more, for the student crowd.

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McGill University’s Arts Building
| Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

University classes are about to resume, and students are returning en masse to areas like Milton-Parc (or the “McGill Ghetto”) for it. McGill students are notoriously studious, and some may be reluctant to stray far from campus for a meal — but that doesn’t mean the best option is to blow that student budget on the mostly mediocre and overpriced on-campus dining options.

Instead, here are 15 spots to grab an affordable lunches and dinners, or just a decent coffee or beer around the campus and its residences — and almost all of them won’t require you to go south of Sainte-Catherine Street.

Looking to eat somewhere around Concordia University? That campus guide is over here. Looking for a good café for study in? That one’s covered too. And for other lunch options in the downtown area (not necessarily cheap eats), see here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Benelux

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245 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H2X 1X8, Canada
(514) 543-9750
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While McGill students might favour watering holes like campus bar Gert’s and divey Bar des Pins, for something a fraction fancier, there’s Benelux. It’s the nearest brewery to McGill, and has a long list of house brews available, drawing influences from Belgium and surrounds, as the name suggests. Good snack options such as nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot dogs smothered in sauerkraut are all offered, and the sprawling terrasse acts as a great hangout all hours of the day, though it can get busy when the after-work crowd piles in.

2. Pikolo Espresso Bar

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3418b Av du Parc, Montréal
QC H2X 2H5, Canada
(514) 508-6800
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Pikolo isn’t the cheapest option for a caffeine hit — but any decent, non-chain cup of coffee will cost about the same. A tasty pastry selection and beautiful wood-heavy two-level space makes it even better.

3. Boucherie Dans La Côte

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2123 Rue de Bleury, Montréal
QC H3A 2K2, Canada
(514) 439-9222
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First and foremost a neighbourhood butcher shop, Dans La Côte also does some of the best sandwiches in town, from a classic roast beef to more adventurous options like a headcheese sandwich, all on bread from top bakery Arhoma. A tiny bit more expensive than the average student sandwich, but worth it for the high-quality local meat.

4. Kantapia

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364 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1B5, Canada
(514) 508-2585

This Korean spot on Parc and Sherbrooke gets jam-packed at lunch and dinner, likely due to an extensive menu with plenty of options under ten dollars. The sheer size of the menu means some options fare better than others, but classics like bibimbap and tteok bokki are hits.

5. Lola Rosa

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545 Rue Milton, Montréal
QC H2X 1W5, Canada
(514) 287-9337
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Vegetarian restaurant Lola Rosa is a minor local success story after expanding from this cozy Milton Street location to two other spots around town; the home base is a McGill Ghetto favourite for hearty veggie burgers, burritos, stews, and more.

6. Dispatch Coffee

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3480 Rue University, Montréal
QC H3A 0E9, Canada
(514) 437-1327
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It started out as a coffee truck, and now Dispatch counts three locations around Montreal, including its own roastery up on St-Zotique. The McGill location is tucked in the McConnell Engineering Building, and is easily the best on-campus coffee. It serves pastries and toast, too.

7. Café Parvis

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433 Rue Mayor, Montréal
QC H3A 1N9, Canada
(514) 764-3589
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One of the prettiest coffee shops in town might exude expensive vibes, but it has excellent lunch options including flat-bread pizzas that keep under the $10 mark. Also worth your time are salads, available in various portion sizes. If you avoid the lunch hour rush, you should have no trouble grabbing a seat and staying a while.

Tour Intact, 2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal
QC H3A 2A5, Canada
(514) 312-7660
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Sandwiches are the best bet at this glossy Vietnamese spot (although sushi is inexplicably offered, too). They’re not the best in town (that requires a longer hike to somewhere like Hung Phat) but they’re good enough, and the price is very much right.

9. Falafel Avenue

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2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal
QC H3A 2A5, Canada
(514) 842-9494
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Possibly the most interesting slinger of fried chickpea patties in town, Falafel Avenue does the classic pita option, but also salads and pizza formats, with a selection of five different tahini sauces to boot.

10. Nouilles Zhonghua

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908 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1G3, Canada
(514) 574-6188
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This relative newcomer on Sherbrooke West dishes out quick and affordable Chinese noodle dishes and noodle soups. Don’t expect anything fancy – that’s part of what makes it so great (and affordable). 

11. Japote

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1000 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montréal QC H3A 3R3 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 3R3, Canada
(514) 269-9004
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McGill students were the clear winners when this Japanese counter was evicted from the dilapidated Faubourg Ste-Catherine mall in 2016. It found a new location in the tunnels beneath the 1000 Sherbrooke Ouest building, bringing back the same Japanese curries, donburi bowls, and bento boxes at obscenely cheap prices.

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12. Leaves House (McGill College)

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1800 Avenue McGill College RDC-A, Montreal
QC H3A 3J6, Canada
(514) 843-0888
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A bright, leafy addition to the downtown area is the second location of coffee shop Leaves House, found on the ground floor of an office tower on McGill College Avenue. With excellent coffee (try the cold brew), healthy pastries, and great wifi, it’s a great bet for a couple of hours of study in a part of town that used to be chain coffee or bust.

13. Koa Lua (McGill College)

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Tour Bell Média, Montréal
QC H3A 3J6, Canada
(514) 849-1000
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Open as of August 2019, the newest location of Koa Lua is within steps from the main gates of campus. Serving up Hawaiian poke bowls, the take-out counter provides a nice option for students that want to picnic on Lower Field.

14. Super Sandwich

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1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1H3, Canada
(514) 842-1560
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It’s nothing more than a sandwich counter in a basement depanneur, but Super Sandwich has saved many a broke student: sandwiches start in the two dollar range, and are whipped up in less than 30 seconds on a warm baguette with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and mayo.

15. Opiano

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1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1H3, Canada
(438) 333-3335
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This Korean spot tucked in the basement of the condo building on Peel and Sherbrooke is extremely popular among international students – and for good reason. The options are plentiful and most importantly, affordable. Avoid the usual lunch rush hour as the line can often be quite long.

1. Benelux

245 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H2X 1X8, Canada

While McGill students might favour watering holes like campus bar Gert’s and divey Bar des Pins, for something a fraction fancier, there’s Benelux. It’s the nearest brewery to McGill, and has a long list of house brews available, drawing influences from Belgium and surrounds, as the name suggests. Good snack options such as nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot dogs smothered in sauerkraut are all offered, and the sprawling terrasse acts as a great hangout all hours of the day, though it can get busy when the after-work crowd piles in.

245 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H2X 1X8, Canada

2. Pikolo Espresso Bar

3418b Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2X 2H5, Canada

Pikolo isn’t the cheapest option for a caffeine hit — but any decent, non-chain cup of coffee will cost about the same. A tasty pastry selection and beautiful wood-heavy two-level space makes it even better.

3418b Av du Parc, Montréal
QC H2X 2H5, Canada

3. Boucherie Dans La Côte

2123 Rue de Bleury, Montréal, QC H3A 2K2, Canada

First and foremost a neighbourhood butcher shop, Dans La Côte also does some of the best sandwiches in town, from a classic roast beef to more adventurous options like a headcheese sandwich, all on bread from top bakery Arhoma. A tiny bit more expensive than the average student sandwich, but worth it for the high-quality local meat.

2123 Rue de Bleury, Montréal
QC H3A 2K2, Canada

4. Kantapia

364 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 1B5, Canada

This Korean spot on Parc and Sherbrooke gets jam-packed at lunch and dinner, likely due to an extensive menu with plenty of options under ten dollars. The sheer size of the menu means some options fare better than others, but classics like bibimbap and tteok bokki are hits.

364 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1B5, Canada

5. Lola Rosa

545 Rue Milton, Montréal, QC H2X 1W5, Canada

Vegetarian restaurant Lola Rosa is a minor local success story after expanding from this cozy Milton Street location to two other spots around town; the home base is a McGill Ghetto favourite for hearty veggie burgers, burritos, stews, and more.

545 Rue Milton, Montréal
QC H2X 1W5, Canada

6. Dispatch Coffee

3480 Rue University, Montréal, QC H3A 0E9, Canada

It started out as a coffee truck, and now Dispatch counts three locations around Montreal, including its own roastery up on St-Zotique. The McGill location is tucked in the McConnell Engineering Building, and is easily the best on-campus coffee. It serves pastries and toast, too.

3480 Rue University, Montréal
QC H3A 0E9, Canada

7. Café Parvis

433 Rue Mayor, Montréal, QC H3A 1N9, Canada

One of the prettiest coffee shops in town might exude expensive vibes, but it has excellent lunch options including flat-bread pizzas that keep under the $10 mark. Also worth your time are salads, available in various portion sizes. If you avoid the lunch hour rush, you should have no trouble grabbing a seat and staying a while.

433 Rue Mayor, Montréal
QC H3A 1N9, Canada

8. Vua

Tour Intact, 2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3A 2A5, Canada

Sandwiches are the best bet at this glossy Vietnamese spot (although sushi is inexplicably offered, too). They’re not the best in town (that requires a longer hike to somewhere like Hung Phat) but they’re good enough, and the price is very much right.

Tour Intact, 2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal
QC H3A 2A5, Canada

9. Falafel Avenue

2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3A 2A5, Canada

Possibly the most interesting slinger of fried chickpea patties in town, Falafel Avenue does the classic pita option, but also salads and pizza formats, with a selection of five different tahini sauces to boot.

2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal
QC H3A 2A5, Canada

10. Nouilles Zhonghua

908 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 1G3, Canada

This relative newcomer on Sherbrooke West dishes out quick and affordable Chinese noodle dishes and noodle soups. Don’t expect anything fancy – that’s part of what makes it so great (and affordable). 

908 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1G3, Canada

11. Japote

1000 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montréal QC H3A 3R3 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 3R3, Canada

McGill students were the clear winners when this Japanese counter was evicted from the dilapidated Faubourg Ste-Catherine mall in 2016. It found a new location in the tunnels beneath the 1000 Sherbrooke Ouest building, bringing back the same Japanese curries, donburi bowls, and bento boxes at obscenely cheap prices.

1000 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montréal QC H3A 3R3 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 3R3, Canada

12. Leaves House (McGill College)

1800 Avenue McGill College RDC-A, Montreal, QC H3A 3J6, Canada

A bright, leafy addition to the downtown area is the second location of coffee shop Leaves House, found on the ground floor of an office tower on McGill College Avenue. With excellent coffee (try the cold brew), healthy pastries, and great wifi, it’s a great bet for a couple of hours of study in a part of town that used to be chain coffee or bust.

1800 Avenue McGill College RDC-A, Montreal
QC H3A 3J6, Canada

13. Koa Lua (McGill College)

Tour Bell Média, Montréal, QC H3A 3J6, Canada

Open as of August 2019, the newest location of Koa Lua is within steps from the main gates of campus. Serving up Hawaiian poke bowls, the take-out counter provides a nice option for students that want to picnic on Lower Field.

Tour Bell Média, Montréal
QC H3A 3J6, Canada

14. Super Sandwich

1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 1H3, Canada

It’s nothing more than a sandwich counter in a basement depanneur, but Super Sandwich has saved many a broke student: sandwiches start in the two dollar range, and are whipped up in less than 30 seconds on a warm baguette with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and mayo.

1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1H3, Canada

15. Opiano

1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 1H3, Canada

This Korean spot tucked in the basement of the condo building on Peel and Sherbrooke is extremely popular among international students – and for good reason. The options are plentiful and most importantly, affordable. Avoid the usual lunch rush hour as the line can often be quite long.

1115 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
QC H3A 1H3, Canada

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