clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
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.

View as Map
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.

Read More

Benelux

Copy Link

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.

Pikolo Espresso Bar

Copy Link

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.

Boucherie Dans La Côte

Copy Link

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.

Kantapia

Copy Link

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.

Lola Rosa

Copy Link

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.

Dispatch Coffee

Copy Link

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.

Café Parvis

Copy Link

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.

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.

Falafel Avenue

Copy Link

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.

Nouilles Zhonghua

Copy Link

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). 

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.

A post shared by jade (@magizoologist_) on

Leaves House (McGill College)

Copy Link

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.

Koa Lua (McGill College)

Copy Link

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.

Super Sandwich

Copy Link

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.

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.

Benelux

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.

Pikolo Espresso Bar

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.

Boucherie Dans La Côte

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.

Kantapia

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.

Lola Rosa

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.

Dispatch Coffee

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.

Café Parvis

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.

Vua

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.

Falafel Avenue

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.

Nouilles Zhonghua

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). 

Japote

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.

A post shared by jade (@magizoologist_) on

Leaves House (McGill College)

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.

Koa Lua (McGill College)

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.

Super Sandwich

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.

Opiano

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.

Related Maps