Being a student comes with responsibilities other than studying, completing assignments, and writing exams—namely, budgeting and eating. It can be frustrating to spend a full day on campus without any affordable meal options—especially when it’s the end of the month and students are strapped for cash. Whether you’re rubbing your last few pennies together or are just a frugal individual, check out these five options for meals on campus or close-by for under $5.
Located at 2020 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Vua Sandwiches—a Vietnamese restaurant only a couple block from campus—is an excellent option for students on-the-go. They specialize in Bánh Mì, which are sandwiches filled with a selection of meats, such as minced chicken and fermented pork, as well as tofu and vegetables, and come with the standard fillings of carrot, radish, coriander, and jalapenos. The bread is fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside—the pickled daikon, radishes, and carrots are both sweet and tart. When coupled with any of the various meat choices, the resulting flavour and texture profile is delicious. Although it is primarily known for its wide selection of Bánh Mì, Vua also has 13 non-Vietnamese sandwich variations on its menu such as shish taouk and roast beef. Seven-inch sandwiches go for $3.75 while the 10 inch version is $4.25, which goes up to $4.89 with tax. Vua is filling, delicious, and extremely affordable—students can grab their food quickly and be satisfied for the rest of the day.
Meatless Mondays at RVC
While upper-year students don’t generally think to return to McGill residence cafeterias after finishing their year in residence, Meatless Mondays at Royal Victoria College Cafeteria (RVC) may in fact lure students back to this familiar dining spot. Meatless Mondays provide a $5 meal that features anything from the hot steam counter. This often means options like macaroni and cheese, beet tacos, vegetarian casserole—all served with two sides, including steamed veggies, rice, and potatoes. If you don’t have time to wait among the hordes of people lined up, you can always head to the sandwich counter and get a meatless panini for $5 as well. For those with roll-over money on their student cards, Meatless Mondays are the perfect way to use up remaining meal plan dollars; it’s also a healthy and inexpensive option for students thinking of topping up.
Pizza Navona is an off-campus establishment, but since it’s location on Rue Sherbrooke is almost across from the Roddick gates, it might as well be considered on-campus. Known by most students for their pizza’s sesame seed crust, Navona offers a deal that includes two slices of cheese pizza and a drink for $4.34 without tax. Aside from being convenient for a quick meal, Navona is also a strong supporter of many McGill-run student initiatives like Right to Play, the McGill Ultimate Team, and the Arts Undergraduate Society, so you can be sure you’re giving your money to a company that will use it to give back to you and the McGill community in some way.
Tucked away in the basement of the Cartier Building at the corner of rue Peel and Rue Sherbrooke, this depanneur sells more than just beer and snacks. Super Sandwich features a variety of both vegetarian and deli meat sandwiches—from ham and cheese, to tuna, to crab meat—all for under $5. The sandwiches are made with fresh, warmly-toasted bread, which is delivered to the store each morning. Due to their simplicity—with only the essential toppings like tomato, lettuce, mustard and mayo, the sandwiches are made in under 15 seconds. Super Sandwich is therefore a great spot for a quick grab-and-go meal in between classes.
Midnight Kitchen is one of McGill’s best food resources for students. It runs Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the SSMU Building, either on the third floor in room 302, or upstairs in the fourth floor Clubs Lounge. The Midnight Kitchen Food Collective serves vegan meals on a pay-what-you-can basis. Their meals typically include a serving of vegetables, rice, and some sort of dessert. The organization also works to be environmentally sustainable by asking students to bring their own tupperware containers/plates, as well as utensils for the daily lunch service. Midnight Kitchen is an ideal option for students looking for an inexpensive meal on campus that is both healthy, and environmentally responsible.