Pull up a stool and listen in. This is the official 2022 McGill Residence cafeteria rankings. No ifs, buts, or maybes—this is it.
Along with the ranking, this also serves as a write-up for the places where McGill provides students with the most important commodity of all. And no, it’s not your education—it’s your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Before we commence, I have one instruction: Go to your music app and look up “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees—I’m serious. Get it up now. You know the song. When I give the signal, press play. This is just to add some rhythm to the piece and, after all, I do seriously want to avoid food poisoning and… stay alive.
So, are you ready? Here’s your signal: Hit play. Now, sit back, relax, and here we go.
4th: Carrefour Sherbrooke
In last place is Carrefour Sherbrooke (C4). What can I say: You knew it was coming. It’s a cave of a cafeteria, with cluttered decoration, cramped seating, and a serving area that’s perfect if you want someone breathing down your neck.
They have two hot serving counters, one by McGill and another by the burrito chain, Quesada—that’s when you know McGill is out of ideas. The McGill one has a burger area and a hot food option at the far end, which always looks lonely. And when the beef tacos look like shovelled mouse droppings, you can tell it isn’t the best. Even biting your fingernails becomes inviting.
3rd: Bishop Mountain Hall
Onto the podium: In third is Bishop Mountain Hall (BMH). First, the positives: The seating area is magnificent—sufficient, spacious, and with a view of Montreal’s skyline. I mean, now we’re talking. The serving area is also enormous and has an extensive selection of cold food options, as well as pastries.
So, what’s the problem? The hot food—it’s shockingly poor. I got the fish and chips last week and I think it’s the first time I could literally feel each mouthful peristaltically congesting my guts—as well as my will to live. If you can’t serve decent hot food as a residence cafeteria you might as well dance with scallops on your head—we’ll cook ourselves.
2nd: Royal Victoria College
In second place is the Royal Victoria College (RVC) cafeteria. Some of you might have expected RVC to have come out on top—well, not so fast.
Walking through the RVC corridors feels like the underpass at the end of the world. Inside, it smells like pompous RVC first-years, which certainly is not one of my favourite smells. This is made frightfully worse by the fact the hall is actually full of them.
RVC has the second-best seating area, behind Bishop Hall, as well as a ton of food options. And this is where it comes into its own: From customizable pizzas, to beef and chicken burgers on the grill, to a make-your-own pasta bar. What brings it down is the quality. It’s better than BMH, sure. But value for your buck is still in question. Take the $10 burgers without fries—pre-made and tasting like yesterday. Or the $11 pizzas—on the small side and could well have you shot in Rome. But after all, this is university cuisine, so it slots in second.
1st: New Residence Hall
How’s the music going? I think it’s working, I haven’t dropped dead yet. Now, for our first place, at the top of the tree is New Residence Hall (NRH).
NRH’s seating area isn’t as large as BMH and the food options aren’t quite as expansive as RVC— their seating area does suffice, though, and there’s certainly enough choice to beguile any MacBook warrior student.
The reason NRH is top is simple: They have the highest quality of food—this is what matters most. Or to put it differently, why does NRH beat RVC? Fewer grimaces. So squabble all you want. We go to these dining halls to eat. And with fairly fresh, relatively nutritious, and, crucially, enjoyable food most of the time, NRH must—must––take the gold.