When first-year undergraduates are tired of the same dishes served at Royal Victoria College or New Residence Hall, they can spend the $500 they have in their OneCard accounts on many restaurants off campus. To find out the best places to use this money, The McGill Tribune went to all the OneCard options off-campus and reviewed their menus as well as the ambience and service they provide.
M4 Burritos (2053 rue Peel)
This Mexican-inspired grill is perfect for anyone who enjoys Tex-Mex or is looking to eat healthy, fresh food from a fast food restaurant. The location itself offers a decent sitting area, making it a good place to catch a bite to eat and hang out with friends.
The service is impeccable, and they allow customers to add a variety of toppings to their mexican dish of choice. While their meat dishes are delicious, the vegetarian and vegan options, which include some grilled vegetables, are lacklustre and bland due to a lack of exciting spices.
Freshii (3454 avenue du Parc)
The frozen yogurt bar at Freshii is a student favourite. Customers can choose between eight different flavours and customize their yogurt with a variety of toppings, including bits of Reese’s peanut butter cups and granola, making it the perfect spot for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Compared to the other restaurants however, Freshii’s main food choices are slightly on the expensive side, so it may not be cost-efficient for those who have a big appetite. The teriyaki bowls, for example, are filled with vibrant greens but are a bit on the small scale. Additionally, they close quite early at 9:30 p.m., meaning their fan-favourite frozen yogurt may not be available at the times you need it most.
Basha (3507 avenue du Parc)
Little needs to be said for the iconic Lebanese chain Basha. Their chicken shawarma is delicious, and their garlic sauces are irresistible. Furthermore, their portions are large given their price, which is perfect for those with huge appetites but a drawstring budget.
However, this branch closes at midnight, so you will have to satisfy those 2 a.m. cravings of shish taouk elsewhere. Additionally, this particular location is not group friendly as the seating arrangement doesn’t allow for social gatherings.
St-Hubert Express (3575 avenue du Parc)
The St-Hubert’s chain sells chicken plates and poutines that are an icon of the province. St-Hubert Express is an attempt to bring restaurant-level food in a fast food setting, offering high-quality food with speedy service.
St-Hubert Express does not quite meet the standard set by its traditional restaurant counterpart, but the comfortable seating and convenient location makes it a great choice for group hangouts.
Le Plezl (3424 rue Peel)
A kosher restaurant on the west side of campus, Le Plezl focusses on fresh, Mediterannean foods with a menu ranging from tuna and quinoa salads to salmon sandwiches. The service here is unrivalled by the others on the list, with their only downside being that they close at 5 pm.
Pita Pit (3550 avenue du Parc)
Pita Pit offers great service and healthy options. Their sandwiches are highly customizable and nutritionally balanced, and their portions are fair. Customers can choose between proteins such as chicken, beef, and falafel and add everything from guacamole to jalapenos.
The store is open until 3 am, making it a great, healthy alternative to the usual junk food you may eat after a night out.
Alto’s (3469 avenue du Parc)
Alto’s is a pleasant surprise. With its classic cushioned metal frame chairs, a menu consisting of a plethora of comfort foods, and the most affable service, Alto’s gives customers that comforting old-style diner hospitality.
Of all the options on the OneCard list, this is the only one that is a full-fledged restaurant. It is slightly more expensive with meals ranging from $15-20, but the seating is comfortable and the food is amazing. Despite the restaurant’s main focus on pizza, other options, such as the grilled chicken served with fries, rice, and a generous portion of salad, are delicious.