Simple quest: cheap food and good beer near McGill U.
After two years of living in MTL I am now appealing to your collective wisdom to solve an ongoing problem. We are a group of graduate students that convene every Friday at the McGill grad pub after work. After several beers we are in the mood to go somewhere different, continue with good beer and, most importantly, eat some dinner. Since we are grad students we are relatively poor and, in fact, one of our group shuns almost anything remotely "fancy" or "hip" (he hates Reservoir, for example). Nearly every Friday we are unable to meet that criteria, especially in summer where having a terrasse is also important. Since we all live in different neighbourhoods, we try to stick to a relatively central location walking distance from McGill. We often go to and love L'Amere a Boire but their terrasse is small and it might be nice to expand our repertoire. Can anyone help us? Is there anywhere that can satisfy our picky bunch (mains should be less than $15)? THANK YOU!
If you're willing to travel a little bit, Vices et Versa on St. Laurent near St. Zotique has a fantastic beer selection and their menu is relatively inexpensive. They also have a nice terrase out back. The 55 bus goes straight there from anywhere on St. Laurent.
In the same neighbourhood as l'Amere a Boire there's Le Saint-Bock. I find their beer selection to be very good and they have some pretty decent food. You shouldn't have a hard time eating here for less than $15.
At 809 Ontario there's Le Cheval Blanc, another good option for local beer. I don't remember if they have food though so maybe someone else can chime in on that.
The best place for local beer, again if you're willing to travel a little bit (the 80 or the 55 will get you there from McGill in less than 20 minutes) is Dieu du Ciel at the corner of Laurier and Clark. They don't have a terrase but it's a very warm, inviting place to go in winter. They have a limited selection of inexpensive sandwiches, pizzas, cheese plates and things like that. That's my go-to place for beer in Montreal and would definitely be worth going a bit out of your way for.
This should give you a few post-Thompson House options. Enjoy.
Depending on what you consider walking distance, these all should fit the bill to a certain extent.
Helm; 273 Bernard St. W., 514-276-0473
Magnan's 2602 St-Patrick 514.935.9647
La Paryse, 302 Ontario E., 842-2040
Rotisserie Portugalia, 34 Rachel W., 282-1519
McAuslan 5080 St-Ambroise St.(514) 939-3060 (Terrace)
Oyster Shack 1242 Bishop St. 514-395-1888
Hey foodinspace! I really like La Cabane on St. Laurent, across from Schwartz's. They usually have reasonable beer specials. The food is tasty and pretty cheap, there is a lot of choice, and the serving sizes are very big. The fries are yummy. I've liked many of the souvlaki specials, and the grilled lamb chops. When I'm really hungry, the steak and fettucine plate is decadent. No terrace , but they open the windows in the summer. Service can be variable, but it is a great place to hang out with a large group of people. It is a reliable standby, and good to add to a rotation of places to eat.
Being a McGill grad student I can definitely feel your pain and I am happy that someone has addressed this here. The places that I was going to recommend have been mentioned already, but I would like to un-recommend Lola Rosa, which is something uncharacteristic for me to do. It's such a shame that this place serves expensive and mediocre vegetarian food cause it looks so inviting.
Also, if sushi is not too hip for your friend, my favorite Montreal sushi place, Osaka, is just a short walk away. They can take a while though, so don't expect a short lunch. Simple, authentic, well prepared, and inexpensive sushi. The beer options are what you would expect though from a sushi place... nothing great.
Sometimes, I an jealous of Concordia students, so many more options for them, food wise that is.