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McGill wasteland?

So I realize there is probably no good answer here.

As a Concordia grad student, I'm spoiled by having Myriade coffee just seconds away. But, I'm taking a class at McGill this term. Is it truly a wasteland?

I'm looking for the best options on campus - coffee especially, but food also - entering the campus from Sherbrooke/Peel/McTavish (in the winter, probably coming from Penfield/Peel), and headed toward the library and the arts building. I am too old to eat Pizza Pizza and Tim Horton's is just swill.

What else you got?

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    1. Caffe Art Java is the closest decent coffee to campus (President Kennedy and University). There's a 5 Guys opening at Ste. Catherine near McGill College shortly. Up north near Penfield, it is truly a food wasteland...

      2 Replies
      1. re: cherylmtl

        I second "Cafe Art Java" for decent coffee.

        1. re: indeed

          Oh no... what happen to the coffee there? Just bought myself a cup of decaf latter. Yak... Beans are wrong, taste is wrong, foam is not dense... Where is my good latte?

      2. Thomson House is a good food option for grad students in the Penfield/Peel area (3650 McTavish). It belongs to the post-graduate student society, and they have a restaurant and pub with a respectable lunch menu. It's in an old mansion and is a great place to hang out. They also have lots of events for grad students that you may want to check out while at McGill. Note to other hounds: you need to be a grad student/postdoc (or a guest of one) to eat there, but they rarely check unless you look like a 19 year old undergrad.

        In terms of coffee you're pretty much out of luck unless you swing by Myriade on the way up the hill. Pikolo is a few blocks east of campus, and it has excellent coffee (3418B Parc, just above Sherbrooke).

        6 Replies
        1. re: MeV

          Just a note about Thomson House - during meal times, at the major entrances, they are instituting a doorman who will be checking the status of those who dine there. Thomson House Associate Memberships are available though to non-grad students/postdocs.

          1. re: unlaced

            Is this true? For years I've found that they assign a door person during the first weeks of classes and then stop caring thereafter. In fact, when it's busiest I find the door person ends up having to do other things and anyone can walk in. I think I had my ID checked maybe once in seven years of going there.

            1. re: Fintastic

              Maybe it will be just the first few weeks this time as well.... There are changes going on behind the scenes, so I am not sure exactly what the future holds for Thomson House, but just wanted to make sure that people realized that there could be a chance their id, or lack thereof, could be checked!

              1. re: unlaced

                Service at Thomson House can be unbelievably slow. Someone I know (a member) went there last week and had to flag the waiter 30 mins after arriving to ask for menus, then flag him down again 20 mins later to order because he was not coming back; after which lunch took a long time to arrive and coffee was entirely forgotten.

                1. re: unlaced

                  And the food has gone way downhill in the last two years as well (and prices have gone up). And as of this week, they are still checking for membership.

                  1. re: picklebird

                    The little bar area at Thomson House has good prices and decent service.

                    Otherwise, despite the lack of other options nearby, Thomson House is a waste of time for food. I have also found that the service is terrible. There is usually one interesting dish on the menu - otherwise it's just pre-assembled food that has been sitting there all day. And I don't find the atmosphere that endearing either. Beautiful mansion on the outside yes - but pretty run-down and basic on the inside much like all of McGill's Golden Square Mile mansions.

          2. Not sure about coffee, but for food there's Bocadillo's and la Prep along with a few (2? 3?) other options in the SSMU building.

            3 Replies
            1. re: artstate

              Just tried the arepas at Bocadilo's and they were good.

              Basically, everything that was on the second floor is now gone. Instead, there is Bocadillo, Lola Rosa (express) and an asian place. Big improvement on what used to be there (TikiMing, Cultures, and Franks?). Prices are double the old offerings. And, Al-Taib is no longer at the basement. Only option for cheap food at SSMU is now Midnight Kitchen.

              1. re: hala

                There was an Al-Taib at McGill? Damn, thought I had to go down to Concordia. Oh well, too late now. I've been hoping for years they'd open around the Plateau, they'd make a killing.

                Bocadillo's is great, but if the prices are same as on the Main, that's way out of student budgets (although we are talking McGill students, so...). Hell, it's a special treat for me considering it's just sandwiches (that cost $7-9 bucks without any sides).

                1. re: Shattered

                  About $8 for a sandwich, $10 for a trio. Yes, way too expensive for a univeristy campus. But, it seems that everything on campus seems to be getting more and more expensive while quality keeps going down.

            2. Lola Rosa (Milton near University) has some decent menu items. It's been a while since I was there but I used to like it. I believe they are opening a location in Shatner as well as the one on Parc near Mt. Royal.