Campus Food For Every Taste And Every Budget

You’ve come to the right place.

With UBC’s many cafes, restaurants, residence dining rooms and food trucks scattered around campus, you’ll always find something that suits your taste and your wallet. The Nest (UBC’s new student union building) has an impressive list of old SUB favorites and new additions.

Here’s where you’ll find the best bang for your buck (good-tasting, good-for-you food at a good price):

Something For Everyone (The Nest Edition):
Peko Peko – Deliciously fresh sushi, with loads of veggie options, for about $4 a roll. Great grab-and-go lunch!

Avo roll at Peko Peko. Photo: @VegUBC on instagram

Avo roll at Peko Peko. Photo: @VegUBC on instagram

The Soup Market – Local soup options (made on Granville Island), varied daily. Always one of each: veggie, fish and meat soup, served with fresh bread. $5-6 for a medium-sized bowl on a cold, rainy day.

PI[E] R squared – Okay, so this may not be your healthiest option….but their pizza is a student favorite, at $2.75 a slice.

If you’re looking for curry, quality burgers or noodles, you can find them at Delly, Flip Side and Grand Noodle Emporium, respectively (all in The Nest). All run about $7-8.

Vegetarian / Vegan / Gluten-free / Health-conscious:
Most places on campus will accommodate these diet restrictions, so be sure to check menus or ask!

Seedlings; Sprouts – Quinoa bowls, chickpea burger & stews, all for under $4. Brownies, raw brownie balls and fair-trade, organic coffee all for $1 or less! Menus for both of these student-run initiatives here.

Palate – New, in The Nest. $6.50 daily sandwich & soup combo. Otherwise, choose from fresh panini, wraps and salads for $6-7, or build-your-own sandwich!

Panini at Palate. Photo: The Ubyssey. More at http://ubyssey.ca/culture/nests-food-definitely-sub-par/

Panini at Palate. Photo: The Ubyssey. More at http://ubyssey.ca/culture/nests-food-definitely-sub-par/

Agora – On the south end of campus, similar food & prices to Seedlings and Sprouts.

Treat Yourself:
Here’s where you can spend a bit more and indulge in a next-level dining experience:

Mercante – Authentic Italian pizzas, cooked in a stone hearth oven and made to order, for $10 a pop. Well worth it for a true quality pizza lover! Gourmet salads and desserts for about $4-6.

Mercante Pizza. Photo: students.ubc.ca

Mercante Pizza. Photo: students.ubc.ca

The Perch in The Nest and Biercraft in Wesbrook Village both offer $6.50 craft beers on tap, wine for about $8-9 and cocktails for $9-12. Food options for both average about $14 a dish, with cheaper appies and tapas if you want the fancy food & atmosphere at a student-friendly budget.

Beer, coffee, fresh-pressed juice…and don’t forget the free water refill stations located in buildings all around UBC (just BYOB — bring your own bottle)!

The (newly remodeled) Pit and Koerner’s Pub both offer the best deals on beer on campus — about $5 for a draught beer (or under $4 during The Pit’s happy hour). You can also find wine and cocktails at both (and pressed juice at Koerner’s!) for $6-9, if that’s your thing.

Speaking of pressed juice — and, of course, smoothies — grab a ‘meal in a cup’ from Liquid Nutrition, in The Nest, for a breakfast or lunch you can drink. All organic, vegan and whole-food based, this place packs nutrients without compromising great taste.

<UPPERCASE> is the lovechild of students’ old favorite Blue Chip Cookies and Bernoulli’s Bagels. Stop by in The Nest for bagels, fresh coffee, cookies and other baked goods. Hit up {lowercase} downstairs for the same, minus the bagels.

Food in Res:
Both Totem Park and Place Vanier dining halls are open to the public and offer a wide selection of food items. They label whether dishes contain dairy, eggs, meat, shellfish, pork, wheat, etc. and have impressively good, mostly locally-sourced food.

Lunch at Place Vanier Dining Hall. Photo: author's own

Lunch at Place Vanier Dining Hall. Photo: author’s own

Stay ‘In-The-Know’:

On The Go
UBC now has 5 (!!) food trucks, and there’s a cafe in or around just about every building on campus. So….you’ll never go hungry, no matter where you end up studying. For more info on food trucks, ranging from burgers to Thai bowls, follow @UBCstreetfood on Twitter.

It's About Thai food truck. Photo: @UBCstreetfood

It’s About Thai food truck. Photo: @UBCstreetfood

Feed Me Now
This sweet feature on the UBC Food Services site lets you know which AMS-run food joints around campus are open, right now (with real-time updates).

Skip the line with the AMS’s mobile ordering system.

Keep in mind these suggestions are a small selection of the wide range of options on campus. Check them out and explore for yourself to find your favorite food spots! The Village (University Blvd) and Westbrook Village are just around the corner and have tons of food options as well.

I would argue there’s pretty much no food you can’t find on campus.


Totem Park Celebrates Holi

Playlist: Santigold – L.E.S ArtistesPanjabi MC – Mundian to Bach Ke

Totem Celebrates Holi

Some friends from Haida and Salish, post-celebration.

HOLI IS A Hindu celebration of colors that takes place each spring. Participants in festivals commemorating Holi typically throw pigments at each other, resulting in a colorful mess and many smiling faces. This year, I was out of town for UBC’s massive Holi festival but was here to take part in the one we had at Totem Park Residence – which was a total blast! Definitely a fun and carefree way to de-stress before finals.

Love, Nirel

Totem Celebrates Holi

Feeling colorful (:


I hate silent hours.

And I don’t use that word lightly. It’s pretty much 24-7 quiet hours in first-year residences during finals. While I understand and respect that students should be comfortable studying in silence in their own rooms, it’s just not for me. Growing up with 3 younger siblings, my house has always been loud and crazy and fun. I like it that way.

That is why I’ve come up with a solution to silent hours. A few, actually:

1. Discover practice rooms. I don’t know if upper-year residences have this, but Totem Park and Place Vanier have a couple practice rooms in their respective commons blocks. Take a study break and GO SING/PLAY YOUR HEART OUT. I brought my guitar and djembe drum the other day and was in there for two hours.

2. Have a silent dance party in your room. What you’ll need: an mp3 player loaded with your favorite tunes (you can even use your laptop, as long as you don’t mind the limited range of dance moves you’d be able to exercise) and a pair of headphones. Plug in and silently dance your heart out!
This can be done by yourself or even with friends – just make sure each person you invite brings his/her own mp3 player with headphones.

3. Go to a concert. Check websites like Songkick and Ticketmaster (and subscribe to their e-mail list if you want to make it easy!) to see what major concerts are coming up around the area. Note: If you’re looking for smaller, more intimate shows, websites like LiveVan and The Georgia Straight’s website are great resources. Many of the shows they advertise are super inexpensive, too! ($5-15 for a show)

Hopefully that’ll help you create an outlet (or multiple!) for those urges you have to BE LOUD during these next couple weeks.



PS. Playlist: My brother’s playlist (which includes artists like Lupe Fiasco, Chiddy Bang & B.O.B)


Last few days before school!

Playlist while writing this: Ratatat’s LP4 and Ratatat (self-titled album)


Oh my goodness. I’ve been on campus for three weeks there is so much to write about! To make things easier, I’ll sort out my past few weeks into a couple different categories: Jump Start, Rez life/UBC post-Jump Start & Imagine Day.


Jump Start!


For those of you who don’t know, Jump Start is a two-week immersive program in which international and aboriginal incoming first-year students learn about life in Vancouver, get settled in and meet other kids from all over the world. Even though I’m from The States (and technically a Canadian citizen), it helped to learn more about how things work around here.

One really fun activity we had was called Share It!, which was basically a giant talent show during which I gawked at the incredible things my peers did and even gave a little performance of my own! (; (Typical of me – it was a speech on how to be happy.) By far the best thing about Jump Start, though, was making a bunch of new international friends!! Not only did I develop a close-knit group of friends whom I know I can trust with anything, but I also got to practice speaking different languages, learn bits of new ones and gain knowledge of various cultures.

If you are an international or aboriginal student applying to UBC this year, SIGN UP FOR JUMPSTART. I guarantee you’ll be happy you did. 😀


Life in Residence/UBC Post-Jump Start:


“The Canadians are coming, the Canadians are coming!”, yelled my friend Shelly down the halls of Haida House as I looked out my window to find people carrying everything from electric kettles and guitars to printers and teddy bears. While everyone around Totem Park was busy hustling and bustling, I had already settled into my room and was enjoying the long weekend with my family (who came to visit me from Seattle!), putting the last couple posters on my walls before grabbing dinner on W 4th.

I am so incredibly happy to call this place home! My roommate, Ezinne, and I had skyped once before coming here, which was a great brief introduction (and I recommend it if you can) – but I was so excited for her to finally arrive. She is SO GREAT. I am pleased to say that I could not have asked for a better roommate! We do have some things in common (including one of our classes!), but the most important aspect of living with someone else is that we get along so well.

On a similar note, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I have the best RA ever. I think it’s so important and wonderful that she and the other RAs I’ve met really seem to strive to create an environment in which people are accepted and where everyone feels safe, comfortable and at home. In fact, I love rez life so much that I’m running for Floor Rep (to represent my floor at house council meetings)! I’ll keep you updated regarding how that goes. (:


Imagine Day:


WOAH. UBC has a lot of clubs. It’s a very large school so it’s expected, but I’m pretty sure that one could theoretically find any club he wanted upon coming to UBC Imagine Day. Okay, maybe not any club imaginable, but definitely SO many clubs.

Some that stood out to me the most & that I’m considering joining (note: considering the 350 clubs that exist on campus, this list is actually quite condense):

UBC Fun Run – Students get together in groups once a week to go on some sort of exciting, non-competitive run to relieve stress and connect with other runners! What a cool thing to look forward to after a long week of studying.

Psychology Students’ Association of UBC – I’ve found home. Considering psychology is my current intended major, I was SO happy when I found this booth by the Buchanan buildings!

Speech and Linguistics Student Association (SALSA) – I’m thinking of minoring in linguistics, so this would also be a really sweet group to be a part of. (:

Philosophy Students Association  — Another potential minor for me. I love, love, love philosophy!

Agape Street Missions – This is a non-religious homeless outreach club, in which students interact with and distribute food to the homeless people of Downtown Vancouver. This is actually something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time!

Freethinkers Club – Attending get-togethers with other critical thinkers to talk about things we find interesting or controversial? Sweet!

Association of Latin American Students at UBC – I’m not Latin American, but I have studied Spanish for long enough to be enrolled in conversational Spanish classes this year. I think this club would be another awesome way to practice, learn about Latin American culture and interact with other Spanish speakers.

Black Vinyl Project – UBC’s own record label? ‘Nuff said.

Environmental Science Students Association – Doing research, giving informative presentations and saving the environment? Yes please.

Food Society – You join and save money going out to eat at various restaurants around Vancouver! Yes, that’s a real club.

Global Outreach Students’ Association / Heart Club – Both of these clubs have a strong emphasis on volunteering with disadvantaged members of the community and the world – awesome!

Natural Food Co-op/Sprouts  — Heck yeah, I’m going to volunteer at the vegetarian restaurant in the SUB! I hope I learn to make something yummy. (:

Jewish Students Association – While I’m not religious in the slightest, I still appreciate and feel connected to my Jewish ethnic background. My family comes from Morocco and Israel, so meeting other people who speak Hebrew is pretty sweet, as well!

Meditation Community – I really want to learn to meditate. Looks like a good place to start!

UBC Yoga Club – Again, I enjoy yoga so much and would love to learn more!

Check out the UBC AMS (Alma Mater Society) Clubs website for these and waaaayyy more clubs!! http://www.ams.ubc.ca/campus-life/clubs/




In the dorkiest way possible, I am SO excited that classes are starting!! I’ll write more soon about each class I’m taking this term. (: If you currently attend UBC, I hope your first couple days have been/will continue to be amazing!