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.


(Vegan) Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland

Playlist: Rodrigo y Gabriela – Diablo Rojo

I don’t have a huge sweet-tooth, but it’s hard not to be a sucker for delicious vegan doughnuts. Thankfully, I know exactly where to go to satisfy that craving: Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon.

Voodoo Doughnut box

The notorious pink box, albeit a bit weathered by the rain.

I’ve been to Portland a handful of times since I moved to the Pacific Northwest and I’ve never gone down and not gone to Voodoo – it’s just part of what Portland is to me. So, naturally, I stopped by their hole-in-the-wall shop the day I arrived (I was there over the weekend for Vida Vegan Con 2013, a conference for Vegan bloggers – whadduya know?!).

Voodoo Doughnut vegan doughnuts shelf

Rainbow vegan shelf of awesomeness.

While many vegan doughnut-lovers are excited to discover that Voodoo Doughnut has raised vegan doughnuts, I prefer those that are not raised  – they have a sort of chewy, grainy texture that I fancy. I particularly like the one covered in frosting and crumbled peanut butter-flavored candy crumbles. (:

Voodoo Doughnut vegan doughnuts

Vegan doughnut selection: vegan apple fritter, mini vegan doughnut with peanut butter candy bar crumbled on top and, of course, a signature vegan raspberry jam-filled “voodoo doughnut”!

Vegan or not, if you’re in Portland (or any of their other location cities in Oregon), I definitely recommend you grab one of these rad pink boxes and fill it with doughnuty goodness!


Eating a yummy vegan classic!

Eating a yummy vegan classic!


Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Playlist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist; Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

Being from the States, Thanksgiving doesn’t happen for me until the end of November, but I thought I’d celebrate this country’s day of thanks by blogging about some of my favorite food on and around campus (as we all know a big part of this holiday is the food!).

As a student with a pretty busy schedule, sometimes I need a sandwich I can grab-and-go. Bernoulli’s Bagels’ garden bagel on whole-wheat pesto or spinach is THE BEST bagel sandwich I’ve ever had. Ever. Aaaand, stuffed with roasted vegetables with a dash of Dijon mustard, it’s my favorite answer to this on-the-go dilemma. I discovered Bernoulli’s — located on the main floor of the SUB (Student Union Building) — shortly after school started and haven’t looked back since. PLUS: They are incredibly vegan-friendly, especially for a popular bagel joint. Yuuuuumm!

Another awesome grab-and-go place that doesn’t involve sandwiches is Honour Roll, also located in the sub. Fave dishes: yam tempura roll and avocado roll. TIP: Just around the corner from this place is Honour Roll Express, which has both of these dishes and other common, non-specialty dishes – and a MUCH shorter line than the regular Honour Roll during prime hours!

When I want to meet a friend for lunch after or in-between classes, Triple O’s veggie burger and Manchu Wok’s noodles with vegetables are two solid options. The veggie burger is surprisingly good – I get mine without mayo and with mustard, by the way — and the noodles and vegetables are quite tasty as well!

For a weekend girls’ night out or to bring out-of-town friends for a taste of the Kitsilano area (W. 4th in specific), The Naam is hands-down my favorite restaurant. The first four times I went there, I ordered the same Tempeh Reuben Platter – which seems limiting, considering their super expansive and entirely vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) menu, but trust me: with the tempeh steak burger slathered in (vegan) cheese and covered in veggies, plus home-cut sesame steak fries, the best dipping sauce you’ll ever try and a dee-lish house salad, it’s DIVINE. I did change it up last time I went there, ordering the Gold Dragon Bowl with vegan cheese. I must say I’m glad I finally tried something new – which was also SUPER YUMMY! Live entertainment in the evenings is a definite plus, as well. Beware, though: the curry specials can be spicyyyy!

I’ve only been there once, but from what I can remember, East is East has some of the best wraps I’ve ever had. I ordered the Gandhi’s Breakfast and Spice Caravan wraps, which were SO GOOD! (The former filled with spinach and mushrooms and the latter with chickpeas, cauliflower and Afghan rice.) I went there with my dad when he dropped me off at school at the beginning of the year, and I’ve been itching to go back ever since! The laid-back environment and culture-filled decorations makes this is a really great place to take friends/a date who are/is into Indian/other Eastern food. The wrap is vegan, as is their delectable chocolate pudding. The menu is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly – yesss!

Lastly, I am a total sucker for an afternoon (non-alcoholic) drink, and my favorite place to grab one is Pearl Fever in the U-Village, where I can get my usual Taro Slush with tapioca and soymilk, instead of the usual milk that all other bubble tea places on and around campus use. I also love getting a cold Yerba Mate (sort of like an iced tea) from Sprouts – which, by the way, offers free/by-donation lunch every Friday!! – when they have it. Sometimes, I resort to Starbucks in the SUB and get my favorite Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with soymilk. All options serve as a refreshing pick-me-up when I don’t have the chance to go back to my dorm room and make a smoothie there.

Those are some of my current favorite dishes/drinks – I’ll write about more once I discover more!

Love, Nirel

PS. This past weekend, I went to Seattle to spend time with my family and had so much fun hanging out with them and my friend, Emily, who came along. 😀 What did you do for (Canadian) Thanksgiving this year?