We get it! You just spent 400 dollars on textbooks, again. And now you have to pay your utilities, your rent, your friend back for the drink they bought you last night - it's endless! Wait. And we somehow are supposed to feed ourselves to get some fuel for the day?!
Believe it or not, we're students, not superhumans. And with part of the student life is learning how to get by with little cash. But that doesn't mean you should be giving up your nutrition! HOMIES GOT TO EAT! How on earth are you supposed to get through that three hour chem lecture on an empty stomach? That's right. You can't.
NO WORRIES SCHOLARS! Luckily not only does Queen's offer some of the best university food around, but we also are plopped right in the middle of Kingston. Translation? We're in a town that knows that students are the majority of the population, so most businesses are going to make sure that they cater (food pun!) to us. Milk that VIP status.
The real secret to saving money though is by knowing not only where to go, but when to go there. Head to these gems on and off campus for some amazing eats, and go at certain times and you may just save some of your precious dollar bills (not you may....you definitely will...ya).
1. Common Ground
What's on the second floor of the Arc? Oh, ya, just the place where your DREAMS WILL COME TRUE! What dreams you say? Your choice from six delicious types of bagel, add some butter and you got a meal for under 1.85! Student-run through the AMS, this on campus staple is the best place to go for a mid-day snack (muffins, scones, salads), quick meal (customizable sandwiches and bagels, delicious premade sandwiches and wraps), or delectable slice of cake. Of course, because it's run by students they get you're not going to make it rain for a cup or coffee, prices are reasonable yet quality is high.
What to get: secrets don't make friends, usually. The top secret bagel is one of the most popular grab and go meals on the menu for a reason, but you'll have to figure the secret out for yourself.
When to go: the vibe (and price!) is perfect for a coffee with a friend, for grabbing a meal in between classes or to head here and study fueled by your slice of red velvet cake.
2. Queen's Pub // JDUC
Since opening its large wooden doors in 1977 this hot spot on the JDUC has become iconic to Queen's. From Sangria nights to Ceaser mornings - we've all been there and love it. Burgers, nachos, chicken fingers, avocado toast (!!), and a huge selection of liquor is on the menu for you to enjoy. Literally, a place where maybe not everyone, but 90 percent of the people will know your name (hello student run!). It's a fun, vibing place to head for classic pub food at a student-friendly price.
What to get: the classic sangria, but ask for red wine as your base if you like your drink a little less sweet. For the munchies? The breadsticks are a staple, and you can't go wrong with the new honey hot falafel wrap! (In a rush? Wraps are always premade, you'll be in and out in five minutes.)
When to go: for the cheapest deals, head here on the weekend for their special weekend price$.
*For a cheap (and wild) night out head to the underground right below the pub, free cover and coat check always!*
3. Lizzy's Tall Fry // Union and University
Meals on wheels never tasted so good. Lizzy's food truck has been a staple at Queen's for years as one of the fastest ways to get burgers, fries, and sandwiches. Steaming hot, freshly prepared and prices that know you just spent 400 dollars at the bookstore? We back that.
What to get: you can grab a burger for under 5 dollars here, or try out a chicken burger meal deal for only 5.50, which will not only give you the burger but a drink and fries.
When to go: when the line up at Tim's winds through the arc and you have a lecture in 20 minutes? Head here for some quality eats!
BONUS ON CAMPUS
4. Gord's Cafe // Gordon-Brockington House Residence
To be honest, we didn't find out about this on campus secret spot until WAY TOO LATE in our first year, but we weren't the only ones. Tucked away in depths of the residence zone (main floor of Gordon-Brockington House residence) is arguably one of the most convenient, underrated, and cheapest places to grab some grub en route to class or the library. They offer classic grab and go snacks like muffins, chips, cookies, fresh fruit and more. Or if you're in the mood for a meal they have everything from cereal, waffles, grab and go sandwiches and different Easy Risers to choose from. With a Bagel costing you a twoonie here, this is a place we definitely wish we knew about sooner.
What to get: THE BAGELS. ALWAYS GET THE BAGELS. Ha. But really. Do it.
When to go: when you're rushed for your 8:30 lecture or coming back from a power hour study session at Stauff, it is a no stress place that won't drain your wallet.
5. Market Street Cafe // Botterell Hall
We've never been so in happy to eat in a cafeteria. This is the true hidden gem of Queen's, offering students delicious omelets, eggs and toast, sandwiches, salads, and specials like tacos and chili mac. Head down here for a quick snack or a great meal that won't drain your wallet. Bonus, the amazing and friendly staff will always brighten your day, perfect for that post-midterm funk. When to go: big breakfast special on Thursdays will fill you up for the day.
What to get: get a little fancy to get over your mid-week hump and go for the customizable salad or omelet bar. Fresh, fancy, and fly.
When to go: the big breakfast special on Tuesdays and Thursdays will fill you up and fuel you for the rest of your weekend. Even better, you'll be dropping less than 9 dollars for an insane amount of food.
6. Score Pizza // 91 Princess St.
Want a cute pizza night with your and your squad minus the actual baking? Don't want to spend 20 dollars on a gourmet pizza but don't want to question if you're actually eating cheese or plastic? Head to Score pizza on Princess. The new addition to downtown is a hot spot for students and locals alike. They offer reasonably priced, quality pizza, that you can customize on the spot.
What to get: if you don't want the hassle of picking all your own toppings (rough life!!!), get the Great White North, with garlic cream sauce, asiago, mozzarella, Italian sausage, mushrooms, arugula, crushed garlic and caramelized onions for under 12 dollars?! That's a deal we can't pass up.
When to go: it's a flexible space that you can go for a casual sit down or order at the counter for a grab and go meal when you're in a hurry.
7. Copper Penny // 240 Princess St.
This is the quintessential casual sit down restaurant for Queen's students. From wraps, burgers, steak, chicken portobello skillet, a macaroni grill selection (!), vegetarian options, and so much more, it's a great place for a nice dinner out on a student budget. Most of their entrees ring in around 15 dollars, which will give you sizeable portions and friendly service.
What to get: you can't go wrong with anything from their macaroni grill, the penny club, cheese steak hoagie - and we'll save you from even more mouth watering options and let you make the choice for yourself.
When to go: it's a great place for a squad whenever you guys want a little something more than another night of your famous ramen noodle dish.
8. Golden Rooster Deli // 11 Princess St. Kingston
Are you getting a warm, comforting hug or did you just step in Golden Rooster Deli? Stop in this friendly spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, filled with all your favourite staples. Delicious deli meats, hot eats, soups, freshly baked goods oh my! For relatively little money you can grab yourself some quality home cooked food that you'll be surprised didn't cost you more! The staff is extremely friendly and will have your food ready in no time - perfect for the busy student schedule (you know, so you can get back to Netflix, can't keep House of Cards waiting for long).
What to get: Any one of their fantastic soups, Fish and Chips, Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches, Smoked Salon and Cream Cheese Croissant, Saurkraut, Chicken Pot Pie, and we could list pretty much the whole menu but start there and let us know when you're ready for more.?
When to go: head here when you're craving some quality staple foods that are anything but basic. When you need some simplicity in your hectic life, it's mouth watering food (yet not overwhelmingly adventurous), head here for a good time with even better food.
9. Wok-In // 30 Montreal Street Kingston
Say hello to your new favorite spot for authentic Asian cuisine. This hole in the wall take restaurant downtown has been pulling people in for years for their fresh, generous portions. Owned by a husband/wife duo, who also happen to do all the cooking and serving, this place gives you large flavourful portions of Cambodian and Thai food that you never realized you've been craving for so long.
What to get: the #1 chicken red curry and #4 noodles and spring roll combos are sure not to disappoint!
When to go: seating is limited here, so it's the perfect place for first years in residence to avoid the chaos of Sunday night dinners at Lenny and grab some take out here! Or pretty much anyone who is tired of cooking for themselves and could use some high-quality takeout!
10. Stooley's Cafe // 118 Division St.
The combination of Stooley's being right in the middle of the Queen's student housing district, its casual atmosphere, its menu filled with classic comforting dishes, and its huge portions mean this is a Queen's staple. They have weekly drink and food specials and take out available, giving you plenty of reasons to keep heading back!
What to get: you can't go wrong with one of their satisfying burgers (veggie option as well!) or amazing sandwiches.
When to go: it's a perfect weekend hangover spot or for a mid-week casual dinner out with your friends.
11. The Toucan // 76 Princess St.
The Toucan Irish Pub has been a student favourite for years, hidden in the cobblestone courtyard of downtown Kingston. And how could it not be? Every day they have something on special - perfect for a student budget. They also have live performances by local independent bands every Friday and Saturday as well as sports streaming all the time!
What to get: it is your classic Irish pub food, so we're sticking to the classic nachos, burgers, and bangers and mash!
When to go: you can get a five dollar breakfast at this fine establishment on Saturdays and Sundays! Or head here on Thursdays with a valid student ID and you get 50% your food! (All with a beverage purchase).
12. Sima Sushi // 66 Princess St.
Sima Sushi is on the higher end of a student budget we'll admit that, but for that minimal extra, you'll get a taste of what's easily known as the best sushi in Kingston. A student favourite for years for good reason, this place uses exceptionally high-quality fish for creative and filling sushi! You won't leave here disappointed, and for the quality you get? You'll be surprised how much money you leave with.
What to get: you'll be easily impressed by the high quality of their simple fresh shrimp and salmon sushi, but if you're feeling something a little adventurous try out the K-Rock deep fried roll! The green field is also a fantastic veggie option!
When to go: when you're looking for a special date night that won't break the bank.