Best $2 lunch: Samosas – Most people already know, but at 3 for $2, it’s hard to stretch a toonie any further. Follow @samosatopia on twitter to find out who’s selling them and where.
Best brewpub near campus: Benelux – Set below a large tower block on sherbrooke just west of parc, Benelux offers a wide range of home-brewed Belgian, British and American style beers. In addition to being about 5 minutes from campus, it also has a great patio and a constantly changing menu.
Best poutine: La Banquise – We’d be remiss if we put any other place ahead of La Banquise. This Montreal staple established in 1968 has a legitimate claim to the title of best poutine in the world. Their 25 different varieties all sit on top of french fries that are crispy and have been pork larded to perfection. Sure, it’s a bit of a trek up to the plateau, but you’ll have time seeing as it’s open 24/7.
Best grocery store: Marche Lobo – The fruits and vegetables in this little shop at Parc and Milton are better quality than most other grocery stores for a fraction of the price. They also have a better selection than Provigo. The only catch is, the place is tiny, so be prepared for it to be packed later in the day.
Best quick dinner: Romados – After being gutted by a fire, Romados is back. Seriously, if you’ve never experienced the greasy goodness of their barbecued portuguese chicken and spicy fries, you are missing out. If you are in the middle of exams and don’t have time to cook, this place is a godsend.
Best burgers: Patati Patata – Another great joint up in the plateau, right on the corner of st Laurent and Rachel. This tiny colourful friterie serves up huge $2 sliders, classic poutines, beer and traditional borsht soup for insanely cheap prices. The staff are always crazy busy, but very friendly. It’s honestly hard to spend more than $10 here.
Best ice cream: Frostbite – You don’t even need to leave campus to satisfy your craving. The awesome staff over at EUS’s own Frostbite in the McConnell engineering building are here for you. In addition to toonie tuesdays, if you are unfortunate enough to earn less than 30% on a midterm you’ll be able to console yourself with a free cone. All you’ll have to focus on is riding that curve.
Best cheap lunch: Super Sandwich – Probably the best dollars per calorie ratio possible. These sandwiches are a huge, delicious, fresh and are all around $3-$4. While they are located in the basement of the Cartier building on Peel, Super sandwich can be found in limited quantities at the G store in McConnell.
Best coffee: G store – Why pay full price for Starbucks, Timmy’s, or even the Cafeteria? Ok, well some may argue that they taste better, but if all you really need is a quick shot of caffeine, Coffee is only 75 cents if you bring your own mug.
Best bagels: St Viateur – Montreal is famous for Leonard Cohen, the old port, and bagels (among other things). Can you really even say you lived in Montreal if you haven’t sunk your teeth into a warm, freshly baked Montreal bagel? There are many places to choose from, but we recommend this mile-end shop at st-Viateur and Parc.
Best Monday night: Korova Sucka Free Mondays – It’s sweaty, it’s sloppy and it’s Sucka Free. For when you need to wile out, bust a move to some Biggie, JT and other top 40 from the past 20 years there is probably no better night.
Best Wednesday night: The Belmont – Bass Drive Wednesdays: It has been voted Montreal’s best club night for 3 years in a row and for a good reason. Showcasing local and international artists playing the freshest bass music and beyond. Free before 11, $5 after.
Best Thursday night: Tokyo Thursdays: A staple on St Laurent for students since ’98, Tokyo has all you could want in a club. Big crazy dance floor, heated rooftop patio and cheap drinks all night. Cover is $5.
Best Sunday: Tam Tams – If you’re down to embrace your inner hippie, dance in a drum circle or just get really really stoned there’s nothing really quite like tam tams.
Best barber shop: Andie’s Barber Shop – Andie’s is a simple no frills barber shop on Metcalfe south of St-Cat. Cuts are $20 for students, no appointment is needed and the staff are friendly, quick, and know their stuff. You can be in and out of there in 10 minutes.
Best place to play Mario Kart: Leacock 132 – Little known fact: depending on what time you choose, you can actually rent pretty much any classroom on campus, so why not rent the largest one? On most week nights, $50 will get you 3 hours. Split it a couple ways, hook up the projector and you could have the most epic Super Smash Bros tourney ever.
Best place to get scammed: McGill Ghetto – People get scammed out of their money every year in the ghetto. Beware of Italian “fashion designers” trying unload their suits on you in exchange for paying their car rental or anyone who says they are there to fix your hot water heater.
Best site for finding a place: PadMapper – Finding a new place can be really time consuming and a total pain. Constantly checking craigslist, kijiji and the streets sucks. Pad Mapper combines all these sources, allows you to filter by price, number of bedrooms and puts it all on a convenient map.
Best place to sleep: SSMU lounge – When midterm seasons hits, you’ll be spending more late nights on campus. If you need a quick power nap, the couches in the SSMU lounge are probably the plushest things known to man.
Best whitewater rafting: McTavish street – Enough Said. Following two floods in two years we can’t wait for this years version of rapids. Keep your kayaks, rafts and surfboards ready. So long as there’s construction on the reservoir that holds all of Montreal’s water, there is bound to be another flood.
Best thrift shop: Eva B – If you feel like popping some tags and saving some cash this Eva B is the place to go. The inside feels like a nomadic gypsy tent, but there is no better place. They’ll buy your old clothes, they’ll serve you tea and samosas and for Halloween shopping, they’ll even rent you whatever you could possibly need.
Best place to get course notes: Copi EUS – Besides being an awesome place to get really cheap notebooks, at Copi EUS in the McConnell building, you can find a variety of notes and past exams for almost all engineering courses. They are usually also very cheap and very worth it.
Best school supplies: nota bene – Just across the street from Provigo, Nota Bene offers an extensive selection and wide variety of pens, pencils, rulers, paper, and pretty much any thing else related to writing or drawing that you could think of. Everything is great quality and the staff are very helpful.
Best place to buy books: Not the bookstore- Considering that the recommended textbooks will often barely be used and are usually overpriced, it can be really helpful to find other sources. Most books are available new or used on Amazon or at The Word bookstore on Milton for much less.