The best bars on or near campus to fill your stomach and wet your whistle
Photos by Tina Wallace
Whether you’re looking for filling fare, frosty beers, or new friends, all these pubs will have you making great memories while spending those pinched pennies.
Café Nostalgica: 601 Cumberland St.
Newly renovated Nostalgica reopened this fall after being shut down for more than a year. They now have a massive patio, a brand new bar, and a bigger stage for open mic nights. Nostalgica hosts tons of events, presents live music nightly, and is generally a great place to get your culture on. Their food is more creative and a bit healthier than what you might typically find in a pub, but still affordable for students. It has a very relaxed feel and is a perfect place to unwind after a long day.
Hilltop: 244 Laurier Ave.
Formerly known as Urban Well, Hilltop was under renovation during the summer but has recently reopened into this somewhat swanky resto-bar. Featuring dim lighting, loud music, and sleek decor, Hilltop seems to be establishing itself as the classy joint near campus. They serve food and drinks, however it is a bit pricier than other spots around campus. The jalapeno poppers and the cranberry spinach salad are just a couple of tasty options offered. Hilltop has a really fun feel to it and could serve as either a great starting point or final destination on a night out with friends.
Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill: 321 Somerset St. East SHLAG has become a nightly go-to restaurant for U of O students. Located in the heart of Sandy Hill, it boasts a delicious veggie burger and tasty butter-chicken poutine. Get there early, since it’s a small place that fills up quickly. A night out at SHLAG with food and drinks generally costs around $20 and you’ll want to tip generously because the service is generally quick and the servers are pleasant.
La Maison: 191 Somerset St. East
Another staple on the U of O campus, La Maison is a place where students love to eat and drink—with an emphasis on drink. Maison features great drink deals, including a happy hour daily from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and a social hour special from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. They offer $10 pitchers of Canadian and bottled beer under $5. Their food menu is your standard pub fare and is priced to please students; most dishes cost between $6 and $12. This is another spot where you can find upbeat music and a young, friendly atmosphere.
Father & Sons: 112 Osgoode St.
This bar has been right next to campus for decades and has become a regular hangout for students. Their breakfast menu is great—served Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.—and features a variety of options, most of which cost less than $10 (including bottomless coffee). Lunch and dinner food is your standard pub fare but still well made. F&S has nightly food and drink specials, like their 35-cent wing nights (Saturday and Monday) or their $2.65 bar rail special (Thursday and Sunday). Father & Sons has a laid back atmosphere; it’s somewhere you can go hang out with your friends, watch the game, or listen to some live music. Karaoke Wednesdays are not to be missed.