Great food options near campus
Photo by Tina Wallace
Relish the Flavour
Relish the Flavour food truck restored my faith in on campus food options at the U of O. Its offerings are not only delicious, but also served at a fair price. Found across the street from Fauteux and in behind Thompson residence, its location is really convenient for the students heading to and from class who want to avoid the mayhem of the cafeteria. Although it’s near impossible and unfair to crown one item as its best, S’Mac N Cheese is a classic that will keep you coming back. Served with bacon, old cheddar, crispy onions, jalapenos, and red truck sauce — its pièce de résistance — tasting it is a life-changing experience. You won’t be able to go back to Kraft Dinner.
Just be sure to get there early. Most days they sell out quick.
After a long day of studying on campus, Govinda’s is the place to go for a meal. This delicious little restaurant can be found on 212 Somerset St. East, tucked within Sandy Hill, and less than a 10-minute walk from the middle of campus. Connected to a Hare Krishna temple, this little restaurant offers a delicious, affordable vegan buffet. For only $5, you can eat your fill of curries and rice, salad, and delicious spiced cake. The only downside to Govinda’s is its hours — it’s open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weeknights. Despite the narrow opportunity, it is worth it for the healthy and affordable food, and should be on every student’s list of cheap and satisfying places to eat.
With the interior comparable to the look of everyone’s local curling rink, Sam’s University Tavern might not be the most scenic place. But the prices for food are cheap, as is the beer, and it’s always quiet enough to work. The food isn’t great, but it is much better and cheaper than what is offered at the cafeteria and does some things quite well. I recommend the pizza and fries. Although we’ve only recently started going, the Tavern has become a new hang out for my friends and me. We like the service and food, and it’s nice to help out a local business that could use it. Besides, you’re far more likely to get a nice table than anywhere else within a two-minute walk to campus.
Burgers m’ Fries Forever
Finding a decent gluten-free meal on campus is almost impossible. Café Alt has delightful gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as scones, but those might not be the hearty meal you’re after. I advise making your way down to Burgers n’ Fries Forever on Bank Street, between MacLaren and Gilmore. They make their patties from local grass-fed beef and have the best gluten-free buns I have ever had. They don’t fall apart, they aren’t dry, and they don’t get soggy — they are pretty much a miracle. I like things spicy, so I get the Mexican burger (lettuce, spicy fried onions, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo), but any of their signature burgers are guaranteed to leave you more than satisfied.
Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse
Even though most days it may be the last thing any of us want to do, sometimes it’s worth it to trek outside campus to grab some food. A 10-minute walk will bring you to Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse, located at 100 Gloucester St. just off Elgin. This somewhat new spot serves fresh, tasty food for breakfast and lunch, and won’t hurt a student budget. With a variety of paninis, salads, drinks, and treats, Grounded has quickly become a favourite for a mid-day meal. But it’s not just the food that will make you want to return. Old wooden barrels and even doors have been repurposed to make the bar, tables, and benches, which add to the rich atmosphere. Next time you need a break, I highly recommend checking out this place and grabbing their California club, comprised of chicken breast, avocado, tomato, and double-smoked bacon with roasted red pepper aioli.
When fast food is mentioned, kale, avocado, and edamame do not necessarily come to mind. Lucky for us, it did for Matthew Corrin, founder of Freshii, a health-focused chain that can now be found in 35 cities and eight countries around the world. I stumbled into the 50 Laurier Ave. East location quite by accident and it was love at first bite. My favourite dish would be a toss between the vegetable burrito and the vegan wrap, both of which can be customized for an extra few dollars with items like dates, beets, and crispy wontons. In my opinion Freshii is by far the best restaurant near the University of Ottawa campus and arguably one of the best in the city. It takes a lot of convincing to get me to eat anywhere else in Ottawa.