Concordia has plenty of healthy food options if you’re on a budget
For many people, the word “vegan” conjures up images of somber salads and poor imitations of everything they know and love, at exorbitant prices. For students on a tight budget and tighter schedule, the idea of maintaining a vegan diet can seem downright impossible. I used to feel the same, until I actually committed to veganism in my first semester at Concordia three years ago. After my transition, I started looking around for vegan options wherever I went, especially on campus where the afternoon slump can be particularly brutal and long hours in the library demand sustenance. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a plethora of cheap, quick and delicious vegan options to hold me over between classes and now they can hold you over, too.
1. The People’s Potato
I would be doing a great disservice to ask readers to spend any money before I let them in on possibly the most honorable use of our tuition money—the People’s Potato. A Concordia classic, People’s Potato is a fully vegan soup kitchen that serves a free lunch every weekday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Hall building. The meals are always tasty, packed with nutritious ingredients, and they don’t make half-bad leftovers. (Perfect for late nights in the library. They’ve certainly saved my butt a few times).
2. The Green Panther
Located near the Hall building on Mackay Street, the Green Panther offers delicious soups and sandwiches at a perfectly reasonable price. Their falafel pita is a classic, and for a good reason. Their other pitas should not be underestimated, though, particularly the barbecue tofu one. Also, check out their organic, all-natural energy drinks for a steady boost of energy that won’t give you the caffeine-crazies.
3. Le Frigo Vert
An awesome co-op located on Mackay Street right across from the Library building, Le Frigo Vert offers (mostly) vegan and organic fair-trade products, from produce to prepared meals at very affordable prices. All Concordia students are automatically members (sign up at the cash register), which means discounts on everything. It’s the perfect place for a cheap, delicious vegan snack on the go. My recommendations: 60-cent samosas, Injera wraps, or falafel wraps from Nilufar delivered there every day.
4. The Hive
Yet another amazing Concordia co-op, The Hive serves coffee beverages (with your choice of soy or almond milk), as well as a plethora of sustainably-sourced vegan options—from breakfast burritos to pastries. The Hive is located in the Mezzanine of the Hall building on the downtown campus, and on Loyola campus, on the second floor of the Student Centre building. The Loyola location offers free lunch every weekday between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Nilufar is a bit further from campus, but slightly cheaper than The Green Panther. They offer equally as tasty falafel and serve the perfect student food. Fast and filling, you can’t go wrong with a couple of falafel or tofu wraps. Due to a wide variety of options, this is also a perfect compromise when eating out with non-vegan friends. Nilufar is located at 1923 Ste-Catherine St. Ouest.