After living in St. Catharines on a student’s budget for a few years, you tend to learn where to eat and where not to. Below is a brief guide to getting the most culinary variety and quality in the Garden City without breaking the bank. As far as most students will be concerned, St. Catharines has three main areas to frequent, with a few others worth mentioning peripherally. This guide will look at those three areas, with the options compared in price and quality, keeping in mind that while students always want a good meal, sometime The Keg isn’t a financially viable option.
The on-campus dining options are somewhat limited. First, you have the Sodexo-run options, such as the residence dining halls and the central Guernsey Market. While the Market offers a noticeably higher quality of food (such as gourmet pizza, Mongolian-style stir fry and more), the prices are among the highest on campus (while also being the only locations that accept residence meal plans). On the other end you have the student union’s food court, Union Station. Here you get the more affordable fast food options, such as Harvey’s and Subway. However, the best option by far here is the independent Brock’s Fortune Cookie (#1), a Chinese option that is heavy on the serving size without costing too much, getting you the most grub for your dollar. If you are in the mood for something fancier and don’t want to leave campus, check out Alphie’s Trough (#2), located just north of the Thistle complex at the edge of the woods. This once alumni-exclusive restaurant has local beers and reasonably-priced options that would offer a nice break from another plate of chicken fingers at the Lowenburger dining hall.
Like Brock, the mall along Glendale Avenue has many options in a range of quality. If you’re in a hurry and short for change, there is a myriad of choices available in the food court (#3), from New York Fries to Thai Express to a Mediterranean option offering shawarma. Along Glendale you can find Quiznos, Little Caesar’s and Swiss Chalet. Beyond the more convenient options, across the street from the Pen Centre you can get a fresh fruit breakfast at Cora (#4).
Along and adjacent to St. Paul street is where you’ll find some of the most interesting culinary options that the city has to offer. As far as sushi goes, you have plenty of options between Seasons Sushi (St. Paul and Carlisle), East Sushi (King and Garden Park) and the more expensive Wind Japanese and Thai (directly across Garden Park from East Sushi). So, I guess #5 is sushi, regardless of where you end up choosing to go. Some of the most affordable options can be found at Burrito Boys (#6) on St. Paul – a newly opened restaurant, the latest in a highly successful franchise out of Toronto. It’s essentially Subway for Mexican food, but with much higher quality ingredients and a stellar reputation – all at an affordable price.
#7. Chinese – If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food in the city, one of your best options is Tang, located in the Glenridge plaza in between the school and downtown. Although definitely a more expensive choice, the restaurant has a wide variety of menu options, including dim sum.
#8. Pizza Delivery – For those getting hungry late at night, give Twice the Deal Pizza a call. While the delivery time is a bit lengthy, their deal is hard to beat, with 2 extra-large pizzas with three toppings and a dipping sauce for 19.99, free delivery.
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