These are the Healthiest, Tastiest and Trendiest Restaurants Around Campus for a Quick Meal or Dinner Date | By Sylvia Romanowska

The inevitable consequence of September has come: we’re all starting a new year of schooling. Back-to-school, regardless of whether you’re new blood or a seasoned student, comes with its fair share of stresses: textbooks, schedules, constantly running into that weird person from your history course. In dealing with everything university life throws at you, there is one thing of which you can be sure – you’re going to get hungry.

Now that we’re all settling into the groove of the semester, I want to point out a serious perk of being back on campus. In the midst of everything, there are a ton of great places in the university area where you can go for a relax over a lunch date, grab an after-class bite, and just experience a quality change from fast food.

So, whether you’re sick of HUB mall food, or you just want to get off campus for a bit, you’re quite in luck. As a U of A student, you’re sitting on a foodie gold-mine. The university area boasts some of the tastiest, trendiest, best quality restaurants and bistros in the city. So much opportunity in the span of a few city blocks!

To give you some incentive to get out there and see what the university area has to offer, I have compiled a short list of some of my favourite restaurants in the immediate campus area – because, honestly, who wants to take the cute prospect from their evening class to Subway?


CC photograph courtesy of “suntom” on Flickr

The Sugarbowl – A brisk 5 minute walk off campus, The Sugarbowl is a perfect combination of super student-friendly pricing and quality eats. Pair that with a chill environment and a seriously hard-to-beat beer list, The Sugarbowl will please any range of tastes.

1. Open: 8am-12pm, 1am on weekends.

2. Must Try: Meat – Lamb and Goat Cheese Burger, $13. Veg –  Portabello & Swiss Burger, $10.

CC photograph courtesy of “Michael Kalus” on Flickr

Leva Cappuccino Bar – A bit of a hidden gem, Leva is a perfect lunch spot. Located just a block down from Telus Building, you can enjoy a rustic Italian lunch on your 50 minute break. Leva offers a large variety of tastefully made calzones, salads, and impeccably made thin-crust pizzas. If you’re going with a friend or two, try a shareable platter!

1. Open: 7am-11pm, open 9am on weekends.

2. Must Try: Meat – Prosciutto Cotto with Rapini and Funghi Pizza, $17. Veg –Tomato Bocconcini with Avocado Salad, $15.

Upper Crust Cafe –  One of the most quality cafe-restaurants in the city, Upper Crust offers so much more than your run-of-the-mill, peckish cafe fare. Boasting an impressive and far-reaching lunch and dinner menu, as well as a delicious array of fresh baking, you don’t have to go far for a comforting meal.

1. Open: 11am-9pm, open early on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.

2. Must Try: Meat – Kaiser Filet with Potato Salad, $11.95. Veg – Vegetarian Chili & Cornbread, $7.95-$9.95 (Small-Large).

Photograph courtesy of “Maria F”

The Greenhouse – I will straight-up describe this as my favourite way of getting my vegetables. We all know how easy and convenient it is to get a bag of chips or a hot dog while running around campus, and we also all know how quickly that takes a toll on our bodies. Stop by The Greenhouse any time you need a quick, uber satisfying hit of healthy salad goodness. With many fixed salad options, a salad of the month option, and a make-your-own salad option, there is literally no combination you can’t have. They have an extensive list of toppings and proteins to add to your salad, and are very creative with these (ex. They’ll offer cod or tofu if you’re sick of just chicken). As if that’s not enough, they offer freshly made wraps, paella, and homemade soups.

1. Open: 11am-7pm daily.

2. Must Try: Meat – “You Jerk” Chicken Salad, $10-$13.50 (Small-Large). Veg – “The Brazilian” Salad, $10-$13.50 (Small-Large).

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  • Ally

    Awesome article Sylv!! Next time i’m in town we will have to check out some of these places. XOXO

  • Bridget

    This Sylvia girl sure knows what shes talking about, what a great review.