Student-friendly eats in Victoria

Student life can be hectic, so you need food that’s tasty, quick and, most importantly, cheap. Here are some of Victoria’s most student-friendly off-campus restaurants. Some are just down the street; others are a short bus ride downtown. But all of them have cheap eats that’ll keep you fuelled from frosh week to finals.

Thai Lemongrass Restaurant Ltd

3838 Cadboro Bay Rd, Victoria, BC V8N 4G2

Many might assume that Thai Lemongrass’ is popular because of their location, but the real reasons are the high quality and low pricing. Their lunch specials range from stir-fried pork to green curry chicken served alongside the soup of the day, and come in such large portions that even the most starving of students might have difficulty finishing them in one sitting. The food is hot, healthy and not too hard on the wallet, which is pretty much the perfect student meal.

Little Thai Place

3613 Shelbourne St, Victoria, BC V8P 4H1

Little Thai Place has been voted best in the city a few times and U Vic’s student body was probably casting most of those votes. It’s practically a university institution at this point. The lunch specials are made up of Thai classics, like pad Thai, and all are under $10. They’ll even deliver if you don’t want to walk over there, although they do request that orders be over $20.

Smuggler's Cove Pub

2581 Penrhyn St, Victoria, BC V8N 1G4

Smuggler’s Cove has long been a student favourite because they have cheap drinks, cheap food and an onsite liquor store. The daily food specials offer the best in pub grub, from cheap burgers on Tuesdays to a pound of wings for less than seven bucks on Mondays. It’s a decent pub within walking distance of campus, and you can walk out of there with a doggy bag and a six-pack. It’s truly a one-stop shop for when you need to refuel after midterms.

1550's Pub Style Restaurant

1550 Cedar Hill Cross Rd, Victoria, BC V8P 2P4

Another bar that’s just a short stumble from campus, this place has great comfort food and daily specials that are easy on your budget. All their burgers are less than $10 on Mondays and their wing Wednesday is hard to beat. Fifteen Fifty’s has a rotating beer list and frequently has BC microbrews on tap. There’s a Caesar special on Sundays too, if you’re looking for a little hair of the dog after a Saturday night out.

Palagio Pizza

165-2950 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8T 4N4

Sometimes you want to go off campus to get food, and sometimes it’s easier to have food brought to you. Palagio Pizza has some of the least expensive, most satisfying pizzas in the area, and they deliver to the university campus. Cheap, quick and tasty, Palagio is a student favourite for more reasons than one. For study groups, try the 2-2-2. It comes with two two-topping pizzas and two cans of pop to keep you going when you can’t get away. You may even have some leftovers for the next morning.

Lotus Pond Vegetarian Restaurant

617 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 3C6

Good vegetarian food can be difficult to find on campus, but this friendly vegetarian and vegan restaurant is just a quick bus ride away downtown. Lotus Pond serves up Asian-inspired vegan and vegetarian meals for surprisingly low prices. Their dinner combination for one, which includes rice, soup, a spring roll and your choice of main, is less than $12. If there’s a group of you, Lotus Pond also does a hot pot that everyone can enjoy.

The Village Taverna

101-1075 Pendergast St, Victoria, BC V8V 0A1

The same people who used to own Eugene’s now run the Village Taverna, and while the name has changed, the commitment to affordable and delicious Greek food hasn’t. They serve all manner of quick meals, from souvlaki pita wraps to full kebab platters. It’s a bit of a hike from campus, but the low prices, generous portions and unique tastes are well worth the trip.

Thrifty Foods

1626 Mckenzie Ave, Victoria, BC V8N 1A5

Thrifty’s isn’t exactly a restaurant, but it’s only a 10-minute walk from campus and has $1 samosas, plus snacks and groceries. The store’s reasonable prices and ample selection is great for stocking up for late-night study sessions. It’s open 24 hours a day, too. Unlike so many things in your university life, Thrifty’s is always there when you need it.

J & J Wonton Noodle House

1012 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8V 3K4

Just a quick 20-minute bus ride from campus, J & J Wonton Noodle House offers generous portions of Cantonese and Szechuan food at reasonable prices, especially at lunchtime. They use locally sourced ingredients as much as possible to provide diners with fresh and flavourful meals. The chef suggests the Szechuan-style chicken, but almost everything on the menu is worth trying at least once. Gluten-free and vegan options are available as well. A word to the wise: avoid the lunch rush if you can, as this place can get very busy.

You don’t have to travel to Vietnam to try authentic pho – it’s available right here in Victoria. So put away your passport and visit one of the Vietnamese restaurants below. Soon you’ll be sipping on savoury broth, seasoned with traditional Vietnamese spices and full of tasty meat and veggies. Close your eyes and you might forget you’re in Canada!
Eating out doesn’t have to be expensive – and you don’t have to sacrifice quality or taste just to get a good deal. Luckily for us, there are a number of Victoria eateries that offer satisfying meals for less than $10. Drop in, fill up, and leave with the energy you need to make it through the rest of your afternoon.
Real ramen, with freshly-made noodles, crisp veggies, high-quality pork and a rich, flavourful broth bears little nutritional resemblance to the freeze-dried, cardboard packages found in grocery stores. When you’re craving a warm and comforting serving of real ramen, here’s where you'll find it.
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