Down time, Food, General, Places

The Wonderful World of Student Run Cafés

With the new semester, I’ve found myself with a schedule that leaves me with a lot of time to kill on campus between classes. Though school may have only just started, I’ve already grown tired of frequenting the same Starbucks every day, and my wallet is really feeling the pinch. This week I decided to kill two birds with one stone: explore as many student run cafés and restaurants as I could in order to find a place that I wouldn’t mind spending time in, and that wouldn’t hurt my wallet.

Diabolos Coffee Bara sign reading "diabolos" with an illustration of a coffee cherry

After a hiatus last year, UC’s 50 year old student run cafe is back and better than ever. Diabolos’ space in UC’s Junior Common Room was recently renovated into a bright and airy one, dotted with ivy and tiny succulents. Diabolos specializes in espresso based drinks (all of which can be found under $3!), but also offers delicious locally baked cookies, kombucha, as well as vegetarian wraps and sandwiches.

photo of hanging plants above the counter

photo of dozens of bottles of kombucha

Where to find it:  Inside the Junior Common Room in University College

Hours: Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Favourite Order: Cappuccino (and a soft ginger cookie)

photo of diabolos' menu board, including: tea, coffee, espresso, cortado, cappuccino, latte, tea latte, hot chocolate, and nutella hot chocolate close up photo of mugs

Harvest Noon Café Co-Op 

photo of a sign reading "G.S.U. Pub & harvest noon cafe"

Harvest Noon is a student-run co-op café and restaurant. Their food is freshly prepared in house, locally sourced, and veggie/vegan friendly. Their space at the top of the Graduate Students Union Building is probably the most relaxing place I’ve been on campus. Giant windows fill the space with natural light and there are plenty of cozy bench seats. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. everyday, but make sure to arrive early! They sell out fast.

a map of ontario with labels drawn to different cities explaining where different items of food come from

Harvest Noon locally sources most of their ingredients, and to prove it they have a mural painted on one wall highlighting where in Ontario each ingredient comes from!

DSC08443

close up shot of a dill pickle cupcake

I decided to try something new and bought a dill pickle cupcake, it was surprisingly delicious!

 

Where to find it: Top floor of the Graduate Students’ Union

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Favourite Order: Make sure to try their freshly baked bread.

sillohuette of a person looking out the main window of harvest noon, with letters in each window reading "coffee"

Caffiends

photo of the counter at caffiends

Caffiends is an entirely volunteer run cafe housed in Old Vic, offering ridiculously cheap espresso based drinks, baked goods and $1 coffee! Their space is definitely a social one, but still quiet enough to grab a chair and study.

photo of someone making a latte photo of the caffiends counter

Where to find it: Inside of Old Vic (which is in the centre of Victoria College)

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Favourite Order: Lychee and peach black tea latte

photo of customers in cafe

What’s your favourite student run place on campus? Let me know in the comments.