When you’re having a hectic day on campus, finding time to eat healthy food can often be a struggle, especially if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. Many Queen’s students follow vegetarian and gluten-free diets, so to help you find healthy, affordable (and tasty!) food options, we surveyed some of campus’ most popular food outlets to see what they offer and what items are most popular with students.
If you’re looking for a place to study, have a meeting, listen to music, or catch up with friends, Common Ground is a comfortable space located on the second floor of the ARC. With flexible hours, Common Ground has a welcoming atmosphere, lots of comfy seating, cheery staff, and a mellow playlist. Common Ground is an AMS Service with student management and employees, and a favourite location on campus for many students.
Common Ground offers a variety of snacks, meals, drinks, and desserts, many of which are made in-house or locally. Also, you can opt to eat at a table or couch, or have your food packaged to go. Some of the most popular vegetarian and gluten-free options include:
Summer’s Day Smoothie/GoGo Mango Smoothie/Peachy Queen Smoothie (GF)
Caeser and Spinnach Salad
Also, if you’re looking for a snack or drink on the go, The Brew is a newly renovated coffee shop run by Common Ground on the second floor of the JDUC. Located next to Tricolour Outlet, The Brew offers soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and a variety of hot and cold beverages. There is also a beautiful seating area with lots of natural light behind The Brew, and it’s a great location for quiet studying between classes.
The Tea Room
If you’re looking for a quiet place to study or meet up with a friend for coffee, The Tea Room is a cozy location with a beautiful view of campus. Located in the Integrated Learning Centre (ILC), The Tea Room is a sustainable coffee shop run by the Engineering Society. The Tea Room was the first coffee shop in North America to have zero consumer waste. Packaging, including cups, plates, containers, and utensils, are biodegradable and recyclable, and are made by a company called Green Shift.
The Tea Room offers a variety of healthy food and drink options, including many vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives. Besides the many hot and cold beverage options, there are lots of snack, meal, and dessert options for vegetarians and people who are gluten intolerant. Here is a sampling:
Hummus Spring Mix Wrap & Veggies & Dip (GF)
Fruit Salad (GF) & Quinoa Salad (GF) & Mediterranean Fusili Salad
Rice Krispie (GF) & Yogurt Parfait
The Queen’s Pub
Whether you’re meeting up with friends for a study break, gathering for a celebratory dinner, or hoping to watch the game, Queen’s Pub (QP) offers a warm, cozy atmosphere with many delicious and affordable menu options. The menu includes a selection of foods that cater to the needs of students with dietary restrictions. Try snacking on a Healthy Platter, stacked with cucumbers, carrots, celery, tortilla chips, and three tasty dips! Their nachos (GF) and falafel platter (V) are also great options as well! QP is located in the JDUC near Tricolour Outlet.
When you’re rushing from class to the gym to meetings to the library, eating healthily can be tricky. If you’re in need of a quick snack, or if you need to restock on groceries, drop by Grocery Checkout on the main floor of the ARC. The store is full of healthy options, including a variety of produce, dairy, meat, bread, beverages, and a popular wall of bulk snacks. Grocery Checkout has an assortment of products that cater to the needs of people with allergies and food intolerances, and the store has many vegetarian and gluten-free foods and snack items. They also sell Dempster’s gluten-free bread, Buckwheat snacks (Ginger & Cinnamon and Cocoa & Vanilla flavours) as well as a large variety of nutrition bars too. Here is a sampling of some of the most popular items:
One popular feature of Grocery Checkout is the large bulk section at the back of the store, which has a mixture of healthy snacks and candy. Bulk items include mixed nuts, seeds, yogurt and chocolate-covered snacks, dried fruit, and candy. The bulk section has a Tricolour labeling system with three price points, so customers can create their own custom mixes with same-labeled items. Grocery Checkout’s bulk section is a great way for students to pick up snacks on the go, and the selection ensures that there’s a snack for everyone!
If you’re off campus and looking for healthy vegetarian and gluten-free food options, try Campus One Stop or Tara’s Natural Foods. Campus One Stop, located at 163 ½ Alfred St. at the corner of Alfred and Earl, is a convenience store that offers standard snacks (chips, chocolate, pop, energy drinks, etc.), as well as lots of gourmet, local, and healthy alternatives. Some of the vegetarian and gluten-free options include trail mix, pastas, cake mixes, protein and health bars, fresh fruit, dairy products, and meat. Tara’s Natural Foods, located at 81 Princess St. downtown, offers many free-trade, local, and sustainable foods, many of which cater to vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Products include fruits and vegetables, frozen meals, pasta, baked goods, cereals, and a bulk section with rice, quinoa and other essentials. Both Campus One Stop and Tara’s Natural Foods have friendly, knowledgeable employees who can help you find items that cater to your dietary needs.
While dietary restrictions might limit your food options, fear not! Queen’s campus and the Kingston community is full of food alternatives that can meet any dietary restrictions. If you’re having trouble finding options on a menu or in a store, just ask an employee for assistance. Chances are they’ll be able to recommend some best-sellers that cater to your dietary needs.