Link Picks: Groceries
Whether you’re a first-year student living in residence, surviving off of mysterious Chartwells meals, or you’re left to your own devices food-wise, knowing the good grocery spots around town will come in handy. Here’s a summary of some of the places that keep their prices low without sacrificing quality.
Marché Pap Pap (1025 St. Laurent Blvd.): It’s cash-only, but this tiny Chinatown market has some of the cheapest fruits and vegetables in town. If you’re into packs of strawberries for $1.50 and bags of bok choy the size of a six-year-old for under $5.00, this is the place to go.
Supermarché PA (1420 du Fort St. / 5029 Parc Ave.): PA is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to do all of your groceries for $30 and under. With several locations, including one just around the corner from Grey Nuns and another in the Mile End, PA has just about everything you’ll need to supplement crappy cafeteria food. Be sure to stay wary of your surroundings when inside, however—corners are tight and you don’t want to play bumper carts with every other shopper.
Segal’s Market (4001 St. Laurent Blvd.): Segal’s is a pretty stressful place, only because all sense of organization has gone out the window there. That said, it’s one of those rare gems where the organic stuff is the same price—and sometimes cheaper—than the regular stuff. Avoid it at all costs during peak times (like 6:00-8:00 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday afternoons) because the aisles are impossible to navigate when there are more than a few people in them. It’s like a Segway race from hell.
Provigo (6485 Sherbrooke St. W. / 1953 Ste. Catherine St. W.): If you live in Hingston Hall or the Jesuit Residence, Provigo is one of your only options grocery-wise. Shop wisely because things can get pretty pricey, and take advantage of their student discounts when possible. When parents and relatives drop by, this is the place to go when groceries are on their tab. You will save on butter, though.
Esposito Food Market (5737 Sherbrooke St. W.): It might not be the most convenient for those of you at Loyola, but this N.D.G. supermarket is stocked with some of the cheapest essentials around. A quick jaunt on the 105 bus drops you right at the front door, where affordable fruits and veggies are just seconds away.
Atwater Market (138 Atwater Ave.): Located just out of reach if you’re walking from the downtown campus, this market is a great place to peruse if you find yourself in Saint-Henri. You’ll find it’s a much more pleasant shopping experience than other cramped grocery stores. Being able to stroll and check out fresh fruits, veggies, cheese, pastries and more in the great outdoors never felt so good.
Jean-Talon Market (7070 Henri Julien Ave.): Based in Little Italy, this is another excellent open-air market to aimlessly wander. The higher quality local goods may fetch higher prices, but you can’t complain when the market is so friendly. If you’re light on cash, you can easily feast on all the free samples, and with just a few minutes’ walk to Parc Jarry, baby, you got a picnic goin’!
Marché Almizan (1695 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.): Right at the corner of de Maisonneuve Blvd. and St. Mathieu St., this spot is prime real estate for students downtown. A small store with fresh fruits out front and halal meat inside, it’s an ideal place to drop by after class to pick up some essentials.
Beau-Soir (2030 St. Mathieu St. / 3457 Côte-des-Neiges Rd.): Although this is actually a depanneur, it had to be included simply for its beer supply. The big walk-in freezer gives you the selection of a big-name grocery or SAQ, but the wholesale price of a dep. With two locations downtown, it’s the go-to place for a beer connoisseur on a budget.