Whether in their first year, fourth year, or somewhere in between, many students struggle with healthy eating at U of T. The fact that there are so many unhealthy options both on and around campus doesn’t help. Whether you’re a student in residence deciding what to pick up at the buffet or a commuter looking for good food nearby, choosing a good quality, wholesome, and nutritious meal is something that both your body and your brain will thank you for.
Luckily, there are a lot of easy, healthy, and inexpensive food options on campus. A great place for lunch is student volunteer-run Hot Yam!, located in the Cumberland House on St. George Street, which is open from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm every Wednesday. This vegan eatery serves up “mostly local, mostly organic,” all-vegan food. For just $4, students get soup, salad, a main dish, and dessert. The food is always fresh, with the menu changing every week.
If you need your vegetable fix more than once a week, Harvest Noon — a spinoff of Hot Yam! — is another great option. The restaurant occupies the second floor of the Graduate Students’ Union building, and is open all week. It also has slightly longer hours and a wider range of options than its sister-store. Dips, fresh-baked bread, salads, soups, mains, and baked goods are all offered at affordable prices, with the menu changing every week.
Sammy’s Student Exchange, a restaurant located in the basement of Hart House, is another campus restaurant with a focus on healthy alternatives. Although more costly than Hot Yam! and Harvest Noon, Sammy’s has many more options and seating space. The restaurant is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. There are some less nutritious options that you will have to trust yourself not to make when sticking to the healthy-eating diet; skip the sugary drinks in the cooler and go for a healthy and filling salad or main, and try not to grab a cookie while standing in line at the checkout.
Healthy food can be found almost anywhere on the U of T campus — not only in the places mentioned, but also in other restaurants or dining halls. Wherever you choose to go for your meals and snacks, look for options that are unprocessed and high in nutrients so that you can stay healthy and really enjoy your time at U of T.