Best Student Banking in Vancouver

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Moving to a new country can be difficult. Thankfully if you’re relocating as a student, there are plentiful support networks that can assist you with your transition – if only you knew. Reach out to the university you will be attending to inquire what knowledge resources they have available to help with your move to a new city or country. There are generally several essentials you need to settle upon arriving, one of them includes most critically a student bank account in Vancouver, BC.

We hope to help you by suggesting a few recommended student bank account out of the five major banks in Vancouver. We hope this summary of information will enable you to make your decision better; helping you find an ideal student bank account to support and facilitate your daily banking needs throughout your studies and beyond.

We will be considering (1) Student Banking Plans (2) Student Banking Benefits (3) Student Banking Cost (4) Convenience and accessibility – inclusive of online banking services (5) Service. We will also give attention to future considerations such as room for growth once you’re finish your studies – what are the costs associated to your everyday banking once you’re completed your four (five or sometimes six) years of studies and discounted student banking plans.

The good news is that most major banks (and credit unions in BC) provide free banking services for full time students. Some banks like BMO may require for you to verify your enrollment yearly whereas certain banks like CIBC will allow you to save the inconvenience and hassle of going into your branch to verify in person yearly such as BMO student banking plans (else it will automatically charge you their standard banking fees) and confirm your student enrollment once for the entire period of study for the student banking plans. Certain banking institutions will provide special student banking benefits such as an SPC card (BMO) or free movies (Scotiabank). Certain banks however like CIBC while not providing such added incentives/benefits, offer completely free unlimited student banking (comparative to BMO which charges you on two tiers of student banking in Vancouver. In comparison, CIBC delivers more value long term, saving you $5 monthly….just buy your own SPC card if you want one. It’s only $10. They make money from having the volume of student loyalty leveraged for these businesses not your $10 fee.)

Which student banking plan is best for you comes down ideally towards the customer service, convenience, and quality of banking service when looking at the bigger picture. You don’t need to save the $9.99 you’d spend on a Student Price Card only to fork out an additional $9.99/month for the next tier of banking plan or put up with more inconvenience of an under-developed online banking system. (Some credit unions like Coast Credit Union however still render much of their services manually so I suppose that’s an improvement from that but as you were taught – at least hopefully – never compare with the worse but the best.)

Before this introduction gets on too far, welcome to our student series to help incoming students to post-secondary education with their transition to Vancouver by recommending the ideal (in our opinion) necessary services for them. We hope this will help you to make an informed decision and save time with knowledge gathering and comparing from various banking websites separately. We have tried to maintain as accurate information as to our knowledge added with personal opinion and experience however no warranties can be made on the accuracy of the content.

While this content is intended primarily to help incoming students to Vancouver find the right student banking plan for them…locals would also consider this list to be exhaustive (hopefully) and useful for their own considerations in looking for a Vancouver student banking option. There isn’t much varying consideration in student banking for a local or international student – except international students may find it beneficial to utilize a more globalized bank like HSBC.

Comment bellow which student banking institution you use in Vancouver! (or credit union for your student banking.) …how you like the service afforded.


Here are our recommendations for the Best Student Banking Plans in Vancouver from #1 to #5 (as usual of our list consisting the top 5).

1) CIBC – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce:

Student Banking Plan – FREE Unlimited student banking plan.

+ Unlimited e-transfers

+ Unlimited interac payments

+ Unlimited transactions

+ No fee withdrawals on CIBC ATMs



+ One of the BEST ATM networks in Vancouver (and Canada). Save on ATM fees.  At last count, CIBC has 4100+ ATMs. Especially in Vancouver, you will find a CIBC ATM at just about every corner you may require to withdraw cash. However, in today’s electronic world, most of our transactions are online and digital such as credit cards which leads us to point #2.

(Note that CIBC used to operate PC Financial with President Choice providing ATMs at every Superstore. This however will begin to change with the recent change to PC Financial. CIBC will be moving forward with Simplii – a similar concept to EQ Bank and Tangerine – and the ATMs at Super Stores will no longer be operated by CIBC.)

+ One of the BEST Online Banking platform. CIBC regularly invest into their online banking experience to ensure it’s secure and convenient for their customers. Their online banking platform provides a seamless user experience allowing you to perform payments, instant transfers to your credit card, and check transactions up to six months prior. You can also send secure and private messages online to a customer service representative through your CIBC Online Banking Inbox…another alternative if you have questions or require non-urgent banking service.
(It is worth noting that CIBC also has a solid mobile banking product however I find their mobile apps and mobile website more limited in functionality. You can choose to access the desktop browser version or the mobile browser version when visiting CIBC Online Banking with your phone.)

+ Professional and friendly telephone banking service. If you require to complete activities or inquire with a live service personnel, CIBC has a 24 hours telephone banking call center. They are generally prompt and eager to help (most likely scripted replies I’m sure but it works) with the exception of one individual (base on personal experience). You can generally tell if someone is eager to serve base on their tone of voice. If you get a bad experience, just call back – as with customer service, your experience can vary base on the service personnel.

+ Fast and efficient in-branch banking services. The service in CIBC branches are on the whole, friendly, quick, and professional. I suppose with their emphasis on improving and maintaining their digital banking platform and their widespread ATM/ABM network, there is little need to go in to your local branch for everyday banking or student banking in Canada. As a result, lines in local branches are rare. If you do require to visit your local branch after setting up your account and verifying your documents, you can be assured the service on a whole is friendly and efficient. (If you do require to see a banker, set an appointment online.)

Presuming you are attending UBC, you will find a CIBC branch right at University Village. There are no banks on SFU Burnaby campus except Scotiabank.

Perks – None. While CIBC doesn’t offer any student perks, if you need a quality and functional everyday banking plan without the excess fees, then CIBC Student Banking Plan is the ideal option for you as a Canadian or International student in Canada. (personal opinion) You don’t get the fancy perks like an SPC card or like free movie tickets with your Interac usage (which in my opinion doesn’t really matter anyways – put all your purchases onto your credit card instead of interac, let the merchant pay the fees, and get a 1-2% cashback. Travel rewards are better however as you get experiences over a rebate.) however, you do get a solid banking product and service that’s free for students. They also provide easily accessible student line of credits and student credit cards that provides fair incentive.

This is the ideal option if you’re looking for a bank that will serve you well throughout your student years and beyond. After you graduate your student banking plan, just pay $12.99/month for unlimited transaction banking. It keeps it simple. You also get great service at CIBC.

There is actually a student banking contest going on currently to win four years of tuition ($35,000) for opening a new student bank account in Canada, student credit card in Canada, or student line of credit in Canada. However, let’s face it, odds are not in your favor for this contest.


[Side rant here: Truthfully, the Student Life Contests are just a HUGE scheme to get your personal information and then spam you on their social networks with irrelevant content about why your degree isn’t worth it…

I registered for it in 2012. Please don’t waste your time.

You’ll see loads of badly created social media content with annoying and kiddish click-bait headlines telling you why university is a big scam and you can get your dream job without a degree. They probably think this would resonate with the youths and students – yourself, but if you’re spending four years of your life at college or university, I don’t think you need to be told why its a waste.

Honestly, university matters. Value it. Don’t be delusional, in today’s society a degree is still the pre-requisite to many jobs.

More than that, your fours years of university is worth while and for the most part will be a significant portion of your life. It is what you make it to be.

(1) Take the time to seek out experiences. Endeavor to go on an exchange program with Go Global. Find your interest and passions with various student clubs and residence communities.

(2) It’s about people. Use the opportunity to surround yourself with like minded individuals. People who will stir you on, motivate you, and hold you up if needed.

An observation, the people at various colleges/universities differ – you will be surprise, how distinct it is. In Singapore, comparing the drive and ambition of people attending NUS, SMU, or a Polytechnics (community college) varies significantly – both in habits, eagerness to learn, and human interactions.

University is an excellent opportunity to network and surround yourself with like minded individuals to grow and be a better you. People with ambition and drive but never look down on anyone and always be kind. (Time and chance happen to all.)

(3) Training grounds. University is a great opportunity to stress test your load and learn how to manage your time, responsibilities, and social life. (The worse you could do in university is fail.) The knowledge you learn will be basis for learning skills that you can apply in the real world. Much of your practice and habits in society will be built while you’re completing tertiary education.

(4) Pursue your passion. University is a great time to find what you love to do and do it. Try your entrepreneurial endeavors. Try making something from your hobbies.

University is an excellent opportunity to pedal the wheel while you do what you really love and see if you can kick-start a life long pursuit in that field.

University is a safe space to fail like no other. Especially so when your responsibilities and obligations are low and your energy high in your youths. Unless you’re looking to pursue a masters degree or doctorate degree, stress less about your grades and spend time rather pursuing your passions.

Your four years at university allows you to take risks and try with a back-up plan and an incredible amount of support (society generally regard students well with their future spending power, financing available, alumnis, and professors in your field of interest.)

(5) At the very lest, university is a great time to get cheap subsidized accommodation in Vancouver (which is awfully rare in Vancouver), a network of adults eager to help you and connect you – your professors, an opportunity to find ambitious young adults to network, connect, and keep in contact for life – you never know where they may go or who you may need in your team in the future…now is a great time to gauge out individual personalities.

University in a sense is a safe space to try and fail, to learn and grow. One important thing to learn early on is the importance of human capital, university is an opportunity for you to find and bank that human capital (by making friends carefully). Here’s an example, Singapore is a nation that was built on the believe in human capital – with no natural resources, they pushed their efforts on efficiency and on education for the youths. They took a no-nonsense approach to ensure investors had confidence in the society. They are doing pretty well moving from being a third world to a first world country within one generation…  not without it’s toils and tribulations of pioneers.

University provides you an ideal environment to do what you love to do without the judgement of society and peers. Without the stress and pressures if you entered immediately into the working world. Whether you like it or not, our emotional well being and our opinion in society affects us and our pursuits larger than you know. Your college years, for many, will be your opportunity to do what you love without these stresses. – for the most part most people are doing stupid things during college anyways. So while people are spending their weekends at frat parties getting dead drunk, while people are chasing girls or guys, while people are binge watching GOT in your dorms. Spend your time honing your personal hobbies and seeing if you can make something of what you love to do. If you don’t know what you love to do, congrats, get out and try out the numerous topic orientated clubs in your college as an opportunity to meet people and find what you love to do.

So in conclusion, your university degree matters. It’s the people and experiences that you will gain.]


Cons – There aren’t many cons to be considered.

– Fewer branches than RBC, Scotiabank, and TD. But then again, how often do you need to visit a branch when you can do everything online?

– No student perks. Flashy bells and whistles in our humble opinion. What you need is reliable, friendly, and cheap student banking solution for your four years (or more) of your student life. (the best vacation you have in life.)

Opinion: Whether you’re a student or working adult, CIBC, in our opinion is the ideal everyday banking option. Their student banking plans for Canada can’t get any better…it’s free. There aren’t as many student perks but you have a solid banking product that you can continue to use even after your studies (for a reasonable service fee.) You get professional and convenient banking services which will save you more money than any student banking perks considering the opportunity cost of your time and sanity.

I would have no hesitation recommend CIBC if you’re looking to open a student bank account in Canada. I’ve been banking with CIBC for several years and have always found their banking services consistent, quick, and friendly. They provide excellent plans both for student banking and everyday banking; making it convenient to maintain your account even after you finish your studies (without having to exorbitant fees for daily banking) I am impressed with their level of service (generally), their advance and easy to use online banking solution, and convenience. It certainly beats using a credit union with slower processing times and more archaic technology. (The main draw to using a local credit union is precisely about your community and its members however. If you’re looking for functional and convenient banking, choose CIBC.) Taking a look at their credit card products, they also seem to offer some excellent incentives for student credit cards ranging from cashback to travel rewards with Aeroplan points or CIBC’s own Aventura. The Aventura seems like the best offer at this time with a 2500 points for opening a no-fee account and what appears to be 1 point per $2 spent.

You can inquire about a student bank account here or apply for a student credit card here. To open a bank account, you would have to visit your nearest branch to verify documentation. Opening a bank requires you to bring a government issued photo ID And another identification such as your BC Card.


2) Scotiabank

Student Banking Plan – Student banking plan with unlimited transactions. It’s Free! …and get free movies too using Interac. This bank really like students and a significant proportion of the clients are students. You can expect excellent service from CIBC.


+ Unlimited



Opinion: We like the service and options provided by Scotiabank student banking plan. You have unlimited transactions with a free student banking account (rack up those Interac transactions) and gain scene points (get free movies at Cineplex) even with your debit purchases. (Which barely any bank offers incentives for Interac purchases. That would be counter intuitive to leveraging your deposits.) They also offer a very attractive everyday banking plan known was the Scotiabank Momentum Account. It provides you unlimited transactions for $15.99 (similar pricing to CIBC Smart Banking plan at $14.99.). The Scotiabank Mometum Account also provides some incredibly attractive benefits and bonuses such as a Global ATM Network, 1% rebate on all interac transactions and two free non-Scotiabank withdrawal.  Click here to register for a free student banking account with Scotiabank.

Scotiabank is also the ONLY bank we know that offers rebates on debit/interac transactions. With their Momentum banking plan, you can get 1% rebate for all Interac transactions in-store up to $300 yearly.

Scotiabank is also one of the few Canadian bank that is part of a Global ATM Alliance. You do not pay access fees on your withdrawals in overseas countries by using ATMs that are part of this Global ATM Alliance. For example in United States, you can use Bank of America ATMs with your Scotiabank debit card without paying access fees. (I remember spending $5 USD for each withdrawal at Wells Fargo in Los Angeles and $3 USD at Bank of America ATMs with my CIBC debit card….in addition to the CIBC’s non-CIBC atm withdrawal fee of $3 plus 2.5% administrative fee…that works out about $10 CAD per withdrawal; that is equivalent to a Kurobuta Terimayo at Japadog. Had to fit Japadog in there some how….by the way, you can use Interac at Japadog too!)

Scotiabank also provides 2 free Non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawals per month. This saves you paying $2 per withdrawal.


3) Royal Bank of Canada

Student Banking Plan






4) Bank of Montreal –

5) TD –


+ HSBC: HSBC may be a useful consideration for international students as they have a few branches in Vancouver and BC at large. Many may already have a HSBC account from their country of origin. There aren’t many HSBC branches in Vancouver or BC relatively to Asia however it is a worth while consideration for international students who are looking to bank with a bank that has an established presence in their country of origin which may make it easier for transitions back home.

+ Vancity Credit Union: I would not recommend a credit union for an international student because credit unions tend to have less developed technologies and accessibility that bigger commercial banks already utilize. This may make it harder for you to complete your banking activities however a credit union is member owned. A credit union often works to contribute back to the community it operates within. This is a note-worthy cause. The Vancity Credit Union is often involved in community causes and provides funding for local businesses that work to serve you (so do the other banks) but Vancity Credit Union does so with more consideration on community benefit than most commercial for-profit and publicly owned banks.


These are only five banks we’ve recommended for their student banking plans out of many banks and credit unions that operate in BC. For a full list of banks and credit unions in Canada out of curiosity, you can check out the respective links above.


Student banking and Free Money?

There are several offers currently running that gives you cash incentives for opening a bank account. It is definitely worth considering. Here is a list of all such offers that apply to Canadian banking plans that we could find. Take your pick!

These offers require you to open a bank account and set a direct deposit (or sometimes just deposit $50 like Tangerine) to get a bonus. Each bank has a different offer and some provide you more cash incentives for further actions!


Coquitlam Hotels: Best Hotels in Coquitlam

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Hi Vancouver!

We’ve taken a look at some of the best hotels in Coquitlam, BC and here are our recommendations for the best hotels in Coquitlam. Whether you’re looking to visit family in the tri-cities, if you’re in town on leisure, or if you’re in town for business, these are tried and tested accommodation for your stay in Coquitlam.

We’ve taken the effort to visiting and trying quite a few of our recommendations first hand so these are not blind recommendations. I have found often that reading reviews on Trip Advisors requires a

Best Hotels in Coquitlam: These are hotels located within Coquitlam. There aren’t currently any hotels by Coquitlam Center unfortunately.

1) Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel: If you need to be in Coquitlam, BC then the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is where you want to book out of all options currently available as far as Coquitlam hotels are concerned.

Pros –

+ Great service: The front desk customer service is phenomenal; they are generally friendly, professional, and prompt. They are compassionate and preemptively considering customers’ needs and wants.

+ Convenient location: Especially with the skytrain station bringing you to Coquitlam in 15 minutes or downtown in 25 minutes.

The Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is just a 5 minute walk from Lougheed Skytrain Station providing access both to the Expo and Millennium lines connecting to Canada Line towards Richmond and YVR airport at Waterfront Station.

This means, you have access across the metro Vancouver from a clean and comfortable based in the beautiful city of Coquitlam, BC. You can also get to the airport effortlessly within 60 minutes by transit.


– Old property: some rooms require some maintenance

– Housekeeping can be inconsistent: Rooms are generally clean but you may notice the occasional need for extra attention. (The first time I stayed at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel, I’m certain the bed sheets wasn’t changed but that was dutifully addressed.)

Property Class – 3 Stars

Price Range

– Average $120+ per night for Double bed Room (on Expedia)

– Average $134+ per night for King Room (on Expedia)

– Average $158+ per night for One Bedroom queen Suite (on Expedia). Their one bedroom queen suite isn’t much larger than their King Room. The key difference being a dividing door between the bedroom and the lounge area.

(These prices are observed prices during the low season. Peak season pricing would generally add a significant premium around 50-200% higher.)

Trip Advisor:


Extra Notes about Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel – I have stayed three times at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel and the experiences keeps getting better. While the property could use some touching up, they emphasize specially on the service and improving the guest experience. If you’re looking for a hotel to book in Coquitlam, the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is a safe choice.

2) Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convenition Centre:



Property Class:

Price Range:


Trip Advisor:


Extra – Inn at the Quay:



Property Class:

Price Range:


Trip Advisor:


There are only two reliable hotels in Coquitlam. There are a total of five legitimate hotels in Coquitlam (along with numerous AirBnb.) These three hotels however are not recommended; the quality and your experience in Coquitlam would not be pleasant. These Coquitlam Hotels should be avoided as hygiene and room cleanliness is a concern.

3) Best Western Chelsea Inn:

4) Ramada Coquitlam:

5) Coquitlam Sleepy Lodge:


If the first two Coquitlam hotels are not available, it would be recommendable to look at the alternatives in regions surrounding Coquitlam like New Westminster or Burnaby.


More Hotels near Coquitlam: Coquitlam neighbors a few other cities that have more varied options for accommodations. It is recommendable that you also consider a few of these other options.





Best Student Phone Plan in Vancouver

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If you’re arriving in Vancouver for your studies this year or if you’re looking for a competitive student phone plan to switch towards, we hope this resource will help you!

=> We have taken careful consideration to finding the best student phone plan in Vancouver, and Canada at large. You won’t go wrong with these choices for student phone plans in Canada.

There are generally few options available for cellular service providers in Vancouver or Canada for that matter, relative to other countries like Britian. A few years ago, the government of Canada, tried to increase competition by encouraging budget carriers to enter the market with their spectrum auction. (Articles for your reading pleasure 1 – as of 2015, new wireless service providers in Canada control 25% of the wireless spectrum relative to 98% by the big 3 telcom providers back in 2006. This was an intentional move by the conservative government to introduce competition with cellular service providers and hence reduce prices for consumers. It has worked; introducing new national and regional players and forcing Bell, Rogers, and Telus to reduce their cellphone plan prices. The process have significantly reduced the prices for student cellphone plans in Vancouver and Canada. 2, 3 – The Liberal government is planning to follow suite and reserve 40% of the new spectrum auction for smaller cellular providers such as Freedom Mobile and Videotron/Quebecor. This all makes to say that Freedom Mobile can be a very probable contender for student phone plans in Vancouver where competitive pricing is concerned. ) Understandably the major cellphone service providers still provide better coverage and full services. At least, you have lower cost cellphone plans and budget student cellphone plans options available to you!

This worked reasonably well in improving customer service, network performance, and reducing costs for consumers however Canada is still noted as one of the most expensive cellular service plans. The bigger firms also begun to purchase these smaller organizations. The government then proceeded to legislate some laws that helped consumers in this space such as maxing contract terms from three years to two years. (so cellular companies can’t sign you on for three year plan with the incentive for a phone and then get you stuck on an excessive plan cost for three years.) These all have helped with the pricing of student cellphone plans in Canada and Vancouver however it still helps for you to know which cellphone companies excel in customer service, which cellphone companies provide the best value for their plans, and what are the perks or clawbacks of going with one network over another such as Freedom Mobile compared with Rogers?

So in the next few paragraph, we’ll be sharing our honest, non-sponsored, and genuine recommendation for the best student phone plan in Vancouver or Canada. We hope it helps you make a decision easier.


Complete Food/Restaurant Guide – UBC Area

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Welcome to UBC – A Place of Mind.

Right now, we’re going to put your mind on food which is critically important for you to be mindful. 😉

If you’re coming to UBC for your post-secondary education, you will appreciate this detailed and complete food guide for various food choices you have at UBC. Scroll to the bottom for quick picks and cheap eats at UBC. This page will save you money and save you wasted calories trying low-quality food…there are plenty on campus. There are also plenty of good food on campus. So take the highway and avoid the pitfalls with restaurants at UBC by reading this complete UBC foods guide.


Don’t Forget about freshman 15:

Many think that Freshman 15 is just a myth. As a university freshman 5 years ago, you can bet there’s plenty of truth to it. Perhaps, the distance from family, the stress of moving, the busyness of studying/cramming for exams/essays is compensated by the comfort and familiarity of food. Perhaps, the lack of time and lack of time management (personally for me at least.) results in eating high calorie but nutritionally low foods. (which also happens to often be the default foods we eat when stress – potato chips, chocolates, ramen noodles?.) Perhaps, the convenience of food on campus and your meal plan dollars results in consistent and frequent eating. (You will be happy to know Totem Park Magdas has a burger ordering open till around 1 AM. Domino’s Pizza regularly delivers till 3 AM. A&W + Macdonalds at the village is 24/7.)

Whatever the cause, you can be assured without proper intention, you will be putting on weight in you freshman year. Make an intentional effort to eat healthy, exercise, and be mindful of how you are fueling your body for success.

Of course everyone is different, deals with stress/emotions differently, and metabolizes calories differently. (jealous of those who can eat whatever they want and not seem to put on weight?)

Enjoy the delicious UBC food bellow!


Food at UBC:

There are plenty of food choices at UBC. You have eateries all across campus. A large amount of these eateries are owned and operated either by your student society (AMS) or UBC Food Services. There are also many private businesses congregating along the Nest, UBC Village, and Wesbrook.

The list will be categorized by location for convenient sorting rather than by cuisine. Information provided includes (1) Price (2) Rating (3) Comments + Must-try/Avoid.

We are going to categorize an entire list of every possible food spot you can find at UBC campus. We will also share some notable eateries in neighboring communities to UBC such as Point Grey, Sasamat, and Kerrisdale.

Lastly, find our quick pick recommendations at the bottom of the list along with some tips for freshman looking to cook in their dorms 😉 (I was one of the three Asians in Shuswap who cooked in their dorm. It was more so a stress reliever, social activity, and healthy nutrition than it was money saving. I got bored of the assembly line food at the student resident and wanted a difference… home-cook taste. Also had fond memories of meeting with a group of Singaporeans at UBC and cooking Chinese New Year dinner at someone’s home in Marpole. Simple food but a refreshment from mass-prepared store bought foods.)


On UBC Campus: You’re not short on options at UBC campus for foods. You have everything from sushi to pizza. Most food places in the center of campus where the faculty buildings, research labs, and libraries are located, are operated by UBC Foods Services. There is quite a variety of foods but some similarities too. We will group these into “central campus”. The NEST and newly opened Central (besides the bus loop) also feature plenty of food options.

There are a few UBC eateries on the outskirts of the campus, North and South such as Bean Around the World or The Great Dame Cafe. These are privately operated coffee shops located around the residential portions of UBC; we will list these under “Around UBC”.

Finally, the other two spots you will find the most food choices are University Village and Wesbrook Village. Notably, the Save on Foods you will frequent often is at Wesbrook village which is about 20 minutes walk from the Nest or a 5 minute bus ride. There is a nearer, Shoppers Drug Mart where you can buy hygiene products, drugs and vitamins, and quite a food products (no produce) by the dentistry building which is no more than 5 minutes from the Nest. At the University Village, is also Granville Island Market (doesn’t actually have anything to do with Granville Island) that sells produce and essentials.

We will use the Nest as a reference point of distance to any eateries mentioned as that’s most central to the new bus loop (hopefully skytain extension to UBC will be coming) and a popular gathering point for students.


Unfortunately, with the departure of the SUB (replaced by the NEST), some popular and favourite dining choices have been demolish along with the old Student Union Buiding. This included the Korean food store in the basement of the SUB along with the popular Fridays, 50% off deal at the Delly.

The sad and notable part of UBC foods is that the cheapest and most consistent food comes usually from franchises operated by UBC foods. Something has to be done about residents’ dining hall that charges restaurant prices for cafeteria foods. Indeed, it’s great sometimes – the food is good occasionally however drastically over priced when you factor in the maintenance cost within you resident dining plans (as I remembered paying $4 for a slice of cake, $2 for bottled drinks, $2 for milk, about $5 for protein – chicken breast or small slice of fish added with $2-$3 for carbs works each meal easily to $10-$12.) They also do not provide you a receipt unless requested (unless this has changed since) which often you find the occasional mistaken charge. It also does not allow you to properly identify how you’re spending your meal dollars to make for better spending choices/budgeting. I think you should always request a receipt; even if it may take a little extra time. It is good to make a habit of understanding and associating your costs to your goods/purchases. It’s a life skill and I am of the opinion – more than what you learn in university with concepts/theory – is the network, friendships, and life skills you’ve built. With the advancement of technology, the rapid changes in society, many things you learn may not be relevant 10 or 20 years down the road but the life skills you learn are important. To learn how to manage your time. To learn how to deal with extra pressure. To learn how to take things lightly and in perspective – learn to relax and do your best.  So with this said, I think resident dining hall should always offer the receipt rather than only providing the receipt upon request (with a grudging response) because students and society need to always associate the cost to the value. Many in society today are delusional because they know their wants but don’t recognize the costs that has been associate to their wants and pursuits. The freedom we have at the cost of those who have fought for our freedom; the brave man and women who served in the armed forces (instead today, many look at them with disdain). The opportunity for us to study because our parents believed in the power/value of education and were willing to make sacrifices and planning to ensure that we could gain an education because they believed it was the right path for us. The opportunity to live in a civilized and operational society with modern comforts because of those who have gave their life publicly to navigate policies with vision. When we learn to realize the costs to everything, we become a more grateful society and more effective in our pursuits. We also learn to appreciate those who have gone before us to pave the way, to repay their kindness and repay it on wards rather than complaining and being self absorbed in our world or in our own pleasures. Look outwards, not inwards. Your fulfillment in life will come from serving others. However, you also need a realistic and pragmatic approach to know you need to first improve and care for yourself. (It’s the age old example of, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the cabin…secure your mouth first before helping others.”)

That was a bit of a discourse but I think our society today has become so self absorb. We don’t appreciate but are quick to judge public servants. We often take a militant approach to any discontentment. Let’s be a more generous and gracious society.


NEST: Located within the NEST are plenty of options for dining on campus from sit-in to fast casual dining options for take out. Most of the Food and Beverage options at the NEST is operated by AMS (UBC’s Student Society) which means the profits are used to fund AMS programs for students (like yourself probably.)



Flip Side: Serving hand-made hamburgers (often slow service) in the lower concourse of the NEST. Find deserts, salads, fish n chips, and fried chicken too!

Price: $ => $4.50 for a cheeseburger

Rating: 3/5 => Average food quality but great prices.

Comments: Flipside UBC is a good place to grab a bite if you’re craving burgers at UBC. You can’t really beat the price on these UBC burgers and they sure stand miles above residence food prices. (If it’s Tuesday however, Triple-O’s features a Tuesday special $3.69 for their original burger.)

A full Flipside burger menu and menu options is available here.

Address: Lower floor of NEST.


Grand Noodle Emporium: Replaces Moon Chinese food in the SUB. The Grand Noodle Emporium serves Pan Asian Cuisine which includes classic Chinese take-out, noodles including ramen, Southeast Asian food, and Thai food (Pad Thai + Thai Curry).

Price: $ => $9 for BBQ Pork Fried Rice

Rating: 2/5 => Your experience depends on the day you go.

Comments: Your average prices for ramen and Chinese take-out. I am a little skeptical about the wide range of menu offered (from Thai food to Japanese to Chinese). While variety is good, it likely means quality and freshness can suffer when all these added menu options and responsibilities add up. Reviews reflect that certainly. Take a risk if you want to but there are likely better dining options on UBC campus.

A full Grand Noodle Emporium menu can be found here for your reading pleasure and finding food at UBC.

Address: Lower concourse of the NEST, just opposite Flip Side


Palate: Healthy and seasonal food with vegan options. Mostly sandwiches and paninis.  Great gluten free brownies and often no line ups.

Price: $



A full Palate UBC food menu can be found here subject to seasonal updates.



Honour Roll: Yes the Canadian spelling of Honour serving sushi. Some students really love their sushi and have it everyday of the week! Actually pretty ok take-out option at UBC foods in the NEST. It’s surprisingly consistent as well (compared to Grand Noodle Emporium at least) although even better in the SUB. (That chicken Teriyaki was actually really good UBC food especially their one for one offer towards closing hours. Delicious and quick too.)






Pie R 2: They serve delicious pizza with a variety of unique choices like cheeseburger or buffalo chicken and the classics like pepperoni, Hawaiian, and cheese.

Ph Tea:


Gallery 2.0:

Check Out Grocery Store:


Bus Loop – Central:



Central Campus: Here entails all the faculty building dining spots including two student residents dining halls/cafe, one Starbucks franchises, and two Tim Horton franchises.



University Village: Officially known as University Marketplace, University Village is just a 5 minutes walk from The NEST and right besides Regent College. The village as it’s also otherwise known consists of private rental apartments, a basement food court, and retail shops ranging from dry cleaning to printing services; but what we’re really interested in is the food! There’s plenty of UBC Village food choices here.



Bubble Waffle Cafe: A Taiwanese restaurant on UBC at University Village. Food prices are very reasonable and especially their combos.





Click here for a map of Bubble Waffle Cafe, University Village restaurant.

Click here for pictures of Bubble Waffle Cafe that is available here.

Click here for a Bubble Waffle Cafe menu that is available here.


One More Sushi:





Click here for a map of Bubble Waffle Cafe, University Village restaurant. Pictures of Bubble Waffle Cafe is available here. A menu is available here.

Visit Bubble Waffle Cafe on Yelp or Zomato for more feedback!


Suga Sushi:



Comments: Generally avoid Suga Sushi if you’re looking for good UBC sushi. The prices are comparable to sushi places on and off campus but the quality, freshness, and taste is far bellow standards. The Korean food is supposedly good but generally you will find better food on campus elsewhere. It is one of the few Korean restaurants at UBC.






Comments: Mcdonald’s great marketing means that many young adults and adolescent remember Mcdonald’s fondly as a comfort food of choice. While yet rather unhealthy, flocks of UBC students can be found waiting in lines throughout the day waiting for the Big Mac or ice cream cones on a hot day and the occasional happy meal (for the memories) Actually, McDonald’s is quite the marketing genius


Omio Japan:



Comments: Omio Japan is by no means great sushi according to Vancouver standards. (We have over 600 sushi restaurants! You got to be good to survive.) However, if you’re looking for reasonable standards for sushi on campus served with exceptionally friendly service, then Omio Japan is where you should visit for your sushi fix. If you’re willing to trek a little off campus, then perhaps going to Ajisai Sushi or Hitoe Sushi would be a better choice.


Around UBC:



Wesbrook Village:



Near UBC Campus:




Quick Pick and Cheap Eats at UBC:

Best food at UBC:


Best Pizza at UBC:


Best Sushi at UBC:


Cheap and good food at UBC:


Deals and Steals at UBC:


Grocery/Produce Stores at UBC:

– Check Out Grocery Store:

– Shoppers Drugs Mart:

– Granville Island Produce

– Save on Foods:

– Safeway (Off-Campus):


UBC Food open Late:

– PitaPit: