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8 Super Sweet Date Ideas Near McGill's Downtown Campus

There must be somewhere to go besides Tim Horton's...

Staff Writer
Drinks at Café St. Barth. Right, a server pours wine at Pullman Wine Bar.

Drinks at Café St. Barth. Right, a server pours wine at Pullman Wine Bar.

It may be easy to remain trapped within the walls of McGill University's campus, working away in the libraries or playing spikeball on the grassy field (before it snows over). Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all — but not too far. If you're looking for a quick date between lectures or for an early night out, these sweet and simple date spots near campus are for you.

From chill and breezy café vibes to dark and sexy cocktail ambience, Montreal's centre-ville has a little bit of everything for you and your beau.

CHAI Tea Lounge

Price: $5 to $7 for tea

Address: 3506, ave du Parc, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: Tea, bubble tea, cupcakes, pastries, study space and comfy couches — what more could you want? This café is a very low-key place for a first date. It's simple, cute and approachable, with enough variety for you both to get whatever you like. There are often quiet people studying in this one, so if you're looking for romantic privacy, this might not be the one for you. But for a friendly, low-stakes and tasty date, it's a great choice.

Website

Café St. Barth

Price: $14 to $18 for breakfast

Address: 3500, ave du Parc, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: Located right next door to CHAI tea lounge, this slightly more elevated café offers breakfast and lunch plates as well as coffees and teas. Also a popular study spot, the smaller tables make it somewhat less comfortable to spread out and do your work. It's a nice, sunny space perfect for getting lost in each other's conversations. For a light, tasty and intimate date, you can't go wrong here.

Website

Café Santropol

Price: Around $13 for a (very nice) sandwich

Address: 3990, rue Saint-Urbain, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: The best time to enjoy this cozy, comforting café is now, before the winter closes their delightful green space out back, where you and your date can discuss the merits of Santropol's unique sandwiches. A beautiful place to be regardless of how well the date goes, this is also a good study spot (but only in the reserved areas) and coworking space.

Website

Lola Rosa (Milton)

Price: $15 to $17 for an entrée

Address: 545 rue Milton, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: This mostly vegan restaurant is beloved by the McGill community, so if you haven't considered it yet, maybe make some more Montreal-savvy friends. Make a reservation and enjoy their veggie-centric meals and shareable appetizers. Located right in the student neighbourhood that surrounds McGill, this restaurant is as easy to get to as it is to enjoy. You can even write a little note to mark your first date, and place it in the drawers stuffed with notes (it'll make sense once you're there).

Website

Else's

Price: ~$14 for a meal, slightly less for cocktails

Address: 156, rue Roy E, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: This beloved local restaurant serves food and often discounted alcohol — keep an eye on their happy hours and make the most of that student cash. The vibes here are more casual and friendly, putting a little less pressure on that first time meeting someone. If you want a nice drink and a good meal without straying too far from the music library, this is a good place to be.

Website

Pullman Wine Bar

Price: $10 to $20 per glass

Address: 3424, ave du Parc, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: This classy wine bar on ave du Parc is quite elegant and upscale, but retains a hipstery edge. Serving small plates and wine by the glass or the bottle, this is a place to go to impress your date without straying too far from the campus you may call home. Bring someone here to show your fancy side with a cozy interior that will encourage good conversation!

Website

The Cloakroom

Price: ~$17 on average per cocktail (pricier than average, prepare accordingly)

Address: 2175, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: This is for when you're pulling out all the stops. The drinks aren't cheap and you'll need to pick your day and time wisely — the interior is pretty small. But the Cloakroom's intimate speakeasy experience is worth the effort, especially with the bar's menuless, vibes-based approach. Just tell them the type of drink you're in the mood for, and they'll whip up a delicious cocktail according to your tastes. Student budgets may tend to be small, but sometimes, the date is worth the splurge.

Website

Le Darling

Price: $5 to $10 for a beer, $12 to $14 for a cocktail

Address: 4328, blvd St Laurent, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: This beautifully decorated bar tends towards chatty, friendly energy, perfect for that awkward getting-to-know-you vibe of a first date. Le Darling offers lunch and dinner, so don't worry about going hungry. It's a bit farther from campus than the other options on this list, but that doesn't put a damper on the ambiance (and the reasonably priced beverages).

Website

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