Tag Archives: Concordia

Mesa 14

As mentioned in my (unfortunately negative) review of Burritoville, I prefer Mesa 14 when it comes to getting my Mexican food fix in the Concordia area. I figured this would be a good time to explain why.

Mesa 14's first-floor dining/lounge area

Mesa 14's first-floor dining/lounge area

Mesa 14 used to be called Mexicali Rosa’s (part of a Toronto-based chain of restaurants), but in 2003 it changed over to the independently owned Mesa 14. The menu seems, to me, to be very similar to the old Mexicali Rosa’s menu, though the Mesa 14 website says that they are committed to using the finest fresh ingredients and making their own salsas and sauces everyday. Indeed, their complimentary bowl of chips and salsa is quite delicious, with a lot of cilantro.

As I’m usually at Mesa 14 for lunch, it’s important to note that they offer a lunch menu that’s slightly cheaper than their evening menu, with about six of the options found on the regular menu. My favourite is the Bandera Mexicana, which features two enchiladas (one cheese, one chicken) with one side smothered in red sauce, the other in green and a stripe of sour cream down the middle. All of their dishes come with generous portions of Mexican rice and black refried beans (yum!), so they’re quite filling. My second favourite is the Burrito Barrio, which comes with different fillings to suit most tastebuds, including chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, pulled pork, shrimp or a vegetarian chili.

With two levels of dining and lounging areas, Mesa 14 also boasts a great space to relax, enjoy your food or drinks, and stay for as long as you like. I tend to end up here at least once a week, and the staff are always super welcoming and know the order for both my companion and I off by heart. It’s this kind of touch that endears the place to me, and the food is delicious, so obviously I keep coming back for more!

Mesa 14 may not be the cheapest eats in town, but their meals are always delicious and hearty, and the staff is very friendly. If you’re craving Mexican, this is the place to be, as they definitely won’t serve you leftovers the way they do at 3 Amigos (what do you think those 49-cent tacos are made out of, darling?), and they’ve got a fabulous martini menu for those that indulge!

ADDRESS: 1425 Bishop
METRO: Guy-Concordia
PHONE: 514-284-0344
ONLINE: mesa14.com
HOURS: Mon-Thurs 11am-midnight, Fri-Sun 11am-3am

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Kafeïn

When I was a Concordia student, I spent far too much time at Kafeïn. I suspect many Concordia students have had a similar experience, both because the café is just across the street from the Library Building, but also because it’s just a great place to hang out.

If you’ve got lots of studying or homework to do, Kafeïn’s upstairs café area is the place for you. A wifi hotspot, thanks to Île Sans Fil, the upstairs has plenty of tables for students to spread out their books and papers or to congregate with friends over a cup of coffee… or three. The laid-back atmosphere is conducive to studying, and the staff have great taste in music, so you can stay for hours if you get into a groove. With delicious panini sandwiches, homemade salads and lasagne to choose from, in addition to their coffee and unusual smoothies, Kafeïn also makes a great place to grab a quick bite between classes.

Smoking shisha at Kafeïn (photo by Flickr member sfllaw)

Smoking shisha at Kafeïn (photo by Flickr member sfllaw)

For those that like to linger longer, the downstairs lounge area might be more your speed. After 6PM, the bartender sets up shop, offering a variety of delicious martinis and other mixed drinks, as well as a small selection of Canadian beers. If you’re looking to try something different, check out the shisha menu. Enjoy a selection of their flavoured tobaccos, which you smoke from a large water pipe or hookah. (As a side note, though many people seem to believe otherwise, smoking shisha doesn’t involve marijuana in any way.)

In addition to the food and drink, Kafeïn’s downstairs lounge also hosts an assortment of themed music nights, with DJs and jazz bands entertaining everyone who can fit into the intimate space. Whether you’re upstairs or downstairs, Kafeïn is a great place to work and play for Concordia students and anyone looking for a relaxed downtown café/lounge.

ADDRESS: 1429A Bishop
METRO: Guy-Concordia
PHONE: 514-904-6969
HOURS: Mon-Fri 10AM-1AM, Sat noon-1AM, Sun 5PM-midnight