Western students are known for having killer social lives in addition to our top-notch academics. A lesser-known fact about Mustangs is that we also possess delicate, yet refined palates that are capable of appreciating the most indulgent of flavours.

If you're reading this and you have recently joined the Mustang community, I have compiled the following bucket list of the most important meals you must eat as a Western student before you graduate. Consider this your initiation.

1. The Spoke – Bagelwich

I'd like to start off UWO's bucket list with one of Western's most famous offering: the bagelwich. With five different bagelwiches to choose from, plus five different cream cheese flavours and seven different bagel options, the opportunities are endless. My pick? Turkey bagelwich on a cheddar and herb bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese, for sure. There’s no going wrong here.

For those that feel guilty indulging in a bagelwich, treat yourself to the healthy veggie version, topped with hummus, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and cucumber, as pictured above. So yum.

2. The Spoke – Fries

These fries are next level. Perfect amount of crisp, perfect amount of softness. Try sprinkling on some seasoning salt: your taste buds won’t know what hit them.

3. Kosmos – Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese

Kosmos offers an impressive menu of panini-style sandwiches, salads, and wraps. However, they really hit it home with their grilled cheeses.

The Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese combines two of the best sandwiches into one… not to mention a hefty helping of mac and cheese right in the middle. Prepare for an overload of deliciousness. This sandwich adds some depth to the bucket list by providing a new take on a classic grilled cheese sandwich.

4. Jack Astors – Texas Roadkill Chicken Sandwich

Photo courtesy of Tania Hussain on Twitter/@westlifebunny

The combination of Cajun chicken, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions makes this sandwich to-die-for. Accompany this with a nice cold pint – I honestly couldn’t think of a better meal.

5. Toboggan – Street Tacos

Relatively new to the food scene in London, Toboggan serves up some classic pub food with modern twists. Their street tacos exemplify this perfectly.

I recommend the Lake Perch and Roast Chicken Tacos. The perch is breaded in panko and topped with guac, pico de gallo, and slaw, offsetting the kick of the pico with the saltiness of the panko.

As for the roast chicken, the smoky flavour of the chicken pairs perfectly with the sharpness of the smoked cheddar and is cooled down by the sour cream and guac. Add a side of their frites with accompanying sauces to make this meal a home run.

6. Chil – literally anything

Chil is your classic froyo place on steroids. Serving up organic, Greek, gluten-free froyo with the largest selection of toppings in Canada, there’s something here for everyone. With over 100 possible flavours, it’s impossible to create anything less than amazing.

Chil also offers non-dairy/vegan soy, almond, and quinoa options that honestly don’t taste different than regular froyo. Added bonus: they have a liquor licence, so you can accompany your masterpiece with an aperitif. Not to mention they deliver! Could it get any better?

7. King Richies – Value Meals

A college bucket list isn't complete without a pizza pie. Hands down, King Richies offers the best bang for your buck. You can get four medium pizzas with two toppings each AND two dipping sauces for only $23.99… So call up your closest friends and host a pizza party.

8. The Wave – Pad Thai

What used to only be a Thursday special is now a menu staple. Add on shrimp, drizzle on the sauces and prepare for your taste buds to transport you right to Thailand. Add on a Bud Light and you’ve got yourself a five-star meal. Best part? You can pay with your student card!

9. Symposium – Brunch

There’s no better place to go for hangover brunch. Mimosas pair perfectly with their wide selection of omelettes, eggs benny, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches. 

My preference? Eggs Provençal. The creaminess of the brie and the Hollandaise sauce will coat your stomach, which is essential for tackling the day ahead. Have a coffee to juice up your energy levels – not to mention, refills are free.

10. Burger Burger – The Richmond w/ Mayo

Drunk munch is key to the college diet, therefore it is key to the college bucket list. After a long night of dancing at The Barking Frog, a trip to Burger Burger is a must.

Sure to satisfy your drunk munch needs, The Richmond is the perfect burger for the job. Add on some mayo and make it a combo to maximize the munch. The employees are pretty entertaining, and are sure to give you a laugh. They also deliver, which is a major key.

11. The Bungalow // Gourmet Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese sandwich, bread, sandwich, cheese, toast
Photo courtesy of Bradley Hawks on Flickr

Although they’re famous for their burgers, I’d say go for the gourmet grilled cheese. Four cheeses + basil pesto + fresh tomatoes + bacon… all loaded onto a ciabatta bun. Wow. Add some rosemary fries as a side. Better yet, throw some fries ONTO the sandwich. Game changer. Truly.

12. Barney’s – Fat Guy Platter

Barney's is not only good for the best for warm weather drinks, particularly during exam season. Barney's has also managed to master the illustrious patio snack. Yes, you can get nachos, or chicken fingers, or wraps, or burgers. However, one snack stands above all: the Fat Guy Platter.

Make no mistake: ordering this platter is not something to be ashamed of. Oh no, the Fat Guy Platter is something to be proud of. A pound of wings... Spring rolls... Chicken tenders... Mozza sticks... Pot stickers... Fried pickles... Fries... Onion rings... Cheesy garlic bread... Are you drooling yet? Yeah, that's what I thought.

How many items have you eaten off this bucket list?