I know the topic is somewhat random, but college-town eats has been a curiosity of mine for the past few weeks. I love visiting college-towns in general, and one big reason is to visit the distinct eateries around campuses.
With that said, I thought I’d start a series of posts on the best college-town food.
First off, here are the qualities that I look for in college-town food:
1) Cost – It’s all about bang for buck, and obviously, the cheaper the better. I believe most college students would agree with me. Unless you went to a private school that rhymes with Shmanford.
2) Greasy Food (and I mean all kinds) – Pizza, burgers, cheesesteaks, wings, etc. Enough said.
3) Eclectic (in many ways) – Greasy Food is an absolute must, but then healthy food is also a major plus. This shows that you have activists on campus (sorry for the generalization! It’s simply a playful one. Sort of), along with your normal junk-eating college kid. In addition, if you have quality Mediterranean, Mexican, Indonesian, etc. in the same area, then the cool “culturally-fluent” factor goes up considerably.
4) Distinct – If you claim you have the best college-town food because there’s an In-N-Out next to campus (a la UCLA), then you’re likely saying that your campus lacks character. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to have an In-N-Out next to campus, but that’s not a distinct college-town restaurant in my estimation.
5) At least 3 REALLY nice restaurants, where one can take an occasional date or eat with the parents and relatives when they visit. By nice, I mean more than $15/plate, and still tastes dang good.
6) Food places are easily accessible from campus via walking or public transportation (at most a ten minute car ride away). This one’s courtesy of Jongmin.
Would you add anything else to this list?
In my opinion, with the criteria above, Berkeley would win this competition hands down. I’ll tell you why in a future post. Here are a few other places I’ve visited:
– NYU – The Village
– Columbia – Morningside Heights
– Stanford – Palo Alto
– UC San Diego – La Jolla, CA
– Princeton- Princeton, NJ
– Harvard/MIT – Cambridge
– UCLA – Westwood
– USC – Downtown LA
– UVA – Charlottesville
– Yale – New Haven
– Northwestern – Evanston
– Gordon College – Hamilton, MA
If you’d like to make the case for another college-town, please do so. I’m willing to visit, because cheap, greasy food is my idea of a heavenly time.
Again, I’m fairly confident Berkeley wins, but I’m willing to hear others out on this. I’m actually afraid to visit UT Austin. For some reason, I have an eerie feeling that they’d have the best food, and that seems like an injustice considering their coaching staff connives its way to votes in the Coaches/USA Today Poll. Yes, I’m still bitter, and forever will be.