By Josie Shapiro
Everyone has those crammed days when your classes leave you with minimal time for lunch. As someone who prioritizes meals, I’ve spent my first few weeks on campus navigating the best lunch spots for when I’m in a time crunch. Whether running from one end of campus to the other, or drowned in work, here are some of the top places to grab a meal with your dining dollars.
My personal favorite is Houston Market. They have the most variety in what they offer, which is important for when you’re sick of eating the same item over and over again. The sushi options are extensive and you can ask for poké bowls, which are made on the spot. As well, you can design your own pasta at The Pasta Toss, which gives you some control if you are craving a certain pasta dish. If you are feeling a little bit healthier, the salad bar has many different toppings to choose from and ends up being a great deal. The only downside to Houston Market is the lunch hour rush. It is essential to get there before 11:55 or else you will be waiting on long lines for your food and to pay. If you don’t have time to wait on lines to order, there are also many grab and go options for you to choose from. There are many tables inside, so you can either go with a group of friends or sit alone and get work done.
Another hidden gem, or at least one that took me a little while to find, is Tortas Frontera. It is inside Arch Cafe, whose exterior makes it appear to be just another building on Locust walk. Here you can find good, and relatively quick, Mexican food. I’ve tried the bowls, tortas (griddle-baked sandwiches), and salads and from my experience I think the tortas are the way to go. The bowls happen to be a little too saucy for me and the salads are mediocre. Also, they have chips and guacamole which is always a necessity no matter your mood.
If you are really just trying to grab something quick before your next class, I would recommend the Pret A Manger on Locust. It’s connected to the Huntsman building, so it is a great choice if you are coming or going from there. It offers sandwiches, soups, pre-made salads and a bunch of other healthy options.