Behind the concrete walls walks nearly 9,000 students. Some haven't slept in days, some have even forgotten to eat. You finally have some free time... Where should you go?
Here's a ranking of the dining places on campus, from worst to best. [I'm excluding Wendy's, because that's just not fair to the list.]
9. Res (The Marketplace)
We've all been there. Whether it's during the orientation lunch you were forced to eat or ultimately having your meal plan limited you to the all-you-can eat location, Res is known to all students. The endless stomach cramps can occasionally be masked by the surprise of delicious entrees served about once a month. However, you'll often find yourself staring at the same thing every day: a block of scrambled eggs, pasta, pizza, maybe a salad with some dried up vegetables. Whatever it is, we all like to avoid it if possible.
8. Academic Carts (SENG > LARTS > CVPA)
Though convenient, the academic carts are often found to be sparse in their selection, especially at the end of the week. The workers are pleasant, but all of the food is pre-packaged and bland.
7. Sono (located in freshman building Maple Ridge)
What can I say about Sono.... They're only open 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. So, if you're hungry between the hours of 7pm-Midnight, you can maybe get yourself some Mexican food. That is, if they aren't out of rice, meat, salsa, or anything else they claim is gone not even an hour after opening.
6. Plate by Plate
Speaking of limited hours, if you're awake on weekdays from 8am-3pm, you could possibly stop by Plate by Plate for some breakfast or an ever changing lunch menu. It's hit or miss, but when it's a miss, it's really a miss.
2.Mato is a great place to grab a quick snack while passing through the campus center, or a slice of pizza if you plan on staying for a few minutes. If you want some pasta or a calzone or something of the sort, you'll have to take a number, which could lead you to waiting 15-20 minutes depending on how busy they are.
A subway-esque establishment, you cam select from a wide variety of sandwiches to fill your lunch or dinner hunger. You do have to wait until 11am to get a sandwich, but once you fight the lunch lines you can get your hands on a nice sub to get you through the day,.
3. Corsair Cafe
From soup to smoothies, baked goods to hot chocolate, the Corsair Cafe is a warm hidden gem whose home is settled on the bottom floor of the campus center across from the UMass Pass office. The occasional live music and cozy seating makes it a pleasant place to take a break between classes.
2. Birch Grill
Pre-renovation, I would say that Birch would have taken the number one spot. After the "revamp", the homey vibe of Birch has left the students. The loud voices of the workers rattle through you as you race around the counter trying to find which side they're dropping your food off. It has great hours for those late night snacks, but you're going to have to wait for it to open on weekends.
1. Library Cafe
The library cafe is the holy grail of all dining on campus. With their new extended hours, you can find yourself eating a bagel-wich before your morning classes or taking a flatbread back to your dorm after a long day. The lines are long, but the workers are always smiling and making your food to perfection.