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Variety of Food Options Available for Students

By Karen Robinson and Jennifer Chung
STAFF REPORTERS

This is the fourth article in The Tech’s series aimed at helping freshmen adjust to life at the Institute.

Within a few days of arriving on campus, most students quickly discover Lobdell Food Court, Networks Restaurant, and LaVerde’s Market in the Student Center. With time, they will find other food options around campus, such as the ones described below.

Food trucks add mobility to dining choices

Food trucks provide sustenance to many students all year. During lunchtime on weekdays, one can find a convenient and affordable meal by visiting trucks near Lobby 7 on Massachusetts Avenue or by the grassy area north of buildings 56 and 66. Recently, some food trucks have started to appear or stay later, to cater the dinner crowd.

Many food trucks serve middle-eastern food; these are often called “falafel trucks,” after their most popular popular dish. One falafel truck sits on Mass. Ave., south of Lobby 7 and a rival Chinese food truck.

The building 56/66 food truck vortex has more variety. The most popular of these trucks is Goosebeary’s Truck, which serves asian foods. Others feature pizza, pasta, salads, falafel, and chicken.

Most food truck meals are around $3 or $4, not including drinks. Patrons who come later than 2:00 p.m. can occasionally receive a price discount, or a free drink.

Cook your own meal

Many students prefer to feed themselves by taking advantage of dormitory kitchens. This is by far the cheapest dining option.

Groceries are available on-campus at LaVerde’s. Off-campus, the closest major grocery store is Star Market, north of MIT off Mass. Ave. near Random Hall. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Star features more variety and generally better prices than LaVerde’s. Many customers sign-up for the “Star Market card” to receive weekly discounts on certain food items.

Ethnic foods are available at a Korean food store before Star, and a Japanese food store closer to Harvard Square. There are also several Indian stores in Central Square.

Food at home without the fuss

There is an extensive set of restaurants which deliver on campus. Many restaurants deliver at no charge, although there may be a minimum order amount required.

Some students have created websites with links to the menus of delivering local-area restaurants -- William Chuang ’98 hosts one at <http://www.mit.edu/~wchuang/ menus/>. Another site lists restaurants by food genre at <http://www.food4mit.com/>.

Although many places only accept cash or credit card, Dominos’ Pizza accepts the MIT meal card.

Other Aramark options

In addition to Lobdell and Networks, Walker Memorial is an east campus location which offers a large sit-down venue for dining. There are a number of quicker places all over campus, from building 10 through E52. All accept the MIT meal card. Dorm residents can enjoy Baker Dining, MacGregor Convenience, or Next House Dining.

Hours of operation and other on-campus locations are available online at <http://dining.mit.edu/>.

Dining out

When students dine off-campus, they often frequent restaurants on Mass. Ave. and side streets. Pu Pu Hot Pot and Cinderella’s Pizza, on Main Street, are both popular destinations for dine-in or carry-out. In addition, Mary Chung’s near Central Square, is a favorite store.

In Kendall Square, students eat at Au Bon Pain and the food court behind the MIT Coop. There are also numerous restaurant choices in Boston.

Vladimir Zelevinsky contributed to the reporting of this story.