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Eateries Around Institute Offer Variety, Late Hours

By Pey-Hua Hwang


Freshmen may be able to survive solely on the free pizza of Orientation and Rush activities, but the start of classes will likely send the same students searching for edible alternatives.

An MIT ID card is a cash-free passport to nourishment on campus. Establishing a meal plan affords the MIT student access to all Aramark-run food venues on campus, as well as to the student-run Coffeehouse.

So where can hungry freshmen find these food vendors? Commonly frequented spots include Lobdell Food Court, located in the Student Center in west campus, and Walker Dining on the east side. Both feature an array of foods that ranges from custom stir fry at Walker’s Harvest Moon to a Burger King in Lobdell. Smaller options include the Building Four Coffeeshop, Dome Cafe, and the Bio Cafe, all of which offer soup, sandwiches, coffee and various snacks.

Three of the ten undergraduate dormitories -- Baker, Next House, and McCormick -- house regular dining services as well. MacGregor houses a convenience store that also honors the MIT ID card.

Late-night nourishment

Chances are that studying late into the night will bring on a case of the “munchies.” Luckily there is no shortage of vendors willing to cater to the oft-nocturnal eating habits of Institute students. Many don’t close until midnight, and some even stay open as late as 4 a.m. Dominos Pizza, which accepts the MIT ID and delivers straight to campus, is a popular choice.

The Coffeehouse, meanwhile, serves snacks in addition to its requisite coffee offerings. Billed as an around-the-clock service, the shop has at times kept sporadic hours due to lack of staff, but usually delivers late-night satisfaction.

Toscanini’s boasts not only late-night coffee and ice cream treats (and early morning shots of caffeine), but also three convenient Cambridge locations in the MIT Stratton Student Center, Harvard Square, and Central Square.

A twenty-minute walk to the Prudential will bring you to Marche Movenpick, a serve-yourself smorgasbord of edibles open until 2 a.m. Ice cream hot spot J.P. Licks on Newbury Street and smoothie and sandwich wonder Ankara’s Cafe (off Kenmore Square) have won over the eating affections of plenty of MIT students.

Food trucks: fast and cheap

For a quick meal between classes, several food trucks right outside 77 Massachusetts Avenue and the line of trucks outside building 68 are great alternatives to the Aramark fare. Yang’s Inc and Couscous Kitchen are situated on either side of the 77 Massachusetts Avenue steps, although the two usually attract long lines during lunch hour. Yona’s Pizza, Jose’s Mexican, Jerusalem Falafel & Olives Kitchen, and Goosebeary’s reign supreme near building 68. And don’t miss the Hebrew National Hot Dog stand immediately past the Building 8 Infinite Corridor exit.

Testing those culinary skills

The ambitious Institute undergraduate chef who prefers to prepare meals in the comfort of dorm kitchen space will find several grocery stops on or close to campus.

Star Market is located north on Massachusetts Avenue, roughly a block away from the MIT Museum. LaVerde’s in the Student Center is a convenient option, although it does not accept the MIT ID card, and some students find that items there can be pricier than at its off-campus counterparts.

Convenient delivery options are found in several internet grocery delivery services, including,, and Favorites for take-out and delivery include India Samraat, Bertucci’s Pizza, Cinderella’s, and Royal East Chinese Restaurant. Look for restaurants menus and ratings at

Specialty areas filled with food

For fine Italian cuisine, try navigating the narrow streets of Boston’s oldest neighborhood, The North End. A quick trip on the Orange Line of the T (see ) will lead to the Haymarket, where neighboring fresh produce vendors serve customers in an outdoor market. Fanueil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market Colonnade, located in the heart of downtown Boston, is a favorite restaurant (and shopping) destination for locals and tourists alike.