If you're craving the munchies after a long night of partying, or just need a snack break halfway through the all-nighter you're trying to pull, then there's no better place on campus to grab food than C4 Night Owl. Open from 9:00 pm—1:00 am on weekdays (and as late as 4 o' clock in the morning on weekends!), you can indulge on fried foods, grilled cheese, and even make-your-own salad if that's what you're in the mood to eat. But if there's one thing that sets C4 apart from all the other night owls on campus, it's their creamy hand-spun milkshakes.
These milkshakes are a favorite among Binghamton students, ranging from classics like vanilla to Ben and Jerry's-inspired ones like Phish Food. In fact, between all the mouthwatering flavors, it's hard to decide which shake to purchase—especially if you don't want to end up disappointed.
Which is where I come in. This semester, I took the liberty of trying every milkshake at C4 Night Owl (no joke!) and ranked each shake based on taste and texture. Some proved to be amazing—I'm talking McCafé-worthy—while others were definitely not worth $3.55 of my meal plan.
Check out below to see how each shake measured up, and who knows? Maybe the milkshake you've always been hesitant to get is actually worth a try.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
This shake was delicious, reminding me of my go-to Shake Shack order (black-and-white) with a hint of cookie dough. However, compared to the thickness of a Shake Shack milkshake, I'd say I was a bit underwhelmed.
Triple Caramel Chunk
There's sweet, there's too sweet, and then there's way too sweet. I would say the deal breaker for this one was the overpowering taste of the caramel syrup. But honestly? I should have expected it given the name of the shake.
Mint Chocolate Chip
Ah, good ol' mint chocolate chip. I wasn't surprised I really enjoyed this shake, since anything chocolate and mint is a winning combo in my book. But if I had to change one thing about C4's version, I would've just blended the chocolate chips a little bit more.
I might be bias because I really love vanilla milkshakes (sorry, chocolate), but this shake was phenomenal! Not only was it perfectly thick and creamy, but if I had tried it blindfolded, I would've sworn it was a vanilla shake from McDonald's.
Fudge Chocolate Brownie
I usually have trouble resisting fudge brownies, so it didn't take much willpower for me to pick up this shake at C4. However, despite how yummy and chocolatey it was, the milkshake wasn't as thick as I'd hoped, and still a bit chunky from pieces of unblended brownie.
Fruity milkshakes are usually a weird concept to me—isn't that what smoothies are for?—but I'd have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The strawberry flavor in the shake was subtle and sweet, and the consistency was the same as the vanilla shake I'd tried earlier.
A Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor in milkshake form? Yes please! C4's take on the chocolatey, marshmallow favorite was sweet and tasty with no artificial syrup flavor. Plus, I actually didn't mind the chocolate pieces in the shake, even though they made the texture a little chunkier.
TBH, I sort of have trust issues with chocolate milkshakes; I can never tell if the shake was made with chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup until I take a sip.
In my opinion, C4's shake tasted like the latter—a bit on the artificial side. However, the texture was smooth and creamy, and still satisfied my milkshake craving.
Cookies & Cream
I can't remember a time I haven't loved cookies & cream, so you better believe I had high expectations for C4's milkshake. Luckily, the drink didn't disappoint, with the sweet, subtle taste of Oreos and milk that I've considered heaven since my pre-school days. Plus, the consistency was not only creamy, but silky. (Maybe this shake deserves some bonus points?)
Let me tell you, this shake has some strong coffee flavor. Although I'm not a big coffee drinker, I do love milkshakes, and this is definitely a great alternative to straight coffee if you need to stay up studying or working on a paper.
The only downside? The shake had a really grainy texture, which is nothing compared to the smoothness of espresso.
To me, cherries are meant to be sweet, but if I had to describe C4's Cherry Garcia milkshake in one word it would be tart. It was definitely difficult to drink this creation, considering each sip left a sour taste in my mouth. However, it wasn't a total disappointment, since the consistency was nice and frothy with little chocolate chunks that have actually started to grow on me.