If you go to Boston University, you’re given no choice but to learn to like walking everywhere. Our campus spans more than a mile stretch along Commonwealth Avenue. While walking everywhere is nothing short of miserable in the winter, it doesn’t stop us from getting around.
All that walking can work up an appetite. Whether you’re doing a 9am-9pm run of classes or coming back from an Allston crawl, this list sums up where you’ll find Boston University eating and drinking.
1. When you’re cramming for exams and the library is full: Blue State Coffee
This west campus cafe handles the morning coffee rush and the overflow of students not in Mugar during the day. While their coffee is what most seek to get through the day, the food at Blue State is quite noteworthy. The wifi is fast, there’s plenty of seating, and it’s also a haven for those with gluten-free and plant-based dietary restrictions.
What to Order: True Blue blend coffee with a Bagel and Lox will power you through your day. Their tea selection is extensive if coffee isn’t your thing. If you’re looking for a plant-based meal be sure to try the Chickpea Salad Sandwich or their seasonal oatmeal that uses gluten-free oats and is always sweetened with coconut sugar.
Location: 957 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (across from Pleasant Street T stop)
2. You want a slice: T Anthony
The old-school sports decor, booths, juke box, and super friendly staff make this the kind of place you want to become a regular at. Inebriated students pour into T Anthony in droves after they’re done in Allston for the night. Pizza and other junky classics aren’t their only offerings, breakfast service begins at 11am everyday.
What to Order: Pizza, mozzarella sticks, or their new Mozzarella Stick Pizza on top.
Location: 1016 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (on the corner of Babcock Street)
3. Grab a quick lunch for under $10 between classes: Basho Express
Basho was originally just in the GSU but as of last year they have their own location below Warren Towers. Their prepackaged sushi is the best choice for lunch in a hurry. We all know the struggle of trying to get lunch somewhere in the GSU and waiting eons for it to be prepared, then having to wait in another line to pay. Basho Express has tried to solve this problem. If you’re not in a hurry, you can create your own wrap or bowl in their new location.
What to Order: Any of the prepackaged sushi are the best options for when you’re in a hurry. For occasions when you have a little more time, the Salmon Tataki Wrap is a favorite of students because of its mango salsa and teriyaki sauce.
Location: 700 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, 02215 (under Warren Towers)
4. When you want to stuff your face: Crispy Crêpes Cafe
BU students were devastated when Crispy Crêpes Cafe closed their south campus location without warning last year. When the sign went up for its new location right on Comm Ave, the anticipation couldn’t be contained. While the crêpes made this place famous, they offer a full breakfast and their Mediterranean food is equally as loved by students and faculty alike. The atmosphere is homey and the staff is always friendly.
What to Order: If you’re feeling savory, get the French Dip crêpe with beef au jus and brie. If you’re feeling sweet, any of the fruit and nutella offerings are sure to please.
Location: 714 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (across the T tracks from CAS)
5. When your parents are visiting and footing the bill: Eastern Standard
Located in the heart of Kenmore Square and just a hop to Boston’s famous Fenway Park, you’ll be hard-pressed to get in without a reservation during busy times. Its swanky, brasserie-like atmosphere features a significant amount of outdoor seating that’s even equipped for cool weather with a plethora of heat lamps and covering. If you have a dining plan, you may or may not slip into a euphoric state upon tasting the food.
What to Order: If you’re lucky enough to get a table here for brunch, be sure to try the Eggs Benedict and one of their signature cocktails (the Bloody Mary uses house-infused vodkas). For any other meal, check out the raw bar or a steak.
Location: 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (Kenmore Square)
6. You’re going on a date: Tatte
Boston’s food scene is only just picking up, Tatte is one of the area’s OG, upscale bakeries and cafes. Tatte has quick service and the cafe’s bright and air feel should make for an enjoyable brunch or lunch date. Their Brookline location is essentially in BU’s south campus. It was recently renovated to be a much larger space to handle the ever-growing crowds of regulars.
What to Order: Shakshuka is a must if you’re there at a breakfast or brunch hour. Traditional is the way to go, but the version with potato and bacon or added meatballs are nothing to be scoffed at. For lunch, the Halloumi Salad or a Prosciutto Panini filled with fig jam are local favorites.
Location: 1003 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446 (take St Mary’s Street from campus, then cross the T tracks)
7. When you turn 21: Tavern in the Square (TITS)
Fondly referred to as TITS, this is the place to go when you turn 21 as a BU student. They do have food but no one ever speaks of it, Sunset Cantina steals that spotlight. TITS’s drink menu is extensive, and pricey, but there is no bigger or better way to ring in your legal status in the state of Massachusetts.
What to Order: Let’s be real, you’ll probably be too far gone to remember what to order.
Location: 161 Brighton Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (close to corner of Harvard Avenue)
8. If you’re tired of Starbucks: Pavement Coffee House
When the line is out the door at Starbucks on Comm Ave and in the GSU, you can be sure to get through the line at Pavement and still get to class. We’re not sure how they do it, but they do. Their service is as good as their food, making everyone repeat customers. Getting a seat here is tough during peak hours but you can get your coffee and meal for takeaway and bring it to Mugar or to class. Everything about Pavement screams hipster from the rotating art on the walls to the people hogging seats all day, but charming nonetheless.
What to Order: The Sunrise is piled high with scrambled egg, bacon, and sharp cheddar on one of the best bagels you’ll find in Boston (except Bagelsaurus, but that’s far away). Spanish Lattes are an indulgent favorite of their repeat customers, and the aeropress coffee is a great choice too. If you don’t need a huge caffeine jolt you’ll be pleased by their collection of artisanal teas. Plant-based options are abundant here.
Location: 736 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (across from Marsh Plaza)
9. When midnight munchies hit: Extreme Pita
These aren’t exactly the best pitas you can find in Boston, but they’re certainly the easiest to find because Extreme Pita is in west campus. T Anthony is the place to be for late night eats, but Extreme Pita is a close second especially if you’re already in a west campus dorm. Stumble in for quick service and a satisfying smattering of calories.
What to Order: The Buffalo Signature Pita will satisfy your drunk hunger with loads of cheese and sauce. If you feel like practicing portion control in this state of being, you’re in luck because Extreme Pita offers two size options.
Location: 273 Babcock Street, Boston, MA, 02215 (located in the West Campus Dorms)
10. When you have a reason to celebrate: Sunset Cantina
We’re not sure anyone goes to Sunset Cantina for anything but the nachos and frozen margaritas. It’s the place where all celebrations take place at BU. Birthdays, the end of CGS exams, big and little reveals for sororities…name the occasion and it happens here. Good vibes permeate the atmosphere and plenty of TVs also make it the ideal place to watch a game.
What to Order: Nachos are a must and can be ordered in a few different portion sizes depending on the size of your hunger or the size of your party. Wash them down with a margarita, of course.
Location: 916 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (near St. Paul Street T stop)
11. You’re craving Thai food: Nud Pob Thai Cuisine
Nud Pob is another place on campus you will rarely see empty. Hearty portions of this Thai cuisine in a no-frills setting made this place the staple it is to the BU population. The menu is incredibly extensive, no matter what you’re in the mood for it can be accommodated. Service is fast and takeaway is a popular choice when it’s packed at peak meal times.
What to Order: Get their Thai Iced Tea to begin, but in the colder months (which is most of the school year at BU) the Chicken Tom Kah soup is the way to start. Chicken Mango Curry and the Pad Thai are beloved entrées as well. If you’re a plant-based person, just ask for tofu substitutions or choose one of the vegetable dishes.
Location: 738 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (close to ENG)
12. When you need to cure a hangover on a weekday: Rhetts
Dunkin Donuts doesn’t have the same stuff-your-face appeal when you’re headed to CAS and need a huge breakfast to combat last night’s decisions. Rhett’s serves up meals all day long in the food court of the GSU but are most famous for their breakfast. One of the fraternities on campus even hosts a charity event every year that asks competitors to complete the Rhett’s Challenge, so you know it’s decadent fare.
What to Order: From pancakes to subs, you’ll be satisfied with the portions at Rhett’s. A fan favorite includes the Breakfast Combo #1. For $6 it gets you a large coffee and a sandwich (egg, choice of meat, cheese on a bagel).
Location: 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (Union Court in the GSU)