If you attend Penn State at University Park, chances are you walk through the HUB at least once a day. And if you walk through the HUB, I’m almost certain you’ve tried at least one of the food joints the student center has to offer.

Maybe you go for the burritos, maybe it’s the smoothies – no matter what you chose in the HUB, chances are you don’t leave hungry. I’ve taken all 12 food options and ranked them from worst to best in hopes of helping you find your new favorite eatery.

12. Diversions


Photo by Caitlin Wolper

Pro: If your sweet tooth is too strong to control, Diversions will become your new best friend. This bakery is a unique option for HUB-goers. They offer everything from gelato to fresh chocolate chip cookies.

Con: The HUB is a great spot to eat at for on the go students with limited time – not for people who want to sit and enjoy a nice gelato.

11. Blue Burrito


Photo by Julie Mirliss

Pro: In all the times I have eaten at the HUB, I have never seen this place have a line. You will have your food promptly and therefore, have more time to search for a seat  – who could ask for more?

Con: The Blue Burrito is such a tease. While it tries to give us the same feelings as Chipotle, it will just never compare. Sorry, Blue Burrito.

10. McAlister’s Deli


Photo by Rachel Davis

Pro: Point blank, these sandwiches are the bomb. The food is quality and they offer side options, which many of its competitors do not.

Con: The only reason McAlister’s is ranked so low is because of the prices. Broke college students cannot afford to spend money on this food (especially since it took the place of HUB Subs, which offered many of the same things at lower prices).

9. Sbarro


Photo by Aarthi Chezian

Pro: Everyone loves pizza!

Con: While the pizza is a great, quick meal, Sbarro also offers Italian dinner dishes like spaghetti and meatballs. Coming from an Italian family who cooks a lot, I shudder at the thought of eating “authentic” Italian food from a fast food place.

8. Starbucks


Photo by Molly Doroba

Pro: It’s Starbucks. The coffee is delicious, there is something for everyone on the menu and the line moves somewhat fast.

Con: It’s just that – Starbucks. You can find one on practically every street in America. Spice things up a little bit and hit up downtown for a fresh cup of original coffee.

7. Mixed Greens


Photo by Hayden Carder

Pro: This little green patch is tucked away next to Sbarro for when you’re just not feeling up to making your own salad. The employees customize your salad to your liking, and there’s a complimentary roll. The salads are a great size as well.

Con: It’s pricey, but eating healthy is expensive no matter what.

6. Sushi by Panda Express 


Photo by Marissa Sherman

Pro: Sushi is the perfect lunch option – it’s light and filling, and can be eaten quickly. It’s great that Panda Express is able to offer that.

Con: I’m a lover of sushi, but I can’t help but think of grocery store sushi when it comes to Panda Express Sushi. The sushi is already pre-made, which can be a big turn-off to a lot of sushi fans like myself.

5. Jamba Juice


Photo by Emma Shellhamer

Pro: Jamba Juice is a great snack for studying or post-workout. The smoothies are healthy and filling, and they’re great for when you don’t have time to sit and eat.

Con: Like most places in the HUB, Jamba Juice is pricey. Still, you can be sure your money is going towards the fresh ingredients used to make your smoothie.

4. Burger King


Photo Courtesy of Burger King

Pro: Burger King takes the crown for the ultimate fast food joint. It’s perfect for those days you just don’t feel like eating healthy and want to chow down on a greasy burger instead.

Con: Just like Starbucks, Burger King is about as unoriginal as they come. No matter where you’re from, there’s probably a Burger King close by.

3. Panda Express


Photo by Caitlin Wolper

Pro: Panda Express offers Chinese that tastes genuinely really really goodNot only is it tasty, but there’s pretty much an option for anyone.

Con: You can almost guarantee you’ll wait in a long line. Panda Express is never not busy.

2. Soup & Garden Bar


Photo by Ally Jubault

Pro: At the soup and salad bar, the possibilities are endless. They offer everything you could think of to make your dream salad. Not to mention, the chicken noodle soup tastes just like homemade soup – you can almost taste the love in every bite.

Con: The price is based upon weight for the salads, so you pretty much get what you pay for. The more you want, the more you pay. Also, the struggle of making it yourself. So hard.

1. Chick-fil-A


Photo by Parisa Soraya

Pro: Try to think of one person who doesn’t like Chick-fil-A. I can’t think of a single person, but let me know if you can. They have great, quality chicken that is ready to go as soon as you get to the front of the line.

Con: You cannot get everything that you could get at a normal Chick-fil-A. Also, the line is massive, but so worth it.

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