When it comes to mixing big city palettes with small-town favorites, Tufts University offers students the perfect culinary combination of both. From greasy-spoon diners to innovative Korean cuisine, the Somerville and Medford areas consistently cater to the collegiate crowd, making sure not to compromise taste for cost.

There are, however, a few foodie experiences that any and every Jumbo foodie cannot afford to miss during their time here at Tufts. Here is Spoon Tufts bucket list of the most iconic dishes and drinks you can't graduate without eating at least once.

1. BEC at Magnificent Muffin & Bagel

While Mag Muff is known for their ridiculously good (and ridiculously cheap) muffins, the bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwiches are the perfect cure for Sunday morning hangovers.

2. Seasonal Flavor at JP Licks

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Named after its original site in Jamaica Plains, JP Licks is a Boston institution. Flavors rotate on a monthly basis, so we'd recommend heading to Davis Square and checking out what they have each month—they tend to be the yummiest and most diverse of the bunch!

#SpoonTip: Make sure to bring your ID if you want to order flavors that include alcohol!

3. Grilled Cheese at Foundry on Elm

Foundry on Elm is like living your dream of the classy, down-to-earth adult you imagine you'll become when you graduate. They serve classic pub food with a high end twist (and high-end price). But believe me, every bite of their smoked gouda and cheddar grilled cheese is worth it.

4. Avocado Smash at Tamper Cafe

Are you even a Tufts student if you don't take a pic of your Tamper avo-toast? Tamper Cafe serves their version mixed with feta, salt and pepper, and sprinkled with sunflower seeds on an enormous slice of fresh sourdough. If you're staying to do work, they also have a full coffee menu and a variety of sandwiches and plates.

#SpoonTip: Want to add some protein to your toast? Ask for a fried egg on top!

5. Margaritas at Masala

Indian food and margaritas might not be your conventional combo, but no one does it better than Masala. They also deliver (check out what to order here), but I recommend eating there for the chance to try one of their ridiculous house margaritas—did I mention they're only $3?!

6. Bibimbap at Meju

ramen, bibimbap, egg, pork
Becca Leviss

Even if you've never tried Korean food, definitely stop by Meju. The waiters are more than happy to walk you through the menu, offering their own tips and tricks for making the most out of the meal. Expect authentic Korean dishes made with fresh ingredients (a plethora of side dishes included!) for a pretty reasonable price.

8. Apple Chaider at Danish Pastry House

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Located just over the hill on Boston Ave., across the street from Tamper Cafe, Danish Pastry House (known as DPH to us 'Bos) is a quaint, European style cafe. In-house wifi and tons of options from pastries to salads to crêpes make this a perfect place to do work when you've overstayed your welcome at Tisch.

9. Barbecue at Redbones BBQ

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My roommate is from Houston, Texas, and even she swears by Redbones. It's that good. This is the perfect place for big groups, since you can get a whole lotta bang for your buck (think: one entree and two sides). If you're from the North like me, don't worry about navigating Southern BBQ, I got you covered.

10. Panini at Dave's Fresh Pasta

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Dave's has been around since my parents went to Tufts, and they still serve the same high-quality Italian grab-and-go they did 25 years ago. Dave's also has a small speciality market with fresh pasta, sauce, and other gourmet groceries, but you can't leave without one of their panini—like the roasted lamb pictured above.

11. Bluezone Calzone at Helen's Roast Beef & Pizzeria

pizza, dough, crust, pepperoni, cheese, pie, mozzarella, pastry
Maddy Behr

Every night out somehow ends with Helen's, or at least it should. They're open until 3 am, 7 days a week, and they deliver. Their most iconic dish is The Bluezone, a calzone stuffed with buffalo chicken and blue cheese served with extra cheese sauce to dip. If you haven't had at least one of these by now, you're doing Tufts majorly wrong.

12. Burritos at Anna's Taqueria

When you've become "one of those people," you know it's time to leave Chipotle and never look back. But there's no need to worr, because Anna's got you covered. Fresh, authentic, and inexpensive, this will become your new go-to for your burrito fix.

#SpoonTip: Ask for extra veggies with your burrito, and they will chop up a mix of their fresh roasted vegetables!

13. Ice Cream Sandwich at Frozen Hoagies

When you combine the two greatest things in the world, there's no way you can go wrong. Frozen Hoagies knows this well. For $5, you get two warm cookies and two huge scoops of homemade ice cream. They also serve egg sandwiches and smoothies for breakfast, so you can pretend to be healthy before indulging in the sweet stuff.

14. Triple Chocolate Cookie Pizza at Oath Craft Pizza

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This is a recent addition to Davis, and we at Spoon Tufts couldn't be happier. Fresh ingredients, prepared in front of you in a matter of minutes, at a price that leaves you with a full stomach AND wallet. Definitely try one of their dessert pizzas (pictured above) and make the most of that college metabolism while it lasts.

15. The Broadway Bowl at Soundbites

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Home fries topped with sautéed tomato, peppers, onions, and fresh avocado with three eggs and cheddar cheese. And someone, somewhere, got down on their knees and thanked God for creating such brunch brilliance. Ok fine, it was me.

16. 420 Burger at Boston Burger Company

bacon, cheese, cheddar
Julia Press

What's in the 420 burger? A better question is what isn't included in this burger? Boston Burger Company loads it with mozzarella sticks, fried mac and cheese, onion rings, French fries, bacon, golden barbecue sauce, and American cheese. Spoon Tufts was lucky enough to try this burger and BBC's other classics, and we left full and impressed.

#SpoonTip: If you order the 420 Burger between 4:20 and 5:20 pm, it's only $4.20, not including the food coma.

17. Falafel at Amsterdam Falafel Shop

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Try not to laugh when the guy behind the counter reminds you to "crush your balls" of falafel—c'mon, like you didn't think of the same thing—before filling your pita or salad with unlimited toppings from the bar. Make sure to get French fries and put them in the cute little metal fry holders in the tables when you dig in.

18. Salted Caramel Latte at Diesel Cafe

Not only does Diesel Cafe produce beverages that demonstrate the textbook definition of latte porn, it embodies everything you could want in a community cafe: outgoing and friendly customers, ridiculously good food and drink, and a laid-back yet productive vibe. This is the perfect place when you want to get off campus for a bit, but still get some work done.

19. Omelets at Ball Square Cafe

For when the line at Sound Bites is too long, head next door to Ball Square Cafe. The portions are massive and the food is unreal. I recommend choosing one of their 13 gigantic and creative omelets, but you really can't go wrong with whatever you decide to order.

20. Burger from Moe's BBQ Trolly

bacon, cheese
Photo courtesy of pexels.com

On Friday and Saturday nights, Moe's parks at the corner of Packard and Pro Row, serving burgers and hotdogs to hungry college students from around 9 pm on to as late as 3 am. Most items are under $5 and are the perfect pick-me-up for partygoers and late night studiers alike. The guys who work the trolley are always friendly, and love to chat and joke as they cook, so even if you aren't going to buy anything, definitely drop by to say hi.

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