When you live on campus, the food can get boring fast. Either you don't like it, it's bad for you, or you just miss food from home. Sure, you can order out, but Papa John's, Domino's, and Chinese takeout can get just as plaid out as cafeteria food. So what's the next option? Local eats, of course. I've gone on quite a few food adventures during my time at the University of Bridgeport, and I've found that you don't have to travel very far for good food. In fact, here are 10 restaurants in downtown Bridgeport you should check out if you go to UB.

1. EAT Noodle & Rice

Melissa Paredes

If you're a fan of ramen or pho, this is your place. This hole in the wall is perfect for a chill night with your friends or casual date night. Get your fill of soup, noodles, and rice dishes. Beef curry noodles, Tom Yam seafood noodles, and curry crispy chicken noodles, are just a few examples of what you can get. They have a great variety of appetizers too, ranging from salads to rock shrimp. I recommend the delicious crab rangoon (crispy dumplings filled with crab meat and cheese, pictured above), it's one of my favorite appetizers to try at Asian restaurants and theirs did not disappoint. There's also a bar, so if you're 21+ you can have a seat there (but if you're not, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. I recommend the coffee). The staff is also super friendly, which is a nice plus.

#SpoonTip: EAT Noodle & Rice does not deliver, but they do have a take out option.

2. Miss Thelma's Restaurant & Bar

If you go to UB and haven't had Miss Thelma's, you are missing out big time. Miss Thelma's is where you go for the cravings that only soul food can satisfy. Fried chicken (or fried fish if you're pescatarian), collard greens, and candied yams galore. I absolutely love their mac & cheese and cornbread. You can dine-in and enjoy the restaurant's old fashion southern decor, or carryout, which involves filling your container buffet-style, and paying by weight. It's not very expensive, so it works if you're on a budget (as we college students often are).

#SpoonTip: Miss Thelma's also caters which is nice for big meetings and school events.

3. Milano Wine Bar & Pizzeria

Milano's has a wide variety of pizzas which you can order as a personal pie of 18' pie. You also have the option to create your own pizza, but with unique offerings like their Peaches & Bacon Pizza (yes, you read that correctly) and Mashed Potato Pie (um, YES), you may not want to. 

#SpoonTip: Be sure to check out their happy hour for discounted food and drinks. There's also a student discount UB students should take advantage of.

4. Moe's Burger Joint

If you're feeling burgers and milkshakes but don't want to go to the Hub or too far off campus, Moe's Burger Joint is the place for you. This is not a place to go to if you're trying to stick to your diet, but you will leave satisfied. Some of their signature burgers include the Bridgeport Burger (American cheese, grilled onions, bacon, lettuce, and horseradish mayo), the PT Barnum Burger (white American cheese, bacon, crispy onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, & Moe's sauce), and my personal favorite, the Downtown Burger (fried egg, white and yellow American cheese, bacon, grilled onions, grilled tomato, and Moe's sauce). There are also varying sandwich options, mac & cheese options, and loaded fries. 

#SpoonTip: Moe's has a 10% off discount specifically for UB students. They're also available on Uber Eats.

5. Meatball Heaven

Located in the Arcade Mall, Meatball Heaven is a youth-run business as part of the Boys & Girls Village's Work-To-Learn Program. Here, you can find an amazing variety of meatballs. Whether it be traditional Italian, Mexican, or Asian, Meatball Heaven pairs each meatball with its own sauce. You can choose to have your meatballs in a bread cone (where else would you see that?), in a grinder, over rice, or over a salad of your choice. It's super affordable too, with prices ranging from $5-$8. And you can buy a pint of meatballs to take home!

#SpoonTip: Be sure to check our their lunch combos which include a side and a drink for only $9. There is also a spicy black bean "meat" ball for vegetarians.

6. Fruta Juice Bar

Unlike most of the places on this list, Fruta Juice Bar will help you stick to your diet. This place is a great breakfast option with coffee, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, oatmeal, and more. You can also have a sandwich, panini, or wrap for lunch, or a soup or salad to be light. As mentioned, Fruta Juice is health conscious, with mindful portions and ingredients. They have a vast menu of smoothies, juices, and protein shakes that cater to whatever diet/exercise routine you may be on, and you also have the option to customize your drink. My favorite juice is Tropic Thunder which consists of mango, pineapple, peach, papaya, banana, and passionfruit.

#SpoonTip: Fruta Juice is now available on GrubHub, Seamless, Uber Eats, and Eat24.

7. Leisha's Bakeria

Nemesis Duarte

This is one of my favorite finds because it's brightly colored, has great service, and has a deck of cards at each table so you can play while you wait for your food. You can come here for a yummy breakfast (their morning pie tart and gourmet quiche of the day are super yummy), a healthy lunch, or deliciously satisfying dessert. I've never eaten anything from here that I didn't like. The chocolate chips cookies and red velvet doughnut holes are especially to die for. 

#SpoonTip: Leisha's Bakeria specializes in bread baskets and bundt cakes that make great gifts, but be sure to call in advance for your request.

8. La Signature Cheesecake

This small location is also in the Arcade Mall. Here is a place that will satisfy your sweet tooth. As the name suggests, La Signature Cheesecake specializes in a large variety of scrumptious cheesecakes. You can get cakes of varying sizes, mini-cakes for personal enjoyment, or just a slice to go. Make no mistake, this is not your average cheesecake. What makes La Signature Cheesecake different is its goal to incorporate flavors from the tropics, so you will also see unique flavors such as toasted coconut and rum raisin on the cheesecake menu, as well as Jamaican fruitcake and pineapple upside down cake.

#SpoonTip: La Signature Cheesecake recently started a Jamaican lunch menu, so if you're craving savory Caribbean food for a good price, this is still the place to check out.

9. El Pueblito Restaurant

This restaurant isn't a cheap eat, but you can still get a good meal for a decent price. El Pueblito Restaurant is a Colombian restaurant offering traditional Latin cuisine. I've only eaten here once, but the food was delicious and the service was great. If you want empanadas, plantains, or arroz con pollo (rice and chicken), you should check this place out. They have rotating menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you're in for some yummy Colombian flavors no matter when you go.

#SpoonTip: When you go for breakfast, you get a coffee, hot chocolate, or tea for no additional charge.

10. Ralph N' Rich's

This is a restaurant you go to when you want to feel fancy. It's more expensive than the other good eats on this list, but it's worth going at least once. Here, the food is as Italian as it gets. You can order stuffed mushrooms or fried calamari as an appetizer, I recommend the spiedina romano, it's delicious. Whether it's a filet mignon or a veal piccata, Ralph N' Rich's will make you feel like a million bucks. Make sure to try the tartufo or NY cheesecake for dessert.

#SpoonTip: Ralph N' Rich's has a family style lunch and dinner menu for big groups. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand.

Downtown Bridgeport is full of numerous yummy restaurants, and it's only a 5 minute drive, Uber ride, or trip on the 1 bus. Don't miss out on these delicious opportunities waiting to make your years at UB more memorable. I can't wait to come back just to visit some of these great eats.