As a student at the University of Bridgeport, I know the struggle of finding variety in foods that are both cost-friendly and in the Greater Bridgeport area. It feels like you have no other choices other than eating dining hall food or the 50% off pizza at Papa John's. However, there is still some hope for anyone in the Bridgeport area! Here are 7 places to escape to when you are craving something new. 

1. Leo's Pizza and Restaurant

This Salvadoran restaurant is truly a diamond in the rough and located on the corner Main Street and Whiting Street, it is steps away from University of Bridgeport's campus. You really get your bang-for-your-buck here because they serve you a great amount of food for less than $10. Their pupusas are the best in the city and if you never had pupusas, you need to try it here! My favorite meal is the pernil (pork shoulder), arroz blanco con habichuelas rojas (white rice and red beans), y platano maduros (sweet plantains). Leo's fills your soul with the feeling of your grandmother feeding you after finding out you haven't eaten all day, and we could all agree that is the best feeling. 

2. Leisha's Bakeria

In the heart of Downtown Bridgeport, Leisha's Bakeria is an amazing place to relax, enjoy the atmosphere, and have quick bite to escape the hustle and bustle of school or work. They have games to play with your friends, breakfast and lunch options, creamy hot chocolate served in cute mugs, and one of the best cookies around. Their menu covers many forms of sandwiches, delicious pastries, and soups. The best part about the food at Leisha's is that all the food is prepared right then and there and made-to-order to your liking. Pria, a student at the University of Bridgeport said, "[Leisha's Bakeria] is a really nice date place or just a place to meet up with friends if you want." My go-to meal is the Chicken Melt - Firehouse Style, which is roasted chicken, lettuce, tomato, onions, melted cheese, bacon, avocado and a kick of hot sauce.

3. Merritt Canteen

Have you had a late night burger craving? Merritt Canteen is your answer! Open until 1:00am most nights (open 'till 4:00am Friday-Saturday), this fast food burger joint has been around for more than 70 years in its original location on Main Street by the Trumbull Mall. This late night stop has been featured on Food Network's tv show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri on the episode named 'Fully Loaded'. Merritt has many options including their famous bacon, egg, and cheeseburger, mac and cheese bites, and fried oreos.

#SpoonTip: 'the works' is Merritt's lingo for 'I want lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo, onions, and pickles on my burger'

4. Famous Pizza House

I feel like many students at the University of Bridgeport do not know what Famous Pizza House has to offer. Famous Pizza House is steps away from UB's Park Avenue campus making it one of the closest eateries on this list. This restaurant sells pizza in the best way possible: personal-pie style. You do not have to worry about sharing your delicious cheesy meal because it is made hot and fresh just for you! And the best part is that UB students get a 10% discount when you show your ID at the register (and they also have free wifi). Also, you can enjoy other foods such as grinders, garlic bread, and different kinds of pastas that are all on their menu. 

5. Moe's Burger Joint

Moe's Burger Joint, located in Bridgeport's Historic Arcade Mall, has an array of choices for burgers. Once you walk into the facility, you feel like you just traveled back in time because of its old fashioned soda fountain shop look. If you ever wanted to get the 50's eating experience, this place is perfect for you! Customer's favorites include the Downtown Cheeseburger, their signature hot dogs, and house-made chili. Teyana, born and raised in Bridgeport, said, "Moe's has great milkshakes and vegetarian options which are an awesome plus!" This one-stop-burger-shop is definitely the place to go for lunch with friends. 

6. Garden Catering

Garden Catering, just out of the Bridgeport city line on Black Rock Turnpike, is the best place for you chicken lovers! Their chicken nuggets are the best in the area, are made with 100% white chicken breast. But chicken is not all they do: they are known for their amazing potato cones, delicious wraps, and healthy salads. They also have eight homemade sauces made to perfection for dipping. Customers rave about the BBQ, honey mustard.

#SpoonTip: If you are looking for an extra kick to your food, ask for their special seasoning to get a mouth full of flavor! 

There are many different options out there for Bridgeport students to explore and enjoy! Next time you're hungry and want to escape the campus for a bite to eat, I challenge you to go somewhere new. Bon appetit!