Looking for an escape from campus for the day? Tired of cafeteria food? Don't have a car but want a new study spot? No more than a 15 minute walk from campus is a homey bakery that serves french dishes alongside their fresh, delicious bread. Le Pain Quotidien offers a wide range of options that are both healthy and tasty, making it friendly to many even with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Le Pain somehow manages to keep its small, french bakery charm, complete with their rustic look and a communal table, while having over 200 locations worldwide. This is something you don't find everyday. You will probably want to try everything on the menu, but here is a glimpse at what an afternoon at Le Pain Quotidien looks and tastes like: 


Mint Lemonade

The Mint Lemonade, at $3.25, was a bit lackluster, but it was refreshing on a hot day while studying at one of their outside tables (which offered plenty of shade). I probably would not get this again, as it is something I could get for much less somewhere else, not to mention that I am a college student on a budget.

smoothie, lemon, ice, cocktail, juice, mint
Leila Schneider

Green Tea Latte 

Something charming about the warm drinks at Le Pain is that they are all served in bowls that are easy to pick up and sip out of from the side. According to Le Pain, the founder, Alain Coumont, would go to his grandmother's house every week and be greeted with a bowl of hot chocolate. The green tea latte is unsweetened but you can always add sugar or sweetener. Other than that, the green tea flavor is strong but not too bitter, and I highly recommend it. 


parsley, garlic, bread, soup
Leila Schneider

Lentil Soup 

It was a hot day and I still absolutely loved this soup. My waiter recommended it to me and it did not disappoint. It was rich and not too salty. It even comes with a slice of fresh sourdough (to dip in, of course)!

Leila Schneider

Chicken Curry Salad Tartine 

I can only describe this tartine as an explosion of flavors. The whole wheat sourdough bread is the perfect base for this salad, and the cranberry-harissa chutney pairs perfectly with the chicken curry. Bonus points if you add avocado.

pork, barbecue, meat, chicken
Leila Schneider

Croque Monsieur

This sandwich takes the prize for my favorite thing on the menu. If you're a cheese fan, this sandwich is for you. It will come to your table hot and ready to be devoured. The cheese oozes perfectly, making it an insta-worthy meal. The salad on the side will help you feel more healthy. 

banana, vegetable
Leila Schneider

Roasted Turkey and Avocado Tartine 

It's loaded with vegetables and delicious. The arugula gives the dish an extra kick and in my case I ordered cheese on top. Always order extra cheese.


I have to say, Le Pain is pricey for a college student on a budget like myself. It came down to about $33 for a drink, soup and sandwich (plus tip). That being said, it was a much needed retreat from campus, and it can be a perfect plan for parents weekend or for a post-midterm celebration brunch. 

bread, avocado
Leila Schneider

Final Thoughts 

For a 15 minute walk from campus, eating at Le Pain Quotidien feels like miles away from the bubble of campus, with great service and even better food. For serious foodies, I recommend looking at their cookbook, filled with even more french dishes that will surely impress friends and family. Coming here more than a few times a semester for a meal would be an expensive lifestyle, but Le Pain's cozy interior offers a great study space and a fun place to go with friends for pastries, lunch, or a refreshing outing.