Picture this: you live on the north side of the campus. You're sick of the lines and the predictable menu at Sargent Hall but it's too cold to trudge to Allison. So, you begrudgingly walk to Sargent, but on the way, you pass by Lisa's Cafe. You've heard people talk about this place before, but you only remember them complaining about its unreasonably high prices. And you think to yourself: "I'm a college student. I can't be spending so much money."

Little did you know that Lisa's Cafe is actually the best dining location at Northwestern, and many (although not all) of their items are very much worth the buck.

One of the best things about Lisa's is that they're open until 3AM every. single. day. That means that your post-frat party drunchies for chicken tenders could actually be satisfied if you'd just walk (or run) a couple feet further to Lisa's. Or, if you just happen to be hungry at 1AM, you can walk down to the cafe and get some of best items offered at Lisa's. Here's what I get when I'm starving at mid-morning, mid-day, midnight, and beyond.

Egg Sandwich on Brioche Bun & Intelligentsia Coffee

Joanna Kim

For those who don't know, you can now exchange your dining swipes for selected orders at dining locations. At Lisa's, you can swipe in for an egg sandwich and coffee (from Intelligentsia coffee, which is objectively better than Starbucks). The sandwich comes with a protein of your choice--sausage patty, bacon, ham, or veggies--vegan pretzel roll or brioche bun, eggs, and cheddar cheese. I always get the brioche bun with bacon, fried egg, and cheddar cheese, and I'd argue that it's the BEST food Northwestern offers.

But before you start hoarding Lisa's egg sandwiches and coffee, be warned: you can only use meal exchange twice a week! It's all about restraint, my friends.

Keep in mind, if you don't have enough swipes or would rather pay in cash, the sandwich costs $6.99. That's pretty expensive compared to a Starbucks egg sandwich, which is $3.80. Therefore, I recommend you only get this if you a) are seriously craving some good brioche bun and/or b) have enough meal swipes.

As for the brewed coffee, it costs $2.75 at Lisa's (Starbuck's coffee costs $2.45 + tax + whatever extra you would spend on adding a fancy milk option). Skip the trek to Norris or Sherman and opt for Lisa's Intelligentsia Coffee,

Justin's Nut Butter Squeeze Packs

Joanna Kim

I don't know about you, but I discovered Justin's nut butter when I saw Kim Kardashian eating it. And now, I'm obsessed. These travel-sized almond butter packs are perfect for when you're late to your morning class, and you're sick of your same old granola bars. Grab these from the store and eat them on-the-go! As for the price, they're slightly more expensive than Whole Foods (the almond butter is $1.79 at Lisa's and $1.39 + tax at Whole Foods) but for a last-minute "half-breakfast," it's worth it.

Hewn's Croissants

Joanna Kim

These croissants are from Hewn Bread, a family-owned bakery here in Evanston. Hewn's artisan breads aren't mass-produced (like Starbucks' pastries *ahem*); their breads are "hand-mixed, hand-shaped and naturally fermented without commercial yeast or any preservatives, chemicals, or additives," which is just a fancy way of saying they're damn good quality.  And let me tell you, you can really taste the difference between a hand-made bread and one processed in a machine. These croissants are perfectly flakey and so buttery! Also, they're $0.25 CHEAPER at Lisa's Cafe than at the actual bakery ($4.25 at Lisa's)!

Lisa's also sells Hewn muffins, scones, and other croissants, but their plain croissant is my favorite!

Do-Rite Donuts

Joanna Kim

Do-Rite Donuts really do it right. Their chocolate old-fashioned donuts are crisply fried on the outside and dense and heavenly on the inside. Better yet, they're both delicious and crazy inexpensive: at the actual donut store these creations each cost $2.85 + tax, while at Lisa's one will cost you $3. If you have a sweet tooth or are craving chocolate, I definitely recommend you order one.

They also offer Do-Rite gluten-free donuts, maple bacon donuts, and apple fritters!

Items Taking the L at Lisa's

What's more tempting than a pint of ice cream after a long day? Probably nothing. Unfortunately, you won't be able to satisfy this craving at Lisa's (well... without being fiscally irresponsible). Recently, I bought Talenti gelato from Lisa's on my way home. But when my ice cream high faded, I realized how expensive the ice cream really was. $6.99 at the store, and when I checked online, it's sold for $4.19 at Target! The little chunks of chocolate peeking through the see-through Talenti container are hypnotic--don't fall for the trap! 

Joanna Kim

In fact, I would stay away from the dairy section at Lisa's all together. All of their yogurts are at least twice the price those at Whole Foods or Target. (Chobani is $1.99 at Lisa's, but $.99 at Target! Cho-bye!)

The Low-Down at Lisa's

But at the end of the day, we all have flaws. Lisa's, I forgive you for hiking up the price of dairy goods because you provide me and other North campus students with fantastic breakfast sandwiches and old-fashioned donuts. It can get tough to hear those South campus elitists bragging about Hinman's new taco bar and their close proximity to Colectivo. Thankfully, for all of us North campus folks, Lisa's always promises to provide.