Grease trucks, fancy Asian entrees, hipster coffee and dope Mexican take-out. Where else can you find this much variety on a college campus than at Rutgers?

What started as the home of grease trucks and Fat Sandwiches has now transformed into a melting pot of food cultures anyone would be unlucky to miss out on.

Here's an eating and drinking guide to help you navigate the Rutgers food scene and find food for every mood. 

1. When you've got the munchies at 2 am: Hansel and Griddle 

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Whether you’re throwing a lit party in your dorm or binge watching Netflix, eventually everyone gives in to the munchies. Sure, you could call Domino’s to the rescue, but why do that if you go to Rutgers?

Hansel 'n Griddle is definitely the best place to hit up if you’ve got the munchies. They’ve got giant burgers, quesadillas and buffalo chicken wings—literally anything your heart desires. And they deliver until 3 am, which is perfect if you've had too many shots to walk across campus. 

What to Order: The Popcorn Buffalo Chicken Crisp is the hot stuff, but if you're in the mood to chow down some breakfast at 2 am, attack The Breakfast Crisp loaded with salsa and sour cream. Don't worry, we're not judging you. We've seen stranger things. 

#SpoonTip: We all have those moments when everything on the menu looks too good to be true. Look for the “Top 20” sign on their menu—they're are Hansel and Griddle’s most popular items.

Location: 130 Easton Avenue New Brunswick NJ 08901 

2. When you need to grab lunch for under $10 between classes: Mamoun's Falafel  

rice, beans
Yashna Kothary

If you’re on a quest to find refreshing food and drinks between classes, you’ve come to the right place. Mamoun’s is a sanctuary for students who love food that is affordable, fresh, and flavorful. And luckily for you, their classic Middle-Eastern dishes are customizable. Lunch for the week is done, done and done without going broke.

Their platters are filling, but if you really want the full Middle-Eastern bazaar experience, order the baklava and the tamarind juice. I can’t really place my finger on why I'm so addicted to Mamoun's. Oh well, I guess I gotta order it again to figure it out.

What to Order: I’ll let you in on a secret: the cure for your Monday blues is hidden in their hummus. Order tons of it and save it for hump day (trust me, you'll need it). My personal go-to is the vegetarian combo plate with baba ganouj, tabbouleh—and of course—extra hummus. Warning: Their hot sauce is extremely HOT. Eat at your own risk and chug a gallon of water after. 

#SpoonTip: Go to Mamoun’s around 2:00 pm when it’s a little less crowded. On your way out the door, order their refreshing mint lemonade to sip on during class. When life gives you lemons, you get yo’self some mint lemonade from Mamoun’s.

Location: 58 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 

3. When you’re cramming for exams and the library is full: Caffe Bene 

chocolate, cake, caramel, cream, pastry, cheesecake, sweet
Photo by Brian Maduruh 

Caffe Bene has everything you need for your long study sesh: comfy chairs, spacious tables, and delicious coffee to prevent you from snoozing on your biology textbook. With the calm atmosphere and the aroma of coffee permeating throughout the room, this place becomes the perfect study spot.

Caffe Bene maintains a balance of European and Asian flavors by serving a large range of Italian coffee alongside their Misaguru Frappe, Red Bean Bingsu, and Green Tea Gelato. Fuel up for your study session with their portabella Sandwich, and then treat yourself to their decadent dessert waffles. You deserve it.

What to Order: Start off with an espresso macchiato and end the long hours with a cappuccino. Don’t worry a latte about your grade, the coffee gods have already taken care of that.

Location: 356 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

 4. When you need to feed your hipster soul: Hidden Grounds  

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Hidden Grounds is a one stop shop for all things hipster—succulents, unfinished wooden tables, white brick walls and freshly ground coffee. Started by two kids fresh out of school a couple of years ago, Hidden Grounds now serves at two locations, both brightly lit basements, and both equally popular.

Besides being the best place to just chill at, HG also hosts and lets you host a bunch of community oriented events like latte art demos, mini flea markets and open mic nights. 

What to Order: Honestly, Hidden Grounds has SO many creative options to choose from. Their masala chai and hibiscus doughnuts are great if you’re not hungry hungry. If, like me, you believe that more food is the answer to every question, order the Bombay sandwich.

Location: 106 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

5. When you're craving greasy drunk food: RU Hungry Truck

A photo posted by Nick loves food. (@nicky_eats) on

Demolishing a Fat Sandwich from the RUHungry grease truck should be right up there with the semester check-in and course registration on your first week of school to-do list.

For those unaware, a Fat Sandwich is a massive junk food party in a sandwich—miraculously accommodating chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, gyro meat and the likes, all in a single sub roll. Founded in the 80’s, the grease truck has established itself as a unique part of Rutgers’ culture with its ridiculous challenges and colorful names for sandwiches.

The truck was featured on Man vs. Food and one of their student inventions was even voted #1 sandwich in the country by Maxim Magazine. While the truck feeds hungry students all day, its clientele soars around 1:00 am when the drunkzillas are out and ravenous.

What to Order: While there are a bunch of options for both meat-lovers and vegetarians, the Fat Darrell and Fat Indian are their best-selling creations. Too lazy to walk up to College Ave? Enjoy home delivery until 2:00 am. 

Location: 159 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

5. When you're trying to be healthy: KBG Korean BBQ & Grill

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The first two thoughts guaranteed to run through your mind when you’ve had your first spoonful at KBG are "where has this been all my life?" and "when did being healthy taste this good?"

To put it simply, KBG is Chipotle’s cooler Asian cousin, a delicious blend of Korean BBQ and elements like guac, pico de gallo and sour cream. Like Chipotle, the entrees include customizable tacos, burritos and bowls with delicious moderately-priced sides like chicken wings, mandoo or dumplings, and K-Town Fries.

The best part about this place is how great the food tastes irrespective of your choice of protein. An added bonus is the Vivi Bubble Tea counter right next to KBG to perfectly accompany your meal.

What to Order: A bowl with kimchi rice and your choice of protein. Don’t forget to add glass noodles, the bomb Super KBG sauce and a giant dollop of sour cream. If you’re into the idea of cheese on kimchi on fries (umm, YES), get the K-Town Fries. And walk over to Vivi and buy yourself a bubble tea.

#SpoonTip: Though KBG does deliver, they’re a lot more generous about the toppings and portions in person, so walk over—t’s worth it! Also, a large bowl can feed you for both lunch and dinner and tastes pretty good cold, so you’re set for most of the day.

Location: 6 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 

6. When your parents are visiting and footing the bill: Due Mari

Due Mari honestly makes you feel like you’re eating at an entirely different New Brunswick. The minimalistic decor, brilliant service, delicious menu and perfectly presented food make it a must-visit if your parents are visiting or dropping you off at school.

Unlike most other restaurants in New Brunswick, you don’t really see any students unless, like you, they’re impeccably dressed and quietly enjoying a meal with their parents. Due Mari also has insane lighting, so take a picture (or 20).

What to Order: Literally anything. The pasta especially comes highly recommended because its all handmade.

#SpoonTip: They have an express lunch for $16 with a choice of two from half a salad, soup, sandwich or pasta. You can thank us later. 

Location: 78 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

7. When you're "doin' it for the Insta": Tacoria

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The long waiting lines at Tacoria, regardless of time of day or weather, is a clear indication of its increasing popularity with Rutgers students. The relatively new kid on the block serves up delicious, affordable and customizable entrees and makes for a perfect segue from drinks at the bar to an energy-sucking night at the club.

Tacoria's friendly service, rad playlists and gorgeously lit patio also make it the best place to chill any day or time of the week. The beautiful food and perfect lighting make it hard to not take a gorgeous shot. Insta away!

What to Order: Golden avocados are the protein you've been praying for—what's not to love about a deep-fried avocado wedge? The nacho pies are delish and massive, so treat even half a portion as an entree. Everything on the menu washes down perfectly with a mandarin or tamarind Jarritos.

#SpoonTip: Tacoria is BYOB-friendly so grab a couple of beers, head to the patio and Insta the food with the sunset in the background. Perfection.

Location: 56A Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

8. When you're craving something sweet: Thomas Sweet

Indulge your inner child and visit Thomas Sweet. This cute little shop, established in 1979, always has a stream of students and families lining up outside the door on weekends. Besides the owners’ friendly relationship with the community, their fresh ice cream has created waves words can’t explain—you have to taste it to believe it.

They have more than 20 different ice cream flavors, mostly seasonal, each of which you can pair with a range of toppings. Thomas Sweet is most famous for their Blend-ins, a luscious blend of your favorite ice cream and toppings. Do yourself a favor and order an ice cream cake on your birthday (bad days work well too).

What To Order: Oreo N' Creme ice cream blended with peanut butter cups because dreams do come true.

Location: 55 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

9. When you want to stuff your face: Stuff Yer Face

A photo posted by Brenda Hon (@brendaxhon) on

Founded in the 70s and located in a 150 year old building, Stuff Yer Face is a major food landmark at Rutgers. Serving more than 100 varieties of beer and massive strombolis, Stuff Yer Face is appropriately named and almost always packed with people.

While they do serve underage patrons, the best way to enjoy SYF is to order a customized stromboli and wash it down with a neon, fruity fishbowl. Finding the side note stating that a person is limited to only one fishbowl should give you an idea of how potent it really is. Fun fact: Mario Batali worked here!

What to Order: Chicken Wing Potachos, which are essentially nachos made with thick potato chips, is a super popular dish. Add a Horny Hawaiian fishbowl and a My Favorite Boli and you will find yourself thoroughly satisfied (but probably stationary for hours).

Location: 49 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

10. When you or your friends don't eat meat: Veganized

avocado, cheese
Yashna Kothary

Get Veganized if you’re feeling quirky and adventurous. My favorite aspect of Veganized is that they use organic, seasonal produce from local farms. Their menu is filled with sinful vegan cashew cheese, grilled oyster mushrooms and some sweet potato mash-ups. For me, it doesn’t get better than healthy eats plated beautifully.

Be sure to pick up a post-workout meal from Veganized and your body will thank you later (IF you happen to visit the gym this semester). The staff’s hard work at Veganized shines through their food and explains perfectly why they were rated one of the best restaurants in New Jersey.

What to Order: The Sunshine Sandwich will satisfy your inner hippie and for good karma order the 14 Karat Cake. You may not have a ginormous ring on your finger, but hey, at least you have this beautiful cake to call your life-long partner.

Location: 9 Spring Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

11. When you're craving a slice: Panico's

Yashna Kothary

By the time Friday rolls out, your hungry, deprived soul deserves a lip-smacking brick-oven pizza. Take a break from Papa John’s and order a pie from Panico’s. With their tangy tomato sauce and their crispy thin crust, how can you refuse? Just thinking about it puts you in the mood for pizza even if you weren't already. 

What to Order: The Hamilton Street Pizza, which is a simple margarita pie, is a true crowd pleaser. You could never go wrong with the Plum Street Pizza. Kill two birds with one stone by going to Panico’s and learn the streets of New Brunswick just by eating pizza. 

Location: 103 Church Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

12. When you're hungover and can't deal with the am: Fritz's

Whether you're an early bird that likes to start off the day healthy with a greek yogurt and granola parfait or a hungover pig that needs a giant spread with a side of grilled cheese to get out of bed, Fritz's has got you covered.

Their seasonal menu is inspired by local ingredients, and boasts several healthy, vegetarian and gluten-free options, Fritz's is the perfect place to enjoy a meal at any time of the day. What takes their sandwiches to the next level is the fact that they're handmade and made fresh to order.

Fritz's also hosts events and giveaways like free pretzels on game days and green Whoopie Pies on St. Patrick's Day so make sure to follow them on social media. Also beware their extensive dessert menu.

What to Order: The spinach & artichoke grilled cheese is every carb-lover's dream. End your meal with a Hybrid Brownie or two, too.

Location: 115 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

13. When you're feeling adventurous: Dashen Ethiopian Cuisine

Photo by Janet Mendez

While Ethiopian food does not always look very photogenic, the flavors, textures and the ritual of eating it all with your hands will leave you with one of the most satisfying meal experiences you'll have all year.

Traditional sourdough bread, injera, buried beneath curries is sometimes presented on a plate large enough for 3-4 people to eat off of. The staff at Dashen are happy to guide you if you're not sure what to get, so feel free to ask them what they'd recommend for your palate. The cuisine is so different from any other you'll find in New Brunswick, any meal at Dashen promises to be an interesting, delicious break from the ordinary.

What to Order: Get the Injera with the meat or vegetarian combo. Some of the best sides to try are the Misir Wot, Azade Tibs, Atilt Wot and Shiro. And end with the Jejuna Buna, authentic Ethiopian coffee.

#SpoonTip: Make sure you're at Dashen before 3 pm. The prices on the menu almost double after 3 pm, a little too early but considered equivalent to dinner and therefore, dinner prices. 

Location: 88 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

14. When you wanna party hard: Hotoke

Though Olde Queen's and Huey's Knight Club are old and long-time favorites, Hotoke belongs to a league of its own. This modern Asian-fusion restaurant and lounge has dark, Asian-inspired interiors, serves bougie cocktails and has a "big city" vibe to it.

It's really the perfect place for your adult self. The one that's SO done with the other sticky-floored, over-populated clubs in New Brunswick. 

What to Order: Cucumber Zen Martini or the Samurai Mojito. If you want to snack on something, try the chicken satay or the sushi.

#SpoonTip: All appetizers have a 30% discount between 4-7 pm. On Latin Thursdays, all drink are half-price, so see y'all there next Thursday.

Location: 350 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901