I have a PSA for all Union College students and faculty (and anyone in the Schenectady/Albany area): we know that there are plenty of good places to find good food around Union, but none like this a cute, new organic eatery.

Raw is located on Jay Street, just three minutes away from Union's campus. And if you think it's just another bougie, overpriced joint you've got it all wrong. Here are just some of many reasons why you need to check out Raw.

1. The Açai Bowls (obviously)

Raw became well known among students quickly after its opening because it's the only place around to get an açai bowl. There are two main options, one regular bowl and one with peanut butter and more fruit.

While this may seem slightly limited, you're more than welcome to customize your order to fit exactly what you want. They even have gluten-free granola. If you're out of the Schenectady area, be sure to check out the best places for açai bowls on the east coast. 

4. The Smoothies

Their smoothie menu features fruit smoothies, veggie smoothies, and protein-powered peanut smoothies that are sure to please. They are jam-packed with ingredients that are sure to keep you full and satisfied.

They also have specials all the time, for example, the last time I went, they had a peach pie flavored smoothie...YES PLEASE. Curious as how to make one? Get familiar with the anatomy of a simple smoothie. 

3. The Coffee

Raw features all your normal coffee options (hot, iced, skim milk, cream, sugar, Splenda, etc.) but all their coffee is fair trade, making you pleasantly surprised by the quality even when ordering a plain cup of joe.

For all your flavor lovers out there, they have specials (Pecan Sticky Bun or Pumpkin Spice, anyone?). They have what you want, even if you don't even know what you want. These are all sure to have you ditching regular dining hall coffee any day.

4. The Grab-N-Go Section

Want a parfait to go? Maybe a salad or rice pilaf for dinner later? Some fresh fruit? Each day Raw stocks up their grab-g-go section with various fresh items that always look extremely enticing while you're waiting in line for your smoothie or coffee before class.

They've even added "power" boxes with protein-filled snacks such as PB, cheese, grapes, celery, and eggs. 

5. The Products for Sale

Onion chips, coconut chips, organic gum, protein powder, power bars, granola, cookies, peanut and nut butters...The list goes on. These are some of the delicious snacks Raw sells that are perfect to bring back to your dorm room. 

Your body will thank you for filling your tummy with healthy nut butters and other products rather than those overpriced Cheez-Its from the bookstore you bought on impulse. 

6. The Swag

Totes, hats, and shirts—all of these items are definitely key for making a statement on campus and getting Raw's name out there.

7. The People

The few times that I've gone to Raw since returning to school, I have been nothing but impressed with the service and genuine personalities of the people behind the counter. They are extremely friendly, accommodating people and clearly love what they do. The owners are taking one more step to making Schenectady a welcoming, warm place for those around it.

So what are you waiting for? Get off your bum and make the three minute drive or ten minute walk from campus over to grab a smoothie, salad or snack. You won't regret it.