It’s a well-known fact that food is necessary for survival. However, until the age of nearly 18, and sometimes older, we don’t control this all-important factor in our success as a species. Our food is cultured, prepared and served to us by various forms of authority: parents, cafeteria ladies, the man. When you arrive at college for the first time, you suddenly get to make your own food choices. You can shop for snacks and sweets at one of the many stores on campus, or get a full-blown meal of your choice either from a truck or a stationary room. You decide if potato chips can actually sustain you for three weeks and how much coffee is too much coffee. That late-night donut craving is suddenly satisfiable. All you have to do is choose which place to spend your hard-earned money on your next delicacy. Here are our picks for where to go.
As both a college student and barista, I can not overemphasize the importance of coffee in my life. Thankfully, the University of Utah offers a surprisingly wide array of caffeine hookups around campus. I’ve sampled my fair share, and I can confidently say that Two Creek — narrowly yet consistently — offers the best lattes around. On top of that, the location up in the Crocker Science Center offers delicious salads and paninis to turn that coffee run into a nice breakfast or lunch date. All things considered, Two Creek has to be my personal favorite for a quick bite on campus. — Chris Payne
Two Creek Coffee House carries plant-based milk alternatives, the staff is always friendly and the coffee is great. Two Creek prides itself on providing students with locally-sourced coffee and pastries on campus. Located in the Crocker Science Building and in the William Browning Building, Two Creek is my go-to place for a caffeine fix before class. My usual drink is an almond milk latte, but they also have a wonderful selection of black, green and herbal teas. — Alaikia Marielle
For most places that I go to study, I have a simple test — what’s the chai like? This could be the definitive test for any coffee shop. Except one. I make an exception for Caffe Ibis. The Red Chair Cafe in the U Sorenson Arts and Education Complex does make a mean chai, but beyond that, they serve triple-certified organic coffee. What does that even mean? It means that Caffe Ibis cares about a full spectrum of issues related to coffee production. In partnership with multiple organizations, including Fair Trade USA, they support the environment, workers’ rights and several local causes. Maybe just the knowledge of this helps, but the rich taste does seem to reflect their ethical effort. Besides this, the Red Chair menu has options for any palate. I almost cried from joy when I first read “vegan soup” on their chalkboard. It’s a peaceful environment with savory foods and a beautiful view of campus. — Alison Myers
You may call it “basic,” but it is so good. Despite its odd choice of cup sizing, Starbucks has a following and for good reason. You always know what to expect and their drinks taste amazing. Whether you go for an Americano, the new Cloud Brew or a simple drip, Starbucks has the coffee you desire in the middle of your three-class day. For those of you non-coffee drinkers, don’t just dismiss the wonderful world-renown beverage facility. There are a variety of iced drinks, teas and more just for you. I personally recommend the Cold Buster if you go in thinking it’s not a coffee day. The Cold Buster consists of a Starbucks-Tazo tea and steamed lemonade. But for me, on an average day, I go classic and basic with my Grande Caramel Latte. Easy, tasty and it does the job of fulfilling my coffee cravings. Visit the Starbucks in the Campus Store across from the Marriott Library. — Abigail Raasch
My favorite place to eat on campus is the taco food truck. It’s always tasty and reliable and it’s not super expensive. The owner of the food truck is funny and recognizes his regulars. Plus, the food is authentic compared to other cultural food trucks on campus. — Palak Jayswal
The best food on campus is not from Dining Services at all. Bento Truck, which sells simple but delicious Japanese dishes, is far and away the best lunch option at the U. The combo box completely fills me up for less than 10 dollars and the staff is remarkably fast, even when the line stretches down the street, which is often. Bento Truck has been a saving grace on long, hungry days where school seems to stretch on endlessly. If there were any justice in the world, Bento would be the first food truck to win an honorary degree. — Josh Petersen
Tandoori food truck, often by the library, is a blessing. It offers two kinds of chicken curry and a vegan choice. The sauce is creamy and rich, and the meat is tender and full of flavor. I especially love the vegan curry, because the veggies are insanely juicy and delicious. The people there are super friendly and welcome. They even gave me a free Coke one time when they were closing. The new Gardner building opened its curry section a few weeks ago, but it fails to rival Tandoori. — Yixin Song
Stationary buildings, an old fashioned sit down meal
Students often criticize the Peterson Heritage Center dining hall, but with some swipes and creativity, it can skyrocket up your top 10 list. Located on upper campus, the PHC has a lot to offer. Here are a few hacks.
Create Your Own Rice Bowl
Grab some rice or spinach as a base. Add beans, sautéed vegetables and tofu or chicken from the salad bar. Top it all off with your favorite sauce or dressing. (Ingredients may vary depending on what is available.)
Any Hour Panini Bagel
Use the panini press to make a breakfast bagel sandwich with eggs and bacon. For lunch or dinner, make a panini asiago bagel with spinach, tomatoes, provolone cheese and mayonnaise.
Root Beer Float
A classic combination of vanilla ice cream and root beer. — Sofia Sant’Anna Skites
The Crimson View used to be the undiscovered secret of eating on campus. Overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, it was a great spot to chat with friends, eat good food and enjoy the view. Their menu has something for everyone from salads to healthy rice bowls next to burgers and grilled cheese. My personal favorite is their chicken tenders, scalding hot and perfectly breaded. They taste even better with the fries. The Crimson View is the perfect spot to eat whether you are a loner or a people person. Grab a book and people-watch by the window or chat in an expansive space that is somehow significantly quieter than the cafeteria below. The Crimson View is on the fourth floor of the Union, but get there early, because the secret is out. — Madge Slack
My choice for a favorite place to frequent on campus is Mom’s Cafe. It may not be the first choice of many, but it’s convenient, quick and has stuff I can eat. The quaint cafe is located on the lower level of the Marriott Library which is conveniently near all my classes. If you’re lactose intolerant, don’t eat meat or just want something healthy on the go, Mom’s Cafe has several alternatives and healthy options available. They even have the old school punch cards — for every 10 drinks you purchase, you get one free and Tuesdays are double punch days. The prices are fair. They have a hot water tap in the coffee area, a microwave, napkins and plastic utensils and common condiments for free. Across from the eating area is a student store, and there is usually a good amount of seating. It’s fairly quiet and the WiFi is decent. It’s the perfect place for those on the poor students’ budget. — Ray Gill
The Pie Pizzeria is a well-known spot, popular for its fantastic pizza and desserts. It may not technically be on campus, but we have decided to give it honorary status. During lunch hours you can get a slice and a drink by yourself, or maybe bring some friends for a full pie. The cool, underground aesthetic is timeless, with years worth of history graffitied on the brick walls. After more than 30 years and several awards, The Pie has offered stellar, made to order pizza for a fantastic price. Open till 2:00 a.m. on the weekends, The Pie is surely one of the best joints on campus. — Marshall Falkner
These are just a few great options — you know, in case the eight plus coffee shops on campus get a little overwhelming. We at The Chronicle are true food-loving college students and we hope you enjoy or at least try a bit of something delicious someday soon.