For many incoming freshmen, coming to Boston College brings with it the allure of life in the bustling and vibrant city of Boston. Nestled at the end of the MBTA’s green line, BC is on the fringes of the city itself—just far enough to enjoy a sprawling campus in the quaint Chestnut Hill area, but close enough to hop on a quick T ride to Sunday brunch or a stroll through the Boston Common.
While exploring the areas around campus can be a great way to make friends and find new restaurants or study spots, it never hurts to have the inside scoop on the neighborhood’s tried-and-true student favorites. For tips on where to go for every occasion (and price range), let The Gavel’s compilation be your guide.
For some feel-good food:
Moogy’s — $ — This cozy Brighton eatery serves up breakfast food around the clock, while also famous for its subs and hoagies, $1 PBRs, and super chill vibes (including old-school board games to play while you wait for your order). Don’t miss their seasoned curly fries or corndogs—they’re hard to find elsewhere in Boston.
Dates and Olives — $ — Also located in the Brighton area, this fresh Mediterranean grill is a hidden gem. Try the baba ganoush or labneh to start, and choose from a hearty and customizable rice bowl, salad bowl, or pita pocket for the main course. Top your bowl with carrot raisin salad and yogurt mint sauce, and wash it all down with a homemade mango lassi... You won’t be disappointed.
Johnny’s Luncheonette — $$ — For the best breakfast food in the greater Newton area, hop on the Newton bus for a short walk over to Johnny’s in Newton Centre. Whether you’re in the mood for sweet (try the banana bread French toast) or savory (their omelettes and home fries are pretty killer), a meal at Johnny’s promises to never go wrong. Just make sure to get there early as it fills up quickly on the weekends.
Eagle’s Deli — $ — Just a quick Comm. Ave. bus ride from campus, Eagle’s Deli is located conveniently in Cleveland Circle and has been a BC student favorite for decades. More than just a specialty burger joint, they serve up delicious breakfast, sandwiches, wraps, and plenty of super-sized challenges for when you’re feeling particularly adventurous (and hungry).
Deluxe Station Diner — $$ — Take the D branch of the green line all the way down to Newton Centre and you’ll find this quaint diner tucked away in the historic train station building itself. They serve up a wide range of American classics, from flapjacks, to eggs and corned beef hash, to “Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup,” and the meatloaf dinner blue plate special.
El Pelon — $ — Across from St. Ignatius on Lower Campus is the beloved El Pelon, a tiny burrito joint serving up all kinds of delicious Mexican food. For student-favorite dishes, try the Caramelos tacos, filled with grilled steak, guac, salsa, and plenty of cheese, or the famous plantain-and-steak-stuffed El Guapo burrito.
For a coffee break (or study spot):
Fuel America — $$ — For a coffee shop that will actually make you want to study for your midterms, head over to Fuel in Brighton early on weekend mornings (and we mean early—it fills up fast!). Their coffee tastes great (especially the foamy lattes) and their sandwiches are downright delicious. It’s just a bonus that the aesthetic is perfectly Instagram-able.
Peet’s Coffee — $ — Although Peet’s has locations sprinkled throughout the greater Boston area, hop on the Newton bus to reach their Newton Centre location. The coffee is well-priced and the ambiance is perfect to catch up on reading assignments or get some homework done.
Caffe Nero — $$ — Located down along the C branch of the green line towards Coolidge Corner, this coffee shop promises authentic Italian espresso and pastries, as well as plenty of outlets and seating for those long-haul study sessions.
Starbucks — $$ — With convenient locations in both Cleveland Circle and Newton Centre, Starbucks is always a great option for those looking to get caffeinated and productive in a relaxed coffee house environment. Like Fuel, it can be difficult to snag a table or even a chair on weekends, so it may be worth waking up earlier to claim your stake.
Dunkin’ Donuts — $ — While not the best spot to study in itself, don’t forget that the Dunkin’ across from Lower Campus is a great coffee option when heading over to Bapst or O’Neill for a study session. It offers reasonable prices and is a fantastic BC Dining coffee alternative—your taste buds (and Eagle Bucks) will thank you.
For sweet tooth cravings:
White Mountain Creamery — $ — If you haven’t been to White Mountain yet, make it a first priority after arriving on campus in the fall. Located right across from St. Ignatius on Lower Campus, White Mountain is famous among BC students and locals alike. Serving things like homemade whipped cream and the ever-beloved Cookie Monster ice cream flavor, White Mountain stays open until midnight to make your sweet tooth dreams come true.
Paris Creperie — $$ — Hop on the C branch of the green line and make your way down to Coolidge Corner for some outstanding crepes. Paris Creperie makes for the perfect brunch option or late afternoon sweet snack, so grab some friends and head down to this quaint little spot.
J.P. Licks — $$ — With convenient Newton Centre and Coolidge Corner locations, J.P. Licks serves up tasty ice cream and even roasts its own coffee. Some even argue that it’s better than White Mountain, but we’ll let you decide that one on your own.
Kung Fu Tea — $ — Looking for a study break? Take the Comm. Ave. bus over to Cleveland Circle and get some bubble tea to curb your sweet tooth cravings. The Taro milk tea with boba is a classic, but there are tons of tasty options to choose from.