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The Gavel's Guide to the Best Off-Campus Eats

Amid the repetitive and often flavorless dining options at BC, students are fortunate enough to have an array of tasty off-campus options. While there are many perks that accompany living in a city as stimulating as Boston, it is safe to say that the culinary variety and quality stands out amongst the rest. However, it can be difficult with a busy schedule and college budget to make it all the way into the heart of Boston when you're craving something other than chicken-with-two-sides. Luckily, there are many great restaurants just a T stop or two away from campus, making it completely feasible to find a fantastic off-campus meal. Whether you are entertaining a visitor or are planning on making the most of eating out during parent’s weekend, the following restaurants are consistently gratifying.

El Pelón: Mexican

Easily the most popular and accessible choice for an off-campus meal, El Pelón Taqueria offers delicious Mexican food with the ease of a take-out restaurant. Although lines can sometimes get long, the wait is worth it when you have that giant burrito in your hands.

The Cottage: California Cuisine

If the dreary Boston weather is becoming too much for you, a trip to The Cottage is sure to revive you. It offers a west-coast ambiance, with a well-lit, clean atmosphere and delectably fresh, creative meals. There is a wide range of seafood, salads, burgers, and sandwiches, and their brunch menu has comfort food that is both delicious and light, so you won't have to suffer from a food coma. Additionally, there are many gluten-free options for those who need special dietary accommodations.

Barcelona: Spanish Tapas

If you’re unlike me and can actually share food with people, Barcelona is a great place to go with friends. The menu offers a vast array of cheeses to start with, and the wait staff is more than happy to help translate the Spanish menu. Although the plates are small (three is typically an appropriate amount for a meal), they are incredibly rich, so don’t let your eyes become bigger than your stomach. It’s a great opportunity to try different things and share with those you are dining with. Vegans beware: If you don’t eat meat or dairy, this is not the restaurant for you.

Daikanyama: Sushi

Described as “the best sushi I’ve ever had” by Chestnut Hill native Alana Willsey, MCAS '20, Daikanyama is a favorite of locals and students alike. The innovative menu offers surprising flavor combinations, sure to excite even the most adventurous of foodies. The expansive menu will have you returning time and time again to try the creative concoctions emerging from the kitchen.

Union Street: Trendy Bistro

Union Street is a perfect choice for a big group, with outdoor seating and an expansive menu. It puts a creative spin on typical American bistro food, and is a charming classic twist on a sports bar. The appetizers are so good, you may not even make it to your main entrée.

Tartufo: Italian

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to venture all the way to the North End for deliciously authentic Italian food. The homemade pasta, cooked to perfection, is Tartufo's hallmark. Although it is a bit pricier, if Italian classics are what you are craving, Tartufo is the spot to be.

Johnny’s Luncheonette: Diner

A friendly wait staff, a cozy ambiance, and delicious diner food: What more could you want? Johnny’s Luncheonette is all the fun of a retro diner, with appetizing signature dishes. Their grilled muffins, sweet potato fries, and Nutella french toast are tried-and-true classics. The best part? They serve breakfast all day long—perfect for those weekends when brunch at 3 p.m. is considered perfectly acceptable.

I drink my coffee black and scalding but have yet to finish a cup of tea