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Your guide to the best spots to eat on campus

Lucas Yang/The Observer

Do you struggle to use your meal swipes effectively? Do you regret spending money on lackluster food? Have you ever had your order stolen at The Den by Denny’s? If any of these apply to you, then this guide to all the best places to eat around campus should help. Some options are available on the meal plan, others accept CaseCash and a few are a fun treat if you’re willing to drop a little cash. All of the above will leave you feeling full, satisfied and ready to get on with the rest of your day.

On Campus

Tomlinson Subway

One of the most popular places to eat on the Quad. At their busiest, it can take an hour to get your sandwich, and the hours are very limited. However, it does take a meal swipe, unlike the Subway on Euclid Avenue.

The Jolly Scholar

Why do they only give you so few swipes a week to eat here? There are so many options and the milkshakes are some of my favorite things on campus. I find myself trying to save my swipes until the end of the week because I look forward to treating myself at Jolly. The bowls are great for a meal swipe and the wings—when they are available as swipes—sell out fast. Jolly is easily a fan favorite among students. I haven’t even checked out most of the menu that is not on the meal plan, but people from outside of Case Western Reserve University come to eat and have parties here all the time, so it must be good too.

Plum Market

One of my favorite places to eat on campus. You can only order on Transact and it uses a meal swipe as well. There are a ton of options and the food is high quality. Some options sell out fast and you might not be able to get exactly what you want, but they have substitutes for sides in case they run out. The sushi is usually sold out by the time I order, but the burgers, chicken sandwiches and even the fresh fruit are amazing. You can eat in the cafe or take a bag to go.


It’s a little underrated, and only really helpful when you are in the North Residential Village, but the food is good and the people that work there are amazing. The smoothies, especially the wildberry flavor, are incredible and the food as a whole is much healthier than The Den, the other “late night” option nearby. The downside is that they close by midnight and have fairly limited hours for a place advertised as open late. Still, I found myself going there more often as the school year progressed and I was perfectly fine with eating there.

Ignore The Den

Unless you are starving at 1 a.m. or are ready to wait an hour for your food, I have found that it is best to avoid The Den. It may be the only place open late at night, but it is packed and there is a high chance of your order being stolen. It is a great choice if you are walking by and want to pick it up in the afternoon. However, once the sun sets, it is the busiest place to eat.

Tinkham Veale University Center

There are three main places to get food other than donuts in Tink: Melt U, PK at CWRU and Pinza’s. Melt U has good sandwiches and the fries are amazing. Their soups are great, especially if it’s cold or you’re sick. Their salads are also surprisingly delicious, if you want something less greasy. PK at CWRU is good when it is a good day. Sometimes they have iffy days when the food is dry or greasy, but overall, probably my go-to in Tink. Pinza’s is the slowest place in Tink, and their customer service is not the best, but they are also in the food service industry on a college campus, so I can’t really blame them. They also have customizable salads and meat other than chicken, which is sometimes hard to find. Pinza’s has burgers, pizza and pasta; if they were not always so busy and slow, I would definitely eat there more.

Off Campus

Chopstick Chinese Restaurant

Cheap and they give you a lot of food. You can get one or two entrees with a side for cheaper than what most of the other places on campus offer for the same amount of food. Their Bang Bang Chicken is incredible and they have a lot of fun drink options as well. If you choose from the pre-prepared food at the counter, you will get your food almost instantly, with sides, drinks and anything else they make coming later. It is really easy to order there and again, it comes at a great price.


This is kind of an Asian version of Chipotle. Like Chipotle, Bibibop is a chain restaurant that has a ton of customizable options available in large portion sizes. It can feed you for two or three days based on how much you eat, or you could eat it all in one go. There are also sauces, and different ways you can build your bowl, and all of it is good every time.


I couldn’t write about Bibibop and not include Chipotle, a student staple. They are often busy and I’d recommend using GrubHub to order from here, because the line will wrap around the inside of the building if you order in person.


Amazing burgers and even better milkshakes. Their fries are delicious and it is one of the only places I would order for delivery. I splurged on this two or three times this past year, and I did not regret it.


You will constantly see this at campus events and given away as prizes. They have great ice cream and are a Cleveland staple. There are a ton of options with pints and quarts that you can take home with you. I fear my entire freezer this year will be full of Mitchell’s ice cream

Indian Flame

I have friends who choose this over any other food on or around campus. There are different levels of heat based on what you can handle, and while the building is small, it is a great place to meet friends or get takeout.

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