A Guide to Cornell’s Best On-Campus Lunches

Some people attend Cornell for the rigorous academics, others attend for the intellectual atmosphere, and many come for the varied extracurricular experiences. I came here just for the food. Okay, that’s not true, but the point being…Cornell has some Messages-36pretty darn good dining options available, particularly during the lunch hours.

Since I’ve been back to school, just for you dear readers, I ate at as many of my favorite lunch spots on campus as I could, to snag pictures. Why? In part because I thought it’d be a fun topic, and in part because, having blogged for Cornell.edu for almost 4 years, I’m kinda running on exhaust here for post ideas (kidding…just a little bit). But regardless, here’s the fruit of my efforts: a guide to my favorite lunch options on campus. Also, I assume that because I did this for a blog post, I’ll get reimbursed by Cornell’s Office of Web Communications for all these lunches (right Emily/Lisa?).

So, here we go. In no particular order, here are my favorite lunches:

#1: Trillium’s Chicken Parmesan Meal (usually only available on Mondays): I don’t wanna overstate how good Trill’s chicken parm is, but let’s just say that if I was given the option of failing a required course this final semester just to enjoy another 4 monthsMessages of Trillium Chicken Parm…it wouldn’t be an easy choice to make (yes, this is a joke). The garlic bread it comes with is fantastic, as is the marinara sauce on the pasta. Pro-tip: make sure you get your free soda, which comes with the meal. Plus, Ernie is the guy that works behind the counter there, and you’re almost guaranteed a hearty “hello!” from him every time you order it.

#2: Goldie’s Chicken Panini: Just excellent. Ever since Goldie’s opened my freshman year, it’s been a quality place to get soups and sandwiches on the go. The chicken panini has an awesome taste, it’s nicely portioned, and you get a pickle with it. It Messages-2doesn’t get better than that. I will say, though, that mandatory with the meal, in my opinion, is a Yoohoo drink because they have ’em at Goldies, and I haven’t figured out anywhere else on campus that stocks them. Yoohoo brings you back to your childhood, and nothing works better than nostalgia to help you get over that finance prelim.

#3: The Big Red Barn’s Pasta with Sausage: Sometimes when I want to pretend I’m a brilliant PhD student, I “sneak” into Messages-3the Big Red Barn, Cornell’s graduate student center, and grab lunch. The Pasta with sausage is excellent and it’s also a great atmosphere to eat in–very cozy, especially in the winter. I do wish it were a little more generously sized, but whatever.

#4: Synapsis Margarita Pizza: Not too much to say, besides the fact that it’s filling and great. The tomatoes, you can tell, are fresh…and it’s fun to watch it being cooked in the fire oven right in front of you. It’s definitely a nice alternative to a cheesier pizza, as I don’t feel bloated after eating it. Plus, Messages-9I dig the Cornell athletics memorabilia around the place. In general, though, I prefer eating there when it’s not raining inside.

#5: Libe Cafe’s Ham and Swiss sandwich (not pictured): If I’m on Central…I don’t normally stray far away from the Ag Quad, but when I do and am hungry, I try to head to Libe Cafe in Olin–the Ham and Cheese sandwich there is excellent. You also get to eat it in Libe Cafe, which has some of the most comfortable chairs on campus for dining. You gotta grab a Cornell Sun newspaper, score a red chair, and slowly eat it as you hear liberal arts majors having intellectual conversations in the background to get the full experience.

#6: Manndible’s Burrito Bar: It’s definitely a good choice if you’re around the Ag Quad, except they don’t take BRB’s. Everyone there is very friendly and it’s nice to support an Ithaca-owned business. I planned to show a picture of how nice their burritos were…but the plan backfired Messages-12when the burrito wrapper told me the bread was unusual today, and gave me my burrito with a gaping hole in it. Ah well, now you can at least see the inside; it’s not usually presented like this, I promise.

#7: Terrace Salads. I can’t praise enough the glory that is the Terrace lunchtime salad…and the fact that the line stretches out the door every day (almost to Cortland) speaks for itself. I love the orange dressing, lettuce, and meats they have–seriously, Messages9it’s worth trying. A bonus, too, is watching the salad bar employees masterfully put the ingredients together at the speed of light (or close enough). I guess you gotta be that efficient, though, when the line is that long…

So that about wraps up my favorite lunch options on campus. Honorable mentions include Trillium burgers, Cornell dairy (not really lunch, but should be mentioned anyways), and the new Thai wrap from Cafe Jennie in the Cornell Store. And, as always, comment here or message me if you have any feedback!

13 thoughts on “A Guide to Cornell’s Best On-Campus Lunches

  1. Lisa

    Sadly, we cannot reimburse you for your lunches, David. We CAN however, arrange for you to fail everything this semester so you can stick around and blog for us next year. Wait. I mean. So you can stick around and enjoy the food. Yes. That’s it.

  2. Dairy Queen

    I might add that the Dairy Bar does offer lunch now (in addition to world’s best ice cream). Their Thanksgiving Wrap is literally the best thing to ever happen to Cornell.

  3. Will

    Terrace Salads might be the most overrated thing in the history of lunches. Even if you factor out the line, even if you’re the only person in the line, still overrated.

  4. Clay

    You also forgot, or may not be aware of, the Sicilian at Martha’s. If you’ve never tried it, I would strongly suggest it because, based on your recommendations here, I think you would love it.

  5. Jane

    This list is the equivalent of iTunes top 10 songs: overrated, overplayed crowd pleasers. Temple of Zeus is the hands-down best place to eat on campus.

  6. Terrace Restaurant

    How can Terrace make their salad bar even better? We are always open to trying new ideas and toppings.

    Also did you know that Terrace has veggie week? Stop in the first Monday of every month to get a free sample of our featured vegetable.

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