My favorite off-campus food options


Mason Brooks, Managing Editor

For new students, adjusting to life at college can be challenging. Living away from home for the first time is often the most difficult change for freshmen to acclimate to.  Speaking from experience, I was personally very overwhelmed by the new responsibilities that landed upon me after move-in day. One such responsibility of living away from home is figuring out what to eat. As a freshman at the University of Hartford, the most popular meal option is heading over to the University Commons. There, as you may know, you can get served up a variety of good eats at any point in the day, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., of course.

However, many students, myself included, like to change it up from time to time, and search for an off-campus food option.  This is the point where you may be overcome by all of the food choices available to you.  Thankfully, I am here to point you in the right direction.  Through my own personal trial and error, I have come up with a list of three terrific off-campus meal options for your guidance.  In addition, all three deliver right here to the university.

If you are craving Chinese food, boy do I have a place for you.  Jumbo Buffet is a small restaurant located just minutes away in Bloomfield.  While many of my peers have not heard of Jumbo Buffet, this place was seemingly made for college students such as ourselves.  Three main factors play into the appeal of Jumbo Buffet.  Almost all of the menu items listed are priced under $10, making it a very cheap option.  It is also open late, with the last orders going out at around 10:45 p.m., which is important for students with busy schedules who may not be able to have dinner until after 8 p.m.  Lastly, I believe the food tastes phenomenal, especially when considering its price point.  My favorites from Jumbo Buffet include the sesame chicken platter, wonton soup, vegetable lo mein, and even their fried wonton appetizer.  As far as I have seen, you cannot go wrong with ordering in some Jumbo Buffet.

A second go-to, off-campus restaurant I recommend is Noodles and Company.  Noodles and Company is a chain restaurant located right at Bishop’s Corner in West Hartford.  What sets Noodles and Company apart from other nearby restaurants is the menu variety available to you.  Are you in the mood for Asian food? They have you covered with a signature Pad Thai dish.  Do you want a classic Italian pasta dish? Then you have to check out their Penne Rosa.  Are you craving mac and cheese, or do you want something more on the healthy side? Noodles and Company is able to provide you with all of the above.  Aside from the broad menu, Noodles is affordable, close, and the portions are huge, making it a wonderful place to eat at, or have delivered to you on campus.

My last off-campus recommendation is Sisson Ave Pizza.  If this place already sounds familiar to you, I would not be surprised.  In my three years living on campus, I have seen more fellow students order from Sisson Ave Pizza than any other place.  The main reason that Sisson Ave has made itself a household name around the University of Hartford campus is its availability.  Very few, if any, local restaurants can match Sisson Ave’s hours of operation.  The last deliveries go out at 2:45 a.m., meaning that college students can satisfy those late night munchies with an order from Sisson Ave, even past midnight.  There have been countless times that I have been hanging out with friends late at night, and we decide to order a party-sized pizza from Sisson Ave Pizza, simply because it is the only restaurant open that late.  Combine those late hours of operation, with some pretty good tasting food, and it is easy to see why Sisson Ave Pizza is a UHart favorite.

Whether you call or use a mobile app like Grubhub to have the food delivered to campus or simply visit the locations themselves, if you are new to living on campus and want some off-campus eats, I recommend you try out these three restaurants.

If you have been around the area for awhile and disagree with my recommendations, let me know! Email me at [email protected], and explain to me what restaurants should have made my list instead.