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Finding Food Gems at RIT

Jo Qiao on Thursday, 22 September 2016. Posted in Dining

As a senior who has lived on campus for almost 2 years, I have discovered some hidden food gems within RIT Dining Services. Of course, food preference is a personal flavor. I like ethnic foods, especially Asian cuisines, and healthy eats (veggies, fruits, low sugar-low fat food, etc.) I'm also a huge coffee fanatic!

Since RIT is one of the most caffeinated campuses in the nation, let’s start with coffee shops! There are 5 coffee joints on campus: Beanz, the College Grind, Artesano, Java’s, and Midnight Oil. There are also other places that provide hot coffee throughout the day, like Ctrl Alt Deli in Golisano College and Catalyst in Institute Hall. The first five places offer freshly brewed coffee, caffeinated drinks including milkshakes, frappuccino’s, lattes, etc. Of these locations, you can use your meal plan to pay for your food and drink, with the exception of Java's. In Java’s, you have to use a debit/credit card, gift card, cash or Tiger Bucks since it is separate from RIT Dining. My personal favorite is the ice coffee with soymilk from Artesano, and Americano or Blueberry flavored coffee from Java’s. Java’s has special flavored coffee daily- for example, blueberry or raspberry, and it’s worthy to try! Remember to get a punch card at any of the coffee locations and you can get 10th coffee for free if you purchased 9 cups of coffee!Something unique you can try is the Matcha (green tea) flavored drink (Frapp or Latte) from Artesanos. I also recommend adding flavor syrup in your daily coffee to mix things up; they are very tasty and sweet.

Most of the coffee shops on campus also have pastries and baked goods. Artesano offers a wide selection of pies, muffins, breakfast pastries, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, breads, etc. They also have gluten free options. My favorite pastry from Artesano is the almond croissant; the almond filling is amazing but not too sweet and the croissant bread is crispy and tasty. Beanz offers Ultimate Smoothie Blendz (USB) smoothies, desserts, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, salad, etc. USB offers a different variety of fruity or creamy smoothies, with options of protein additions. The smoothies are wholesome and made fresh. The College Grind has a selection of artisan sandwiches, baked goods, and other pastries. Midnight Oil is another coffee joint that serves as a late-night hangout area. Improv shows and poetry nights are hosted fairly regularly there. Midnight Oil offers breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, and late night snacks.

After my morning coffee ritual, the second thing is the food! Gracie’s (located in Grace Watson Hall) is an all-you-can-eat type of dining. Gracie’s offers pizza, pasta, self-serve salad bar, made-to-order sandwiches, grill, etc. There are also two rotating chef stations on the right and left wings in Gracie’s. They usually feature, for example, comfort food, stir-fry, wings (as in chicken wings), and catering from local restaurants. There is also Simply Eats that offers amazing allergen friendly and vegan cuisine, as well as gluten free options.

Brick City Café, located in the center of the Student Alumni Union, offers nutritious breakfast like omelets, breakfast sandwiches, or eggs (any style), French toast, pancakes, waffles, and more! For lunch, Brick City has visiting chefs including Indian, Dominican, Chinese cuisines, and rotational house chef’s specials. Brick City also offers a made-to-order sandwich station and self-serve salad and fruit bar. My favorite food options at Brick City Café are the daily soups, rotational house chef’s special and visiting chefs. The French onion soup is my go to! Nathan’s Soup& Salad, also located in the Student Alumni Union, is a local Rochester-favorite soup shop since 1980. Nathan’s offers a variety of delicious, hearty, home-style soups, sandwiches, and fresh-baked breadsI personally love the cheddar bread.Vegetarian and dairy-free options are available too!

Commons is another late-night dining option. It is located in the Center for Student Development and is opened till midnight. The Commons offers a variety of food options, including (but not limited to) pizza, pasta (the pasta toss is really good!), subs & salad, "Chef’s specials," sushi, and soups. The Wings in Commons are a must-try and they also offer a garbage plate as well. For those of you who have not heard of a garbage plate, it is a signature Rochester dish that typically includes an assortment of mac salad, fries/potato wedges, and a hamburger or hot dog piled high and covered in a special hot sauce. You can also order your food online and get it delivered to your dorm or apartment on campus! The online order site is:

In Global Village, there are several dining options for students, such as The Global Village Cantina & Grill (which contains Salsarita's and the Global Grill), and Crossroads. Salsarita’s offers freshly prepared, made-to-order tacos, burritos, quesadillas, Mexican pizzas, nachos, and salads. Check out the full Salsarita's Menu by clicking the link! Salsarita’s also has a bar that serves alcoholic (21 years old and over only) and non-alcoholic beverages. They have pretty yummy Blue Margaritas. The Global Grill offers order to cook cuisines including Chinese, Thai, Indian, European, etc on a Mongolian grill. Hissho Sushi bar serves freshly made sushi at lunch during weekdays. The sushi is good and my personal favorite is Thai stir fry from the grill.


There are a couple more dining services options at RIT, but I will cover them in my next blog. Thanks for reading my blog and please continue following RIT brick city ambassador blogs!