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The Yard eateries, ranked: Starbucks triumphs, El Jefe's flops

The Yard @ College Avenue's numerous eateries are all frequented by students — but which ones are actually worth your dollar?  – Photo by RU Dining Services / Twitter

The Yard @ College Avenue is undoubtedly the epicenter of Rutgers—New Brunswick. Gorgeous apartments tower over a luscious green courtyard scattered with Adirondack chairs and a giant TV screen perfect for watching Rutgers football.

That said, the Yard is also home to some of the most popular food spots on campus. I've tried them all, so you don't have to, and I'm here to break them down for you.

For all those first-year students unfamiliar with the food at the Yard or those curious about which spots are worth the trip, I have ranked all food options from best to worst and why.

So without further ado, here are all the food options at the Yard, ranked:


For a delicious and reliable breakfast, caffeine fix or a quick snack and somewhere to study, Starbucks is the obvious first choice for students and professors alike. Located smack dab in the middle of the Yard — therefore dubbed the "Yardbucks" — it's bustling with people at all hours of the day. The only caveat to Starbucks is that it gets jam-packed, which can result in a long wait for your order, so I suggest ordering ahead on the application, so it's ready when you walk in!

I don't think I'm alone in saying Starbucks is probably everyone's number one "food" choice, no matter the location. Who am I kidding? I'm drinking a pumpkin spice latte as I write this!


Honeygrow is my second go-to spot for a delicious and filling meal at the Yard. Although a bit pricey, it's an excellent option if you want a healthier meal. Honeygrow is known for its stir-fries, salads and Honeybars (parfaits), all of which you can order straight from the menu or build your own yummy creation.

The lines do get pretty long around lunchtime, which like Starbucks, can result in a longer wait to order and for your food to be prepared. To avoid the line, Honeygrow's app allows you to order ahead, and your food will be ready for you right after class. You'll never miss an LX again — then again, maybe not. It is the LX, after all.

Jersey Mike's Subs

Jersey Mike's is the place to go for a quick and affordable option! Like Subway, Jersey Mike's is a build-your-own sandwich shop offering quick and easy meals for great prices. They offer combos that include a soft drink and a bag of chips with your order for only $13. Their sandwiches are great and offer lots of toppings included in the price.

There usually isn't a crazy long line, so you can get your grub on and make it to class on time.

RU Hungry

RU Hungry has been a Rutgers staple since the 70s when only the "grease truck" was around. It's one of the most popular spots on campus and arguably in all of New Jersey. Known for its fat sandwiches and 24-hour schedule, it's the perfect place to stop after a night out filled with "college activities" (you know what I mean).

The sandwiches are pretty big, and eating one in the middle of the day will slow you down, so it is infamously synonymous with a late-night meal. That, paired with long lines, is the only reason why RU Hungry landed itself as fourth on the list. 

Krispy Pizza

Pizza is everyone's favorite quick bite, making slices the way to go. When it comes to variety, Krispy delivers. The restaurant offers slices with everything on them, from penne vodka to tossed salad. For the pizza averse, Krispy also has salads, sandwiches, pasta, strombolis and calzones, so there's truly something for everyone.

Krispy is great, but be wary if you are running late or have a class soon. Although pizza is a quick bite, the line won't be. During lunch and around dinner, the line can get out the door, turning what was supposed to be a quick meal into a whole affair. With that said, Krispy is great, but there are pizza places just off campus much more deserving of the long wait.

Art of Wings/Bubbleology

If you love bubble tea, look no further, Bubbleology is the place to go. From traditional bubble tea flavors to yummy juice options and fun sparkling boba options, Bubbleology has the drink for every personality. 

As for food, Bubbleology had partnered with Art of Wings to offer wings, tenders, sandwiches and burgers at its Yard location. The only problem: The bubble tea outshines the food without a doubt. Don't get me wrong, the food is excellent, but with all the other options available both in the Yard and nearby, there are better options, pushing Bubbleology down to number six.

El Jefe's Taqueria

El Jefe's is the place to be if you are looking for a restaurant open into the early morning hours. Outside of that, the food is really mediocre at best. El Jefe's is a wannabe Chipotle without the Chipotle quality. The food was cold every time I went, and the chips were always super oily yet stale. Honestly, take the extra quarter mile walk and get yourself some Tacoria — it's not open super late, but your tastebuds will thank you. 

El Jefe's earned its place as number seven for food options in the Yard for being the best at being the worst. I do not recommend it, even after a long night of "college activities" (again, you know what I mean).

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I believe this list is the definitive ranking of all the options the Yard offers. So, if you're ever stuck on what to eat while at the Yard, I hope this list helps narrow down your choices. Happy eating!

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