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Five cheap, tasty Newark eateries to chow down at between classes

Rutgers—Newark hosts many great spots to stop in for a bite during your class breaks. – Photo by

After a long day of coursework on the Rutgers—Newark campus, hunger strikes many students during lectures and exams. Thankfully, Newark is one of the state's most diverse cities with various cuisines to try, including Middle Eastern, Latin and Indian, to name a few. 

As one of the most diverse states and universities in the country, the Newark campus is a palace of cuisine. Whether it is the food trucks on Warren Street or the mom-and-pop shops on New Street, students can find almost any food in almost any price range.

Taj Mahal Food Truck

The Taj Mahal Food Truck is one of the best options around campus. The truck specializes in Middle Eastern and Indian rice and meat dishes but also makes your favorite food truck-esque cuisines. Hamburgers, hot dogs, fat sandwiches and fries are just some other menu items within this dinner on wheels. The well-seasoned rice and lamb combo is a popular choice. The white and red sauces help add to the flavor and texture of the dish.

The truck is located near the intersection of Warren and Summit Streets. The truck opens at 10 a.m. most days and will stay open until at least 6 p.m. The truck's combination of cheap prices, quick wait times, good food and proximity to campus (especially to the Warren building) makes it an obvious go-to. But be aware that the lunch rush can be hectic, so call ahead or be prepared to wait longer than average.

La Cocina

Being a 3-minute walk from Ackerson Hall, La Cocina is an authentic Cuban restaurant where students can get rice, plantains, yuca or beans as a side. They offer pork, beef, steak and chicken as entrees. People can order out or dine where the walls are strung with beautiful Cuban artwork and news clippings raving about the place.

This spot is expensive, with most basic plates costing approximately $15 without a drink. It's worth the extra dollars, but if needed, the empanadas are only a few dollars each and are always flakey and flavorful.

One dish to get is pork, rice and yuca. The pork is juicy and a little salty, combined with the fresh white rice and the steamed yuca, making the perfect flavor balance in each bite. Nothing beats getting good Cuban food between classes.

McGovern's Tavern

McGovern's Tavern offers all the classic Irish pub dishes, including fish and chips, corned beef and bar pie pizza. The pub also offers a large selection of beer on tap.

In this sit-down place, the prices are in the range of a restaurant, with most entrees costing more than $10. The fish and chips are fried well, the batter is crispy and the fish is soft. The fries are decent, dipped in the house-made tartar sauce. You can't go wrong with a pint of Blue Moon and some bar food.

The tavern is approximately a 2-minute walk from the Rutgers Law Library and is open from 11:30 a.m. going into the next day. This traditional wooden bar and bright green walls truly feel like an Irish pub. It's a great place to grab a bite and a beer after class or just to bar-hop after a party.

Sigri Indian BBQ

Sigri Indian BBQ is a wonderful Indian spot with various rice, lamb, chicken and salmon dishes. The entrees include a wrap or a bowl drenched in one of its signature butter sauces or curries served with chutney and naan. An order of basmati rice, chicken tikka, butter curry and mango chutney is the way to go. It's a blend of sweet and spicy flavors with a soft, inviting texture.

The BBQ is only a few minutes from Conklin Hall, with plenty of seating, wall art and a view of Newark's campus, making it a wonderful option.

RU Hungry

RU Hungry is a Rutgers classic. The restaurant offers cheesesteaks, fries, mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders, plus you can get a combination of these in one of the iconic fat sandwiches. The sandwiches, wraps, breakfast sandwiches and milkshakes make it easy for anyone to find something to enjoy eating from here.

RU Hungry is located on University Avenue, next to Conklin Hall. It's open seven days a week with most entrees being approximately $10 and arrive quickly, even when the restaurant is busy. This is one of the best places to go when students only have 15 minutes between classes to eat.

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