Okay, so I’ve been chatting up our college reps and some of my friends who are UMD students, and the general consensus is that food in College Park is atrocious, and that you’re better off just cooking for yourself. But alas, even the most motivated college students get lazy sometimes, and being able to order food is a necessity. So before Blitz & Beatz invades Maryland, let’s see what Campusfood.com has for us to eat.
When local food isn’t so good, the default go-to is Chinese. That’s where Shanghai comes in. They’ve got all the stuff that you usually see on a Chinese food menu, plus some extras that you don’t normally see at your everyday run-of-the-mill Chinese food eatery: Ho Fun and crispy orange eggplant, both of which we hear are must-haves. They even have authentic Chinese like stir-fry and noodles. But if you’re looking for quantity over quality, this probably isn’t for you – the portions are a little small.
Everyone I’ve talked to has called this place the Indian equivalent of Chipotle or Subway. The staff is awesomely nice and the food is delicious, but watch where you park because the police are always looking to ticket people who forget to put a quarter in the meters outside. Naan wraps? Just a straight-up amazing idea. There’s a bunch of different sauces and toppings for your wrap. They don’t actually have kebobs though, and it’s not really as “krazi” as the name would suggest. But for $10 you can get about 2 lbs of delicious food, which is well worth it.
Okay, so every college needs at least one bubble tea place, and in College Park it’s Wasabi. But it’s also a sushi bar, plus all the other food you normally associate with a Japanese restaurant. My friends swear by the simplicity of the chicken teriyaki meal, but other people have said that some of their experimental stuff is good, like sushi pizza: a scallion pancake topped with spicy shrimp, tuna, imitation crab meat, salmon, avocado, and lettuce, with a spicy mayo and eel sauce drizzle. Crazy stuff.
College Park’s alternative to Chipotle, if you’re looking for some tex-mex. I’ve heard mixed reviews on California Tortilla (aka “Cali Tort”), but it’s open late on weekends for the post-bar crowd, and that by itself makes it worthy of this list. That, plus the large collection of hot sauces they have in stock at all times, ranging from mild to insanely hot. Their menu is loaded with all sorts of interesting items, but we hear that Blackened Chicken Caesar and Carnitas burritos are the best. Also, they have seasonal fish tacos, which is a bonus.
I’ve heard lots of mixed reviews about this place, but this list could use a good Jamaican spot. If you’re super impatient and don’t wanna wait a really long time for food, then you probably shouldn’t here. This is authentic Jamaican, meaning that there are real relaxed Jamaicans making and serving the food, and if you know anything about their culture, then you know they don’t rush for anything. But regardless, if you want some jerk chicken, rice, and beans, check this place out. Watch out for the lady behind the register, I hear she’s got a bad attitude.
This BBQ place is a little bit further from college park, but guess what? They deliver after 5:30 PM, so problem solved…as long as you’re looking for dinner. My good friend recommended the Soul Rolls: A BBQ eggroll with brisket, sweet onions and three cheeses. It comes with a serving of “Redneck Fondue” to dip, whatever that is. But I hear that everything here is pretty good: pulled pork, chicken, brisket, ribs, whatever. They’ve got lots of sauces to choose from, and their side portions are huge.
Every college town has at least two competing sushi bars, and this is the second. Hanami isn’t the same kind of place as its rival though: this small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant has a laundry list of different, unique kinds of sushi, and at least one person has told me that it’s the freshest fish in the area. But as always there are downsides: The place is small and gets PACKED, so there’s always a chance that service is slow. Some others say that the food is pricey and the portions too small, but still others say the exact opposite. Guess you’ll have to make up your own mind.
Every school has its drunk pizzeria, and in College Park that place is Ratsie’s. The pizza is a mess, the subs leave much to be desired, and you’ll probably regret eating it the next morning, but it’s open until 2 AM six days a week, and the one thing I hear is okay are the calzones. Plus they have beer. The food is cheap and you get a lot of it for the price, so that counts for something.
- Campusfood.com Presents: The Best Eats on Campus – University of Michigan (thecampussocialite.com)
- Campusfood.com Presents: The Best Eats on Campus – University of Wisconsin (thecampussocialite.com)