February is the cruelest month—the weather is cold and brutal, midterms begin their onslaught, and the long haul to spring break can seem interminable. Why, amid all of this awfulness, should your stomach have to suffer too? Maybe you’re living in an apartment and tired of cooking for yourself; maybe you’re sick of being a slave to the meal plan. In any case, take a break from the dining hall and try one of these delicious off-campus options to mix things up!
Just across the B line tracks lies one of the finest Mexican food establishments on the East Coast. And that’s not just my opinion—the “El Guapo” swept the northeast region of FiveThirtyEight’s nationwide search for the best burrito. Don’t bother with bloated Chipotle burritos or soggy dining hall quesadillas when El Pelon’s fresh, authentic south-of-the-border cuisine is just a stone’s throw away from St. Ignatius! Crispy chips and fresh guacamole? Fried plantains and salsa? Be still my heart. (2197 Commonwealth Avenue, by the BC B-line stop. Online ordering available at elpelon.com.)
Chestnut Hill Grill Eagle’s Deli
The stuff of legends. A 2009 appearance on Man vs. Food put their challenge burgers on the map—just looking at the menu for those gigantic burgers makes my arteries tense up. If competitive gluttony isn’t your bag, this greasy jewel of Cleveland Circle is still delicious, whether you’re picking up a breakfast sandwich or enjoying a milkshake and fries with your friends. At less than $8 for a quarter-pound burger or grilled chicken sandwich, fries and a soda, it’s even a more financially savvy option than Lower’s grill line. (1918 Beacon Street, Cleveland Circle. Delivery available through Foodler.)
I’m just a little biased as an employee, but even before I started working there, Moogy’s was one of my favorite off-campus eateries. Their steak and cheese menu is off the chain—try a popular concoction like the Phantom Royale (steak and cheese with BBQ and onion rings) or the Cordon’s Cousin (grilled chicken, bacon, Swiss and ranch), or construct your own. Or try any one of their comfort foods: breakfast all day, ten different varieties of French fries, the choices are endless. For the over-21 set, PBR drafts are only a dollar all the time! (154 Chestnut Hill Avenue, near the 2000/South Street bus stops. Delivery available on mixmenu.com.)
Sushi Night Fin’s / Yamato
This one’s a tie, mainly because I’m not an avid sushi-eater myself (in my meal plan days, I’d immediately turn and run as soon as I saw the red paper lanterns hanging up) and had to get a little help from my friends. The consensus seems that it’s Fin’s for quality, Yamato for quantity. Fin’s is fresher, but Yamato does an all-you-can-eat buffet for under $25 if you’re up for a challenge. (Fin’s: 354 Chestnut Hill Avenue, near the BoA bus stop, online ordering available at finsboston.com; Yamato: 117 Chiswick Road, by the Bluestone Bistro bus stop, online ordering available at yamatoboston.com.)
Mozzarellas Pino’s Pizza
Long ago, Beacon Street was home to one of the greatest debates of our time: Pino’s or Presto’s? With the latter now closed, one pizza kingpin remains to rule them all. Though its just-too-early 1:00 AM closing time leaves Roggie’s to cover the post-bars crowd, for me it’s well worth ducking out of MA’s early to grab a slice of Sicilian to cap off the night. Forget your favorite delivery chain or the exponentially unsatisfying mini-pizzas at Late Night—Pino’s is love, Pino’s is life. (1920-A Beacon Street, Cleveland Circle. Call 617-566-6468 for delivery.)
Wok Away New Hong Kong
LOL, JK. Stay away from NHK. Just…don’t even go there.