College students work hard, and we need to eat; luckily, there is an amazing selection of restaurants within a few blocks of campus! Students returning to school may have already visited some of these tried-and-true campus staples, but we’d be surprised if you’ve managed to try them all. For those who are new to Eugene, now is the time to begin your food tour of the city. Here’s your guide!
Key: V = vegan, VG = vegetarian, GF = gluten-free
Hey, Neighbor! Pizza House (V, VG, GF options)
1621 E 19th Ave
With all the free pizza being handed out around the beginning of the school year, you may get tired of the regular combination of bread, cheese and pepperoni - but Hey, Neighbor! is not like the rest. This small, intimate pizza house opened just over a year ago and features authentic pizzas with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. They also have a delicious selection of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, along with a great drink selection.
Izakaya Jinsei (VG options)
1249 Alder St
This restaurant featuring small plates of Japanese cuisine opened in late spring of last year, so some students may have missed it before leaving Eugene for the summer. It is actually the relocated Izakaya Oyazi, which had been on E. 5th Avenue, a distance from campus. The new location on Alder is not only more convenient for students, but features some new menu items, making it the perfect place for students who were Oyazi regulars and those looking to try something new.
The Sandwich League (VG, GF options)
1239 Alder St
Tucked around the corner from the Starbucks on 13th, you may miss this delicious lunch spot. Everything on the Sandwich League’s budget-friendly menu is under $11, and they don’t charge extra for veggie patties on their burgers like many restaurants do. For the carnivores out there, all of their meats are grass-fed and all-natural, and you can add bacon to anything on the menu for $1 a slice.
Excelsior Inn Ristorante (VG options)
754 E 13th Ave
Nestled between Smith Family Bookstore and Duck Sushi on 13th, this upscale restaurant is a hidden oasis among the off-campus bustle. The menu of pastas and seasonal fish is definitely on the steeper side, so reserve a table for the most special of occasions - or whenever the parents are in town! For a more affordable treat, stop by for one of their house-made desserts. Trust me, the tiramisu is well worth the splurge.
Espresso Roma (V, VG options)
825 E 13th Ave
If you’re new to the University of Oregon, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself at Espresso Roma. Just a few steps off campus, this locally-owned coffee shop is the ideal spot to meet with classmates and work on a group project or hunker down for a solo study session. It’s not all work and no play, however; the covered back patio is a great place to catch up with a friend, rain or shine. Espresso Roma offers just about every espresso concoction under the sun, smoothies, pastries, sandwiches and more.
Studio One Cafe (V, VG options)
1473 E 19th Ave
If you don’t live on the east side of campus, you might miss this small-but-mighty breakfast and lunch spot. While they do offer brunch favorites like omelettes, pancakes and biscuits and gravy, Studio One’s main specialities are their benedicts. The Field of Dreams benedict offers ham, spinach and eggs topped with gravy; Zorro’s Pride is uniquely made with corn polenta cakes, eggs, salsa and cheese; and the Northern Lights benedict is made with smoked salmon, spinach, tomatoes and of course, Hollandaise. Hungry yet?
Rennie’s Landing (VG, GF options)
1214 Kincaid St
Students voted Rennie’s Landing for best pub food and best trivia for Best of Campus 2019 - what more convincing do you need? Friends of all ages can indulge in burgers, sandwiches and other pub food favorites until 8pm, but it’s 21+ after that. Whenever you’re able to stop by, be sure to get an order of their famous tater tots - but don’t wait too long, because they’ve actually sold out before! Yes, they’re that good!
Ta Ra Rin Thai Cuisine (V, VG options)
1200 Oak St.
You’ll hear plenty of buzz about Tasty Thai right next to campus, but Ta Ra Rin is well worth the hop, skip and jump away. Their extensive menu offers noodles, stir fries, curries, and specials; and the heaping servings which are sure to make at least a meal and a half. Take advantage of the lunch specials for $10-13, on weekdays before 3pm. If you need a pick-me-up, be sure to order a Thai tea or Thai iced coffee (sub coconut milk to make it dairy-free)!