The best eats in town, well, perhaps

Many students new to the Portland State University community are now embarking upon the Park Blocks in droves searching for big deals on breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are many options for students on the go who want to eat on or near campus, due in part to the university’s location in the middle of downtown Portland.

Perhaps the easiest and most economical route is purchasing a meal plan through Aramark, the food service company that manages the cafeteria in Smith Memorial Center. Students interested in purchasing a meal plan from Aramark can contact them directly at 503-725-4523.

However, for residents of campus housing, grocery shopping may be more economical than purchasing a meal plan, due in part to the freedom of being able to prepare individual meals.

Local stores near the campus community include small convenience shops such as University Market (located on ground floor of Smith Memorial Center), 7-Eleven – which is open 24 hours (corner of Southwest Broadway and Market), Plaid Pantry (on Southwest Mill between 10th and Park) and Paradise Grocery (corner of Southwest 12th and Market). Full-scale supermarket chains near campus include Safeway – which is open 24 hours (on Southwest Jefferson between 10th and 11th) and Fred Meyer (on corner of West Burnside and Northwest 20th, across the street from PGE Park).

Students who prefer to eat out frequently or for some special occasion can experience specialty restaurants near campus that cater to specific taste buds.

For coffee connoisseurs, the University has its own shop – The Meetro CafŽ (located on ground floor of King Albert apartments), which offers coffee, tea, juice, pastries and various vegetarian and organic dishes. The independently owned Bela CafŽ (1876 S.W. Fifth; hours are M-F 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sun Closed) offers torrefazione coffee, pastries, cookies, croissants as well as other specialty dishes. Finally, Starbucks fanatics should not fret, there is a shop on the corner of Southwest Park and Clay for all those evil indulgences. Those interested in other coffee shops near or around campus, here’s a tip – the two block area east to west between Southwest Park and 10th and north to south from Southwest Yamhill to Clay have tons of independently owned coffee shops to explore.

Lovers of everything fast food have options here as well. There is a McDonald’s restaurant on campus (corner of Southwest Sixth and Harrison), Blimpie sandwich shop (on Southwest Sixth between College and Hall), Quizno’s subs and salads (on Southwest Park near Clay) and Subway sandwich shop (on ground floor of Smith Memorial Center, next door to the child development center).

If pizza or anything Italian is your passion, there is Il Pizzaiolo (on Southwest Park just north of Clay, next door to Quiznos), Hot Lips Pizza – which specializes in preparing dishes with organic ingredients (on Southwest Sixth between College and Hall, across the street from the Ondine), the Blind Onion (corner of Southwest Montgomery and Fourth) and Pizzicato (located on ground floor of Urban Plaza building, across from the PSU streetcar stop).

For those with eclectic tastes, restaurants featuring Vietnamese cuisine: Thanh-Long (corner of Southwest College and Broadway), Mexican cuisine: Ole! Ole! (on Southwest Sixth near College, next door to the Sixth Avenue Building) and Chinese cuisine: Jasmine Tree (corner of Southwest Harrison and Fourth) are just a short walk from the PSU campus.

Individuals desiring more detailed information about dining options off campus in the greater Portland area can visit