Lunch trucks are a long-standing tradition at Temple that has been keeping students happy and not hungry for years. What started off as a few trucks for commuters to get a quick bite has grown with the university into a campus-wide network of deliciousness. The trucks are as diverse as the students they serve and while many menus are dirt cheap, some can get pretty steep. Here’s a guide to eating well on Main Campus on any budget, from penny pincher to high roller.
Every student knows the feeling. Your wallet is light from spending all of your money on partying — or books. It’s not a fun situation, but stretching your weekend scraps to allow for a full stomach isn’t as hard as it may seem.
On the way to class, get some energy at Famous Hot Pretzels & Best Fresh Ground Coffee by getting — well, a hot pretzel and a fresh-ground, small coffee. This combo from the stand on 13th Street near Paley Library will only cost you $2 and kick your morning into gear. They also have hot tea and all kinds of snacks.
After a couple classes it’s time for another meal. Try Eddie’s on Montgomery Street, right outside the Student Center. You can get a slice of pizza and cold drink for $2.50, adding a topping for an extra 25 cents. Eddie’s also has cheap sandwich combos like a cheeseburger and french fries for $3.75.
Last, but not least, treat yourself on the way back from class with a fresh cookie or brownie from Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia is just down the road from Eddie’s on Montgomery Street. Insomnia may be designed for night owls, but what’s wrong with a little sugar rush after a long day? A regular cookie at Insomnia costs $1.25, and flavors vary anywhere from double chocolate chunk to white chocolate macadamia nut. They also have deluxe cookies like s’mores and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for $2.25 if you still have some pocket change from the day.
On a Budget
Even when a student’s not completely broke, he or she is usually on a tight budget. Between rent, tuition and living expenses, college gets pricey. Cooking your own food is a cheap way to eat, but the college lifestyle moves quick and sometimes there’s only time to eat on the run. Relax, students, it can be done.
With a little bit more cash to work with it’s time for a hearty breakfast. Looking for something more than a caffeine jolt and some carbs? Hit up the Five Dollar Foot Long Truck on 12th and Norris streets. This truck offers a wide array of specials and combos, including a six-inch bacon, egg and cheese hoagie for $2.75. If breakfast isn’t your style, try a lunch special instead.
Once hunger sets back in, grab a quick gyro at Ebi’s Halal lunch cart, which specializes in Middle-Eastern cuisine. The cart is located at the intersection of 13th Street and Polett Walk and offers chicken, lamb and combo gyros, as well as falafel dishes and salads.
Even the most financially sound students have to let loose sometimes. It’s Friday, the checks are cashed and the stomachs are empty. It’s time for a little splurging. Money’s no object now and the options are endless — maybe treat your taste buds to a trip around the world?
Start the day off with some Mexican cuisine at Chris’ Taco Stand on 13th Street in front of Tuttleman Learning Center. This local favorite serves up all kinds of tacos and quesadillas and sometimes has a revolving menu. Some of the staples include chicken, pork, chorizo and black bean tacos. The tacos are $2.50 each or three for $7 and come on six-inch corn tortillas with a plethora of topping options. Customers mix and match tacos or gorge on their favorite. Afterward, wash down the tacos with some authentic Mexican soda from the cooler.
After Chris’ Taco Stand, try something a little more tropical at Jamaica D’s Caribbean and American Food on 12th and Norris streets. Jamaica D’s offers Caribbean specialties like Jamaican beef patties and coco bread as well as American foods like french fries and chicken fingers. For a real taste of the island, get the traditional Jamaican jerk chicken. A large portion is $11 and comes with a pick of three of the truck’s 11 side dishes. For someone looking for something a little less filling, try the small, which comes with two sides for $7, or the medium, which comes with three sides for $9.
Finally, the taste bud journey comes to an end with a French twist. The Creperie on Norris Street outside of Tyler School of Art has been a popular hangout for hungry students for years. The truck serves an abundance of savory crepes, but this trek is destined to end with the most decadent dessert around: a sweet crepe. The renowned truck offers more than 15 variations of the dessert on the menu, and countless options for students to get creative, including Oreo cookie crumbs and cheesecake spread.
Kyle Noone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.