Fodor’s Travel, Thrillist, and the Huffington Post all rate Eugene among the country’s best college towns for great food—and we agree! We asked University of Oregon student ambassadors—the undergraduate students who lead UO guests on tours of campus—to recommend places around town to eat while you’re visiting. Here are their top picks:
Coffee and Tea
Not hungry for a whole meal? Get a little pick-me-up at one of Eugene’s great places to grab a coffee or tea while you explore the city.
268 Madison Street | 541-344-5161
The preeminent local coffee roaster. Want a hemp-milk latte? This is your spot.
The Barn Light
924 Willamette Street | 458-205-8914
and 545 East 8th Avenue | 541-653-8527
Good coffee and great atmosphere. Two locations for your caffeinating convenience. (Food and adult beverages served, too.)
41 West Broadway | 541-654-4284
Nearly a hundred different kinds of tea; even more when you include the bubble tea offerings. Lots of comfy couches, too.
The Rabbit Hole
240 East 17th Avenue | 541-654-0425
Authentic Taiwanese bubble tea, with all the toppings you could want. Like egg pudding. Or coffee jelly. Or both!
The Whiteaker Neighborhood
(aka “The Whit”)
Izakaya Meiji Company
345 Van Buren Street | 541-505-8804
A tapas restaurant inspired by a Japanese whiskey bar. (Don’t worry, it’s still kid-friendly.) Small plates of both the Japanese and American variety; a great opportunity to share and try some new dishes.
Pizza Research Institute
325 Blair Boulevard | 541-343-1307
“Hippie pizza.” No meat toppings. Pears and potatoes, though. (Trust us. It’s a little weird, but it totally works.)
Papa’s Soul Food
400 Blair Boulevard | 541-342-7500
A family-owned soul food joint with a large patio open in the summer months. Come hungry; order anything—it’s all good. And the tea is sweet.
530 Blair Boulevard | 541-735-3518
Delicious tacos featuring local and organic ingredients, great guac, and even a Tijuana hot dog. Wash it down with an authentic horchata or agua fresca.
Sweet Basil Express
1219 Alder Street | 541-393-5797
Classic Thai offerings made to order, fresh and fast. Our ambassadors especially recommend the pad Thai, the pad see ew, and any of the curries.
1340 Alder Street | 541-687-0355
Serving breakfast all day (and also some delicious sandwiches, soups, and entrees). A weekend brunch institution. It’s hard to go wrong with this enticing, varied menu.
Beppe and Gianni’s Trattoria
1646 East 19th Avenue | 541-683-6661
Eugenians consistently vote Beppe and Gianni’s the best Italian restaurant in the city. The menu is full of great options and the atmosphere is convivial. A great place to take the parents; the ambassadors encourage you to save room for dessert.
Off the Waffle
840 Willamette Street | 541-632-4225
Here, waffles aren’t just breakfast food. Off the Waffle specializes in Liège waffles, which are nothing like regular waffles. The toppings are equally unusual, and they’re definitely delicious.
910 Willamette Street | 541-683-7437
Pizza, whole or by the slice, including lots of unique toppings and tons of vegetarian and vegan options. (Sizzle Pie started in Portland, but we’re okay with that.)
50 West Broadway | 541-636-4731
Another delicious incomer from Portland. Burgers and fries. The most adventurous choice has peanut butter, pickles, and bacon—inspired by Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich.