As the summer winds down and the vacations wither into e-mailed photo collections, it’s time to think about how to sustain ourselves during the new school year. New and returning students must eat, and they must do it cheaply. Our two major university towns have seen some good low to mid-range openings this year that will make campus eating just a bit more bearable than the usual slice at La Val’s or burger at the Oasis. It’s a long way to June, and there’s no point in getting bored and hungry this school year. Check out our user’s guide below for a few new go-to spots.
Berkeley for students:
• The Burmese staple of San Francisco’s Richmond District, Burma Superstar recently opened two East Bay outposts, including one in North Oakland, within easy biking distance of the campus. It’s no $2 steam-table food from some Telegraph Avenue side-street, but relatively cheap prices and high-quality food make this a good choice for students. Plus, you get to show how worldy you are by taking your date to Burmese food.
• Located just across Bancroft Way from campus, thenew frozen yogurt shop Yogurtland is even more convenient to campus than longtime favorite Yogurt Park. Plus, Southern California transplants seem to find it a comfort in this foreign world of rice-and-tofu-filled burritos.
Stanford for students:
• For those aspiring to found the next Google, inspiration might be drawn at Calafia. The restaurant from Charlie Ayers, who founded the now-famous food program at Google, serves some of the nicest versions of college staples — from pizza to barbecue to panini — anywhere to be found. It doesn’t hurt that the place is right across the street from Stanford. Perhaps if students dine like Google employees, they’ll think like them too.
• Just across from the Stanford campus, the new Mayfield Bakery and Café draws comparisons as a more casual version of Woodside’s Village Pub. While freshmen might find the quiet vibe and comfort-food menu a little stifling, we’re betting that seniors and graduate students will be glad it’s here.
• Due in mid-September, the Palo Alto outpost of the original Sancho’s taqueria in Redwood City might end up rivaling the original for flagship status. Chef Adam Torres’s resume is a bit more impressive than most taqueria owners (he’s cooked at Boulevard and Village Pub), and he’s also planning on covering the eight-block distance to campus on a specially made delivery bike.