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The Athens food we love

When you graduate from Ohio University, you leave with new skills to help you succeed in the real world, a degree to show for all the hours of hard work, a sense of relief that you finally have reached the finish line of school … and an obsession with Bagel Street Deli (a liking that proves you're a well-seasoned OU alum).

While all students come to Athens from different places on the map, we all enjoy the few stellar restaurants Athens has to offer during our years on the bricks. Only OU students would classify late-night Souvlaki’s as a five-star meal or choose Union Street Diner as their last supper on death row. 

No matter where you come from, you ended up here: a place where we eat deep fried cheese balls at 3 a.m. and smash a breakfast sandwich from a hippie bagel shop at 3 p.m. You’ll miss it someday. Here are a few of our favorite Athens foods:

1. A corn dog from Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Gardens

It’s the snack that’s calling your name at 2 a.m. after being out Saturday night. It’s the pick-me-up that can make a night gone wrong better. It’s what you force your mom and dad to try on Parents Weekend (or maybe that’s just me?) Nonetheless, it’s a Souvlaki’s corn dog. The joy my friends and I get when our number is called is indescribable. We’re all content because we know, soon enough, a hotdog wrapped in Souvlaki’s incomparable golden, fried, fluffy cornmeal batter will be in our tummies soon enough. No matter how much we hate ourselves in the morning for it, in the moment, it’s simply heaven on a stick. - Emma Dollenmayer, @emmadollenmayer 

2. Vegan burrito from Fluff Bakery 

I will never understand how underrated Fluff Bakery is. Located at the heart of Court Street — right in between Cat’s Eye and Pita Pit — Fluff is a little hole in the wall that is something you don’t wanna miss. Basically, if you’re a vegan/vegetarian in Athens, this is your hidden gem from plant-based paradise. Some honorable mentions include The Greenery salad, the Thai Peanut Wrap and the Fluffhead breakfast sandwich (get it with pesto, OMG). While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, the vegan burrito is simply off the charts. Stuffed with rice, griddled veggies, roasted potato and sweet potato, pico, cucumber and house-made pesto in a tortilla, this menu pick is flavorful and the perfect combination of satisfying ingredients. Take a break from your usual Chipotle burrito, and put Fluff’s vegan burrito in your Athens food rotation. - Madyson Lewellyn, @maadilewellyn

3. The Ray Pruitt from Bagel Street Deli

Picture this: it’s a Sunday afternoon, you’re exhausted from running around Athens with your best friends all weekend long and your stomach is growling the minute you wake up. That is where the Ray Pruitt bagel comes in. The simplicity of the bagel is what I love the most: it’s just hard-boiled eggs and your choice of cheese on any bagel. Personally, I always opt for the pretzel bun. The Ray Pruitt keeps you full for hours and can help power you through an intense Sunday morning study session. Order online for pickup, or brave the long line. Either way, the Ray Pruitt is sure to satisfy your breakfast needs. - Ashley Beach, @ashleybeachy_

4. The MacGyger from Bagel Street Deli

Yes, Bagel Street Deli is a gift from heaven, and you cannot go wrong with any bagel choice you make. But if you want to make the right choice, get the MacGyger. Not to be confused with the famous fighter Conor McGregor, the MacGyger is everything a person would want on a breakfast sandwich. The bagel is loaded with hard-boiled eggs, crisp bacon, melted cheese, lettuce and tomato, all balanced out with creamy avocado and mayo. Guests have their choice of bagel and cheese (my recommendation is everything bagel and cheddar cheese). Don’t let the bacon, egg and cheese combo fool you: this sandwich is just as delicious for breakfast as it is for lunch or dinner. For $7.50, you’ll have a mouthwatering hot mess that will keep you satisfied and full for hours. - Juliana Colant, @colant_juliana

5. The trio from North End 

Queso, salsa and guac: a love triangle that never misses. I ordered North End’s Trio as an appetizer before a night out on Court Street, just needing a little something in my stomach, and I was blown away at how delicious each dip was. North End’s queso is the perfect combination of flavor and is always piping hot, making it even better than Athens’ staple Mexican restaurant Gran Ranchero on East State Street. Needless to say, The Trio itself has brought me back to North End for my “pregame” meal more than once now, and I’m not one bit mad about it. - Maddie Bussert, @BussertMaddie

6. The Bobcat from Bagel Street Deli

When I first came to Athens for a high school media workshop, every counselor told me how good Bagel Street Deli is. Ever since then, I have loved that ‘lil bagel shop. Listen, if you like bagels and sandwiches, this is your place, especially if you like your sandwiches as basic as possible. I mean, who doesn’t like classic roast beef and cheese on an asiago bagel? I know I do, and they’re gluten friendly, too. What is there not to love about Bagel Street? - William Troyer, @destroyertroyer

7.  The #1 from Brenen’s

It’s called the Miami Gobbler: a turkey sandwich served hot with Muenster cheese, tomato, cream cheese, Russian dressing and lettuce. It’s a great light sandwich if you want something quick to eat with a coffee. Brenen’s is also a great, chill environment to study or do work, so while you do your work, you can eat a pretty great sandwich. - Sean Eifert, @eifert.sean 

8. Chicken Tender Dinner from Union Street Diner

Whether I’m wrapping up a night out or seeking comfort food, the chicken tender dinner at USD has never failed me. This meal is a huge bang for your buck. It includes chicken tenders, two sides and a dinner roll all for $13. Personally, I like to get fries and salad for my sides, in addition to the soft and fluffy dinner roll that comes with the meal. And, of course, some of the best ranch I’ve ever had for the dipping sauce. The meal brings waves of nostalgia for me, as chicken tender meals were my go-to meal at nearly any restaurant throughout my early childhood. For anyone looking for a restaurant with home-y vibes and food that will make you feel inner peace, the chicken tender dinner at USD is what you need in your life. - Jillian Craig, @jilliancraig18

9. Christmas Roll from Ginger Asian Kitchen

The flavor. The crunch. The presentation. What’s not to love about this roll from Ginger? When I am in need of a sushi fix after eating dining hall food all of the time, this is my go-to. The inside of the roll contains the best sushi ingredients ever: tuna, salmon and avocado. Then, the roll is topped with caviar and a crunch topping. The creaminess of the avocado along with the crunch on top is the perfect combination. Not only does the roll taste delicious, but it looks beautiful, too. The roll is cut and arranged in a special way to make it look like a Christmas tree. For only $7, this is the best specialty roll you can get. - Caroline Kammerer, @carolinekam12

10. Tom’s Turkey from Bagel Street Deli

One of the many things I love about Athens is this beautiful place called Bagel Street Deli. Maybe you’ve heard of it? This place has given me one of my favorite sandwiches, Tom’s Turkey. Now, when I first met Tom, I did not know what to expect but, soon after my first bite into this delicious bagel, I realized it was fate. This bagel includes turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo and your choice of cheese and bagel (I go for the American cheese and an everything bagel, of course). Some say this may sound like a basic sandwich, but let me tell you they’re wrong. Bagel Street Deli put its magic into this creation, and I am its biggest fan. You will not be disappointed if you try Tom’s Turkey for lunch. It will leave your taste buds satisfied. Trust me. - Samantha Kruse, @samanthakruse5

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