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Top five late-night food options near campus

The UMN campus area should have more restaurants open late on campus, but some great spots for students still stand out.
Image by Ethan Fine
Students line up outside of Frank & Andrea’s on May 2, 2022.

It’s midnight, and you are doing some last-minute cramming before an exam or maybe you are just hanging out with friends in your dorm, and you could really use a late-night snack. The University of Minnesota campus is relatively limited when it comes to food options that are open late (not including bars), however, there are a couple of local highlights in addition to some big chains present on campus.

As expected, Dinkytown takes the cake when it comes to the sheer amount of satisfying late-night options in a single neighborhood. With McDonald’s reopening soon on the same street corner as the storied “Drunkdonalds,” Dinkytown is set to remain the hot spot for late-night food while, on the other hand, Stadium Village lacks affordable options. 

Here are the top five places on campus where you can grab some late-night grub (open past 10 p.m.).

5.Insomnia Cookies — 402 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

While on the pricier side for the number of cookies you get (a single chocolate chip cookie will run you $2.85, and a six pack of regular-priced cookies costs $15.25), Insomnia Cookies are a delicious option for the greater campus area. While located in Dinkytown, they offer their own delivery service for online ordering — a service that makes sense for those in the dorms without a readily accessible oven. While their options are limited to cookies, ice cream and milk, the cookies are tasty on a late night of studying.

4. Raising Cane’s — 825 Washington Ave SE #103, Minneapolis, MN 55414 and 302 15th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

If you’re looking for a hefty fast food meal after dark, the two Raising Cane’s locations on campus are noteworthy because of their obvious accessibility, one right by Dinkytown and one in Stadium Village, providing chicken fingers to the bulk of University students and surrounding residents. For $11 you can take home The Box Combo, which contains four chicken fingers, along with servings of fries, Texas toast, coleslaw and a fountain drink. Totaling around 1,100 calories, you get your money’s worth if you are looking to load up on some fried food while on campus.

3. Mesa Pizza — 1323 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

A cornerstone of Dinkytown, Mesa Pizza has served scrumptious pizza by the slice to University students since 2006. Whether you are looking for a plain cheese slice, a meat-lover’s or the elusive macaroni and cheese pizza, Mesa Pizza is a good option for those who do not feel like paying extra for a pizza delivery service. 

Slices cost $5.50 while 12-inch pizzas range from $20-$23, 16-inch pizzas range from $25-$30 and 18-inch pizzas range from $29-$35.

2. Frank & Andrea — 1235 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

A step above Mesa Pizza in several regards: lower prices, a larger seating area, larger options for pizzas and a variety of cheesesteak sandwiches. 

Although the pizza is of comparable quality to Mesa, these characteristics set Frank & Andrea apart just a bit, even though both are convenient options. With most of Frank & Andrea’s 12-inch pizzas costing $16, you get more for your money as well.

1. Hard Times Cafe — 1821 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454

The Hard Times Cafe has an exclusively vegetarian menu and is open until midnight seven days a week. 

Located on the West Bank, it is a classic cafe-style option for those looking for breakfast and also a late-night bite to eat. Their coffee is served for $1.50 for a medium cup (roughly half of what a medium cup of black coffee would cost at Caribou or Starbucks), with additional refills for a dollar each. For $4.50 you can get one of their “short orders,” which include buttermilk pancakes, eggs/tofu, toast and a bagel with cream cheese.

With a chill, home-y interior, it is a nice option to do some late-night studying and a cheap but quality meal. Do note that Hard Times Cafe only takes cash.

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