Rating the Best Places to Eat Lunch at CRLS

Nicolas Valayannopoulos-Akrivou, Managing Editor

One of the major dilemmas plaguing CRLS students this semester is where one should enjoy the valuable 30 minutes students have for lunch. With the new COVID-19 safety regulations imposed at the beginning of the year, habitual lunch spots for many upperclassmen have changed and underclassmen have yet to explore all the possible lunch locations. For these reasons, seven major lunch locations were scouted and rated on a series of metrics, including COVID-19 safety, atmosphere, food/beverages offered, and overall comfort. 


Main Cafeteria: 2.5/5 Falcons

Aside from the pros of COVID-19 safety and a quiet environment, there isn’t much to attribute to the Main Cafeteria. The reintroduction of hot lunches and fan-favorite “Taco-Tuesdays” earn the Main Cafeteria two points. The single-desk arrangement and strict anti-socializing policies–while appropriate–limit the possible enjoyment of the space. The half-point was earned with regard to comfort, as seating is provided and the Main Cafeteria can and will provide the much needed warmth once winter comes around.


Media Cafeteria: 2.5/5 Falcons

After spending the morning as a COVID-19 testing center, the Media Cafeteria fares slightly better than the Main Cafeteria in the ranking. While no food is offered, the standing tables allow for better interaction between students, despite being empty on most sunny days.


Off-Campus (Broadway side): 3/5 Falcons

Broadway Market and Starbucks dominate this side of the school’s off-campus lunch offerings. Atmosphere and socialization are at a peak in these locations. The food and beverages–although not cheap–can be amazing. Something to note: lines get long and will lead to tardiness at least once. 


Off-Campus (Cambridge St. side): 3.5/5 Falcons

Similar to Broadway, the experience on Cambridge Street has its pros and cons. However, the Cambridge Street side of the school only scores higher since the quality of the food offered–notably, the fresh pizza at Mona Lisa’s–is better than what one can find on Broadway. A note on both of these off-campus locations: COVID-19 safety is not assured and there is a chance that the person next to you may not be vaccinated. Do as you wish with this information.


Cambridge Public Library: 1/5 Falcons

COVID-19 rules are stricter here than in the Main Cafeteria. The public library doesn’t provide free lunch and it also doesn’t permit eating. The little socialization that occurs and the refuge it provides on occasional rainy days save it from a zero, but other than that, it doesn’t have much to offer.  


Field House Bleachers (Only permitted when rainy): N/A

Tried once, got kicked out. Will have to try again. 


Joan Lorentz Park: 4.5/5 Falcons

A very expansive space that can accommodate many students, the Joan Lorentz Park earns a high score by excelling in all categories. Its outdoor setting means relative safety in regards to COVID-19. Food cannot really be ranked, as lunches from a plethora of options congregate here, but the ample space facilitates socialization. The Joan Lorentz Park falls short of a perfect score, as the benches in front of the library cannot accommodate a large amount of people, but the ground is always a great substitute. 

This piece also appears in our November 2021 print edition.