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Campus Cafes with Claire

Claire Stephens | Monday, November 26, 2012


In what was once an empty and dreary little corner next to Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library is now the bright, sunny addition of Au Bon Pain. Though it may seem like other cafes on campus, the choices it has to offer fills the gaps between other eateries on campus. If you’re looking for a fresh and fast meal or just a snack, Au Bon Pain is the right place. Finals are looming over us, but there is now the promise of a cheerful escape for food during the long hours of studying/procrastinating. Without having to leave the library or brave the cold to make it over to LaFortune, you can feed that craving for something delicious.

While many campus cafes and eateries offer the same grab-and-go choices, Au Bon Pain offers fresh and unique options that are hearty enough to be a small meal. The small space holds a surprising selection of sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries. 

The best part about Au Bon Pain’s food? Everything is good. There’s nothing in the place that doesn’t look fresh and there’s sure to be something to hit the spot. For those looking to warm up, there’s some favorite choices from the dining hall soups you know and love (broccoli and cheese, clam chowder, even macaroni and cheese) with breadstick choices to go with them, from cheesy to spicy. For those on the run, there are colorful sandwiches in more of a European style with fresh veggies, fresh cheese, and as the name of the place suggests, good bread. The salads are not for the faint of heart, as they are large and filled with a variety of meats and vegetables. 

For those with early class starving for breakfast or in desperate need of a sugar rush during a study break, there are at least a dozen pastry options waiting in the back – go healthy with a cranberry or multi-berry muffin or go shameless with the chocolate croissant or a chocolate chip-packed pastry. There are fruit cups and parfaits as well. 

The lemonade and iced tea in the back are an extra bonus for those tired of soft drinks; the peach iced tea has a Southern sugar level that will jolt you out of your morning grogginess or your late night nod-offs. 

Au Bon Pain is perfect for campus not only as a different choice from the routine of the dining hall and grab-and-go, but also for its location and hours. Now that the library is open for 24 hours on five days a week, cramming students who find themselves in the library for hours on end can eat and study without leaving the building – and the choices are far better than vending machine snacks. Perhaps its greatest asset is that Au Bon Pain usually doesn’t close until 10 p.m., much later than some cafes on campus that close around dinnertime. And if you’re looking for a place to meet up or take a break, there are booths inside and a few tables right below Touchdown Jesus for warmer weather days. 

Along with the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, Au Bon Pain is a much-needed new food addition to campus that will be well used and appreciated by students. 



Contact Claire Stephens at cstephe4@nd.edu