College students rank local restaurants in survey

Foss’ Friday burrito bar and Dana’s ice cream selection can only satisfy students’ cravings for so long. As a result, many students opt for an occasional meal downtown, “It is a great way to explore the surrounding area and get a break from the usual campus fare,” said Grant Alenson ’18.  The Echo encourages students to explore Waterville and its surrounding towns and has conducted a survey of 108 students’ off-campus dining preferences to help make decisions easier.


Whether you are looking for a fun brunch with friends or somewhere to take the family, the surrounding area has you covered. Colby students ranked Riverside Farm Market the best brunch in the area. The cozy and rustic interior provides a great back drop for the local and elegant food. Over 35 percent of respondents gave the restaurant five stars. This spot is perfect for a family visit or special occasions. Try their eggs benedict or shakshuka (eggs baked in tomato sauce).

Survey results compiled from 108 Colby students, ranking their top choice of local dinner restaurants. Students were asked to rank options on a scale of one to five.

Close to 30 percent of respondents also rated Selah Tea and The Purple Cow at five stars. Selah Tea is a popular spot for students to do work and enjoy an all-day menu. We recommend the cold jar and the maple sausage breakfast sandwich. The Purple Cow’s high ratings can likely be attributed to its large portions and reasonable prices. A hungry student can get two delicious blueberry pancakes with two eggs made any style for $5.99.

Similarly, Early Bird Restaurant in Oakland, ME is a satisfying and cheap breakfast spot enjoyed by locals and students alike, opening at 4 a.m. daily. Unfortunately, Dana brunch likely tops certain local establishments like Eric’s and Joe-Joe’s, where fewer than five percent of students surveyed recommended for breakfast or lunch.


Riverside Farm Market is clearly doing things right: it had the highest rating for lunch in the survey. Runners-up were Grand Central Cafe and Waterville’s newest restaurant, The Proper Pig. The Proper Pig opened in September and is already a favorite among by Colby students. Go for the Big Bad Pig or the poutine for a sinfully delicious meal. Grand Central Cafe offers a gluten free crust as well as vegetarian options. Try the Pesto Pizza or the Chunky Baby.

Forty percent of respondents gave Grand Central five stars whereas Waterville House Of Pizza had 20 percent of respondents rate it two stars, indicating that ambiance and quality is important to students when they choose to venture off-campus for a meal.

Another top-10 American restaurant cooking up burgers is Mainely Brews Restaurant and Brewhouse, which provides special theme nights, such as trivia and live music on Fridays.


Going out to dinner is a fun way students treat themselves at at the end of a week dominated by on-campus dining. Yet again, Riverside Farm Market has the best reviews for dinner, though other restaurants such as Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse, Grand Central, and 18 Below received similarly high rankings. Over 40 percent of respondents gave these restaurants a five star rating. 18 Below’s raw oysters are fresh, and Joseph’s grills a high-quality fillet mignon. You can also never go wrong with sushi at Mirakuya, but just be prepared for sub-par service.

Don’t feel like you have to make the trek to Portland for a quality off-campus meal. Waterville is introducing new establishments that our whipping up tasty and well-liked food in their downtown kitchens.

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