Best Butteries

EUN-YOUNG PARK guides us through the best places to cure those mid-morning hunger pangs.

Arc Cafe Babbage Lecture Theatre Butteries Cheap food coffee Economics Buttery Food and Drink Law Faculty UL

We’ve all been there: it’s 10:28 and lecture two is somehow more mind-numbingly boring than lecture one; you’re severely hung-over and are in dire need of caffeine.

Over-priced cappuccinos and slightly stale muffins are calling. It’s time to hit the buttery. ‘But which one?’ I hear you call. The Tab has devised a little guide to help you make the right choice.

1. Law Cafe

Head on through the amazing automatic doors of law department and down into its swanky buttery – presumably indicative of future earnings (or of its lack of soul, perhaps). There’s a pretty diverse menu and the prices aren’t too bad either. Paninis are a particular highlight.

There aren’t many seats, but there aren’t many people either (they’re all pouring over legal documents in the library), so finding a place to sit isn’t too difficult. Definitely a good place to stop for a few minutes of glorious procrastination.

Only £1.80 for two pieces of this…

Atmosphere: 6/10

Price: 7/10

Menu: 9/10

2. The Arc

A newcomer to the buttery scene, Arc tends to be crowded at any time of the day, but there are generally enough seats. It’s slightly more expensive than the other butteries, but there’s a really good range of hot food and snacks – they have good cakes too if you feel you need a treat. Its colourful, comfortable furnishings and light atmosphere mean that it’s a great place to unwind.

Atmosphere: 8/10

Price: 5/10

Menu: 9/10

3. The UL Tearoom

Buried away in the UL is a beacon of light among the dark and dusty bookshelves: the tearoom. It’s big, airy and you can sip coffee in the knowledge that some of the best minds in the country have worked within this library’s big grey walls.

The food isn’t bad: there’s a good selection of hot food and an all too tempting array of chocolate bars and cookies. It’s on the pricey side, but if you’ve bothered trekking there and have thrown caution to the wind and left your treasured possessions among the maze of indistinguishable lockers, you might as well treat yourself.

Atmosphere: 7/10

Price: 3/10

Menu: 9/10

4. Economics Buttery

Let your conscience be at peace, because this buttery is entirely fair-trade. It doesn’t sell hot food, which is a bit of a pain, but the lunch options are good while they last. Hot chocolate is also a particular fave. It’s open from 8am-5pm, ready to meet your snacking needs. It’s always quite busy which means it has a great atmosphere and is a good place for a catch-up.

Atmosphere: 9/10

Price: 7/10

Menu: 5/10

*Bonus points for ethical value*

5. New Museums Site Cafe

This is a rather small establishment located in front of the Babbage theatre. It stocks a small range of drinks and snacks but there’s nowhere to sit at all – scientists are evidently considered too busy to socialize. The prices are fairly high and the menu is not all that diverse, but it has a monopoly over the New Museums Site as the only buttery around. Good if you’re too lazy to walk to Starbucks.

Atmosphere: 1/10

Price: 6/10

Menu: 2/10