Why Trillium is the best place to eat on campus, in Ithaca and probably at any college

It’s the best of every world

During lunchtime, if there is any café on Cornell’s campus that doesn’t have anywhere to sit but still has an onslaught of students flooding the lines, it’s Trillium.

There is a reason every student runs out of BRBs way before the semester ends, and that reason is Trillium. That is because this café has the two factors that the majority of people crave: variety and customization. There are multiple lines that offer an array of meals, ranging from salads to burgers to quesadillas to lo mein. Then, within each line, customers can pick and choose what they want included – if they don’t want pickles soaking through and ruining their hamburger bun, they don’t have to get pickles. If they are feeling especially in charge of their life one day and want every vegetable on the bar in their salad, they can make that happen. Trillium isn’t just a campus café, it is a lunchtime experience.

First things first – it’s got everything

Walking through the doors of Trillium is entering into a lunchtime wonderland. The first station on the left is the salad bar, followed by the quesadilla station, then burgers, the hot wok station, wraps and burritos and ending with the pasta station. But the variety doesn’t end there. In the middle of all the stations, there is a section that carries soup, macaroni and cheese, personal pizzas and Cornell Dairy ice cream.

Plus, you can customize everything

At the salad bar, students can load up on their choice of greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, protein and the best part of any salad – croutons and dressing. The quesadilla station offers chicken, steak, beans or cheese with the option of turning it into a fajita with sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers or onions. The burgers can be either a beef patty, salmon, or chicken tenders with any regular burger toppings. The hot wok station has lo mein, bok choy and fried rice. There are buffalo chicken, chicken bacon ranch or chicken caesar wraps at the wrap station, along with steak or chicken burritos and taco salads. Pasta can be made with multiple choices of noodles, sauces, meats and vegetables.

And you can get anything to drink with your meal

Instead of just choosing between Izze sparkling water or bottled Starbucks frappuccinos, Trillium also offers coffee, tea, water, Gatorade, fruit juices, soda. But don’t worry, it also has Izze sparkling water and bottled Starbucks frappuccinos.

The wait is definitely worth it

You might have to wait in line to order for a few minutes, but the first bite of not-a-prepared-tuna-salad-sandwich will make you forget all about the raging impatience you felt while the person in front of you took way too long to decide between steak or chicken.

There are choices even if you don’t think the wait is worth it

Sometimes the rush to class is too real, especially so you don’t have to sit too close to the professor so that they can see that you have the wrong book out and that you haven’t even bought the right book yet. So Trillium has a solution to this, and it’s the grab ‘n’ go section. There are pre-made sandwiches, yogurt, fruit cups, sushi, muffins, granola bars and cookies that make nutrition majors cringe.

It’s a great location

It’s right in the middle of central campus. It’s perfect walking distance from just about anywhere on campus (this does not include Stocking Hall, Morrison Hall, or the vet school because those should have their own zip code – but at least it’s a straight walk and mostly downhill).

It’s a great place to meet people

Because a majority of the student population is at Trillium between the hours of 12 and 2, it’s a great place to meet new people. I’m sure no one would mind making a new friend while eating their spinach salad with salmon and dried cranberries or their linguine smothered in alfredo sauce and sipping green apple flavored sparkling water.

There is a decent amount of seating

And it’s always available for student use (cough cough Martha’s). There are plenty of tables with chairs that sit a little too high for people under 5’3″, but there is also a second floor with more tables and booths. During the 20 minutes that it’s warm in Ithaca, there are also tables outside. But if there isn’t a place to sit, it makes for good practice meeting new people as suggested above- maybe they’ll let you share a seat or even let you sit on their lap.

It has good vibes

The atmosphere in Trillium is generally a positive one. It’s a place where students go during their breaks, they get to eat some good food that actually satisfies the hunger they’ve felt since they skipped breakfast to sprint to class. It’s open with lots of windows so it doesn’t feel as reminiscent of a study building.

You can go next door

If none of these things appeal to you, Bus Stop Bagels is connected to Trillium. There’s not so much variety there, though.

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