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Boston's Student Eats

As you wander through Cambridge it's safe to assume that almost every other person on the street attends a nearby institute of higher learning. (Forty percent of the city's population is between the ages of 18 and 29.) Here are a handful of places that cater to poor students:

Darwin's (148 Mt. Auburn St. 617/354–5233 1629 Cambridge St. 617/491–2999 www.darwinsltd.com). A self-described "shabby-chic deli and café," Darwin’s symbolizes both the bohemian Harvard Square of yore and its newer, more gentrified persona. It has nearly 20 sandwiches that cost less than $9 (try The Story, a delicious prosciutto-pesto-fresh mozzarella-tomato combo), very good coffee, locally baked breads, and free Wi-Fi, making it many a student's second home.

Miracle of Science (321 Massachusetts Ave. 617/868–2866). This funky and casual Central Square restaurant and bar is chock-full of MIT neuroscientists and PhD students at leisure. And no wonder: if anything could drag them away from the lab, it's the Periodic Table of Elements–theme menu with chipotle-tinged turkey chili and several local beers on tap.

Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage (1246 Massachusetts Ave. 617/354–6559). It may just be the perfect cuisine for the student metabolism: a variety of garnished thick burgers with sassy names (many of them celebrities), crispy regular and sweet-potato fries, and onion rings. There's also a great veggie burger, along with comforting fare like baked meatloaf and franks and beans. Soda fountain favorites include thick frappes and the raspberry lime rickey made with fresh limes, raspberry juice, and soda water. During busy times employees hand out menus and take orders on the sidewalk.

Pinocchio's Pizza and Subs (74 Winthrop St. 617/876–4897 www.pinocchiospizza.net). This hole-in-the-wall's been serving late-night pies to Harvard students for three decades. "Noch's" offers thick, Sicilian-style pizza for little more than two bucks a slice.

Updated: 2014-04-16

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