The dreaded word – finals. Whether we’re grading them or taking them, finals never really seem to go away. We all know from our four years in college how hard it can be to stay healthy and be committed to exercise when you’re stuck in a chair in the library typing up papers all evening, and the vending machine is just so conveniently placed and deliciously unhealthy. Here are some local Harvard Square late-night spots where you can grab some “brain food!”

Market in the Square – Open 24/7, located at 60 Church Street

This is the quintessential spot to grab some yummy fruits and veggies, and in addition, it has a hot bar piled up with healthy options – chicken dishes, salads, and roasted vegetables! Though a bit on the pricier side, the market has everything from sandwiches to prepared sushi that will satisfy your late night noshing!

 Au Bon Pain – Closes at 2 AM every day, located at 1360 Mass Avenue

Fresh bread, leafy salads, and tons of coffee – Au Bon Pain has all the essentials for a great late night meal. Fresh fruit is offered in take-away containers, and the make-your-own salad bar is a personal favorite of mine. There’s also plenty of room to sit and get some work done if you need a break from the mute quiet of the library atmosphere.

IHOP – Closes at 4 AM every day, located at 16 Eliot Street

Who doesn’t love breakfast at night? Grab a hearty omelet or freshly scrambled eggs with some OJ and let yourself unwind at this popular student hub. I’m one of those people who work best in the mornings, so delving into breakfast foods help my mind get refreshed and working in the later hours.

But whoa! Still craving the non-healthy bites? (Don’t worry, I wish my willpower were strong enough to banish my cravings, but it’s not.) Here are some other late-night options!

Hong Kong – Closes at 2:00 AM Sunday through Wednesday, 2:30 AM on Thursdays, and 3:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, located at 1238 Mass Avenue

Who hasn’t had late night craving to eat lo-mein noodles or Szechuan spicy chicken with their friends in a dorm room? With plentiful options and larger-than-life portions, you not only get a late night meal, but also the next day’s breakfast and lunch along with it! Make sure you grab a fortune cookie in order to ensure success on your finals 😉

Filipe’s Taqueria – Closes at midnight Monday through Wednesday, 2:00 AM on Thursday-Saturday, located at 83 Mount Auburn Street

College-friendly price ranges, cheesy quesadillas, and steaming-hot burritos make this place a Harvard staple. Indulge yourself in all of your Mexican favorites while enjoying the speedy service in the midst of a packed crowd. Try the complimentary salsas. Cash only!

Finally, enjoy some healthy, yet delicious snack options if you’re not up for a meal. Blueberries, almonds, bananas, or even a block of dark chocolate! Last, but not least, on the subject of exercise – don’t just sit at a table for five hours. Allow yourself some breaks to get up, take a stretch, walk around, and get some fresh air! HAPPY STUDYING 🙂

Stacy Tell is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Language and Literacy program. An aspiring Reading Specialist, Stacy is passionate about helping students to become lifelong readers.

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