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Battle of the Coasts

by Lindsey Rosenblatt

Photography courtesy of Noor Nasser

Boston and Los Angeles, two of the biggest and most happening cities in America, seem to be in an unspoken battle of which city is the trendiest and most “foodie.” As a BU student from Los Angeles, I have noticed some key differences and similarities from coast to coast regarding the food scene.

First, it must be acknowledged that LA comes with its stereotypes: everything is organic, drinking pressed juice has turned into a necessity and everything is replaced with either almond butter or almond milk. Boston’s charm is more traditional, and the food tends to be more comforting.

One thing that any college student loves is fast food. Shake Shack, a modern fast-food restaurant for burgers and shakes found all over the Boston area, is often considered to be better than LA’s renowned In-N-Out, a quick drive-thru or dine-in for burgers and fries at a low price.

Boston students who are originally from LA were asked about their opinions regarding the battle: Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out.

“In-N-Out is way better than Shake Shack,” said Nicole Reichwald (CAS ’20). “It’s such a staple at home that I can’t imagine I would ever like Shake Shack more.”

“In-N-Out for sure,” said Guy McEleney (Harvard ’19). “Their burgers are just better tasting, the sauce is better, it’s faster service and way cheaper.”

On the other hand, Matt Schneider (CGS ’21), who is originally from New York, said “Shake Shack is better because it is cleaner, and the burgers, fries and shakes are just better.”

Back in LA, frozen yogurt self-serve shops populate every block in the same way Dunkin’ Donuts does in Boston. Finding quality, homemade ice cream is a rarity.

LA people appear to enjoy frozen yogurt more because it is a low-calorie dessert.

“It’s more refreshing [than ice cream] and there are more options,” said Rachel Rubinstein (CGS ’21). “Ice cream can be overwhelmingly creamy sometimes.”

In Boston, homemade, rich ice cream tends to be the go-to. J.P. Licks and Emack and Bolios produce unique flavor concoctions, ranging from Cake Batter-Oreo to “Moose Tracks” Caramel ice cream.

“There is nothing better than a good ice cream place because the feeling you get when eating yummy ice cream is unlike any other feeling in the world,” said Lily Stone (CAS ’21).

While frozen yogurt may be healthier, one thing is for sure—in Boston, nothing beats ice cream smothered in homemade hot fudge.

Boston and Los Angeles do have their differences. However, there seem to be some bridges which link the two food-loving cities.

The coffee shop scene has taken both cities by storm. Drinking coffee is no longer a quick stop to rejuvenate oneself and hopefully rid the bags developing under one’s eyes; it is now a full experience. Coffee shops are designed to be aesthetically pleasing and to offer creative syrups and new ways of brewing coffee.

In LA, a current phenomenon is latte art—utilizing the foam on top of a latte as an artistic canvas. This can be seen at the popular Carrera Cafe on LA’s Melrose Avenue. Boston’s Pavement Coffeehouse and The Thinking Cup offer various types of coffee, lattes and teas to please every taste bud. Cafes such as these offer a peaceful place to be productive or sit and read a book.

Boston and LA are beginning to adopt trends from one another as well. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an ice cream company originally from the South, has opened multiple shops in LA. Shake Shack has also launched new West Coast locations. Pressed juiceries are beginning to pop up around Boston, including Pressed Juicery, which is located on Newbury Street.

After critically analyzing the distinct trends of the coasts, it is hard to come to a conclusion on whichultimately wins this battle. People bind to what they know best and are biased when it comes to making an objective judgement on a food or restaurant that they already love. All in all, it is clear that both coasts know what they are doing when it comes to food.

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