by Alyssa Yeh
photography courtesy of Pexels
As summer approaches, Boston University freshmen will close out their first year of college and return to their families, their friends and the food of their hometown.
Freshman year is exciting and rewarding, but also difficult. First year students often encounter the homesickness and culture shock that come with living in a new environment. In addition to calling and writing to friends and family, eating comfort foods from their respective hometowns can be a way that freshmen cope with missing home.
Melanie Choe (CAS ‘22) made the long trek from Ewa Beach, Hawaii to come to school in Boston. While she says “nothing [in Boston] can emulate Hawaiian food,” Choe enjoys Wahlburger or Santouka while she is in the city. At home, her favorite food is Poke, a Hawaiian dish that consists of sliced raw fish and toppings.
Kelsey Fong (QST ‘22) hails from San Francisco, CA, which is home to the largest Chinatown in the United States. While at home, she often eats Chinese cuisine with family and friends. Though Boston’s Chinatown is smaller and less extensive than San Francisco’s Chinatown, Fong appreciates the area when she is feeling homesick. She often takes the T into Boston’s Chinatown and gets bakery items such as custard tarts, cocktail buns and pineapple buns. She also enjoys the Chinese-American restaurant Mei Mei, located in BU’s South Campus.
Samantha Dilsheimer (COM ‘22) loves to eat a “good Philly cheesesteak” when she is at home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“They remind me of Philly sports, and I have such good memories of watching games with friends and family,” she says. When she’s at school, she’ll get a cheesesteak from a pizza shop, which are not as good as the ones in Philadelphia, but remind her of home.
Cindy Lai (Wheelock ‘22) is another East Coast native from Rockaway, New Jersey. When she is at home, her favorite food to eat is Banh Xeo (a Vietnamese dish that means “crispy pancake”), which is a specialty of her father’s. Lai’s favorite restaurant in Boston is Pho Le in Dorchester, where “the abundant amount of food reminds [her] of the large portions at home.”
Ariane Vigna (COM ‘22) hails from Paris, France, where she loves to eat bread, quiche, pastries and crepes. In Boston, her favorite spot is The Paris Creperie in Brookline, which has “the best hot chocolates and crepes with amazing goat cheese or Nutella.”
Angel Kim (COM ‘22) comes from a Korean-American family in Fairfax, Virginia, but often was tired of eating Korean food because her family ate it so much. However, that all changed when she moved to Boston for school. “After eating dining hall and other food from BU for a while I realized how much I miss Korean food and eating it feels like home,” she says. Her favorite restaurant in Boston is Bab in Coolidge Corner, which is a Korean Bistro restaurant.
As a bustling and diverse city, Boston has many options to explore for students from out of town, especially if they are living away from home for the first time. Check out some of these restaurants recommended by BU students, or learn how to make your own home-inspired dishes!