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Places to Eat in East Lansing

Living in a college town makes it easy to find cheap eats. But, you don’t want to compromise taste for price. Sometimes, cheap does not always mean good. That might slide for the average, cold-pizza-and-ramen-soup-eating college student, but not for those who are looking for good food at a reasonable price. Whether you are a local of East Lansing, a visitor, or a college student who won’t stand another microwavable meal, check out these restaurants, where eating delicious foods doesn’t mean spending a fortune.

Peanut Barrel

Bar food and, yes, peanuts abound at the Peanut Barrel, located on Grand River. The vibe you get when you walk into this restaurant and bar is that of a casual chill. Pool tables and dart boards make this a great place to hang out and the drink specials (like Sunday night $4 Long Islands) let you loosen-up after a long day at work or class.

The food is cheap-you can get a sandwich with fries for under $10 and what you can expect from bar food: greasy and good. Try the Olive Burger, which comes on a rye bun and is made with a sweeter sauce that compliments the salty taste of green olives.

Woody’s Oasis

Boasting as “Mid-Michigan’s original Mediterranean deli” Woody’s Oasis offers grocery items, catering and a deli.

Bamboo chairs and booths surrounding palm trees lets you escape to the Mediterranean, while Spartan paraphernalia (like green checkered tables) keeps you in East Lansing. The deli is also vegetarian and vegan-friendly. And, with sandwiches under $5, Woody’s becomes an oasis for your wallet.


Visit Cosi on Grand River for fresh sandwiches made on their signature flatbread. Join it with a cup of soup or fresh tossed salad.

The restaurant also offers hot flatbread pizzas and breakfast items. Get cozy with friends and make s’mores right at your table or indulge in their Mississippi Mud Pie. Gather with coworkers or other students for dinner out at one of only six Cosi locations in Michigan.

Fast food, cafes and bars and grills are a cheap meal option and populate college towns like East Lansing. For finer dining, you may have to spend a little more. To save your savings, order an appetizer as a meal. Appetizers at many restaurants are made with sharing in mind, so the portions are a good size.
Champps has an array of food that ranges in price. Order one of their flavor-packed appetizers for a cheaper meal that will leave you full and satisfied.
Another restaurant where you can get by on an appetizer is P.F. Changs China Bistro. The P.F. Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps are delicious and healthy. This appetizer supplies a generous portion that may have you leaving with a doggie bag.