The “Best of” Kent State

Students from the College of Communication and Information (CCI) welcome their new international peers by offering advice on some of the best things to do, see and eat at Kent State and in the nearby Kent community.

Where is the best place to meet new people at Kent State?
  • At one of the thousands of events that happen on campus throughout the year. Your classes and student organizations are also great places to meet people! (Bruno Beidacki)
  • In dorms, classrooms and student organizations. (Amrita Datta)
  • International Student Mentors is a student organization made up of mainly international students. They organize cultural events and fun activities! I went to several of their events and had great experiences! (Lusi Cai)
  • In my opinion, student events hosted by CCI or any organization on campus would be the best place to meet new people because have a chance to talk with them and develop relationships. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • For international students, Kent State International Mentors is a great organization to start with. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Kent State Welcome Week events. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Talk to people in class. I have made 80% of my friends on campus by talking to the people around me in class. Join a club or multiple clubs! I recommend trying out one club per semester that is not already an interest but sounds cool. You never know where you will find characters, but a club entitled “The League of Extraordinary Tabletops” sounds like a good place to start. Try not to limit yourself to the familiar. How else will you grow? (Sophia Avouris)
  • I made all of my friends in Olson Hall, the CCI living-learning community. It’s a great community of students. There are always amazing programs and opportunities to meet with CCI faculty, alumni and fellow students. My hall staff was always welcoming and supportive, and I loved living with people who had interests that were similar to mine. (Carrie George)
  • The Hub, student organizations, the Library, dorms, Franklin Hall (especially for School of Journalism and Mass Communication majors!) (Abigail Winternitz)
Where are the best places to hang out with friends on campus?
  • Manchester and Taylor Fields, during sunny days, and the Kent Student Center when it’s cold outside. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • The field by Taylor Hall, Kent Student Center, Rosie’s (on campus, in Tri-Towers). (Amrita Datta)
  • The library would be a nice place to go for group discussions. As for fun, I would recommend Kent State’s Rec Center. I’ve never tried the rock climbing there, but I heard it’s fun! (Lusi Cai)
  • I usually hang out in the Kent Student Center or Jazzman’s, which is in the basement of the Student Center, because I can get coffee with friends and sit around the table and chat. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • The basement of the Kent Student Center is fun. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • The Hub [in Kent Student Center]. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Take a blanket and go to Victory Field by Taylor Hall. I know it sounds cheesy, but sun and friends can solve a lot of the stress and worries that college causes. Or, the fountain by the field by Eastway and the Student Center. I go there at night and look at the stars and listen to the water. It is definitely my favorite place on campus. (Sophia Avouris)
  • When the weather is nice, I like hanging out with friends in the field in front of Taylor Hall. It’s a good place to spread out a blanket and relax for a little while. For the 90% of the year when the weather isn’t nice, my friends and I usually grab coffee at the Jazzman’s in the basement of the Student Center and hang out there for a while. (Carrie George)
  • Downtown restaurants, the Hub, The Library, the CUE [Center for Undergraduate Excellence, 975 Lefton Esplanade, near Olson Hall]. (Abigail Winternitz)
What are the best sights on campus?
  • Taylor field (near Taylor Hall) for its history, front campus (for its beauty and The Rock), and The Wick Poetry Center (for its cultural value). (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Kent Student Center (by the K), Taylor Hall and the general area near front campus.(Amrita Datta)
  • I would recommend the Fashion Library (131 Rockwell Hall). I heard they have Vogue magazines from the 1920s. (Lusi Cai)
  • The May 4 Visitors Center, the Library and International Student and Scholar Services [located in Van Campen Hall]. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Rec Center and outside of Taylor Hall. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • The library, the May 4 Memorial, The Hub. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • The top floor of the library, McGilvrey Hall (the hallways are lined with display cases with minerals, fossils, and all sorts of beautiful geological goodness) and the May 4 memorial garden (near Taylor Hall) in early spring. There are daffodils carpeting [the ground] under the trees on the hill and it never fails to make me smile. In later spring, there is a walkway with lilac bushes that smells like heaven and doesn’t feel like campus at all. (Sophia Avouris)
  • My favorite place to see on campus is the Liquid Crystal Institute [1425 Lefton Esplanade].They have beautiful sculptures that light up and change colors at night. I also love the Wick Poetry Center [across from Franklin Hall]. It is a cute and cozy house close to downtown Kent (conveniently located on the Lefton Esplanade). Not only do they host great talks and programs, but it is also a comfy place to sit and read a book. Across the esplanade from the Wick Poetry Center is the Architecture Building. This is the prettiest building on campus. Even if you aren’t an architecture student, don’t be afraid to walk through and check it out. (Carrie George)
  • The Hub [Student Center]), the "K" [Risman Plaza], the May 4 Visitors Center and the Kent State Museum/Fashion School. (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to study on campus?
  • The basement of the Kent Student Center; most people will say the library, but the basement of the Student Center has a better vibe. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • The Library, Architecture building, by the fields near Taylor Hall. (Amrita Datta)
  • The Library. There are some nice tables at the new Architecture Building as well. (Lusi Cai)
  • The 2nd floor of the Kent Student Center, if you are looking for a chill place to study. It is not like the Library, which is very quiet and you feel like you have to be 100% focused. Instead, you would be able to just go with the flow and relax but study at the same time. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • The Library. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • The Library or the grad student office in Franklin Hall. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • The 8th or 9th floor of the Library. Just enough books to create a protective screen blocking other people from seeing you.  Empty enough to do a couple laps around the floor. And it is a quiet area, which people take very seriously. (Sophia Avouris)
  • The 4th floor of the Library is usually my go-to study spot, but when midterms and finals roll around, it gets very crowded. When you’re looking for some peace and quiet, try the 9th or 10th floor. Even when it is crowded, it is completely silent. (Carrie George)
  • The basement or 2nd floor of the Student Center, the CUE or the 4 th or 6 th floor of the library. (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to eat breakfast?
  • Eastway Center (and their omelets!) on campus, and Mike’s Place [off campus, at 1700 S. Water St]. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Eastway Center (for the omelets). (Amrita Datta)
  • I would say oatmeal, milk and fruits at home make the healthiest and easiest breakfast, but if you have to eat out, Einstein Bros at The Hub (Kent Student Center) could work. Starbucks sells nice, healthy sandwiches as well.” (Lusi Cai)
  • Eastway Center has delicious omelets. If you want to try breakfast off campus, I recommend Wild Goats Café [319 W. Main St.]. They have pretty good pancakes! (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Prentice Hall. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Starbucks. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • I cannot help you here. My breakfast is a granola bar from my room eaten on my way to class. (Sophia Avouris)
  • Eastway Center omelets are the best food on campus. There will be a line, especially on weekend mornings, but it is absolutely worth it. (Carrie George)
  • Eastway Center, no question! (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to eat lunch?
  • Kent Market 2 (on campus, second floor of Kent Student Center) and Fresco (off campus at 100 E. Erie St. in Kent). (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Kent Market 2. (Amrita Datta)
  • “Chipotle is always good, but if I have time, I’d go to Taco Tontos [off campus as 123 Franklin Ave. in Kent] for Mexican food. Troy Grill [118 E. Main Street] sells nice Mediterranean food, healthy and delicious salads with a variety of protein choices. I like Franklin Corner Deli [off campus, 108 S. Water St. in Kent] for sandwiches. There are two good Chinese restaurants (only these two work for me, and I’m Chinese): China City in University Plaza [off campus, at 156 Cherry St. in Kent] and Yummy Garden [off campus, at 1799 Main Street]). ZZ Yum Fun hotpot restaurant near the Walmart [off campus, 2500 State Rt. 59 in Kent] is good, too.” (Lusi Cai)
  • I normally eat where it’s close to my classroom or I eat at my apartment. If I have to recommend one, I would pick Eastway Center on campus. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Kent Student Center. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Evergreen Chinese Buffett [off campus, at 1665 E. Main St. in Kent]. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • The food truck (Fork in the Road). No contest. Failing that, I go to Kent Market 2, on the second floor of the Kent Student Center. I especially love the tandoori grill option. (Sophia Avouris)
  • My favorite place to get lunch is the Munchies Market in Prentice Hall. They have great wraps and flatbreads. (Carrie George)
  • Anywhere but The Hub; it doesn’t take the meal plan over lunch time. (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to eat dinner?
  • Prentice Hall (near Taylor Hall) and Bricco [off campus at 210 S. Depeyster St. in Kent] (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Eastway Center and Kent Student Center. (Amrita Datta)
  • Texas Road House [off campus, at 4310 Lakepointe Corporate Dr., Stow, Ohio[, Toko Japanese Steak House on Main Street [(off campus, 1855 State Route 59 in Kent]. (Lusi Cai)
  • Kent Student Center. They have sushi , which is a pretty healthy choice for dinner. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Rosie’s in Tri-Towers. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Mike’s Place [off campus, 1700 S. Water St. in Kent]. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Since Kent Market 2 (in the Kent Student Center) is usually closed by dinner time, I would recommend Eastway Center if you don’t mind being surrounded by lots of loud freshmen! (Sophia Avouris)
  • I love going to Quaker Steak and Lube with my friends for dinner. It’s fun because it’s a real restaurant (but it still accepts the Kent State meal plan), so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating on a college campus. It’s especially fun on karaoke nights. (Carrie George)
  • The Hub or Quaker Steak and Lube. (Abigail Winternitz)
What (or where) is the best late-night snack in Kent?
  • Rosie’s mozzarella sticks [in Tri-Towers residence hall], Euro Gyro’s pizza [off campus, at 107 S. Depeyster St. in Kent]. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Rosie’s [Tri-Towers] and Prentice Hall. (Amrita Datta)
  • Buffalo chicken wings. (Lusi Cai)
  • Rosie’s at Tri-Towers. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • EuroGyro in Kent [off campus, at 107 S. Depeyster St.] and any fast-food restaurants on Main St. in Kent (not many places are open late). (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • On campus? Anything from Rosie’s [the diner inside the Tri-Towers Rotunda which does on-campus delivery only].  Off campus? Insomnia cookies (for those with a sweet tooth), which is open until 3 a.m. and delivers [295 S. Water St., Kent, 877-632- 6654]. (Sophia Avouris)
  • The Munchies Market at Prentice is not only my favorite lunch spot, but also my favorite late-night snack spot. Nothing beats a buffalo chicken wrap at one in the morning. I prefer Prentice to the popular Rosie’s because it is usually less crowded. (Carrie George)
  • Breakfast sandwich at Rosie’s [Tri-Towers]. (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best places to buy groceries?
  • Eastway Center (on campus), Acme Fresh Market (off campus, at 1709 State Route 59 in Kent). (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Prentice Hall for immediate groceries; Eastway Center for gourmet food cravings (Amrita Datta)
  • ALDI [120 W. Maple St. in Hartville] is affordable and fresh. Walmart [250 Tallmadge Road in Kent or 2600 State 59 in Ravenna] is good, too. Marc’s (1600 S. Water St. in Kent) works. Giant Eagle [787 E. Main St. in Ravenna] has nice deli choices. Park-to-Shop [1580 E. 30 th St. in Cleveland] is a great place to shop for Asian foods. There’s also a smaller Asian market at University Plaza [Cherry St. in Kent]. (Lusi Cai)
  • Walmart. Since I don’t have the meal plan, I normally go to Walmart to buy my groceries. For students who have the meal plan, you can go to Prentice Market or the Eastway Center Market to buy groceries. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Acme [off campus, at 1709 State Rt 59 in Kent]. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Walmart. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Acme is usually pretty good and has most everything you need.  There is a Giant Eagle in Stow, which is on a bus route. (Sophia Avouris)
  • I always bought groceries from the Prentice market [Munchies] because it was closer to my dorm than the Eastway Center Market. However, the Eastway Market usually has a better selection of food. (Carrie George)
  • The markets at Eastway Center and Rosie’s [Tri-Towers]. (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to buy cool, cheap clothes?
  • Gabe’s [Gabriel Brothers, off campus, at 1830 State Route 59 in Kent]. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Gabe’s! (Amrita Datta)
  • Online, I guess. Urban Outfitters offer a variety of styles and choices for young men and women. (Lusi Cai)
  • Gabe’s. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Gabe’s. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Gabe’s. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Plato’s Closet. There is one in the Chapel Hill Mall in Cuyahoga Falls [554 Howe Avenue]. (Sophia Avouris)
  • Target (clearance section). (Abigail Winternitz)
Where is the best place to hear live music in Kent?
  • The Kent Stage [off campus at 175 E. Main Street in Kent]. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Venice Café [off campus at 163 Franklin Ave. in Kent]. (Amrita Datta)
  • Venice Café. They have pretty cool musicians to perform live music every Wednesday starting at 9:00 p.m. So go early and get in before 9 p.m. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Venice Café. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Venice Café. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • There are usually some pretty cool bands that perform at the Kent Stage. But The Venice has a pretty good selection of bands that come on a regular basis. (Sophia Avouris)
What are the best things to do on weekends?
  • Explore downtown Kent. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Go take a walk downtown, sit by the river and read, hike in Franklin Mills (several hiking spots near Kent), have coffee at Scribbles Coffee Co.(off campus at 237 N. Water St. in Kent. (Amrita Datta)
  • Hiking at Cuyahoga Falls trails. Go for a one-day trip to nearby places, like Put-in- Bay and Columbus. (Lusi Cai)
  • There are lots of place for nature lovers near Kent. You can go there to relax and explore! Take some pictures and have fun! (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Exploring Kent’s local stores. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Go to the Kent Farmer’s Market [Haymaker Market, Franklin Ave. between Main and Summit St. in Kent on Saturdays between May and October] and go out at night. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Go to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visit the CLE [Cleveland]: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Art Museum, Science Museum, West Side Market or Ohio City in general. Go to an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game (Cleveland Indians’ minor league team). Akron has a lot of food festivals, look up when they are. Sleep. Volunteer-- most dorms have some partnership with a local charity and organize trips every weekend to go and help out.  They will not turn down volunteers. And it is a great way to meet people (Sophia Avouris)
  • Weekends are a great time to explore downtown Kent. I always like taking a Saturday morning walk to Scribbles [off campus at 237 N. Water St.] for some coffee, walking down to the river, and stopping at Twisted Meltz or Taco Tontos for lunch (Carrie George)
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Downtown Kent, Brewhouse). (Abigail Winternitz)
What is the best American food?
  • Barbecue ribs. (Bruno Beidacki)
  • French fries, pizza, pretzel sticks, steaks, barbeque ribs and different seafood (Amrita Datta)
  • Philly cheese steak sandwich. Lactaid fat-free milk. (Lusi Cai)
  • You have to try the homemade mac’ and cheese at Quaker Steak, which is located in the basement of the Student Center. You HAVE to try it.  (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries [623 E. Main St. in Kent]. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Burgers. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Really good french fries dipped in a milkshake. I make all my friends try it at least once, preferably at Swenson’s, which usually has quality fries and shakes. And since this is a guide for you, who are future friends, you should try it, too. Don’t knock it too hard. (Sophia Avouris)
  • Because I am from Maryland, I am partial to the Maryland-style crab cake. However, it’s not easy to find a good crab cake in Ohio, so a more accessible American food to try would be fried pickles. They’re way better than they sound. (Carrie George)
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries! (Abigail Winternitz)
What is the worst American food?
  • Cole slaw (Why? Just…why?). (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Taco Bell. (Amrita Datta)
  • American cheese. (Lusi Cai)
  • I don’t necessarily think that bleu cheese is considered food. I don’t like bleu cheese. You should still try it; maybe you’ll like it. (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Wendy’s [fast food/burgers]. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Cole slaw. (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • This might make me a horrible American but I cannot stand grits. They are the most disgusting food I have ever eaten. And I have tried a lot of icky things. (Sophia Avouris)
  • Corn dogs, which are hot dogs dipped in cornbread batter and fried, are the worst American food. (Carrie George)
  • Salad. Any salad. (Abigail Winternitz)
What is your best advice about studying abroad at Kent State?
  • Make sure you get out of your comfort zone and make friends who are not from your country. You’re at Kent State to experience the college culture, so join student organizations, attend on-campus events and take advantage of the things you couldn’t do back in your home country.” (Bruno Beidacki)
  • Do not lose touch with home because that’s what makes you original and different. Being different on a campus is not bad, it makes you unique. Mix with people from different cultures; do not be afraid or restrict yourself from reaching out to other people. Seek help from professors and peers. Befriend someone who knows the place and the region so that you can get the best experience. (Amrita Datta)
  • Nothing is more important than your safety, please be vigilant all the time. Avoid staying out late especially when you’re alone. Use tools, websites, apps like to check how safe your surrounding area is, especially if you are a female student. It’s fine if you want to get a few drinks, but no need to get wasted. (Lusi Cai)
  • Be confident, expressive, and respectful! Talk to your professors regularly to learn! Value your peers’ opinions!
  • Be healthy! Get the right nutrition, work out, and look sanguine! Whenever you feel hopeless or unhappy, don’t hesitate to reach out for help! You don’t have to deal with it alone! People around you (professors, advisors, friends, and family members) are more supportive than you think! Step out and meet friends!
  • If you feel unhappiness of any kind, don’t feel bad and schedule a meeting with [Kent State] psychology services to get professional help! Remember, there’s always help around you! (Lusi Cai)
  • Things will get tougher and harder at some point. Do not give up and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Get yourself out there and just try things out. Either volunteer or join an organization on campus. Follow your dream and stick with it. At last, I hope each of you will have a wonderful time at Kent. Oh, one more thing: If you are not sure what you want to do with your major, try to do the exploratory courses. It definitely helps.  (Aierken “Subi” Subinuer)
  • Join organizations and don’t be shy. (Kamulijiang “Kam” Bolati)
  • Be prepared for winter! (Natasha Wolwacz Heinz)
  • Continue to be brave. You already are brave by leaving whatever city or town was comfortable and home to you. Don’t lose that drive by collapsing inward and only surrounding yourself with people experiencing what you are. I can speak only for myself when I say that I want to meet you, get to know you, learn about you and where you came from. It is hard to do so when you are always surrounded by your friends speaking a different language.  If you can’t speak English well, all the better. I will help you with English and you can teach me your language. College isn’t just about learning in classrooms, but also from the girl sitting across from you in the dining hall or on the bus.
  • This is more than one piece of advice, but it is equally important. Walk or bike everywhere you can. As a rule, most of the food here is bad for you. I combat that by never driving or taking the bus if I can help it.  Exercise is important, and sometimes all you have time for is the walk across campus to get to your next class.  So invest in good boots and a winter coat for when it is snowing; the wind chill is below 0, and class was not cancelled. Welcome to Kent. I hope you will enjoy your time here. (Sophia Avouris)
  • Take advantage of the size and diversity of Kent State. The diversity of cultures, ideas and perspectives are an integral piece of Kent State’s history. Do not be afraid to talk to fellow students and faculty, but more importantly, do not be afraid to get involved. The best thing you can do while studying at Kent is to participate in the many organizations and clubs. This is the best way to make your voice heard and to hear the voices of others. (Carrie George)
  • Use your time to make every connection and find every new opportunity that you can! You will get out of the experience what you put in. (Abigail Winternitz)