College students may be a diverse lot, but there's one thing that unites everyone: they're all pretty much broke. Thai Spoon, set in the heart of Columbia College country, knows this all too well. That's why the restaurant offers large portions at reasonable prices, not to mention specials like half-priced Maki on Tuesdays. The mood-lit spot often fills with students hungry for tangy pad thai, huge crab rangoon and other Thai and Japanese favorites. Those with less of an appetite might go for the exceptional cucumber salad or one of many other cold salad options, or the bubble tea (which can be ordered sans lactose).
With its two walls of windows facing Wabash and Harrison Streets, Thai Spoon offers a prime spot for people watching as you munch. Diners often linger for a while in the soft green environment, though it's not always because they're too comfortable to leave—service here can sometimes be slow and unresponsive to patron requests. But hey, you didn't really want to get to class anyway, did you?
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Beth Dugan