Photo by Emily Goncalves
Photo by Emily Goncalves

What is the best muffin on campus?

Where to cure your muffin munchies

September 22, 2019

Deliciously soft and fluffy, muffins are one of the best breakfast options on campus when you’re rushing to lecture but are craving something sweet. As a devoted pastry fan, I believe that a quality muffin can cure any bad day (a muffin a day keeps the doctor away, right?)  Here at Vanderbilt, we’re lucky enough to have an almost strangely vast variety of these baked goods to choose from, and I am here to share with you a definitive ranking of the best places to go to get your next muffin fix. 

 

4. Food for Thought Café

Food for Thought’s lemon poppyseed muffin. (Photo by Christine Moser)

Due to their wide array of coffee options, Food for Thought is a popular breakfast stop for students. This year, they introduced a number of new muffin flavors which rotate between chocolate chip, lemon poppyseed, cranberry orange, cream cheese and blueberry.

The muffins have a nice, light and airy texture that reminds me more of cake than a traditional muffin. With that being said, these muffins are definitely drier compared to some others on campus. If you’ve got your eye on the lemon poppyseed flavor, beware of the scattered chunks of lemon “jelly” on the top of the muffin that detract from the overall light and sweet lemony taste of the muffin.  These muffins are the largest on this list, so if you’re feeling especially hungry on the way to class and need a treat in addition to your daily coffee, these could be your best bet. 

 

 

3. Dining Halls (Rand, EBI, Commons)

Rand, Commons, and EBI all offer the same variety of muffin options in the mornings, rotating between four flavors: chocolate, mocha, blueberry and orange. These muffins are on the smaller side, so they pair nicely with your morning Comelette.

Rand’s chocolate muffin. (Photo by Christine Moser)

However, this variety of flavors isn’t always dependable, and I can count many times I’ve gone to Rand only to be met with a few leftover chocolate muffins available. These muffins are likely met with low expectations from most students on campus as they come from the dining hall, but let me be the first to say that these muffins are better than you’d expect. The chocolate muffin has a very rich, sweet chocolate taste, making it a chocolate lover’s dream. It has an under-baked, gooey consistency that I loved. However, those who don’t love super sweet muffins as much as I do may find this treat too dessert-y for breakfast. 

 

 

2. Local Java

Local Java’s banana nut muffin, straight from Nashville’s Frothy Monkey cafe. (Photo by Christine Moser)

Local Java’s muffins are locally sourced from the Nashville coffee shop Frothy Monkey. Seeing that these pastries are from a real bakery, there’s undoubtedly high expectations. At Local Java, they rotate their muffin flavors to include both regular and gluten-free options, something that is unique compared to most baked goods on campus. Some of these options include blueberry, bran, banana nut and gluten-free chocolate chip.

I have a deep love for all things banana, so the fact that I’m not head-over-heels for this banana nut muffin is telling. Don’t get me wrong, this is a high quality muffin, but it still isn’t as moist as I would’ve liked. Nonetheless, it still has a soft and fluffy texture, and the flavor is perfect for fall with a good mix of spices in addition to the banana’s sweetness. However, the lack of walnuts in the muffin, which are only sprinkled sparingly on the top, is disappointing.

 

1. Munchie Mart

Munchie Mart’s “Great Pumpkin Chip” muffin. (Photo by Christine Moser)

The muffins at Munchie Mart are famous for a reason. They offer almost any flavor you can dream of, but with so many options, the struggle is choosing which of the quirky flavors to include in your now-limited Munchie meal swipe. To save you wasting a side on a disappointing muffin, I’ve compiled a few of the best to choose from next time you’re at Munchie: pumpkin chip, chocolate chip, raspberry chip and cinnamon crumble. 

All the above flavors are worth trying, but the “great pumpkin chip” muffin has a special place in my heart. This muffin is flavored with the perfect blend of cinnamon and pumpkin spices. The sweet chocolate chips mixed in balance out the savory pumpkin flavor, and its moist, fluffy texture is spot-on. Overall, Munchie muffins are too iconic to not earn the top spot on my list.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “What is the best muffin on campus?”

  1. Carolyn Moser on September 22nd, 2019 5:46 pm

    I was very impressed with the way you describe the favor, I wanted the lemon so bad, you did a great job on telling how looked and taste , great job

  2. Judy West on September 23rd, 2019 9:25 pm

    Hi Christine, wow. I wish I could try them all. Great descriptions and story telling about the muffins. I think the chocolate would have been my choice!

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