Best of Guide to Carleton

Carleton College

By Aron Feingold

By Aron Feingold
Unigo Campus Rep at Carleton College

What is the best…

Place to grab a late night meal - Sweet Lou’s Waffle Bar & Café, located just two blocks away from campus, is open later than most places in the very small Northfield - until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. It sports a catchy décor including fun yellow walls and comfortable leather chairs and couches. You can get two square waffles with any topping for under $6, and waffles have fun names such as the “Elvis in Northfield” which comes with fresh banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow. When asked about his favorite late night hangout, Jim Klein, a sophomore Classics major, responded, “It is the only decent sit-down place open late enough. They have both sweet and savory items. They say you are what you eat. Well, if that is true then I am happy to be a square!”
Address: 303 Division St. Northfield, MN. 55057
Phone: (507) 650-7592

Place to exercise / workout - If you are an athlete or just really serious about your workouts, the Stadium Fitness Center underneath the Laird Stadium bleachers is the best spot for you. The Recreation Center on campus is fully equipped, and Carleton’s gigantic arboretum is nice for cross-country skiing in the winter or a jog in the spring, but the most serious weight lifting and cardio workouts occur in Stadium. Many varsity and club athletes work out together, spotting for each other and providing general encouragement. Says Hannah Maras, a Varsity Softball player and senior history major, “I work out at the Stadium Fitness Center and the majority of the people who work out there are community members and varsity team members, so it’s usually much quieter than the Rec Center. You can even pick the music that plays throughout the building. I like the old style open cage free weights and the lack of distractions so you can really focus on getting a good workout in.”

Place to take a nap between classes - The green couches on the fourth floor of Carleton’s library are unquestionably the perfect place to nap on campus. Some students claim to spend more time sleeping on these couches than they do in their own beds! Mari Jo Long, a senior Japanese language major, said, “The couches in the Rookery of the libe were made for napping in. Both ends of the couches are extended so that you can comfortably sleep with your head in the corner, thus reducing light and noise. Whether I’m recovering from sleeping two hours the night before, or haven’t had enough access to caffeine that day, fourth libe couches are always a welcoming place to catch that twenty minute nap.”

Place to take a date without breaking the bank - Hogan Brothers, which is located in town about three blocks from campus, is an excellent choice for a date. They have big windows, homey wooden booths for some privacy, and gigantic hoagies with “special sauce” and any kind of meat you please for a great price. My only warning for a first date is that the sandwiches can be a little messy! Jordan Smith, a junior history major, commented, “As long as you’re not looking for a gourmet steak dinner, Hogan Brothers is the perfect place for a date. Their warm sandwiches are second to none and who can turn down a bowl of the beer cheese soup or the root beer on tap? If you’re really looking to impress the ladies, you can even splurge on the hard ice cream that they also sell. Few things are more romantic than eating a frozen treat when it’s zero degrees outside.”
Address: 415 Division St. Northfield, MN. 55057
Phone: (507) 645-6653

Place to get free Wifi - The best place to get free Wifi is definitely weather dependent. On warm days (which are few and far between in Minnesota!), Wifi is available on the , a huge lawn on Carleton’s campus. There are picnic tables and lawn chairs available in spring weather where students can complete their work outside. On colder days, however, “Upper Sayles,” the top floor of the student center, is the best spot for Wifi. There are comfortable leather couches and tables up there where you can surf the net or do your work. There’s also a giant TV in Upper Sayles, so you can do your work to a sports game or the news if you choose. Ellie Camlin, a junior English major agreed, “I think that the best place to get free Wifi on campus is probably Upper Sayles, unless it’s warm outside. If the weather is cooperative, it’s possible to get Wifi on the Bald Spot. Being able to work in the sun is a small blessing, considering the amount of time spent inside during the cold winter months.”

Bar - Because Northfield is located in rural Minnesota and a college town for both Carleton and St. Olaf, there is no shortage of bars. The best bar for you definitely depends on your mood. If you want to do Karaoke on select nights, Froggy Bottoms is a hoppin’ spot. If you’re looking to chill with friends and chow down on some wings and Miller High Life at Happy Hour, I’d recommend J. Grundy’s Rueb ‘N Stein. If you just got back from an abroad experience in Europe and are missing that pub feel, the closest you’ll come in Northfield is the Contented Cow. However, a Carleton favorite is the Tavern Lounge, a one-block walk from campus. They sell bottles of wine for half off on Sunday and Monday nights, and you’ll always find several Carleton seniors at Wine Night. You can also get any kind of mixed drink or beer, and there is often a musician playing some cool tunes. Additionally, when the weather is nice you can sit outside on a balcony which overlooks the river. Lauren Blacik, a senior sociology/anthropology major said of the Tavern Lounge, “The atmosphere is cozy, and it’s usually a pretty similar crowd of students.”
 Address: 212 Division St. Northfield, MN. 55057
 Phone: (507) 663-0342

Restaurant to take your parents when they’re visiting - Chapati, a local Indian restaurant, is a great place to go with your parents when they’re visiting. It’s in town but less than a block away from campus. This way, you can show your parents Northfield’s town and hardly have to leave campus. Chapati has several large tables, so your parents can take you out with all of your friends. They have a large menu, and for lunch they serve a tasty buffet. It doesn’t feel anything like a college dive. Quite the opposite, actually, it has a nice atmosphere. My parents took me there two nights in a row when they were helping me move into my off-campus apartment this fall! Mollie Lam, a senior history major, said, “You wouldn’t guess a little town like Northfield would have a great Indian restaurant – my mother loves Chapati, though!”
Address: 214 Division St. Northfield, MN. 55057
Phone: (507) 645-2462

On-campus job - Erika Huckestein, a junior history major who has had a few different campus jobs while at Carleton, said, “The best on-campus jobs are the ones that you can do homework at while you’re working, for example, working in the library or at the post office, maybe even security. If you can’t get a job like that it is good to work in an office like I do. The work is really easy, the people are nice, and they always bring in food to eat while gossiping.” As freshmen, most students are placed in less desirable campus jobs such as a dining hall worker, but after putting in your time there, it is easy to be placed elsewhere. As Huckestein mentioned, the library is a favorite place to work, because employees often do their homework or surf the web between checking books out for students. Like Huckestein, students tend to enjoy their office jobs on-campus because Carleton is a largely friendly atmosphere and most offices are incredibly kind to their workers.

Place to get pizza - Basil’s pizza, about a five-minute walk from campus, is definitely a Carleton favorite. It is a local pizza joint owned by a Greek family that has been in Northfield for over forty years. Their gyros and gyro pizza are second to none, and they have a ton of toppings to choose from. Basil’s is a homey restaurant with comfy booths and big tables for larger parties like sports teams or floor events. If you don’t feel like taking a stroll to get your fill of pizza in the winter, however, they also deliver until 2am on weekends. Emily Kao, a sophomore from Hood River, Oregon, said, “If you’re looking for good pizza in Northfield, you have limited choices between Dominoes and the local pizzeria Basil’s. While with Dominoes you get your typical faire, Basil’s has a much wider variety and much better pizza. As college students, pizza is a dietary stable and good pizza is close to a necessity, making Basil’s a holy grail within Northfield.”   
Address: 301 Water St. Northfield, MN. 55057
Phone: (507) 663-1248

Place to watch a game - Whenever there’s a big game on television, be it football or hockey, there are always students watching in Upper Sayles, the upper floor of our student center. The TV is large, and there are comfortable chairs and couches surrounding it. Upper Sayles is an especially popular choice for those under-agers who cannot yet watch at bars in town. Michael Hantho, a sophomore from Edina, Minnesota, commented, “The TV in Upper Sayles is a good choice because of its size. As long as you don’t mind others watching over your shoulder or watching the game with you, it’s a good spot. Otherwise, any lounge on campus does the trick.”