Late Night Food Fight: Au Bon Pain

Parul Agarwal

It's 1:30 in the morning, and you're hungry. But where do you go? It is a divisive debate among the Harvard student body, and loyalties to the Square's late-night stops run deep. Over an 11 day period, The Crimson will debate 11 popular choices around campus. Now up: Au Bon Pain.

The first thing any Harvard freshman learns is to never refer to the Hong Kong or Pinnochio’s Pizza by their full names. Those who are “in the know,” the freshmen learn, call them “the Kong” and “Noch’s,” respectively.

But what those freshmen don’t learn is that those who are truly in the know don’t go to either of those places—they go to Au Bon Pain, the best late night eatery in the square.

Some will take issue with this judgment. Some will label it sacrilegious. These people simply don’t realize the most essential element of any late night food establishment: variety. When it’s one in the morning, you’re not in the mood to be told what to eat. You’ve had a great night, and you’re ready to assert your freedom of choice. ABP presents you with that choice, with offerings from croissants to soups to Greek salads.

The variety is equally important if you’re out on the town with friends. Arguing over where to eat can end in one of two ways: a vicious, embittered debate that ends with nothing but resentment, or a calm, reasoned discussion that resolves itself only when one or two restaurants remain open. ABP, with its near-limitless range of options, allows you to circumvent that unfortunate obstacle.

The only place that comes close to ABP’s level of choice and variety is CVS. But if you buy anything other than a stale bag of chips at this so-called value store, odds are that the meal is going to necessitate some level of preparation. In the middle of a Saturday night, operating cooking equipment isn’t always the best idea.

ABP’s delicious meals, thankfully, don’t require any further work. In terms of convenience and variety, it’s the best place in the Square after midnight.