Editorial | Students need to support small and independent restaurants

If you walk on Forbes at just about any time of the day, you’ll see people entering and leaving many eateries. You’ll probably also see students making the trek down from the Pete with a white bag imprinted with a red chicken on it, too. 

The issue isn’t the existence of large corporate chains, because let’s be serious, a good burrito bowl hits the spot. But it’s still important to consider the small, worthwhile places that rely on students’ business. The Pitt News’ “Best Of” survey awarded some of these shops, but there were others it missed. 

Next time you’re in the mood to try something new, check out some of the other great finds sprinkled throughout Oakland. Want some of the best Tikka Masala you’ll ever have? Visit the Bengal Kabab House. Craving bubble tea and want a good brown sugar milk tea with boba? Try Love Tea. Looking for something flaky and fried? The fulfilling empanadas from The Colombian Spot hit the spot. Seeking something fresh and fishy? How about a tuna or salmon bowl from JJ Poke Bowl?

Small businesses around the world faced great uncertainty during the pandemic. And in the three years since shutdowns occurred in the United States, the hundreds of thousands of businesses that closed during the pandemic continue to affect our economy, making it so that every dollar spent at a small business counts toward the health of their operations — and that of the local community.

Some locations might not be small, but they are locally operated. For example, the Mero Restaurant Group — a Pittsburgh-based restaurant company that owns and operates Stack’d, CHiKN and Viva Los Tacos — is a locally owned and operated business that has created a bit of a monopoly over the prime storefront locations on Forbes.

Small businesses in the place you attend school are just as important as your favorite shops and restaurants back home. Without students, small businesses in college towns struggle to keep their doors open. So, students, your spending has power. 


Colleges and universities have an important role to play in small business development, and students aren’t exempt from that. So yes, go and try the new, overly-priced grilled cheese and get your chicken sandwiches and burgers, but don’t forget to stop at some of the great independent restaurants that are littered throughout campus.