Like most college campuses, MIT events with free food are everywhere, with generally three types: regularly scheduled events, special events, and people getting rid of leftovers. Special events are quite well advertised (Sloan events are great), but won’t always line up with your schedule and the free food mailing list is usually hit or miss. In contrast, regular free food events are reliable and rarely have pizza (despite the above picture). That’s great, though, since you’ll likely have more pizza at other events than the last few years combined.
Muddy’s Wings Night (Wednesdays, 8pm, Muddy Charles Pub)
Wings (spicy and barbecue), vegetable dumplings and an assortment of vegetables (carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers). Enjoy with $6 pitcher of beer. Do note that Wings Night does not normally occur during January, but this year they started in the third week of January.
Tip: If you’re vegetarian, you’ll want to be there right at 8pm as the dumplings are always the first to go.
Ashdown Coffee Hour (Thursdays, 9-10pm, Ashdown House)
It’s called Coffee Hour, but I’ve never actually seen anyone drink coffee at this event. People come for the wide selection of fruits, salad, chips, guacamole, cookies, pastries, crackers, cheese, and cured meats. About half an hour in, the empty bowls will get replaced by cake and ice cream (they won’t announce it). If you want free food, this is arguably the best event to be at.
Tip: You’ll want to get there early if you want the fruits (particularly the berries). People will start lining up 15 to 30 minutes early and the fruits are the first to go.
Ashdown and Sidney Pacific Brunch (Sunday, once a month for each residence 12pm)
By far the most popular free food events on campus, the line spans the whole hallway (sometimes across doors) before the event starts. Typical brunch foods such as bacon, waffles, eggs, mashed potatoes, salads, and fruits galore. There’re usually more people than seats available though, so be prepared to go elsewhere or stand to eat if you get there late.
Sloan Evening Classes (varies depending on course schedule)
Sloan evening classes always serve dinner as well. However, registration for Sloan classes is done through a bidding process and you won’t want to use your precious allotted points just to secure free food. If there is a class that you want in the evening though, this serves as a bonus!
Tip: There’s usually leftovers at the end of class. Combined with the special events and free food mailing list, you can likely cover a quarter of your meals with free food. The only question is: will it conflict with your schedule, or could you have so many pizza?