Towson’s Best 2020: Winners

From best pizza to best study-spot, The Towerlight surveyed Towson students to find out what the very best go-to places are on and off campus. 

Compiled by Sophia Bates, Grace Coughlan, Bailey Hendricks, Meghan Hudson, Jordan Kendall, Tim Klapac, Keri Luise and Matthew Twillman.

Photos by Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

Food

Towson’s Best Pizza: Season’s Pizza

Season’s Pizza, located just steps from campus, has been voted Towson’s best pizza for it’s fast delivery, large selection of flavors, and cheap prices. With specialty pizzas like chicken bacon ranch, Mediterranean, and more for around $15 for a large or an XL cheese for $13 delivered right to your dorm or apartment, it’s no wonder Towson students are using Season’s Pizza to fuel their study sessions. Plus, if you’re feeling more adventurous one night and want a break from pizza, Season’s also offers wings, sandwiches, build-your-own pasta, salads, subs, and more — all for reasonable prices. Check online for specials and coupons to get the most pizza for your dollar!

Towson’s Best Chinese Food: Towson Best

“Towson Best” is once again, “Towson’s Best.” This Chinese and Japanese Restaurant is located at 527 York Rd. and challenges competing restaurants in the area with its health-conscious approach. “Towson Best” promises no GMOs ever, and insists on only using high quality ingredients. One of the best options offered, are their “Lunch Boxes,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While at most Chinese food restaurants you have to pay per entree and per side, at Towson Best, you can save a few bucks, and order an all inclusive “lunch box” platter, which provides the perfect portions of any entree with a side of rice, a spring roll, and a soda, all for $7.50. They also offer sushi lunch boxes which come with two rolls and a soda, all for $9.50. Aside from lunch, “Towson Best” offers both Chinese and Japanese cuisine options, including sushi. Don’t feel like leaving the house? Towson Best delivers, and can be found on DoorDash!

Towson’s Best Breakfast & Coffee: THB Bagelry and Deli

Towson Hot Bagels and Deli is famous for their large selection of delicious bagels and for being known as one of Towson’s best breakfast spots. TU President Kim Schatzel even said the location was one of her favorites! At THB you can get a hot, toasted bagel in a variety of flavors, an omelette, a bagel breakfast sandwich, a panini, and more. Located in uptown Towson near campus, THB has become a popular spot for students to get a quick breakfast on their way to class, or relax in the shop with a good book and a scrumptious deli sandwich. What’s your go-to order?

Towson’s Best Drive Thru / Fast Food: Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A is the best place to go for not only great food, but great service as well. While the closest Chick-fil-A drive-thru to campus is a few minutes away, located at 2008 E. Joppa Road, you can make the trip all the time for some inexpensive, “quality” fast food. However, if you live on-campus, fear not! Susquehanna has you covered! Towson University currently has a limited-menu Chick-fil-A located within the University Union. However, the line to get some fries and nuggets is always running long, so make sure you plan your trip with some time to spare. Not a fan of the Chick-fil-A on campus, and don’t have a car to drive all the way to the drive-thru? There is another Chick-fil-A location within the Towson Town Center! The mall is still walking distance from the university, or a ride on the Tiger in Town shuttle away, and offers a full-menu. Plus, you can follow up your delicious meal with a good walk back to campus when you’re finished.

Towson’s Best Burger: Five Guys

Looking for the best burger in Towson to satisfy that lunch or dinner-time craving? Five Guys, which can be found at 936 York Road, is just the place to go! Known for their high quality burgers, generous portions of those addicting fries, and their delicious milkshakes, Towson’s Five Guys exceeds even the most well-known and respected local burger joints in town. Five Guys is the perfect “treat yourself” meal, and it absolutely delivers. It will leave you full, but also fulfilled. The restaurant itself is clean and never packed to the brim for a relaxing atmosphere and all-around pleasant experience. This location is easy to reach from the road and is only a five minute drive from campus. It’s almost right in the backyard of many off-campus apartments. Whether it’s a quick stop or an outing with friends, there’s simply no denying that our local Five Guys is Towson’s best burger around.

Towson’s Best Sushi: Sushi Hana

Looking to curb that late night sushi craving? Sushi Hana is the perfect place to go. Located at 6 E Pennsylvania Ave. in Towson, Sushi Hana offers a wide variety of Japanese sushi and cuisine. Its relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place for a nice meal with family and friends. Sushi Hana is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For those who don’t feel like making the trip to the restaurant, delivery is always an option. One of the best parts of Sushi Hana is its extensive menu. There are so many choices that it can even be a little overwhelming. There is a large assortment of ramen noodles, sushi rolls, maki sushi, tempura, teriyaki, salads, and soups. Sushi Hana also offers combination meals, such as sushi or sashimi with shrimp tempura or beef teriyaki.

Towson’s Best Mexican Food: On the Border

On the Border, located at 121 E. Joppa Road, is a hot spot for Towson University students. This relatively inexpensive Tex-Mex cuisine is the perfect place for a casual date night, or for dinner with a large group of friends. Their long party tables are very accommodating for Greek life and/or sports teams. They also offer extensive happy hour times, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weeknights, and 9 p.m. to close on weekends. One popular drink choice is their happy hour $4 “Grande House Margarita,” while a popular food choice is their $3 tacos. On the Border is also a popular pre-game location for students looking to grab a quick bite to eat in a fun atmosphere before venturing over to one of Towson’s bars. While the restaurant can get pretty crazy over the weekends, it serves as a good family restaurant throughout the week and at lunch time.

Night Life

Towson’s Best Bar: Greene Turtle

Looking for a great night out with some local flair? Greene Turtle in Towson is the perfect spot for you. Located right in the heart of uptown Towson, this bar at 408 York Road is a must-visit. It’s a great place for its food, atmosphere, and its role in making Towson’s night life what it is. Appetizers are a must at Greene Turtle, with diverse options such as wings, pretzel crab dip, loaded tater tots, and rockfish bites. From burgers to salads and soups to tacos, Greene Turtle has everything you need for a great meal and a great time. The bar is always brimming with people, making it perfect for any social gatherings and get-togethers. It has the perfect sports bar feeling while keeping things low-key. Greene Turtle in Towson is simply the best place to get your fix of crab cakes, football, and a great time with friends and family.

Towson’s Best Club: Torrent

Are you looking to dance the night away after a long week of working and classes? Luckily, Towson’s hottest nightclub is a short distance from campus. Located on York Road, Torrent Night Club is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and features a full bar, which makes the club a popular and hot spot for students to let loose on the weekends. The dance club also hosts a variety of age 18 and over music shows with ticket prices ranging from free to $15 throughout the year. Are you feeling extra? Torrent offers VIP reservations and more, which you can call and inquire about or email at info@torrentnightclub.com. This spot is definitely a hot place for students that love music and love to sweat it out.

On-campus living

Towson’s Best Dining Hall: West Village

For the second year in a row, the West Village Dining Hall has been voted the best dining hall on campus. With a large seating area, and an even larger dining area, West Village Commons offers a great environment to eat a meal and even decompress or study. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there are always delicious options. The omelette, pasta, sandwich, and burrito stations all give you the option to create a more personal meal. One of the perks of the omelette station is that you can order pancakes or french toast to go along with your eggs. For dinner, this dining hall will rotate home-style dinners such as roasts, chili, and pasta dishes. The dessert bar always has ice cream, and rotates cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and even pudding. They even make holiday staples for every holiday season.

Towson’s Best Academic Building: Liberal Arts

Whether you’re looking for fascinating and perspective-building classes, searching for that quiet place to study, or simply a good atmosphere to cultivate your intellectual curiosity, the Liberal Arts building is the on-campus spot for you. The Liberal Arts building is the perfect place to dive into topics such as history, geography, family studies, foreign languages, philosophy, English, and everything in between. The Liberal Arts building is regularly home to enlightening speakers raising awareness to important issues in our society and the world as a whole. Academics aside, the Liberal Arts building is the perfect place to find somewhere quiet and chill to study without the restrictions and loneliness of a library. Home to the LA Cafe, the Liberal Arts Building will provide you a great place to study, a great cup of coffee, and a sandwich to help you get through your day and hopefully also get that A. This makes the Liberal Arts building Towson’s best academic building.

Towson’s Best Residence Hall / On-Campus Apartment: Glen Towers

Although this residence hall is one of the older halls on campus, Glen Complex is still the best place to live on campus. Having four Towers, which all have around 380-450 students per building, “the Towers” makes making new friends super easy! Plus, the views around campus can be pretty phenomenal at sunset. The common areas also serve as a great place to hang out with people on your floor. The Glen Complex is also home to TU’s international student housing, called “Global Village,” located in Tower D. Students can opt-in to Global Village living, and share a room with an international student! Additionally, all rooms are suite-style, meaning you and your roommate only share your bathroom with the room next to you. Overall, the Towers are the best place to be in order to live closer to academic buildings without paying up.

Towson’s Best Off-Campus Apartment: Kenilworth Apartments

Towson is full of apartment options for students looking to live off campus, but the Kenilworth at Charles Apartments have outshone the rest. Located just a couple miles off campus, right across from Trader Joe’s and Atwater’s, Kenilworth at Charles Apartments are the place to be. With one, two, and three-bedroom apartment home options, walk- in closets, full-size in-home laundry, fully-equipped kitchens and a resort-style swimming pool and sundeck, the complex provides the perfect comfortable and convenient home for you. The Towson University Kenilworth Express shuttle even comes straight through the complex, making the commute to campus a whole lot easier. And the apartments are pet friendly for your furry friends too!

Towson’s Best Shuttle Route: Black Route

Did you run late for school and need to park in the West Village overflow lot? Are you dressed too nice to bust a sweat hiking all the way to Stephens Hall? Just hop on the black route in you’ll get dropped off at class in no time! The Black Route spends the day circling around campus, essentially hopping from building to building. It starts at the University Union, before heading to the West Village Commons building, Marshall Hall, the Liberal Arts building, the Health Center, Scarborough Hall, Stephens Hall, and finally, the Glen Garage/Admin building stop. This route also circulates much faster than other routes, as it doesn’t have very far to travel. When living on campus I found this route to be great when I wanted to visit my friends in West Village late at night, but didn’t want to walk in the dark alone, or was simply too tired to take the hike.

Towson’s Best Student Group: TU Rocks

A student group where members can spread joy and positive messages across campus, TU Rocks is the perfect creative and positive group on campus. In hopes to inspire those at Towson and in the surrounding community, TU Rocks has followed the trend of rock painting (with environmental friendly paint of course) with an emphasis on positivity. This eco-friendly, inclusive club paints rocks with helpful, positive paintings and sayings. Then, they hide them throughout campus. Spotting one of these adorable rocks might just make your day! These bright rocks are ready to inspire students and help give us the confidence boost that we know we all always need. And the best thing still is that when you find one of these precious pebbles you may keep them for yourself or re-hide them around campus to continuously spread the joy!

Towson’s Best Construction Project: University Union

A “Brand New U” is in the works to present Towson University with a vibrant new center for student life by the fall of 2021. Since the start of construction in August 2019, the University Union has been going through stages of construction to make this student center the absolute best that it can be! The renovations and expansions to the Union will have improved event, dining and student group spaces. There is even going to be a 300-seat auditorium and movie theater! Renovations and additions also include a new food market with seven new venues, such as Dunkin’ and Chick-fil-A, a 15,000 square foot ballroom, an expanded Career Center and double the student activity space within the new Union. Towson is ready for this Brand New U!

Towson’s Best Sorority: Phi Mu

Phi Mu is one of Towson University’s service sororities, whose current philanthropy is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They also work with CMNH’s Believe in Tomorrow House at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where they prepare meals for families on a bi-weekly basis.  Phi Mu currently has 87 active members, and are currently seeking new recruits. According to the popular Greek Life ranking website, Greek Rank, Phi Mu is considered to be a top-tier sorority on campus. Their ranking considers their reputation, friendliness, popularity, classiness, involvement, social life, and sisterhood. Interested in joining a sorority? Meet the Greeks takes place this Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the West Village Ballrooms. Those interested will get the opportunity to interact with each sorority and fraternity and some of their current members, and get a feel for what each group is about!

Towson’s Best Fraternity: Kappa Sigma and Alpha Epsilon Pi (TIE)

Kappa Sigma and Alpha Epsilon Pi have tied for best fraternity on campus. Kappa Sigma is a men’s collegiate social fraternity. Their current philanthropy is the Military Heroes campaign. This fraternity prides themselves on their foundation of fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. Alpha Epsilon Pi was founded as a fraternity for Jewish men, but is open to both Jewish and non-Jewish members. Their main focus is to form a lifelong comradery amongst members and to promote high academic achievement, a Jewish environment, and space to have fun. They pride themselves on having one of the most tight-knit group of brothers compared to other fraternities at TU. You can meet both of these fraternities at Meet the Greeks on Jan. 29 in the West Village Ballrooms from 5 to 7 p.m.

Towson’s Best Place to Park: Towsontown Garage

Towsontown Garage is located right beside the Liberal Arts Building, and the Residence tower. With relatively low-incline hikes to Linthicum, Smith, Hawkins and the Psychology Building, as well as convenient parking for those who have most of their classes in the Liberal Arts Building, this garage certainly wins best parking when it comes to convenience and accessibility. Speaking of accessibility, this garage reserves its ground level floor completely for handicap parking spaces. As far as student parking goes, like all lots, spaces are first come, first serve. Spaces in this garage are usually gone by 9 a.m., and it’s pretty time consuming to circle the garage aimlessly in search of an exiting student past this time. However, if you are someone who has later classes, the garage tends to clear out after 3:15 p.m. classes end. Then ensues mass exodus. It’s totally worth showing up early to claim a spot. You can use any extra time to do homework, study, or get in a workout at Burdick, which is also right next to this garage!

Towson’s Best Place to Study: Cook Library

Cook Library is by far the best place to study on campus. It offers plenty of nooks for individuals or groups to focus and get work done. The second floor is definitely the most social of all floors. Most group studying takes place down here, as there are private study rooms groups can reserve, as well as large tables, and individual study nooks along the left wall. Also on the second floor, is a silent study room, for those who prefer to study in total silence. The third floor, which is ground level, is quieter than the second floor, and has many more computers, as well as some group tables, individual tables along the windows, and first come first serve study rooms. There is also a 24-hour study room, and a Starbucks on this floor. The fourth and fifth floors hold more books, and more offices, but like all floors, offer individual desks and study nooks along the walls. 

Towson’s Best Place to Work Out: Burdick Hall

Burdick Hall is the best place to let off some steam after a long day of classes. With three different floors filled with exercise machines, boxing areas, basketball courts, a cycle room, a pool, yoga and dance studios, Burdick Hall offers plenty of ways to get your work out in. You’ll never have to worry about not getting a treadmill or an elliptical, trust me, there are plenty. Burdick Hall offers a bunch of different fitness classes which are great opportunities to hang with friends or meet new people while working out. From Zumba to boxing, there are classes for everyone to enjoy. If you’re looking to add a little bit of a twist to your workout, Burdick Hall has it’s very own Ninja Warrior course. Whether you are dominating it or struggling through it, the Ninja Warrior course is bound to bring you a fun, new experience.

Towson’s Best Bathrooms: Liberal Arts Building

The Liberal Arts building is so beloved by Towson that even its restrooms topped our list as Towson’s best bathroom. Much of this is owed to how clean and spacious these restrooms are. When you need a crucial level of privacy and protection for that coveted personal bubble, the Liberal Arts building bathroom is the ideal space for when you have to go. This bathroom is really well maintained, and never seems to be out of any of the essentials. There are plenty of them to be found within the building, and the story is the same in each one. The bathrooms in the Liberal Arts building at Towson are easy to find and easy to use. Sorry, Stephen’s Hall – the Liberal Arts bathrooms take the crown as the best place for “business” at Towson University.

Sports

Towson’s Best Men’s Team: Lacrosse

If there is one sport that one of the top universities in the state of Maryland should excel at, it’s lacrosse. Towson University has often boasted one of the best lacrosse programs in the country, and that trend continued last season. During the 2019 campaign, the Tigers earned a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history after a victory over the previous No. 1 team, Loyola. Towson continued this domination after the season ended, capturing the school’s eighth Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship. The Tigers hosted the University of Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, their first home NCAA tournament game since 2005. Despite losing to the Terps in overtime, Towson compiled one of the most successful seasons in school history, with four players being named All-Americans, and a No. 9 finish in the final national polls. Heading into the 2020 season, the Tigers have the sixth-toughest schedule, according to lacrossereference.com, with home games against Cornell, Georgetown and Duke. Towson will also host an exhibition against the defending national champions, the University of Virginia.

Towson’s Best Women’s Team: Volleyball

An historic season for the Tigers was capped off with arguably the program’s best postseason performance ever. Towson finished the regular season undefeated in conference play, including three straight wins without losing a set. The Tigers ended the regular season on a 20-match winning streak, and didn’t slow down in the conference tournament. Victories over Elon (3-1) and James Madison (3-0) gave Towson their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship since 2004. These performances gave the Tigers a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they grabbed national attention by defeating American University in the first round, the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory. Although they fell to Penn State in the second round, Towson finished the season in the top 30 of the NCAA’s Rating Percentage Index. Individual accolades were abound on this roster, with senior setter Marissa Wonders earning the CAA Player of the Year, freshman middle blocker Lydia Wiers winning CAA Freshman of the Year and head coach Don Metil receiving CAA Coach of the Year, respectively.

Towson’s Best Men’s Coach: Shawn Nadelen and Pat Skerry

Shawn Nadelen – It only makes sense that the coach of the Best Men’s Team would receive this honor. Shawn Nadelen has revitalized the Towson men’s lacrosse program since arriving on campus in 2004. During his tenure as head coach of the Men’s Lacrosse team, Nadelen has taken the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament five times thanks to five Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships. Under Nadelen’s leadership, Towson advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history in 2017. Nadelen was named the CAA Coach of the Year in 2016. Thanks to the success Nadelen has created, Towson has routinely finished in the top half of the CAA in yearly attendance. Every year, the Tigers face a tough schedule and that is another credit to Nadelen’s ability to build a strong program. During the 2019 season, Towson faced eight ranked opponents, including four the the top-10. The Tigers 2020 schedule includes six games against teams ranked in the final NCAA polls from last season.

Pat Skerry – Pat Skerry has revived a basketball program that had been suffering losing season for the previous 15 years. Since taking over, Skerry has guided the Tigers to five winning seasons, including the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA history during his second season. Skerry has also overseen three 20-win seasons as head coach at Towson. Skerry was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year following the 2013 season. While the on-court success can be appreciated, Skerry’s efforts off the court have been a true reflection of what type of coach he is. Under Skerry’s tenure, Towson has the highest Graduation Success Rate in the CAA. Skerry’s contributions to Autism Awareness have resulted in both the men’s and women’s basketball programs at TU holding an annual Autism Awareness game. As head coach, Skerry has witnessed the Tigers move into SECU Arena, become a success in the classroom and a force in the CAA.

Towson’s Best Women’s Coach: Diane Richardson

Richardson is in the middle of her third season as head coach of the Tigers. Her first two years have already reaped numerous rewards. During her first season, Towson earned victories over local rivals UMBC and Loyola as two Tigers earned all-conference honors. Richardson’s second season was one to remember with Towson capturing their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Richardson was named both the CAA and ECAC Coach of the Year and multiple Tigers received all-conference honors and all-tournament honors at the CAA Tournament. Richardson has already guided Towson to a six-game winning streak in her third season as the Tigers look to defend their conference title and return to the NCAA Tournament.

Towson’s Best Male Athlete: Tom Flacco

Redshirt senior quarterback Tom Flacco left his mark on the Towson football program. In his two years as a Tiger he threw for the third most touchdowns in program history with 50. He was named a FCS All-American and First-Team All-CAA in 2018 while leading the Tigers to their first FCS playoff appearance in five seasons. Flacco finished fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting in 2018 which is considered the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Last season, Flacco threw for 2,831 yards and 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions. Flacco also played baseball for the Tigers in 2019 and started in right field. He batted .221 and finished second on the team with 11 stolen bases, including a steal of home to win a game against Delaware. Towson’s football program finished with a winning record each season he was a Tiger. Flacco rejuvenated the program and the University’s excitement around it. He helped Towson regain its status as a top-25 program. Flacco is now training for the NFL draft, and he is expected to generate interest at the next level. 

Towson’s Best Female Athlete: Nukiya Mayo

Senior forward Nukiya Mayo was a key factor in Towson earning their first CAA title and NCAA tournament bid in 2019. Mayo was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 CAA tournament highlighted by a 20-point and seven-rebound performance vs. Drexel in the championship. Her 50 blocks in the 2018-19 season are the eighth-most for a single season in Tigers history. Her defensive performance resulted in her finishing in the top five in rebounds and blocks in the conference. A two time All-CAA selection, Mayo led the CAA in offensive rebounds her sophomore season. This season Mayo is currently fifth in the conference averaging 7.6 rebounds per game. She is also one of eight players currently in the CAA averaging over 1.0 blocks per game. 

Towson’s Best Local Team: Baltimore Ravens

Despite a disappointing performance in the divisional round, the Baltimore Ravens season was one to remember. The Ravens finished with a league best 14-2 record and were the top seed in the AFC for the first time in franchise history. Baltimore was led by quarterback Lamar Jackson who became the first quarterback in NFL history with 3,000 passing and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. “Big Truss” was a rally call around Baltimore, and the Ravens offense was revolutionary. Running back Mark Ingram and the offensive line led by guard Marshal Yanda lead the NFL in rushing. Baltimore’s defense finished fourth in total defense despite losing linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Eric Weddle in free agency. Despite the loss to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, the Ravens season won’t be forgotten in Baltimore anytime soon.

Towson’s Best Sports Venue: SECU Arena

When SECU Arena opened its doors 2013, the opportunities seemed endless for what this venue could hold. As the home for Towson men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, SECU Arena is never short on Tiger pride. SECU Arena is also the home of the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League. The Blast won their ninth overall championship in their first season at SECU. This 5,200-seat venue is also the home of Tiger Fest, the annual concert held by the Campus Activities Board and is one of the most anticipated events every year. With concession stands all around the main concourse, spectators have plenty of food and beverage options. The restrooms are always kept clean and tidy for fans to wash up. Parking for SECU Arena is everywhere and most spaces are available for any TU parking permit. Every TU student finds their way into SECU Arena at some point, culminating with their commencement, which are all held inside SECU Arena.

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